For the Misplaced Love of Hamas!

The people who did this aren't worth your tears.
Someone hand me a bucket and mop–I need to wipe up the crocodile tears from bleeding hearts bemoaning Israel's assault on Gaza. I too lament the loss of all life and want this to stop. But let's place the blame where it belongs: on Hamas.

There's an old adage in need up of a comma update: he lives by the sword shall die by the sword, and a lot of innocent people die with him. Hamas is getting pounded and that's a good thing; the sooner Hamas is neutralized, the better the chances for peace in the Middle East. Most Westerners, though, are fixated on the disproportionate loss of life and collateral damage such as Israel's accidental bombing of a UN school.

In the first case all this really means is that Israel is better armed than Hamas, so stop making it into white keffiyehs against black yarmulkes. It's really a classic example of Israel being pushed to its limits. Can we stop pretending that Hamas is the legitimate voice of anything except hatred? Hamas are terrorist anti-Semites sworn to Israel's destruction. If Hamas had Israel's weaponry, it would have used it years ago, the cost in human lives be damned. As it is, 4,800 missiles–yes 4,800–have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel since 2001, nearly 4,000 of them after Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza in 2005. Who's the aggressor here, folks? Granted, Israeli loss of life from those attacks has been "light" (a term you wouldn't want to use around those who lost loved ones), but this is a measure of Hamas's inexactitude, not its determination.

About inexactitude, let's parse the school bombing a bit. It's only in movies and video games that rockets always hit their targets. The majority are not high-tech "smart bombs," and even then, smart bombs are often pretty dumb–as much as 60% of the time. Check out Paul Walker's excellent column subtitled "The Myth of Surgical Bombing in the Gulf War" (http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-myth.htm) Oh, excuse me for mentioning that the United States does the same things for which so many Americans are willing to condemn Israel for doing. Should I also mention that Israel was actually attacked by Hamas, as opposed to the manufactured reasons for U.S. involvement in both Gulf Wars? 

Is this the time to note the hypocrisy of Americans criticizing Israel for things we'd never tolerate? I've used this analogy before, but it remains apt. How long would it take to send in the Marines if Mexico shelled San Diego or El Paso daily? What if Russians routinely smuggled suicide bombers into Alaska? There were 164 suicide bombings inside Israel between 1989 and 2008 resulting in 804 deaths. Since 2008, both bombings and attempts have increased. Still want to talk about all the innocent lives lost in the Israeli assault? As a friend of mine once asked, "Bombs from above, bombs from below…what's the difference?" It's incredible that Israel has put up with Hamas as long as it has.

There are a few other things that baffle me over the sudden Western love for Palestinian terrorists. Has everyone forgotten the Palestinian gangs that danced in the streets when the Twin Towers fell? I haven't. Do we really think that a Palestine consisting of Gaza and the West Bank is viable? It's probably the worst idea since East and West Pakistan (with India dividing them). That one went really well–East Pakistan rebelled and formed Bangladesh in 1971, now one of the world's poorest nations. An independent Palestine would give it a run for its non-money.

The rational solution would be that Jordan absorb the West Bank and Egypt reassert claim over Gaza. The rub is that neither country wants any part of the factionalism, poverty, and violence of Gaza or the West Bank. So is this the time to remind you that it was Israel that gave Gaza its right to self-determination in 1994, that Jordan repudiated its desire to reclaim the West Bank in 1988, and that Israel agreed to the 1993 Oslo Accords by which some measure of autonomy was given to the West Bank? (Yes, there were strings attached.)

I won't deny that Israel isn't always a good neighbor and that West Bank settlements are a bad idea. Yet it remains the case that only Israel has traded land for peace and that Israel has never engaged in terrorism or launched an unprovoked war. We can cry many crocodile tears, but there will be no peace in the region until Palestinians silence Hamas (and Islamic Jihad) and recognize Israel's right to exist. Secretary of State John Kerry should set this as a precondition for any further U.S. discussion of Palestinian statehood and stay out of the region until it occurs.

One final thing. That school bombing shouldn't have happened. Kerry forged a ceasefire two days earlier. Guess who broke it? That would be Hamas.

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