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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Poor Richard wants Israel to make nice to Hamas

My old friend Richard Cohen is visiting Sderot at the moment and wrote a lengthy piece about it in today's WaPo (Hat Tip: Jim in Virginia via Little Green Footballs). The trauma that Sderot is suffering made enough of an impression on him that he spent most of the article talking about it. But his prescription for the problem reflects the pseudo-reality of the left in which every problem must be resolvable without the use of force.
Sderot represents the metastasized insanity of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle -- rockets sent to kill anyone, it doesn't matter whom. The tempting solution is to respond in kind. But this has been done. In Gaza. In Lebanon. Now the northern border is -- fingers crossed -- quiet. Some sort of deal, arrangement, accommodation, understanding has been reached with Hezbollah. Maybe nothing more than a wink. Maybe just a breathing spell. [Actually the reason the northern border is somewhat quiet is because Hezbullah isn't ready for a fight yet. But they have re-armed and most of Israel believes that had the war effort not been led by the incompetent Olmert and Peretz and fought by the self-centered egomaniac Halutz, we would have done far better than we did with the war option. CiJ]

Something like this has to be done with Hamas as well. Israel has the armed might to maul Hamas. But inevitably, the rockets will return, sooner or later reaching Ashkelon, the major port not all that far away. (Nothing in Israel is all that far away.) Gaza is a pitiless trap.

Israelis don't trust Hamas, and why should they? It wishes Israel nothing but death. But some accommodation has to be reached. There are ways. Any agreement, though, would undercut Israel's moderate Palestinian ally, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah organization. Israel could do nothing, but nothing is demeaning, dangerous -- and, anyway, nothing is not what Israel does.

Sderot is a town, real enough and in pain. But it is also a metaphor. Its residents are trapped. So is Israel. Sooner or later, if nothing is done, a rocket will hit kids on the playground or mothers strolling the street, and Israel will have to respond -- another nasty, little war. That much is clear. This too: Absolutely nothing else is.
The rockets won't return if the IDF is stationed in Gaza with orders to shoot to kill to make sure they don't return. And 'accommodations' that give Hamas quiet to re-arm - as Hezbullah has done - are patently unacceptable to Israel. Apparently Richard has never heard of the Muslim concepts of hudna and taqiyah and he has never heard of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

And for those of you who - like Richard - have never heard of them and won't click on the links, a hudna is a tactical, temporary break in hostilities, giving Moslems time to re-organize, re-arm, then renew the Jihad against the kafirs (infidels) when they can be most caught off-guard. Taqiyah is an art, which could be translated into "dissimulation" or "obfuscation." This began as a theological tool to allow Shiites to hide their beliefs in hostile environments. In other words, it allows Muslims to lie. The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah refers to a treaty that Mohamed made with the Quarayash tribe which he intended to (and did) break as soon as he felt he was strong enough to defeat them.

Sorry Richard, but unlike you, I listen to what Hamas is saying. And I don't like what I'm hearing. So no making nice to them.


At 7:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Why should Israel make nice with Hamas when Hamas and Fatah don't even trust each other? The news the last few days has had stories of Hamas accusing Fatah of plotting to overthrow it in Gaza. If the Muslims aren't straightforward with each other, you can't expect them to do better with those they regard as infidels.

That's the point Richard Cohen misses about intra-Arab relations. We're not talking about the Jews here.

At 11:46 PM, Blogger Ron said...

The best way and safest way is to halt all electricity, water, food, medicine, etc., to Gaza until Hamas unconditionally surrenders. The fact that there has never been an unconditional victory by Israel over its enemies is the prime reason it is in the present situation.


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