Thursday, February 14, 2008

Gaza: Parting Shot

The New York Times's Steven Erlanger, about to decamp for Paris, has written (for the International Herald Tribune) this trenchant analysis of Israel's complex but not impossible choices in Gaza. Erlanger has been here over three and a half years and almost always provides what people in crisis need but don't always get from their analysts: empathy, to be sure, and a patience for the details, but also a graceful sense of irony. His humanism and dogged professionalism will be missed here. (So, may I say, will his person.)


bar_kochba132 said...

What he is saying is that there is no solution, it will get worse and worse. Of course, he approvingly quotes your solution of "finding out what it is they really want and paying them enough to get them to decide to quit firing rockets". Of course, as has been pointed out before, there is no chance of this happening. Unlike the Israeli secular Left, they are not running a country simply in order to line their pockets...they are agents of Islamic Imperialism, and they are allies of the Iranians, who have no interest in "calm" here. They can put enough money in the HAMAS leaders' pockets for them to open Swiss bank accounts and drive around in Mercedes and BMW's no less than the FATAH people have been doing up until now. What they "really want" is an ongoing war of attrition which they (wrongly) think they are winning. Don't forget our Egyptian "friends" want the same thing, as long as it doesn't boomerang back on themselves, as it might have when the border was blown open, but it seems the Egyptians have that problem now under control, and HAMAS understands it should direct its violence against Israel and not its Egyptian patrons.

The Israeli gov't will attempt to delay any action as long as possible, holding out mythological defense systems like the "Iron Dome" bluff to make the population put up with the ongoing terror from the rockets. The Israeli population, since Oslo, has become passive and fatalistic, thanks to endless propaganda efforts by people like yourself (e.g "There is no solution to terror except negotiations", or "the other side must have some price, we just have to find out what it is").

Ultimately, eventually, Israel will have to do what it did in the past....reconquer Gaza, and rebuild the Jewish settlements of Gush Katif. I don't know when this will occur, it could take years and many casualties on both sides, but it WILL happen. Only then will the Arab/Muslims realize that Israeli is serious, Israel is here to stay, Israel will NOT be defeated in a war of attrition and that violence doesn't pay for them, as it has handsomely until now due to Israel's carrying out the foolish policies it has since Oslo in 1993.

bar_kochba132 said...

Bernie: Did you post the article about the Orthodox Union protesting the prize for Zev Sternhell because he said "if the Palestinians had any sense (according to Sternhell's definition of "sense") they would limit their attacks to Jews in the settlements", because you agree with Sternhell, or because you agree with the OU?
If my hunch is correct, and you agree with Sternhell (please correct me if I am wrong), then the "sense" Sternhell has in his head is not that of the terrorists. Why? Because they don't view the Judea/Samaria settlements as being illegal, they view the entire state of Israel as being illegal, including the "illegal settlement" of Tel Aviv, and they view you, me and Sternhell as invaders to their turf.
Sternhell himself wrote that the Holocaust "justifies" stealing Arab land UP TO THE GREEN LINE, but any Jewish presence beyond that is "immoral, imperialist aggression, criminal, blah, blah, blah". However, the Arabs don't follow Sternhells twisted logic about the land INSIDE the Green Line. After, it was Ahmedinejad who asked why the Palestinians should give their land to to Jews because of the Holocaust in Europe?

If your view of being Jewish is, as you posted earlier, restricted to being "someone who likes fruit salad instead of Jello", then I think they have a legitimate question. Fortunately, at least some of us Israelis know what being a Jew means and do not feel "liberal guilt" about our 4000 year-long continuous connection with the country.

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