Friday, 16 November 2012
Israelis Will Do What They Must To Defend Themselves, Whatever The Muslim Arabs Think
From The New York Times:
Nov. 16, 2012
As Battlefield Changes, Israel Takes Tougher Approach
TEL AVIV — With rockets landing on the outskirts of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on Friday and the Egyptian prime minister making a solidarity visit to Gaza, the accelerating conflict between Israel and Hamas — reminiscent in many ways of so many previous battles — has the makings of a new kind of Israeli-Palestinian face-off.
The combination of longer-range and far deadlier rockets in the hands of more radicalized Palestinians, the arrival in Gaza and Sinai from North Africa of other militants pressuring Hamas to fight more, and the growing tide of anti-Israel fury in a region where authoritarian rulers have been replaced by Islamists means that Israel is engaging in this conflict with a different set of challenges.
The Middle East of 2012 is not what it was in late 2008, the last time Israel mounted a military invasion to reduce the rocket threat from Gaza. Many analysts and diplomats outside Israel say the country today needs a different approach to Hamas and the Palestinians based more on acknowledging historic grievances and shifting alliances.
“As long as the crime of dispossession and refugeehood that was committed against the Palestinian people in 1947-48 is not redressed through a peaceful and just negotiation that satisfies the legitimate rights of both sides, we will continue to see enhancements in both the determination and the capabilities of Palestinian fighters — as has been the case since the 1930s, in fact,” wrote Rami G. Khouri, a professor at the American University of Beirut in an online column. “Only stupid or ideologically maniacal Zionists fail to come to terms with this fact.”
But the Israeli government and the vast majority of its people have drawn a very different conclusion. Their dangerous neighborhood is growing still more dangerous, they agree. That means not concessions, but being tougher in pursuit of deterrence, and abandoning illusions that a Jewish state will ever be broadly accepted here.
“There is a theory, which I believe, that Hamas doesn’t want a peaceful solution and only wants to keep the conflict going forever until somehow in their dream they will have all of Israel,” Eitan Ben Eliyahu, a former leader of the Israeli Air Force, said in a telephone briefing. “There is a good chance we will go into Gaza on the ground again.” [there is "a theory"? Has Eitan Ben Eliyahu remained unaware of the ideology of Islam? Has he had no time to reflect on what is to be found in Qur'an, Hadith, Sira? Even the former head of the Israeli Air Force has only a glimmer of recognition that there is no end to this war, this Jihad, and no "solution" save that of Deterrence, and the invoking, by Arab governments, of Darura (Necessity), to justify their reluctance to engage in all-out war? Why doesn't he know this? Why don't all Israelis know it? What's wrong with this picture?]
What is striking in listening to the Israelis discuss their predicament is how similar the debate sounds to so many previous ones, despite the changed geopolitical circumstances. In most minds here, the changes do not demand a new strategy, simply a redoubled old one.
The operative metaphor is often described as “cutting the grass,” meaning a task that must be performed regularly and has no end. There is no solution to security challenges, officials here say, only delays and deterrence. That is why the idea of one day attacking Iranian nuclear facilities, even though such an attack would set the nuclear program back only two years, is widely discussed as a reasonable option. That is why frequent raids in the West Bank and surveillance flights over Lebanon never stop.
And that is why this week’s operation in Gaza is widely viewed as having been inevitable, another painful but necessary maintenance operation that, officials here say, will doubtless not be the last.
There are also those who believe that the regional upheavals are improving Israel’s ability to carry out deterrence. One retired general who remains close to the military and who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that with Syria torn apart by civil war, Hezbollah in Lebanon discredited because of its support for the Syrian government, and Egypt so weakened economically, Israel should not worry about anything but protecting its civilians.
“Should we let our civilians be bombed because the Arab world is in trouble?” he asked.
So much was happening elsewhere in the region — the Egyptian and Libyan revolutions, the Syrian civil war, dramatic changes in Yemen and elections in Tunisia — that a few rockets a day that sent tens of thousands of Israeli civilians into bomb shelters drew little attention. But in the Israeli view, the necessity of a Gaza operation has been growing steadily throughout the Arab Spring turmoil.
In 2009, after the Israeli invasion pushed Hamas back and killed about 1,400 people in Gaza, 200 rockets hit Israel. The same was true in 2010. But last year the number rose to 600, and before this week the number this year was 700, according to the Israeli military. The problem went beyond rockets to mines planted near the border aimed at Israeli military jeeps and the digging of explosive-filled tunnels.
“In 2008 we managed to minimize rocket fire from Gaza significantly,” said Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, a military spokeswoman. “We started that year with 100 rockets a week and ended it with two a week. We were able to give people in our south two to three years. But the grass has grown and other things have as well. Different jihadist ideologies have found their way into Gaza, including quite a few terrorist organizations. More weapons have come in, including the Fajr-5, which is Iranian made and can hit Tel Aviv. That puts nearly our entire population in range. So we reached a point where we cannot act with restraint any longer.”
Gazans see events in a very different light. The problem, they say, comes from Israel: Israeli drones fill the Gazan skies, Israeli gunboats strafe their waters, Palestinian militants are shot at from the air, and the Gaza border areas are declared off limits by Israel with the risk of death from Israeli gunfire.
But there is little dissent in Israel about the Gaza policy. This week leaders of the leftist opposition praised the assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, the Hamas military commander, on Wednesday. He is viewed here as the equivalent of Osama bin Laden. The operation could go on for many days before there is any real dissent.
The question here, nonetheless, is whether the changed regional circumstances will make it harder to “cut the grass” in Gaza this time and get out. A former top official who was actively involved in the last Gaza war and who spoke on the condition of anonymity said it looked to him as if Hamas would not back down as easily this time.
“They will not stop until enough Israelis are killed or injured to create a sense of equality or balance,” he said. “If a rocket falls in the middle of Tel Aviv, that will be a major success. But this government will go back at them hard. I don’t see this ending in the next day or two.”
Posted on 11/16/2012 9:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
16 Nov 2012
There are those in Israel who have come to understand, and they are explaining it to others.
One such is Paula R Stern, author of the blog 'A Soldier's Mother' (highly recommended, especially at the moment).
Here is her account, in a posting from February this year, of a conversation with her son.
It's all well worth reading, but what I want to share, here, is this.
"...According to Jewish law, you are allowed, even commanded, to violate all but three laws to save your life or the life of another. Judaism is truly about living, not dying. We do not find glory in death. If you are starving, you eat not-kosher food. If you are in a dangerous location, you travel, even on Sabbath. All laws are off (except three) when it comes to life.
"And so we came to the concept of bending or breaking some of the commandments during wartime, and that led to the concept of Milhemet Mitzvah. A milhemeth mitzvah is an obligatory war. I sometimes wonder if the misguided concept of Jihad in Isalm is a distortion of the concept of milhemet mitzvah.
"(For a great source on contradictions and outright inaccuracies in the Koran, see this great site - Answering Islam [and Paula gives the link - CM].
"Anyway, we talked about the concept of an obligatory war, and that's when Shmulik [her second son; IDF soldier - CM] knocked me off my feet...'Every day here [i.e. in Israel - CM] is a milhemeth mitzvah", he said.
'And before I could adequately process that, he told me what I've always known, and something I wish my children didn't [why? - it is always best to be aware of facts, even if they are ugly and frightening; they are safer if they know, than if they do not - CM] "they [that is, the Muslims - CM] want to destroy us completely - so every day is a milhemet mitzvah", he concluded.
"An obligatory war is one that is fought because there is no choice - because if you don't fight, your enemies will. The Arabs [that is, the Arab Muslims, and other Muslims too, Turks and Iranians, any kind of Muslim - CM] will shoot rockets at our cities, sneak into our homes and murder our babies. They will fight without honor, without bravery,a nd sneak off to murder what and when they can.
"An obligatory war is fought against the Samir Kuntars of the world, the Hassan Nasrallahs, and yes, even the ones who claim to be moderate in English while calling for our destruction in Arabic.
"These are the ones who would kill a father in front of his little girl, and then murder her as well with their bare hands, or murder a three-month-old baby girl, or stab a three-year-old in the heart.
"An obligatory war is one that is fought against an enemy that does not want peace and will not let you live in peace, no matter what you do, no matter what you give.
"Though the Torah speaks of absolving a man in his first year of marriage from going to war, it also explains that in a milhemet mitzvah even the groom should leave his wedding canopy...
"Yes, Israel is involved in a daily war that is obligatory and unavoidable. And yes, Shmulilk is right, it is a daily fight, a daily war that obligates us to defend ourselves.
"An Israeli ambulance was stoned a short while ago in Hebron, a bus was pelted with bricks; a few days ago, two Israeli young men, off-duty and dressed in regular clothes, were assaulted and nearly lynched...a firebomb was thrown at an IDF patrol; another rocket was fired at Israel's south.
"A milchemet mitzvah - every day".
Yes. That is Israel's situation.
And what no western diplomat or politician - and many beyond the West - seem yet to grasp, is that not just little Israel, the Jewish state, but every nation in the world that is not Muslim is also in a milchemet mitzvah...an obligatory war of self-defence of humanity against the Global Jihad - relentless, unending, inhuman and antihuman - that has been waged on three continents since the 7th century and is now waged on all five inhabited continents (Jihad touched the Americas in the 18th century [the Barbary pirate attacks], and struck on Australian soil in the early 20th century [a surprise jihad raid by 'Afghan' Muslim migrant workers, heeding the then-Caliph's summons to Jihad, that killed peaceful picnickers in outback NSW in 1915). Mohammed's followers make - as John Quincy Adams said - 'undistinguishing and exterminating war against all the rest of mankind...the precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny that Mahomet is the prophet of God".
16 Nov 2012
And also from Paula R Stern, 'A Soldier's Mother', her report on a political blogger's conference that was held earlier this year in Israel, to which came many important political and diplomatic personages. But at which, also, Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke, and made more sense than any of the others, because...she knows the mind of Islam.
Read about it here.
'Ayaan Hirsi Ali Imparts Home Truths About Islam to Those Who, It Seems, Still Need It'.
"One Woman's Voice and Story - and a Message for Israel'.
'She came to the microphone after Dennis Ross, former US ambassador to Israel.
"She spoke after two American Jews had been to the platform..
"The night before, Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres and Tony Blair all spoke about peace as if tomorrow it will come..if only we want it badly enough.
'Quietly, Ayaan spoke, and...she made those men sound like naive fools.
'She never said it, but it was there.
'You cannot make peace with a society that does not want it; you cannot compromise with a people who refuse to accept that you even exist...
'The Palestinians [that is, the local Arab Muslims, or to put it even more broadly, the Muslims, period - CM] will never compromise, was her message. At one point, as someone on the panel was suggesting ways towards peace, Ayaan said something. I'm sure I heard it...I believe she said, "Even if you give them Jerusalem", and then she repeated it, "even if you give them Jerusalem, there will be no peace". No compromise...'.
Everyone who reads this comment - click on the link, read the rest of it.
16 Nov 2012
And then there is this, which was shared by a poster called 'ethoman', at the jihadwatch forum on the 6th of January 2009, at the time of the previous Battle of Gaza between Hamas and Israel. The whole comment can be read in the comments thread here:
- just click the link then scroll down till you get to 'ethoman', January 6, 2009, 1.36 pm.
He quoted a previous poster, one 'SkepticOverAll', who had disingenuously inquired, "How about a decent dialogue, and some thinking", and then responded:
"I think you will find if you dig deep enough that among the 4 major schools of Islamic thought Islamic Jurisprudence is unanimous in its end game strategy in regards to the self-governance of non-Muslims...
[he proceeded to quote a bunch of very telling passages, and continued]
"I don't see how 'dialogue' with enemies who hold this belief system to be a revelation from God will do you any good. At best you can get a peace treaty.
[he quotes Majid Khadduri on the significance of the 'Treaty' of Hudaybiyya, and concludes]
"Skeptic, please explain to all of us Kuffar here just where the wiggle room is in that body of knowledge to justify our existence as free people in the long term anywhere on the globe.
"I think the more you learn the more you will come to realize Israel is at war with Muslims, and just what that means beyond the surface.
"I remember at the beginning of the current Iraqi affair, a Hindu said to me: "You are at war with Muslims now, you will not be able to simply go home like you did in Vietnam. You will come to learn that there are only two outcomes in war with Muslims. Either they die, or you die".
'I was completely shocked by that statement, floored, it was a cathartic moment.
'I was just like you [i.e. into 'dialogue' - CM] before I heard that.
'We in the west can learn a lot about what is in store for the US from Hindus [that is, from non-dhimmi Hindus - CM] you should check for yourself to see what they have to say.
'Anyways, it was that statement, which sent me on my journey to study Islam many years ago.
"There is no end for Jews in Israel other than death, or victory.
'Hamas is at the extreme end of what is considered aggressive from a faith whose moderate contemporary orthodoxy is extreme in regards to the mandate for war against non-Muslim states.
'What positive outcome dialogue could get you with Hamas...eludes me".
17 Nov 2012
I used to read the NYTimes, but I found that that paper basically falls into the category of those who don't understand Islam - and don't want to understand it. The result is a maddening mix of Western morality tainted by poisonous Islamic morality. Thus, those waging jihad aren't exactly being cheered on, but they are seen to have a point, and fairness requires sympathizing with their victimhood.
What fairness requires is a recognition that Islamic theology leads to criminality, and that any sympathy should be extended to the many victims of its crimes.