Friday, July 25, 2014

What do Israel’s critics really want?

Israel’s operation Protective Edge is on its eighteenth day, and Israel’s critic are intensifying their demand that Israel stop its operation.  It is clear to any reasonable observer, as Canadian columnist Michael Den Tandt wrote recently (The simple question detractors can’t answer) that “Hamas has put Israel in a position where it has no choice but to defend its citizens”.  So what do Israel’s critics really want?

When pressed to give a reason, Israel’s critics say that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is not acceptable and Israeli civilians have suffered very few casualties.  The implication is clearly that Israel should simply grin and bear it.  Israel should accept daily missile attacks on its civilians with the high likelihood that a large number of victims will ensue, possibly in a missile strike on Tel Aviv or other large urban area.  Israel should accept that its main airport be threatened and that airlines suspend flights to it.  Israel should accept the impact of such a situation on the morale of its citizens and on its economy.  This is what they are really saying.  And this would not resolve the humanitarian crisis for Palestinians because sooner or later fighting would have to resume anyway.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Hamas has an extensive set of tunnels to allow it to smuggle weapons in and to allow it to infiltrate Israel’s civilian population and commit extensive acts of terror.  If Israel does not destroy the tunnels, then it should expect more than a daily shower of missiles on its cities.  It should also expect that heavily armed terrorists could attack its schools, malls, and parks at any time of the day or night.

If presented with these facts, Israel’s critics will admit that Hamas’ ethics aren’t spotless but then they retreat to the claim that, as the cowardly Palestinian Authority likes to say, the real root of the problem is Israel’s occupation.  Which occupation?  Israel left Gaza years ago and it even dismantled its settlements there, causing great pain to many of its people.

Israel’s critics will then say that even though Gaza isn’t technically occupied, it is not free to trade with the outside due to Israel’s and Egypt’s blockades, and that this is causing great hardship for the Palestinians in Gaza.  Yet, when Israel loosened its blockade of Gaza and allowed more construction materials in, Hamas did not build school and hospitals; it built tunnels for its terrorist activity.  It is blindingly obvious that Hamas uses any loosening of the blockade to arm itself better for the next confrontation with Israel.

Israel’s critics will also mention Israel’s occupation in the West Bank.  Does anyone really think that Hamas is building terror tunnels in Gaza and launching missiles against Israel in order to free the West Bank?  If that were true, Hamas would demand a two-state solution as its condition for ending the war in Gaza.  Instead its conditions are the release of convicted criminals and the lifting of the blockade so that it can build more tunnels and bring in more missiles and other long-range weapons.  In addition, after leaving Gaza, statements by various leading Israeli politicians indicate that Israel intended to follow that up with an evacuation of the West Bank, and the only reason this did not happen is because missile attacks from Gaza convinced Israelis that unilateral withdrawal was not a palatable option.

It is extremely clear that Israel cannot choose to stop the operation until Hamas is disabled at least temporarily, and yet Israel’s critic are demanding Israel’s unconditional surrender.  As demonstrated here, we know that those critics are not asking Israel’s surrender for the sake of Palestinians or for the sake of peace, so the only alternative left is that they agree with Hamas’ objective of destroying Israel.  They agree with Hamas’ objective of killing all the Jews in Israel and establishing an Islamist dictatorship in its place.  Israel’s critics are in fact in a way worse than Hamas; Hamas at least has the courage to state what it really wants.

Note:  This blog won first place in the category "Non-Council" at the site on the week of August 1, 2014.

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