Sunday, December 28, 2008

Israel Deserves Hamas' Rocket Attacks

There are plenty who would have you believe that. Read Ezra Klein's piece and see if you can't draw that conclusion.

The rocket attacks were undoubtedly "deeply disturbing" to Israelis. But so too are the checkpoints, the road closures, the restricted movement, the terrible joblessness, the unflinching oppression, the daily humiliations, the illegal settlement -- I'm sorry, "outpost" -- construction, "deeply disturbing" to the Palestinians, and far more injurious. And the 300 dead Palestinians should be disturbing to us all.

There is nothing proportionate in this response. No way to fit it into a larger strategy that leads towards eventual peace. No way to fool ourselves into believing that it will reduce bloodshed and stop terrorist attacks. It is simple vengeance. There's a saying in the Jewish community: "Israel, right or wrong." But sometimes Israel is simply wrong.

I, of course, don't draw that conclusion. In fact, I think the commenter of 12/28 5:33 pm on Klein's piece is exceedingly brilliant, perceptive, and most of all, correct:

Joblessness in Palestine is Israel's problem? Checkpoints and border crossings between Gaza and Israel are Israel's problem? What "unflinching oppression" and "daily humiliations" is Israel imposing in the Palestinian territories?

They wanted their own country. Now they have it. And such a great job they've done with it.

Your bias is showing, Ezra. You shouldn't try to justify the launching of rockets as "potshots". Some might call such potshots "terrorism" or "attempted murder".
Why would anyone accept this concept of proportionate response? Militarily, that's as stupid a concept as you can create. The objective of any military operation is to win, and history shows that overwhelming your enemy is often a successful tactic. Proportionate? Only idiots and diplomats believe in that kind of crap, but I repeat myself.

Why do lefties side with terrorists against democratic states including Israel? Why do they always try to make excuses for, and even justify, the indefensible? Israel "forces" Hamas to launch rockets into Israel? What reality do these lefties inhabit?

Update, 12/29/08: A Reverend Wright tie-in:

Those who inaugurate war must be prepared to accept the consequences. Hamas decided to begin bombarding Israel, and continued that bombardment despite warnings. Surely Hamas has no right to complain of the predictable consequences.

Beyond that, it is rather odd of Greenwald to speak of "innocent" Palestinians. Did not the Palestinian people themselves elect Hamas by a landslide majority? And haven't the Palestinians overwhelmingly supported every atrocity of this Islamicist fanatic group?

I would remind Glenn Greenwald of the words of Barack Obama's spiritual mentor, who declared that the 9/11 attacks represented "chickens coming home to roost" for America. Is it not possible, by the same standard, to see the Israeli attacks on Gaza as "chickens coming home to roost" for the Palestinians?
Update #2, 1/2/09: From the Washington Post:

Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. Hamas, which started this conflict with unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks on unarmed Israelis -- 6,464 launched from Gaza in the past three years -- deliberately places its weapons in and near the homes of its own people.


allen (in Michigan) said...

Think "spoiled, rich kid" and the mystery of lefty thought processes goes away.

Smitten by a passing desire to feel noble the lefty looks at the Mideast to determine who the underdog might be.


Naw. Too obvious.

Besides, Israel's won a bunch of wars so they must be the top dog.

Well then, if Israel's the top dog and the exciting pose of nobility requires rooting for the underdog then - presto!, changeo! - Hamas and their like are the underdog and, by definition, noble and worthy blabbing in favor of.

JoeH said...

There were some interesting comments on Ezra Klein's post. This one kind of struck me as an interesting proposal,
"A "proportional" response? What would that be? Israel indiscriminately firing rockets at Palestinian civilians?"

That would be interesting. Would love to see/here the comments if Israel started lobbing a mortor shell or two along with a few unguided rockets that could land almost anywhere. Then maybe we would see calls for the use of precision munitions. :)

Donalbain said...

Palestinians do not have their own country. You do not have your own country when another country is able to completely bloackade you. When that same country prevents even the importation of necessary medical supplies.

Darren said...

So who does that real estate belong to? If it's Israel, their government should be able to restore "order" any time they want....

Darren said...

BTW, how's that Gaza-Egypt border doing?

Darren said...

I don't understand why you lefties have such a problem with Israel, essentially a leftist country itself. Maybe you just don't like Jews. This guy doesn't:

But Hamas knows one big thing, which it labels "resistance" or, for Western audiences, "ending the occupation." Just what that means was made clear by Palestinian cleric Muhsen Abu 'Ita in a televised interview. "The annihilation of the Jews here in Palestine," he said, "is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine."

If Hamas stopped attacking Israel, Israel wouldn't attack Hamas. If Israel stopped attacked Hamas, Hamas wouldn't stop attacking Israel. It's easy to see who's at fault here, and it's not the Israelis.

Donalbain, you're a leftist and a supporter of homosexuality. The Palestinians are fascists who do not; the Israeli government is leftist and does. What, exactly, is your beef against Israel? Why do you reflexively support the Palestinians?

Oh, this answer should be fun.

Donalbain said...

I do not "reflexively" support anyone. I happen to think that both sides are at fault. I dont think that a millenia old conflict can be boiled down to the soundbite form of "X is the victim. Y is the aggressor." The Palestinians have the right to a homeland. They have the right to import medicines to their hospitals. Israel has a right to exist and a right to security. I think that Israel's latest actions do not further the movement towards the many rights of people in the region being realised.

There are three options as I see it:

1) A two state solution
2) Ethnic cleansing
3) Apartheidt

All sensible people would agree that option 1 is the best and most realistic one. The question we should be asking is what is the best way for ALL sides to get to that end point. And yes, a major part of that has to be an end to the attacks by Hamas (something you have NEVER seen me defend, so stop pretending otherwise). But another part has to be the ethical behaviour of the nation of Israel, including such basic things as letting Palestinian hospitals have medicines.

allen (in Michigan) said...

> All sensible people would agree that option 1 is the best and most realistic one.

Har! I guess that makes those who disagree insensible? Unsensible? Senseless?

What about folks who think your list is a bit self-serving in that it excludes that obvious solution of the Arabs who live in Israel ignoring the hate-fomenting, self-serving, self-appointed authoritarians who run their society and integrating into Israeli society?

By the way, if this is a Palestinian-vs-Israeli issue why haven't we heard anything from the West Bank? Shouldn't those Palestinians be launching rockets randomly into Israel as well? Shouldn't the West Bank be under the same sort assault by Israel as well?

Oddly enough, it isn't.

Since you seem to be carefully avoiding the issue of the treatment of homosexuals in Muslim nations perhaps you can stretch your abilities to similarly ignore the fact that only *one* of the two Palestinian enclaves is under military assault by Israel, the one under the control of an *unelected* government.

What do all sensible people say about the fact that it's only the losers of the first legitimate election among Palestinians that have chosen to continue to launch attacks against Israel? Wouldn't that make it less an issue of Palestinian resistance to Israeli repression then of violent thugs, unsatisfied with the results of an election, taking the law into their own hands?

Donalbain said...

OK.. if the Arabs who live in "Israel", by which I assume you are referring to the Occupied Territories integrated into Israeli society, then the Jewish State would no longer exist. That is an option that Israel would not accept.

Darren said...

There have been Arabs in Israel since the founding. There are even Arabs in the Knesset. Gay Palestinians escape to Israel so they can *live*.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Darren got there ahead of me but no, I'm not referring to the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. There are ethnic Arabs, practicing Muslims, who lived in Israel at the time of its founding, stayed in Israel and live in Israel to this day. As Darren's already mentioned, they have representation in the Israeli parliament - the United Arab List or Ta'al party. Those Arabs.

By the way, only one of the two areas under the control of Palestinians is under attack by Israel, remember? How's that phenomenon explained by the "they're all at fault" theory? It's the same Israel that *isn't* embargoing or attacking the West Bank so could it be that Israel's treating the two areas differently because of the differing threat they represent to Israel, i.e. it's Hamas' fault?

Last item.

Where's this "right to a homeland" come from? I'd like to ask what standards determine the right to a homeland but I'll be satisfied with an explanation of why it's a right.

Anonymous said...

This comment pretty much says it

Donalbain said...

There are a small number of Arabs in Israel. A small, managable minority. If Israel were to annex the Occupied Territories, then a small minority becomes something like a third of the population. And with demographics being king, within a few generations it would be half or more. When that happens, Israel is no longer a Jewish state. And that is not an acceptable outcome for Israel. Hence we go back to the three options I outlined earlier.

As for the right to a homeland, I suggest you look at things like the UN charter, and your nations DoI, they have pretty good explanations of the right to self determination.

Ellen K said...

One comment: Historically the Palestinians have always been the bottom of the ladder in the Middle East, except when it comes to Israel. Saudi, Syria, Lebanon-any of those nations could have freely given the Palestinians a homeland. But they have such a low opinion of the Palestinians that they don't want to give them political footholds in their countries. And for what purpose would Palestine want Israel? Palestine has destroyed what little commerce and industry existed in their current limitations. I can only surmise they think they will absorb Israeli industries and reap the profits for their own benefits. I doubt very much that Israeli corporations, factories and businesses would be as successful if you plucked out Israelis as owners and placed Palestinians there in their places. It's in many ways similar to the politics of envy that has become so popular of late in the United States. And with an incoming administration that appears blind to the dangers of not having Israel as an ally in the Middle East, this does not bode well for the next few years.

allen (in Michigan) said...

"Manageable" as in not firing rockets randomly into civilian areas? "Manageable" as in not sending suicide bombers into restaurants and night clubs?

I guess you could call them manageable. I'd call them law-abiding.

As to a right to a homeland and desire for same, until recently there wasn't any legitimate claim to that desire since the Palestinians existed under a repressive and authoritarian regime.

What the Palestinian people might or might not want was immaterial to their leaders by definition; those leaders didn't govern with the consent of the governed.

If there is such a desire it seems that it is expressible without resort to violence as is being demonstrated by the Palestinian government which *isn't* launching daily terror attacks against Israel and isn't the focus of attacks by Israel. I suppose you can continue to pretend there's no contrasts between the two areas under Palestinian governance but that's more a matter of your refusal to acknowledge that the issue is less one of a desire for a national homeland then of the desire of a thugocracy to maintain its grip on the populace by fomenting hatred.

Anonymous said...

Have you lefties forgotten why Israel had to wall off Gaza? So that the unhuman "suicide" bombers couldn't easily get into Israel so as to kill innocent Israeli citizens who were doing things like riding on buses and dining in restaurants.

I don't care how you try to spin the "justification" for those heinous acts by the Palestinians--the point is you don't target civilians! And in case you tiny-brained wipers of other people's bottoms haven't noticed, the IDF tries hard to NOT target civilians. And that's exactly why the Hamas swine try to hide amongst women and children.