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Defining Victory for Israel Over Hamas

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Posted over 5 years ago

 


By Michael Gerson

Friday, January 2, 2009; Page A15


 

There is no question -- none -- that Israel's attack on Hamas in Gaza is justified. No nation can tolerate a portion of its people living in the conditions of the London Blitz -- listening for sirens, sleeping in bomb shelters and separated from death only by the randomness of a Qassam missile's flight. And no group aspiring to nationhood, such as Hamas, can be exempt from the rules of sovereignty, morality and civilization, which, at the very least, forbid routine murder attempts against your neighbors.

Israel's response has been criticized as "disproportionate," which betrays a misunderstanding of proportion's meaning. The goal of military action, when unavoidable, is not to take one life in exchange for each one unjustly taken; this is mere vengeance. The goal is to remove the conditions that lead to conflict and the taking of life. So far, Israel's actions have been proportionate to this objective. And the convoys of fuel, medical supplies and food sent by Israel into Gaza show an appropriate concern for Palestinian suffering, even during a broad assault on Hamas forces.


Israel's immediate goal is simple: to stop missile barrages by Hamas on southern Israel. But it is not a coincidence that this action was taken by the primary sponsors of the peace process in Israeli politics. The Israeli public will not accept any further risks for peace as long as Hamas missiles fly. Those missiles are a daily symbol that Israeli territorial concessions result in the strengthening of committed enemies and the death of Israeli citizens. The removal of this threat is not an obstacle to the peace process. It is the prerequisite for the resumption of the peace process.

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It is also not a coincidence that the Israeli attack took place in the last days of a reliably favorable Bush administration -- for which the president-elect, above all, should be grateful. If Israel concludes the main phase of its Gaza operations by Inauguration Day -- as it seems to want to do -- this will allow Obama to renew a peace push with a fresh start and a large obstacle (hopefully) removed.


But the risks are considerable. A repeat of Israel's 2006 experience in Lebanon would be a massive blow to the Jewish state -- a demonstration of impotence in the face of mortal threats. The Lebanon campaign did not fail because of international pressure and criticism. It failed because Hezbollah terrorists could credibly claim the victory of survival -- confirmed by a cease-fire that allowed their rearmament. Syria and Iran were strengthened -- not because of Israel's attack on Hezbollah but because Israel didn't prevail.


The Israelis have an advantage this time around. In Lebanon, Hezbollah received a flood of weapons and support from bordering Syria. In Gaza, arms smuggling has been a problem, but neighboring Egypt is not pro-Hamas. Israeli air raids have been effective in destroying Hamas infrastructure, weapons stockpiles and smuggling tunnels.


Israel recognizes that Hamas will claim victory no matter how badly it is damaged. But the real determination of winners and losers will come six months after a cease-fire. And there are two objective criteria of Israeli success: an end of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel and an end of large-scale arms smuggling to Hamas.


What would be the shape of such a victory? That is not yet clear. Israel could reoccupy Gaza, overthrow Hamas and enforce its terms. But Israeli leaders, by most accounts, don't prefer this massive exertion, which also would imply that Israel's 2005 withdrawal from Gaza was a mistake. It is more likely that a ground invasion, if it comes, would last a matter of days. In this case, Israel would reserve the right to resume attacks in Gaza at any time after the conclusion of a cease-fire -- responding to every tunnel that is dug and every missile that is fired. And Hamas could, of course, finally observe a cease-fire that doesn't involve random attacks on Israeli families.


In this crisis, Israel faces a test of its wisdom and competence: Would its leaders really have undertaken such a high-risk operation without a clear endgame?


America, in turn, faces a test of its moral judgment. This conflict is not a contest between shades of gray in mist and fog. It is a matter of distinguishing between murderers and victims -- and of supporting an ally until a clear victory against terrorism is achieved.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

The West could learn ALOT from Israel concerning terrorism.  I would like nothing more than to see an Israeli police liason as a common fixture in metro police agencies.

Dsc_0612_max50

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BIg BUMP....Nobody has more real word expereince against terrorism than the Israeli's.  And PSD, the Israeli's are pretty good about working with outsiders on training...something you might want to give some thought to...

Polar-bear-wave_1533538i_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

AMEN!!!!!!


This issue makes it VERY clear what the Leftist Liberalist stance has been, stand there and take it. Let em shoot your citizens, let em kill women and children, do nothing to protect yourself. How ABSURD! Israel has every right to bomb the crap out of Gaza until the missiles against Israel stop! Just like LEOs in America have the RIGHT to protect their own lives when under attack! OOOooo, I could rant for HOURS on this one....


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polziner12 says ...



BIg BUMP....Nobody has more real word expereince against terrorism than the Israeli's.  And PSD, the Israeli's are pretty good about working with outsiders on training...something you might want to give some thought to...



Got any info on cross training you can email me? 


 


And I dont know about anyone else, but Im taking a particular sense of self enjoyment out of seeing the Israelis dismantle Hamas in Gaza....I hope they finish the job as opposed to letting Hiz'b'Allah off the hook in 06

Dsc_0612_max50

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PSD, there is a firm called ISS that runs groups of Police, Military and Security folks over to Israel 2 or so times per year to study and observe how the Israelis conduct various Security and Tactical operations, but I think this would be too mild for what you are looking for.  I will see who else is running training over there.  As for your statement on Hiz'b'Allah, this time I hope Israel gives the rest of the world the finger the same way the world typically does to them.  Everytime that Israel has its boot on some tango groups throat the UN protests long and loud,,,amazing how silent they are when the tangos are killing Jews...this time finish it, show the world what happens when you attack Israel

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polziner12 says ...



PSD, there is a firm called ISS that runs groups of Police, Military and Security folks over to Israel 2 or so times per year to study and observe how the Israelis conduct various Security and Tactical operations, but I think this would be too mild for what you are looking for.  I will see who else is running training over there.  As for your statement on Hiz'b'Allah, this time I hope Israel gives the rest of the world the finger the same way the world typically does to them.  Everytime that Israel has its boot on some tango groups throat the UN protests long and loud,,,amazing how silent they are when the tangos are killing Jews...this time finish it, show the world what happens when you attack Israel



Its funny...when Hiz'b'Allah and Hamas lob rockets into Israel..there is no diplomatic surge to get Palestine and Lebanon to clamp down on that...but when Israel defends itself..all of a sudden the world screams and hollars.  I honestly believe much of Europe and Asia would like nothing more than to see Jews wiped out again.