By now, Israel, at the urging and bullying of the world, has tried pretty much every conceivable idea and option for achieving tranquility and reconciliation with the Hamas, except for one. Israel removed its army and civilian population from the Gaza Strip. In what amounted to the first ethnic self-cleansing in history, Israel evicted the entire Jewish presence in Gaza. The entire area was turned over to the Palestinians, lock, stock, barrel, and Jew-free.
The result is of course known. The Hamas immediately converted all of Gaza into a large rocket launch pad and a base for initiating terrorist attacks against Israel. It kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and held him incommunicado, refusing medical treatment to him, even though his arm was filled with shrapnel. Israel in response provided free electricity and water to the Gazans and sent civilian supplies into Gaza. Israel never made any serious efforts to stop the massive tunnel smuggling into Gaza from Egypt, even when it was clear that the main item being smuggled was weapons. These smuggled weapons include bomb materials and sophisticated rockets that can now reach Tel Aviv. Israel responded to the endless rocket attacks against its own civilians by turning the other cheek. Only after 8000 rocket strikes did it launch the half-hearted symbolic retaliation in the “Cast Lead” campaign, withdrawing quickly after it was launched.
There is only one strategy for dealing with the Hamas that Israel has never attempted. That untried strategy is victory. Israel has never seriously attempted to achieve peace and tranquility with the Gaza Palestinians by means of victory. This is somewhat strange, since it is hard to think of any other war that did not end in peace only after victory. Instead, the world keeps demanding that Israel respond to Hamas provocation with an endless series of one-sided “goodwill measures.” Never mind that the only invariable effect of such Israeli “goodwill measures” has been to trigger more Hamas terrorism. The only “peace settlement” the Hamas is interested in is one in which Israelis volunteer to allow themselves to be placed in Hamas-run extermination camps for Jews.
Victory in the case of the war with the Gaza terrorists would mean annihilating the Hamas. Interestingly, there is an increasing chorus of voices inside Israel now calling for peace through victory. One of these is General Dan Halutz, the controversial erstwhile chief of staff of the Israeli army. A few days ago a Hamas rocket was fired into Israel and struck a school building. In response, Halutz called for a “mortal blow” to be dealt to the Hamas’ civilian and “military” leadership. Then, in a radio interview, Halutz said, “We must bring back our deterrence vis-à-vis Gaza. It has not existed for even one moment since Operation Cast Lead and to this day.” He has been joined by other Israeli leaders. The finance minister, Yuval Steinitz (who is a philosophy professor at my own university when he is not busy in public life), recently called on Israel to topple the Hamas “regime” in Gaza if the terror continues.
The terrorist aggression by the Hamas has been carried on nonstop ever since it seized power in Gaza. Most acts of Hamas barbarism do not even get reported in the world media, for which dogs biting and shooting rockets at postmen are passé. Hamas rockets land in Israeli civilian areas almost every day. Hamas leaders continue to call openly for Israel’s obliteration and for the annihilation of Jews. All this is surprising only for those who have no understanding of what the Hamas really is. Anyone who has read the brochure on the Hamas being distributed by the David Horowitz Freedom Center will know otherwise.
It has become vogue in many circles to represent Middle East savagery as part of some sort of “War of Civilizations.” It is not. In fact, the Middle East is simply a war by barbarism against all civilization. It is also considered chic to represent the Middle East conflict as a “cycle of violence,” and as something fundamentally symmetrical between Arab terrorists and Israeli soldiers. It is not.
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