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Saturday, January 3, 2009

2 + 2 = 5

Good God. The Breaking News on CNN. Israel is going into Gaza to root out Hamas.

Here's a smattering of thoughts:

1. The media keeps pointing out that it'll be "very difficult" to separate Hamas from the civilian population in Gaza. Right. That's the point, isn't it? After lobbing rockets into Israel, start the PR campaign for sympathy when Israel retaliates. If Hamas is smart, they'll put their military installations right next to the Grade Schools. That shows the cruelty of Israel, not Hamas, right? Dumb asses.

2. Why does Hamas keep talking about "ending aggression"? Are they on LSD? What about the damn rockets they're launching every day into Northern Israel? What is that? Diplomacy? I don't get it. I really don't get it. Suppose Mexico started firing off missiles into Tucson, or El Paso, or wherever. Sure, that's aggression. Then the U.S. (after scratching its collective head for a while), has some response, maybe with the aim of stopping missiles from hitting American cities. The whole "protect our citizens" thing.

But then Calderon gets on the loud speaker, and goes on CNN, and starts talking about the American aggression, as if Mexico hadn't launched any missiles. Just bald faced starts talking like that. (Why? Because screw um', that's why!).

Are you serious? This is a scenario that, literally, my eight year old daughter could sort out. What a freakin' farce. Won't someone just say it?

3. It seems obvious to me that anyone, without prior political machinations, would conclude that Hamas is convinced that Israel, as a country, as a nation state, should not be in the Middle East (and maybe should die horribly, too). Apparently, they feel justified in creating all manner of mayhem to drive them away. Fine (I guess fine, not really fine). But it would be great for the rest of us if Hamas would stop the "save us from the aggression of the Israelis!" speak. Just say you hate the Jews, and you want to kill them. There would be more dignity in it.

Anyway, I'm sure someone can sensitize me to the issue, no doubt at the expense of common sense. (Now that's progress! Talking out your rear is progress!)

11 comments:

mijopo said...

To be fair, a more apt comparison might be the U.S. taking action against native Americans, rather than Mexicans, who've taken some aggressive action.

mijopo said...

In the above vein, you might find this article interesting:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2009/01/06/gaza_war/

Erik said...

I don't agree that it's more apt. The Jews returned to their homeland when they established the modern state of Israel (I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Jerusalem is in the Middle East). They have as much of a "right" to be there as the Palestinians.

So, with the the Manifest Destiny comparison, the Americans had much less of a "right"... they just took the land. Not so Israel. They are home there.

Back to the point, living in peace with a two-state solution is the goal in the Middle East, most would agree; with Hamas in power, that's pretty much impossible. As long as the "Zionists" exist, there will be a reason for continued aggression.

As much as the civilized world hates to admit, this is a Middle Ages style conflict that is fought in a demonstrably Middle Ages way. "The Jews are not Muslims. Exterminate them." That's Hamas' position (look it up, that's literally their position); what should Israel do? Appeal to moderate Arab political leaders like Abbas, and forcefully disarm Hamas to prevent further missle attacks into civilian areas of Israel. That's the best I can see at this point. I'd love to consider some viewpoints.

Erik said...

I couldn't access the article. You could truncate the "http://www.salon.com" and I could get it all then.

mijopo said...

My point was that Hamas is not like Mexico in terms of being an independent external state taking random potshots, the situation is more comparable to one in which there is a longstanding land claim causing tension between the participants. Your suggestion that we compare it to Mexico firing missiles into Tuscon misses that central point in the comparison. I don't disagree that making peace with Hamas would be difficult, I'm not a Hamas apologist, but note that Egypt and Jordan also once had the destruction of Israel as a goal. But Hamas is not the only side in this conflict that is implementing a decidedly Middle Ages solution.

The link works for me, can't you copy the string and paste it in?

Erik said...

I was able to access the article. I think, like a lot of the verbiage that gets generated from the left and from Europe about the Israel Hamas conflict, that it makes little sense. Centrally the thought experiment ignores the fact that the Jewish people have a right to their homeland and a right to live in peace without the threat of constant terrorism. Six thousand missiles launched by Hamas into Israel with hopes of killing civilians since they took power roughly three years ago.

The missiles kept coming during the cease fire (though the frequency diminished). It would be irresponsible of Israel to lift the blockade given these facts, and it would be irresponsible of them to allow their civilians to be killed by suicide attacks or Hamas missiles. As President-elect Obama noted ("fatuously" according to Salon), if it were your children living in Northern Israel, what would you do?

It's interesting to me that people from the left tend to see the Israel response as worse than or on a par with the Hamas instigations. This is a case of 2 + 2 = 5. It's a fact that Israel does not launch missiles unprovoked. It's a fact that Hamas does. The missiles didn't stop during the cease fire (and why should they, since Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel? If you're Hamas, what would be the point of a cease fire?), and they won't stop in the future. On and on this conflict goes.

But it's important to keep in mind the central idea, which is that Israel has every right to be there, and they have a right to live in peace. And when attacked, they have a right to defend themselves.

For a view from the right, check out this Krauthammer piece:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/01/a_real_ceasefire_needed_in_gaz.html

mijopo said...

I'm not denying the right of Israel to exist, but do you really think things are as simple as you make them out to be? Your spin is that Israel is just sitting around peacefully enjoying life and the land that God has obviously intended for them and nobody else when suddenly with no clear explanation or provocation the Palestinians start terrorizing them for no apparent reason at all and that therefore Israel has carte blanche in terms of military action in Gaza?

Erik said...

duuude. duuude. Six THOUSAND missles into Israel from Hamas -- a terrorist organization -- and then Israel has enough and goes in with military strikes intended to take out missle launching pads (unlike Hamas, who just wants to kill Jews).

These are facts. By logic, a proportional response from Israel ought to be to lob missles into Gaza indiscriminately for years. The Israeli's are not doing that. They're trying to cripple Hamas' ability to kill civilians. If I were a Palestinian intent on a two state solutions, I'd be for that too.

Erik said...

By the way, in the heat of battle, I noticed that one of your favorite books is the Brothers K. Me too. I posted about this a while back. Dostoevsky in general is one of my favorite authors. He would not be a big fan of Hamas, I don't think.

mijopo said...

How many Israelis have died from those rockets? How many Palestinians have died from the Israeli response?

mijopo said...

Yes, Dostoevsky is amazing. I've seriously contemplated learning Russian just to read the originals. I'm sure he wouldn't be a fan of Hamas, I'm not either.