Operation Pillar of Defense, Day Five: Hey, I’ve Seen This Movie Before

Israeli soldiers in a tank unit with a Torah scroll and religious prayer books at a tank staging area on the Gaza Strip border, in southern Israel, 16 November 2012.  EPA/JIM HOLLANDER

Eight years ago, in conversation with a wild-eyed Israeli-American member of Peace Now who was forcefully advocating for the expulsion of some 8,000 Jews from Gaza, I argued that:

1. Jews have the right to live anywhere, Brooklyn, London, Paris, Cairo, Damascus, Oslo, and yes, Gaza. Once you agree that, for the sake of, ahem, peace, Area X must be cleansed of Jews, you are conceding that Jews have no rights anywhere. This is nothing less than national suicide.

2. Thus, the Jews of Gaza were defending the the Jews of Jerusalem and the Jews of Tel Aviv, together with the rights of Jews who live anywhere and everywhere in the world.

3. Finally, the conflict with the so-called Palestinians was not about land, not about national boundaries, not about so-called refugees, and most certainly not about so-called occupation. This is an existential conflict where one side, the Arab Muslims, has vowed to annihilate the Jewish state, and then finish the job that Hitler started. In short, the Jews seek peace, while the Muslim Arabs seek genocide.

The Israeli-American leftie scoffed at my thesis, stating:

1. The cost of defending the Jews of Gaza was too high, in blood and treasury.

2. Israel’s standing in the world community was besmirched by the “occupation” of Gaza.

3. Regarding genocide: My leftie friend smirked, called me an alarmist, and explained: “They just use that language to whip up their base. When push comes to shove and Israel gets serious about peace, they will be quite reasonable.”

I countered that if the Jews of Gaza were expelled, the Jihadists would claim another victory over the Zionist invaders and Gaza would become a front-line terrorist state.

The leftie assured me that once the Jews of Gaza were gone, things might not be great, but they would be — and this is a direct quote — “much better.”

Well, a year later, the Israeli government, in a secret deal with the U.S., expelled the 8,000 Jews of Gaza. The Arab Muslims immediately turned Gaza into a notorious terrorist state, ruled with an iron fist by Hamas, an Islamist gang whose charter calls for the annihilation of the Zionist entity and the liquidation of all Jews everywhere. Rockets and mortars flew into Israel from Jew-free Gaza.

The expulsion was a resounding victory for jihadists.

Since then, Israel has gone into Gaza every few years, cleaned out a few bunkers and killed a few jihadist leaders — and has been viciously condemned on the world stage for the crime of self-defense and disproportionate use of power.

Of course, disproportionate use of power is the definition of fighting and winning a war.

But at some point, Israel decided that winning was not an option. So Israel’s disproportionate use of power was not so much.

Winning is too — well, mean.

Israel, left and right, settled on a doctrine of containment. Hold the line until something happens. And then unicorns and rainbows will flourish in the Middle East.

Of course, the exact opposite happened.

The Arab Muslims attack with homicide bombers, rockets, mortars and missiles. Israel exercises restraint and then gets fed up, decides to act. Air campaign. Boom! Boom! Boom! Ground incursion. The Arabs dig up dead babies and display their broken corpses for the jackal journalists. The UN condemns Israel. Ceasefire.

Israel buries her dead, mourns and moves on, hoping that this time the Arabs have learned their lesson.

The Arabs have, indeed, learned their lesson as they ululate their victory over the Jewish usurpers. They have learned to build better bunkers, more accurate rockets, and set up more effective chains of command to their field operatives — for the next round.

Most important, the Arabs have learned that the Jews don’t really mean to win the war. They understand all too clearly that the Jews’ only strategy is to survive and to be loved by the Jew-hating world community.

Like kabuki, the conflict plays out in the same ritualized manner every few years. And Operation Pillar of Defense will, I’m afraid, be no different.

And in a few years, the missiles of Islam will be even more numerous, far more accurate, and impervious to Iron Dome.

The Jews of Gaza were expelled by the Jews of Tel Aviv.

In the not-so-distant future, the Jews of Tel Aviv will pay the price. So will the Jews of Berlin, Paris, London, Oslo, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

Finally: The very great Jeane Kirkpatrick, a life-long Democrat, was invited by Ronald Reagan to join his administration. Kirkpatrick, by that time deeply disillusioned by her party’s lurch to the left, asked Reagan to explain his Cold War strategy towards the Soviet Union.

Said Reagan: “We win. They lose.”

Unless Israel faces reality and decides to win, the Jewish state will lose.

My friend Jameel of the Muqata is live-blogging the war.

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20 Comments

  1. Brianna
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Sorry for the late visitation.  I just wanted to say that I have friends in Israel as well, and although they were relatively safe over in Haifa for this one, I still spent the week toe-tapping very anxious, lest the rockets got more range or a terrorist tried a bomb or one of them had to travel or got called out for milu’im duty.  I agree that in the long term, the only solution that looks like it might stand a chance of working is to crush the Palestinians militarily until they are willing to surrender unconditionally.  I do not advocate doing more than is necessary to induce surrender, nor do I advocate being gratuitously nasty in surrender.  But while I believe it’s smart to be gracious to a defeated enemy, the key word in that sentence is “defeat.”  You can’t be nice to your enemy until you’ve defeated him first.  We should have learned that lesson from WWII, but we managed to miss it somehow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted January 18, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Brianna:

      The lessons of World War II have been forgotten, if not relegated to to the dust bin of history. This is not only stupid, but dangerous for Israel and for Western civilization.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Nickie Clifford
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Miranda, I’m loving it – “the Arabs will be free to rampage through Europe, behaving like Arabs”.  We were staying at a resort on Lac Luzern this summer – peacefully sleeping – when about 4a.m. a large and NOISY Arab family were ensconced in the suite below us where they proceded to PARTAY for the next two-days. They completely took over the resort, thoroughly pissing off the rest of the customers – who in self-defense starting making it apparent to them that their lack of consideration had consequences (such as my husband, who retaliated for Grandma in the burkha’s screaming and keeping us awake –  by dropping a heavy chair over their heads when they nodded off).  Grandpa immediately took over the sunbathing area to say his lengthy prayers – and there was much brouhaha and screaming from balcony to balcony.  We were relieved when we checked out two-days later – saying to one-another during the flight from Zurich to S.F. – “maybe we’ll try Maui next year”;) 
     

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Miranda Rose Smith
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Dear Ms. Clifford: You can get noisy guests in any hotel.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. exdemexlib
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    The leftie assured me that once the Jews of Gaza were gone, things might not be great, but they would be — and this is a direct quote — “much better.”
    Well, a year later, the Israeli government, in a secret deal with the U.S., expelled the 8,000 Jews of Gaza. The Arab Muslims immediately turned Gaza into a notorious terrorist state, ruled with an iron fist by Hamas, an Islamist gang whose charter calls for the annihilation of the Zionist entity and the liquidation of all Jews everywhere. Rockets and mortars flew into Israel from Jew-free Gaza.

    Daniel Greenfield has a great detailed take on this at Arutz Sheva Op Ed;

    Israel can retake Gaza once. Or it can retake Gaza every few years. It can have soldiers patrol Gaza or it can have rockets falling on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The options are as unfortunate as they are clear. The only hope for peace lies in driving out the terrorist militias who have turned Gaza and the West Bank into their own Somalia and Afghanistan and reclaiming the territory.
     

    There can be farms and greenhouses on the hilltops of Gaza. Or there can be rockets.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12462

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Exdem:

      Daniel is a friend and we never miss his articles.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Nickie Clifford
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Robert, we’re praying for the safety and security of the Israeli people.  Unfortunately, many who are misguided seem to believe appeasement is the answer.  As my husband knows – I often refer to the quote: “Remember Hitler at Munich”.  The appearance of weakness often provokes agression – particularly, in miscreants and barbarians (be it in the schoolyard, your own neighborhood – or the wider-world).  Of course, if you’re civilized and reasonable you try to play “nice”.  Once it becomes apparent that this tactic is failing – you get down to business and let the other party know there will be consequences for their uncivil and agressive behavior.  This is human nature.  Those who are aghast at Israel defending it’s people are irretrievably naive about reality –  or worse, actively hoping for Israel’s demise.  The world also has a short memory – I’ve been to Dachau twice – once during my college-tour and again this past summer.  During both of these instances I experienced a visceral realization that the Holocaust was not that far in our past.  American’s need to be regularly reminded of this atrocity – frankly, I’m not certain whether most of us comprehend the Holocaust or virulent anti-semitism as a concrete reality anymore.  Perhaps making the novel Mila 18 required reading for H.S. students would be enlightening for our youth as to WHY it is so very important for Israel to defend itself.  As for European sensibilities – I first traveled there as a college student – and have vacationed there periodically with my own family – but there seems to be an ingrained anti-semitism that is currently masquerading as liberal-humanitarianism.  I don’t buy it – it’s plain old anti-semitism.  Never mind the fact that the influx of Muslims has been transformative for European society during the past 30 years.  With such a large percentage of this population residing there now – do the Europeans really have any choice but to pander to them?  Anyway, the Israeli’s have nothing to regret – they are not agressors – but are simply defending themselves (even if they are compelled to deal with Iran’s nuclear program via pre-emptive force – they are still DEFENDING themselves).

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Nickie:

      Thanks so much.

      The world not only has a short memory, but it has a distorted memory. Which, in a way, is even worse.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Miranda Rose Smith
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      or worse, actively hoping for Israel’s demise. 

      Darn tootin’, they’re actively hoping for Israelis demise. As I’ve been saying for years, don’t they realize that if they ever get their wish and Israel is, G-d forbid, destroyed, the Arabs will be free to concentrate on Europe, where a lot of these left-liberals live? I’ve been saying for years that the European Union army couldn’t fight off a Brownie troop armed with plastic baseball bats. The Arabs will be free to rampage through Europe, behaving like Arabs.

      The European left-liberals don’t really care about the “Palestinians,” either, except as cat’s-paws to finish off Israel for them. If they wanted to help the “Palestinians,” they would say “The Palestinians are ARABS. At one time, everybody called them that. Books about the Mid-East situation, written as late as the ’60s and ’70s, don’t refer to the Palestinian refugees; they refer to the Arab refugees. The term “Palestinian” was only occasionally used, when someone wanted to differentiate between the Arabs in Palestine and the Arabs in Jordan or Syria or Egypt. During the Mandatory Period, hundreds of thousands of JEWS were PALESTINIANS. If the Arabs from Palestine have come to feel they’re a separate people, entitled to a separate homeland, besides, Jordan, the Israelis keep offering them one if they’ll just agree to quit killing Jews for five minutes. If the Arab states really wanted to help the “Palestinians, they would cut the taurine excrement and take them in, the way Israel took in the Jews who were expelled from Arab lands. If the Arab states had spent 1/2048th of what they’ve spent on wars and propaganda against Israel on the helping the “Palestinians,” the “Palestinians” woulld all be riding around in Cadillacs.” (Just this morning, I was looking through some books on the Arab-Israeli conflict that were published immediately after the Six-Day War. I found reference after reference to the ARAB refugees; only one or two to PALESTINIANS.)

      Another thing: The world media helps spread atrocity stories against Israel; they publish fake photographs and casualty figures and footage from Hamas. If Israel is ever, G-d forbid, destroyed, the Palestinians will be in grave danger of genocide FROM THEIR OWN GENUS. Hamas and Fatah and the Sunnis and the Shi’ites will all be at each other’s throats and either all the “Palestinians” who remember Black September will attack Jordan or Jordan will launch a pre-emptive strike and there will be massive slaughter in Palestine-and not a camera in sight. 

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Robert J. Avrech
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Miranda:

        The term Palestinian for the Arabs of Israel was invented by the propaganda department AKA the KGB of the Soviet Union.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. antoineclarke
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Choosing to live like <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eloi”>Eloi</a> seems deranged to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Antoine:

      Ah, some much needed wisdom.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. kishke
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    It appears that even you, Robert, have grown disillusioned about Israel’s ability to stay the course in Gaza.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Kishke:

      Let’s just say that I’m not optimistic about Amud Anan.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. LukeHandCool
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    “2. And Israel’s standing in the world community was besmirched by the ‘occupation’ of Gaza.”

    Few things in life are as overrated as a country’s standing in the world community.

    If they don’t give a conflict much deep thought, people tend to think, reflexively, that the underdog in the conflict is necessarily the more moral and just side. In popular culture this is almost always the way things are presented. People need to realize there are such things as evil underdogs.   

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Luke:

      That genocidiers are now defined as underdogs speaks to the depravity of liberal culture.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Miranda Rose Smith
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      George Orwell said no decent person cares tuppence for the opinion of posterity.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. D_mnFinn
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The only negotiation and settlement, that this less than medieval “religion” understands is the “Iron Fist”.
    The Muslim people complain about about the crusades; ask them how they would like a ” Mongol Peace “.
    He who blesses Israel is blessed, he who curses Israel is cursed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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