Skip to comments.Into the fray: Why Gaza must go
Posted on 07/30/2014 5:06:10 PM PDT by SJackson
The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind.... You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny... That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
Winston Churchill, May 13, 1940
We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.
At the time of writing this column, ground operations in Gaza were still going on and reports of increasing casualties were coming in with depressing frequency. This should, therefore, be a time for national cohesion and solidarity, with unity and support for the war effort, and criticism of the government suspended.
Sadly, however, the government has given the public little coherent indication of its aims, or of the realities it is striving to create.
Ill-defined and inadequate objectives
Worse, not only is there no clear indication of where the country is going, there seems to be little willingness to recognize how we got here.
In the third week of Operation Protective Edge, the government is still waffling on its objectives. These keep morphing from one vague, vacuous formulation to another, as developments on the battlefield make each succeeding definition of the operations goals appear abysmally inadequate and ineffectual.
Initially, the government declared that all it aspired to was to restore calm i.e.
to reinstate the status quo and if Hamas would cease fire, so would Israel.
Just how myopic that would have been is starkly underscored by what has become chillingly apparent during the operation the devastating potential of an elaborate tunnel system developed by the terror organizations in Gaza.
Had a cease-fire been implemented in such circumstances, Hamas would have been free to continue developing its deadly subterranean potential, which it could activate at a moment of its choosing.
This appalling prospect makes deeply disturbing questions, regarding the competence and/or judgment of the nations leadership, unavoidable, even as the battles rage on. Unless the reasons for the current predicament are understood, no effective remedy can be found.
Deeply disturbing questions
We must weigh the only two possibilities before us: (a) either the government was aware of the deadly menace posed by the network of tunnels; or (b) it wasnt.
If it was, then willingness to agree to a cease-fire before the danger was eliminated reflects a disturbing readiness to reconcile itself to the dangers and expose the countrys civilian population to murderous consequences in the future.
If it was oblivious to these dangers, this reflects a grave ignorance of deadly threats facing the country, a sign of just how out of touch the leadership of the nation has been with the ominous reality we inhabit.
Although I rarely find occasion to quote Haaretz as a corroborating source, my eye could not help catching the pungent title of a piece written by veteran defense correspondent Amos Harel: Hamas terror tunnels a national strategic failure for Israel.
Harel points out: A week ago, Israel announced its willingness to accept a cease-fire in Gaza... This means one of two things. Either the ministers and generals were willing last week to let these tunnels, every one a ticking bomb, tick softly under kibbutz dining rooms until the next escalation, or they werent aware of the seriousness of the risk.
He continues: So either they were taking a calculated risk of unusual [read gigantic M.S.] dimensions, or they didnt have enough intelligence [information] before the operation (which doesnt quite square with a senior officers claim...
that never before has the army had such quality intelligence before an operation).
It is difficult to accept that the government was totally unaware of Hamass tunneling endeavor. As early as 2006, Hamas used a tunnel to abduct Gilad Schalit and kill two of his comrades near Kerem Shalom, eventually attaining the liberation of 1,027 convicted terrorists. Last October, the discovery of an almost 2-km.-long tunnel near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha was widely reported, and according to several sources, its objective was a kindergarten, located close to its exit point, 300 meters inside Israel.
The threat imminent in Hamass burrowing enterprise, and the conditions under which it might be employed, were presciently predicted 10 months ago by Harel. In an article, carrying the ominous headline: Hamas strategic tunnels: Millions of dollars to spirit kidnapped Israelis into Gaza (October 13, 2013), he warned of the likely reaction of Hamas should it feel weakened, precisely what Israeli politicians were crowing about just prior to the current round of violence. He cautioned: ... if Hamas decides to try to overcome its present distress by reigniting the front against Israel, using the tunnels to launch an attack could be one of its main options.
His prediction proved chillingly precise.
Figuring the flaccidity factor: Impotence not ignorance
Given that it is highly implausible that the government was unaware of the danger looming under its very nose (or rather, feet), how are we to account for the flaccidity of its response which, but for good fortune, could have precipitated outcomes of unthinkable tragedy.
Former Jerusalem Post Editor in Chief Bret Stephens, in a recent Wall Street Journal piece (July 14), provides a partial explanation for the phenomenon, suggesting that Israels real weakness is a certain kind of vanity that confuses stainlessness with virtue, favors moral self-regard over normal self-interest, and believes in politics as an exercise not in power but in self-examination.
For all its admirable eloquence, Stephenss diagnosis relates more to the symptoms of the malaise, rather than its causes.
In numerous columns, I have been at pains to explain the roots of this enervating phenomenon (which I have designated The Limousine Theory of Israeli politics) and warned of the ruinous results it will inevitably wreak upon us.
The underlying reason for the inadequate responses to clearly apparent dangers is that Israels leaders have been cowered into this moralistic masochism by an aggressive and intolerant triad of left-wing civil society elites (in the legal establishment, the mainstream media and academe), who, through their unelected position of privilege and power, have taken control of the political discourse in the country.
The political discourse determines the elected political leaderships perception of policy constraints and policy possibilities.
Through dominance of the discourse, these elites can control the parameters of Israeli policy-making and impose their worldview of political appeasement and territorial concessions on it.
Sacrificing lives for a two-state deity
These elites have, to a large degree, mortgaged their personal prestige and professional positions, and much of their livelihood, to the two-state concept and the land-for-peace doctrine on which it rests.
Were this doctrine to be discredited, all these benefits material and otherwise would be jeopardized. They, therefore, have a vested interest in preserving a perception that it is valid no matter how incongruent with reality and rationality it proves and must endeavor to prevent the adoption of any policy measures that put paid to the two-state formula.
Since the attainment of strategic victory in Gaza calls for measures that preclude any agreement on a Palestinian state, the policy-relevant discourse, which these elites mold, has been devoted to ridiculing such measures as impractical or infeasible, and to promoting measures that can only bring about a temporary respite to the fighting. These respites have always been exploited by the enemy to enhance its capabilities for the inevitable next round and the next inevitable batch of casualties.
Oblivious to facts, and impervious to reason, in a desperate attempt to sustain an unworkable paradigm, Israeli left-wing elites perpetuate bout after escalating bout of violence, callously sacrificing ever more lives on the altar of the false deity of twostates- for-two-peoples.
Mowing the lawn wont cut it
The reluctance to face unpalatable realities has spawned new terminology to paper over intellectual surrender, and mask unwillingness to accept the need for regrettably harsh but essential policies.
First, we were told that since there was no solution to the Israel-Arab conflict, we should adopt an approach of conflict management rather than conflict resolution.
Now we have a new term in the professional jargon to convey a similar perspective: mowing the grass. This is the name for an approach that entails a new round of fighting every time the Palestinian violence reaches levels Israel finds unacceptable.
Its rationale for want of a better term was recently articulated by Efraim Inbar and Eitan Shamir of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, as: The use of force, not intended to attain impossible political goals, but rather [as a] long-term strategy of attrition designed primarily to debilitate the enemy capabilities.
Sadly, what we have seen is that far from debilitating the enemy capabilities, because said enemy keeps reappearing, spoiling for a fight, ever bolder with ever-greater capabilities.
It is an open question just how many more rounds of mowing the residents of southern Israel will endure before losing confidence that the government will provide adequate protection and choose to evacuate the area.
No, periodically mowing the lawn is not a policy that can endure for long it simply will not cut it. The grass needs to be uprooted once and for all.
Gaza: What would Einstein say?
Albert Einstein famously said that one could not solve a problem with the level of thinking that created it.
Clearly, the problem of Gaza was created by the belief that land could be transferred to the Palestinian Arabs to provide them a viable opportunity for self-governance.
Equally clearly, then, the problem of Gaza cannot be solved by persisting with ideas that created it i.e. persisting with a plan for Israel to provide the Palestinian Arabs with land for self-governance.
The problem can only be solved by entirely abandoning the concept that Gaza should be governed by Palestinian Arabs. Any effective solution must follow this new line of reasoning.
Any other outcome will merely prolong the problem. If Hamas comes out stronger from this round of fighting, it will be only a matter of time before the next, probably more deadly, round breaks out.
If Hamas comes out weaker from this round of fighting, it is only a matter of time before it will be replaced by an even more violent extremist-successor and thus, once more, only a matter of time until the next, probably more deadly, round breaks out.
The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.
That is the only approach that can solve the problem of Gaza.
That is the only approach that will eliminate the threat to Israel continually issuing from Gaza.
That is the only approach that will extricate the non-belligerent Palestinians from the clutches of the cruel, corrupt cliques who led them astray for decades.
That is the only approach that will preclude a need for Israel to rule over another people.
Gaza: What would Herbert Hoover say?
Former US President Herbert Hoover, dubbed the Great Humanitarian for his efforts to relieve famine in Europe after WWI, wrote in The Problems of Lasting Peace: Consideration should be given even to the heroic remedy of transfer of populations...the hardship of moving is great, but it is [still] less than the constant suffering of minorities and the constant recurrence of war.
How could anyone, with any degree of compassion and humanity, disagree?
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Israel is in a very difficult position. If Hamas remains a definable political entity and continues to govern Gaza after this battle, nothing substantial will have been achieved. However if Israel fights a prolonged battle to obliterate Hamas, the cost and the negative world reaction will mitigate the benefit. Also whatever political group replaces Hamas may be more radical and align itself with ISIS and other jihadists.
Gaza is 141 square miles.
Saudi Arabia is 756,981 square miles.
The moslem Fiends need to go or be exterminated.
Just go in & clean it all out - quickly. The press will scream of course, but they can only scream for so long and report just so much at a time and people have short attention spans. By the time most people know about the details, the Jews win and the Arabs in Gaza lose - for good. Despite conventional wisdom, wars settle scores.
I would say, that a massive rat’s nest is being cleaned out.
I suggest herding them all on barges and relocating them to Somalia. Somalia is underprivileged and has more than 2000 miles of coastline. They will feel right at home with the violence there.
I still don’t know what is stopping Israel from installing the necessary infrastructure to intercept these tunnels. Soil carries sound so efficiently that with sensors planted 100 feet down the sound of digging should be easily detectable.
I don’t know. I would think the technology would be within Israel’s grasp. Maybe they didn’t entirely recognize the threat until learning of the Yom Kippur attack plans. The smuggling tunnels to Egypt, they haven’t really had access since leaving Gaza. Should have kept the Philadelphi corridor, should now.
I agree with others that Gaza needs to be cleared out. If a country agrees to take the residents then send them there except have an ironclad rule that they cannot come to the Americas.
If there is any way to do it, force the remainder to go to Zimbabwe. It is one of the few countries which might benefit from the Palestinians.
After they are cleared, build whatever it takes to keep them out.
Maybe they know they have only to wait for the Muzzies to do something so aggressive, stupid, and with such obvious mal-intent.
There is only one thing that will move Israel to do this.
If chem/bio/nuclear is used against Israel they will clean out the palis totally.
Without that absolute red line being crossed Israel will not take drastic measures.
Maybe this will trigger the Psalm 83 war?
I’m so sick of Israel just taking it on the chin!
Time for them to clean Gaza out.
22 Arab countries.
6,145,389 square miles.
Pick one, Palis. And get your filthy selves off Israeli land.
like it, may as well take the strip for a body stack sampson style, lots of muslims and ruskies to pile up soon..
tell all in gaza strip your going to neutron bomb it, mass exodus, take it, moat if off, lol..
Interesting article but the chances of Israel doing what is discussed is about the same as our government balancing it’s budget. That is to say, nil.
Gaza Delenda Est
We had the chance to clear them out and create middle east peace in the process. We essentially owned Iraq. We could have divided it up into 3 secular states. Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. We could have told the Shiites that as part of the deal, they had to house any Palestinians that wanted to emigrate there. The Kurds would have to house and protect the Christian population. The wealth of the country would be taxed and shared. Property rights would be established and the head of each family given a share of the land as freeholders. Religious intolerance would not be allowed. Punishable by forfeiture of family land, banishment and/or death.
There would be a very weak federal government and a constitution written such that no group could ever oppress another.
All of the special interests and opportunists would be screwed, but so what!
Israel needs a Sherman:
We must have peace, not only at Gaza, but in all the territories. To secure this, we must stop the war that now desolates our once happy and favored country. To stop war, we must defeat the terrorist armies which are arrayed against the laws and nation that all must respect and obey. To defeat those armies, we must prepare the way to reach them in their recesses, provided with the arms and instruments which enable us to accomplish our purpose. Now, I know the vindictive nature of our enemy, that we may have many years of military operations from this quarter; and, therefore, deem it wise and prudent to prepare in time. The use of Gaza for warlike purposes in inconsistent with its character as a home for families. There will be no manufacturers, commerce, or agriculture here, for the maintenance of families, and sooner or later want will compel the inhabitants to go. Why not go now, when all the arrangements are completed for the transfer, instead of waiting till the plunging shot of contending armies will renew the scenes of the past month? Of course, I do not apprehend any such things at this moment, but you do not suppose this army will be here until the war is over. I cannot discuss this subject with you fairly, because I cannot impart to you what we propose to do, but I assert that our military plans make it necessary for the inhabitants to go away, and I can only renew my offer of services to make their exodus in any direction as easy and comfortable as possible.
You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into Israel deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and rocket attacks on Israel... Once admit the right of Israel to exist in peace, and, instead of devoting your houses and streets and roads to the dread uses of war, I and this army become at once your protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it come from what quarter it may. I know that a few individuals cannot resist a torrent of error and passion, such as swept Hamas into power, but you can point out, so that we may know those who desire a government, and those who insist on war and its desolation.
You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Gaza can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride...
> The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.
That’s half of it. The other half is the expulsion of the PLO (the so-called PA) and dismantling of those gold-doored mansions in which its leadership lives on the international dole.