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Works and Days

Surreal Gaza

December 31st, 2008 - 11:07 pm

Jenin Redux

Meanwhile, we suffer through the Jenin reinvention of the rules of war: (1) proportionality: Hamas is allowed to keep trying to kill as many Jews as it can to “balance” those lost to far more lethal Israeli countermeasures. Rule I. War is a tit-for-tat game, where fairness is defined as killing no more than you lose.

(2) Civilians and warriors: there is no such difference. Hamas’s terrorists who shoot rockets against Israeli families burrow into their own civilian infrastructure. They are tragic innocents to the world when they are killed and heroes to their own if can they kill innocents Jews through their barrages. Rule II. The age of uniforms and battle lines is over, replaced by the civilian shield as the best mechanism of defense against Western mastery of traditional arms.

(3) War that is lost on the battlefield can be won through the international media. The Palestinians have counted on six truths in the international arena (a. the world remains largely anti-Semitic; b. the world appreciates the strategic calculus that Arabs are numerous with oil; and Israel is tiny without it; c. Westerners fear Islamic terrorists, not the IDF; d. The West is prone to self-loathing, and romanticizes any who best capture the mantel of victimhood; the Palestinians have brilliantly reinvented themselves by claiming a status akin to women, gays, Hispanics, and blacks—fellow victims of rich while male Westerners; e. Any culture abroad whose hospitals Westerners would not like to be operated in are idealized; any who emulate Western technological supremacy are shunned. Rule III: Just copy any group that sets up shop on an American campus free speech area, and the resulting sympathy is worth a division.

Incremental Victory

The Hamas way of thinking is that it has constantly redefined losses to such an extent that 300+ killed are now dubbed a “Holocaust.” Meanwhile the frequency and range of its rocketry are expanded and embedded into the “normalcy” of the Middle East. Hamas seeks to establish the principle that it can daily wear away the psyche of Israelis while carefully constraining Israeli responses. What a Westerner would call an Israeli “victory” (e.g., terrible destruction of Hamas infrastructure with far greater casualties inflicted than suffered), Hamas and others would call “progress” in a century-long war (e.g., the world now accepts that showering Israeli with rockets is not an act of war, and not deserving of serious retaliation).

A final note: some of the most vicious anti-Israeli sentiment comes from Europe, especially countries like Spain and Greece. Yet I remember Morocco and Spain nearly shooting at each other in 2002 in a dispute over an uninhabited rock in the Mediterranean, and Greece goes ballistic every time Turkey customarily overflies Aegean airspace. Israel alone is not supposed to respond to rocket barrages; our conclusions can only be that the world deems it an illegitimate state worthy of destruction, and will allow its enemies to keep trying until they succeed (Why else would a British television station invite Ahmadinejad to answer the Queen’s Christmas address—a thug who promised the destruction of Israel, is seeking the means to do it, and whose terrorists recently kidnapped British sailors?)

Meanwhile we await “Gaza, Gaza”—the anguished documentary movie as hundreds of filmakers have no doubt already descended to offer us by spring a must see movie on every American university campus.

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