Gaza…Here We Go Again (and again, and again)
by Gerald A. Honigman
As I write this, Israel is once again being forced to up the ante in Gaza.
Keep in mind that the Arabs there–Hamas and those who eagerly support it–call for the destruction of Jews and their nation and actively work to bring both about.
So far, the West seems to be supporting Israel’s right of self-defense, even if in a backhanded sort of way and considering that the real action, on Israel’s behalf, has only just begun.
The European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, for example, was quoted in Agence France-Presse as stating that “Israel has the right to protect its population from these kinds of attacks. I urge Israel to ensure that its response is proportionate.”
It was also reported that State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, “we all agree on the need to de-escalate this conflict.”
Note that Ashton and her colleagues, Hillary and the American State Department, and others remained silent while Israel was targeted by almost a thousand projectiles this year alone…before the current increase in activity.
Typically, only when the Jews finally get ready to adequately respond to such blatant acts of war do such folks voice their alleged concerns. When America thought it located Saddam in a restaurant, it leveled it with cruise missiles, killing everyone inside and around it. Was that proportionate?
I have two words Israel must use to respond to such advice…Powell Doctrine. But we’ll see more about that later on.
Despite those who like to blame Israel no matter what, as a chapter in my own book points out (http://q4j-middle-east.com), Israel owes Gaza nothing…except an ultimatum. And in case, outside of the “Arab”/Muslim world, you think that this mindset is just typical of the “Progressive” Left, folks like Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan have claimed that Gaza is just one giant concentration camp that Israel created for the Arabs.
Within just the last two months, hundreds of Arab rockets, mortars, and missiles have been deliberately fired at Israeli civilian population centers from the midst of Arab civilian population centers–Arabs using their own non-combatants as human shields to thus commit a double war crime by the Geneva Conventions…the Perfidy Clause, and so forth.
What other nation would put up with this as long as Israel has?
And what other nation would make thousands of phone calls, drop thousands of warning leaflets, and so forth to enemy civilians to try to avoid their deaths–forsaking the element of surprise and reducing the likelihood of hitting the combatant targets in the process as well?
Does Dresden or Nagasaki ring a bell? How much warning did those folks get?
Israel does not need to increasingly risk the lives of its own soldiers to deal with Gaza…yet it will.
Israel can flatten Gaza from afar, and for much better reasons than Arabs have done such things elsewhere (not only in Assad’s Syria).
But, to try to do this as morally correct as possible, more Jewish blood will likely also be spilt–not that it will make any difference in places like the United Nations anyway.
While I don’t want to see any blood spilt, there is no doubt (among reasonable minds) that the Jews have tried to avoid this tragic sequence of events. Unfortunately, nothing short of Israel’s destruction or suicide will appease their enemies. Given this reality, Israel must be allowed to fight to actually win this time around.
The plain truth is that, as some of us have pointed out repeatedly, Gaza was a test for Arabs–one which they indeed flunked with flying colors. Had they passed it, a bright new dawn awaited not only them but others in the region as well.
To better understand what the real story is regarding Gaza in 2012, let’s turn the clock back to the middle of the last century…
In May 1948, Egypt was one of a half dozen Arab states which tried to nip a nascent, resurrected Israel in the bud. And for the same reasons Arabs have slaughtered, subjugated, and/or committed genocide against scores of millions of other non-Arab peoples, in addition to “their” kilab yahud (Jew dogs), who dared to insinuate that they too have rights in a region proclaimed by Arabs to be simply “purely Arab patrimony.”
Armed to the teeth with weapons left over by the Brits from World War II, Egypt seized Gaza while a British officer-led Arab Legion in Transjordan (created itself in 1922 from almost 80% of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine) seized Judea and Samaria on the west bank of the Jordan River.
Before long, Transjordan, now controlling both banks, renamed itself Jordan. Its occupation of those non-apportioned–not purely Arab–parts of the Mandate was recognized by only two other states, Great Britain and Pakistan.
The same above Arab pair–along with Syria and a few others as well–took another shot at their 1948 goal in June 1967. Big mistake…
Egypt blockaded Israel at the Straits of Tiran (a casus belli), amassed 100,000 troops, tanks, and aircraft on Israel’s “border,” and convinced Jordan to jump aboard. It then ordered the United Nations peacekeeping force out of the area so it would be able to invade the Jewish State unimpeded.
Like a fireman who flees the moment a fire starts, the U.N. simply complied. It would repeat its uselessness this way many times later–stepping in only after Israel turned the tide of repeated Arab aggression, not preventing it or punishing the aggressor. Indeed, it did just this in 1948. That’s how Israel wound up with mostly armistice lines, not real political borders, which made it a mere nine to fifteen miles wide at its waist, where most of its population and infrastructure are located.
In the wake of this renewed Arab attempt on its life, in June 1967 Israel wound up in Gaza and in the “West Bank”…in all of six days.
Recall that during the almost two decades that Egypt and Jordan occupied those areas, no one clamored for the creation of a second state for Arabs within the borders of the Palestinian Mandate. In 1947, Arabs were offered about half of the 20% of the territory left after the creation of Transjordan and rejected this partition. Some 90% of the total area wasn’t enough. They had to have it all. No justice except Arab justice…
While those above events occurred decades ago, little has changed for the better regarding that same Arab mindset which refuses to grant scores of millions of Kurds, Imazighen/”Berbers,” Jews, Copts, Assyrians, and so forth even a tiny sliver of the same political rights Arabs insist upon for themselves. And that, indeed, in a nutshell, is the Arab-Israeli conflict.
About eight years ago, a now comatose Prime Minister Sharon–under intense pressure from Washington–agreed to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza, a coastal area which had been repeatedly used since the days of the Pharaohs to invade the land of the Jews. It was also the land of Goliath’s non-Semitic, invading Aegean “Sea People,” the Philistines (as in “Palestine”), who gave both Egyptians and Jews earlier shared headaches.
Sharon’s withdrawal plan was highly controversial, but there was enough potentially positive aspects to it that it seemed to at least some folks worth a try. The problem is that all of the worst case scenario results soon emerged instead…and have continued ever since.
Yes, Gaza indeed was a test–and the Arabs flunked it horrendously.
Being the target of repeated Arab attempted destruction, Israel was under no obligation to return any territories used for those purposes before treaties of real peace–not phony hudna and such ceasefires–were signed.
Borders and territorial possessions all over the world have historically changed for far less than what Israel has faced…including America’s.
Does anyone remember the Falkland War the Brits fought with Argentina–over 8,000 miles away from Great Britain off the Argentine coast? How about Russia in Chechnya, and so forth? Now imagine these same folks lecturing Israel–as they frequently do–about what the Jews allegedly need to do in their very own backyard–not thousands of miles away from home.
With the withdrawal of Jewish organic farmers and so forth from Gaza, did the Arabs next offer Israel any semblance of peace?
As the latest hundreds of projectiles fired into Israel once again illustrated, the only thing Arabs did was to congratulate themselves about how nicely their well-known destruction-in-stages scenario for the Jews was playing out.
Before the setback in ‘67, Arabs had called for a one fell swoop plan for the Jews’ demise. Afterwards, this was replaced with a strategy to force Israel–via diplomacy (aka, Jew-arm twisting)–back to its 1949, U. N.-imposed, microscopic armistice line existence.
The final draft of U.N.S.C. Resolution 242 was drafted, in a rare display of true justice, to rectify that wrong after the Six Day War.
Any withdrawal of Israel from territories (not “all” or “the” territories–words deliberately left out of the final draft) was to be in the context of real peace treaties and to secure, more defensible, real borders–not armistice lines. It was expected that the travesty of the ‘49 lines would be rectified as Israel withdrew from some of the territories. Indeed, the U.N. fought very hard over the precise wording of 242 for just this reason. 242′s architects–Lord Caradon, Eugene Rostow, and others–made this very clear. Here’s Lord Caradon…
It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand that the Israelis return to them.
Nevertheless, in 1979, in return for a very cold peace, Israel handed Sadat’s Egypt back the best tank trap it ever had in the Sinai Peninsula as well as oil fields it developed, major airbases, and some real semblance of strategic depth.
In 2005, with Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal, Gaza was the latest piece to fall in the post-‘67 Arab destruction-in-stages game.
Arabs had an opportunity to prove doubters wrong…and we really wanted that to happen, though mostly knew better.
The “peace offering” Arabs gave Israel in return for its Gaza withdrawal was to elect Arabs to power who didn’t even feel it necessary to play Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah’s Palestinian Authority’s counterfeit game of acceptance of a Jewish neighbor. Actually, Abbas and his crew don’t do this either and still refuse to speak of a Jewish Israel. Arabs claim almost two dozen Arab states (created mostly from non-Arab peoples’ lands), but how dare Jews speak of one minuscule state of their own…
Yet, to prop up the West’s latter day Arafatian darlings, Mahmoud Abbas (one of Arafat‘s chief lieutenants) & Fatah had to be made the alleged good cops by an American State Department, long hostile to even the very idea of Israel (opposing President Truman on its rebirth, etc.), to the Hamas bad ones to further twist the arms of the Jews. In reality, both Fatahland and Hamastan have the same long-term plans for Israel.
While attacks against Israel from Gaza were launched before Hamas gained control, they greatly increased afterwards…tens of thousands of rockets, mortars, missiles, and such having been launched against Israel proper after the complete, unilateral Israeli withdrawal in 2005.
Instead of a hand being offered to an Israel which could indeed be very generous in peace, Arabs elected those who openly (to their credit–no game playing here) call for Israel’s destruction…the same folks who were blowing up school kids and others on buses, in restaurants, teen nightclubs, pizza parlors, and such a while back. They even set up a museum commemorating their heroism, complete with fake Jewish body parts hanging from the ceilings.
Think about what Israel really needs to do with such an enemy. Does America’s own Powell Doctrine ring a bell? Here’s some of what Wikipedia has to say about it…
…Powell expanded upon the Doctrine, asserting that when a nation is engaging in war, every resource and tool should be used to achieve decisive force against the enemy, minimizing US casualties and ending the conflict quickly by forcing the weaker force to capitulate. This is well in line with Western military strategy dating at least from Carl von Clausewitz’s On War.
Tit for tat responses have never worked well for Israel. Yet that’s all that folks like the EU’s Ashton are prepared to allow it while its people are terrorized, injured, and killed.
Arabs know that there’s hundreds of millions of them and about six million Israeli Jews. Now, why am I nervous about that number? Arafat used to claim that the Arab mother was his best weapon.
To be taken seriously, Israel must treat Gaza’s Hamas and those who enthusiastically elected and support it according to America’s own Powell Doctrine…
If firing rockets, mortars, and such at one’s cities is not considered blatant acts of war, then what is?
If calling for the death of a nation and its people and repeatedly acting on those threats are not acts of war, then what is?
If ever a nation had reason to level an enemy, then who if not Israel? And at as “cheap” a cost to itself as possible. Not doing so, and trying to be humane to the inhumane and kind to the cruel only results in duplicitous charges leveled against Jews anyway.
Furthermore, truth be told, there are few innocents in Gaza.
Egypt, now controlled by Hamas’s older brother, the Muslim Brotherhood, has allowed hundreds of tunnels to be dug from its territory to supply Gaza with the means to kill Jews. And Egypt has made no secret that it will be trying its best–short of losing billions of dollars in American aid–to make Sadat’s treaty with Israel meaningless.
In 1973, after Egypt attacked Israel on the most sacred of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur, when the Jews, at great cost, finally reversed the tide of battle and encircled the trapped Egyptian Third Army, America and others forced Israel to supply its own enemies instead of to defeat them
And each time Israel has been forced to respond to continuous Arab terror from Gaza, it gets similar treatment. I mean, as just one example, how dare Israel cut off supplies to those who want it dead! How unreasonable of those Jews!
Guess what? Jews aren’t obligated to supply their executioners and wannabes with anything.
War is hell–and Hamas said itself that the gates of it are now opened because Israel finally responded to hundreds of Arab attacks.
Given all the above, as for Gaza…Israel must send an ultimatum, not supply it.
But before it does, if I was the leader of Israel I would try one more thing…
I would call a widely-covered international news conference and talk directly to the Arab people.
I would simply say that a much better future awaits them if they will only grant others that same opportunity. Working together in peace, Israel will partner with Arabs in Gaza (and elsewhere) to help them as it has done with numerous other peoples in countries all over the world.
I would then let them know that they have a very important choice to now make and that the nasty games that they have been playing will soon be coming to a halt.
After this, the ultimatum to end the terror would be issued.
A trial period would be allowed–a few weeks, not months. I would let them know that this was no bluff and that the gloves would come off as Gaza gets the very hell they have tried to impose upon Israel.
In short, if the terror does not cease, war a la America’s own Powell Doctrine would then be waged, with the elimination of the fighting ability of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and such as the primary goal. And there will be no stopping until victory this time…so if, as in the past, Hamas officials deliberately set up shop in civilian apartments and such, the whole building will be taken out if necessary. Israel deliberately passed up such opportunities in the past. But when facing such an enemy, nice guys finish last–as least in this earthly realm.
While wanting to avoid civilian casualties, it will be on the shoulders of those who use their own people as human shields to prevent these from happening. Or, the people will have to either evacuate such areas or not allow themselves to be used by their brothers this way. Israel cannot continue to be held captive to the Arabs’ own barbarism.
A few clauses from the Geneva Conventions are pertinent here. Please read them very carefully to see where the blame must be placed in the ongoing conflict between Arabs and others in the region…
The presence of the civilian population shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attack.
Again, Israel has frequently not taken out prime targets because of the presence of Arab human shields nearby. This, at the very minimum, must be modified. Either that, or Israel allows the Arabs to set the rules of the game–a game that Jews will not win.
The parties to the conflict shall…avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.
As we’ve seen above, the rats’ dens are typically set up in, or adjacent to, such places as civilian apartment buildings, hospitals, mosques, and schools–as America has learned for itself in Iraq and elsewhere.
The civilian population…shall not be the object of attack. Acts of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited…Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited.
Arabs typically target Israeli civilians. The hundreds of assorted projectiles recently fired at Israeli towns and cities are just the latest examples.
Okay–I think you get the picture.
Finally, after Gaza rejects the ultimatum, which is 99% assured, and Israel finally makes good on waging war for victory, as for the predictable responses of the United Nations, Oxfam, the European Union, the Russians, and other assorted hypocrites and practitioners of the double standard supreme–which will be sure to come…
Let them all go to where they’re really needed but to where they never will…to relieve the real–not mostly self-inflicted–plight of scores of millions of non-Arab peoples still being slaughtered, enslaved, subjugated, and so forth throughout the region on behalf of Arab nationalism and its “purely Arab patrimony” mindset.