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Sonny Corleone in Gaza

Exactly how much terrorist abuse is Israel expected to tolerate before fighting back? (Also, Phyllis Chesler: What's at Stake in Gaza)

by
Robert Stacy McCain

Bio

January 5, 2009 - 5:22 am
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“If you touch my sister again, I’ll kill you,” Sonny Corleone says after delivering a memorable beating to Carlo in The Godfather.

Sonny Corleone was on my mind Sunday morning after seeing a New York Times story about the rise of “dating abuse” among teenagers. In Rhode Island, schools are required to begin teaching in seventh grade about the dangers of such abuse, but my inner traditionalist wonders, whatever happened to brothers like Sonny?

My inner traditionalist also wonders why liberal Jews like Glenn Greenwald invariably disparage Israeli efforts to defend themselves against terrorism. Greenwald excoriated Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard for an “excessive tribalistic identification” after Goldfarb pondered the ruthlessness with which the Israeli Air Force targeted Hamas leader Nizar Ghayan.

Greenwald is hardly alone among liberals in denouncing the Gaza campaign — Israel’s response to Hamas rocket and mortar attacks — as “disproportionate.” Yet what would a “proportionate” response look like? The denunciations would be no less vehement if Israel emulated Hamas and started lobbing shells haphazardly at Gaza on a tit-for-tat basis.

Random “proportionate” attacks, however, would do nothing in terms of dismantling the Hamas terrorist infrastructure, which is the avowed mission of Israel’s Gaza campaign. By going into Gaza in Sonny Corleone fashion, Israel aims to ensure that the Hamas attacks — as cowardly as Carlo’s battering of Sonny’s sister Connie — are permanently ended.

Of course, Hamas being Hamas, they will never stop trying to kill Jews. Fans of The Godfather will recall that Carlo, being Carlo, chose a coward’s revenge by betraying Sonny to rival mobsters, so that at last Michael Corleone assigned Clemenza to deal decisively with Carlo.

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