Why Does Hamas fight?
Every time Hamas fights, the West pressures Israel to give them a concession to stop. This encourages Hamas to keep fighting rather than to negotiate, strengthens them in their ability to fight, and harms Israel in the long run. Israel has generally given in.
But not this time. The cost for Israel to continue this game is too high. Any circumstance in which Hamas is strengthened will result in the death of more Israelis and Israel is obligated to prevent that.
The way to bring peace to both peoples and promote prosperity for the people of Gaza is to completely nullify any hope that violence will result in progress. Moves toward peace must be met with improvement for sure. Yet moves toward violence must result in increased suffering, not betterment.
This is why ceasefire talks continue to fail.
In spite of growing antisemitism and the threat of boycotts, Israel will not give in, because it cannot give in. It is that simple. The next flare-up of this conflict may well see rockets strike Ben Gurion Airport, the Towers in Tel Aviv, or Hotels in Jerusalem and terrorism resulting in terrible carnage. It is not an option for Israel to offer concessions and to hope that Hamas decides not to exploit them as they have every other time.
For the US to help bring peace, it must not only avoid pressuring Israel to make concessions, but it must demand of our allies very publicly that they also refrain from pressuring Israel as well. Hamas must see that support for Israel will not be undermined if they continue fighting. Israel’s obligation–not merely its “right”–its obligation to defend itself must not only be defended in public by our President and Secretary of State, but actively supported. Otherwise, the fighting and the suffering will go on.
In defense of our geo-political roots, Israel must remain vigilant and strong. But each and every Jewish soul should reach for even a higher standard, utilizing this protection for tapping the internality of our spiritual roots. The metaphors within the torah are just not flowery language; they are loaded with enormous spiritual potential. If we let them, they will inspire us to weed out and compost hatred, for supercharging the Light that we draw through these roots. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was correct in saying that you cannot fight hatred with hatred, only with love. We, as Jews have a mission to ionize all of this hatred within us and around us into Love. This is what being a Light onto the Nations is all about. We need to focus our Light onto the Righteous of the Nations of the world and become good spiritual community gardeners, to weed out hate and sow the seeds of peace. Not just in theory but in action, not with olive branches, but with hands on social action projects for community gardens that will fill our bodies ands wells as our souls.
I’m afraid you remind me of the violent husband who, having beaten his wife with a big stick for years, cries foul when she slaps him back on a rare and desperate occasion. Are you blind to the gross injustices served upon the Palestinians systematically, serially, and progressively for the last 60 years? Shame on you.
I’m afraid you’re the one who sees the abused wife fighting back and condemns her for it. You have it backwards. Israel is the abused wife who has complained for years about being struck, got a divorce (withdrew from Gaza), then sought and finally received a restraining order (Blockade and closed borders) yet continues to be attacked, only to finally strike back and be condemned for it. Clearly you forget that Gaza’s border with Egypt was entirely open when the Muslim Brotherhood, its ally, controlled Egypt. Clearly you forget that there was no Naval Blockade of Gaza until rockets started flying by the hundreds out of Gaza prior to 2009. I know full well that there is desperation in Gaza. There are two kinds and one is overwhelming the other. There is the suffering of the innocents in Gaza and then there is the desperation of a Hamas that can’t import enough weaponry to enhance its ability to defeat Israel militarily. This war is entirely about the latter unfortunately. I and Israel care about the innocents. You seem to conflate the two and act as if Hamas’ desires are necessarily good for Gazans. Without Hamas in Gaza, Gaza would have an open border with Egypt, sea access, and possibly even an airport. With Hamas it has a restraining order. So, continuing your grade school effort, “No, shame on you!” :p
Do not presume to tell me what I “clearly” forget, and whose causes I do or do not espouse. Similarly, do no arrogate for yourself the pronouncement on who it’s “entirely about.”.
Let’s let your picture of big bad Gaza beating up frail little Israel stand on its own merits, such as they are.
Your reply does have some virtue; it answers a 30-year old question for me: why, in my kibbutz days, was “anee” the word I heard most frequently.
Continuing your nursery school effort, “Congratulations”.
How about willfully ignoring facts so as to maintain anti-Jewish tropes? How about looking beyond the borders of Israel and Gaza at a region rife with Hamas’ allies and friends murdering minorities by the tens of thousands while you protest against the one democracy in the region’s ability to defend itself? I like the “kibbutz days” citation. As if having an experience being among Jews excuses you from being accused of opposing most Jews? But worse, your citation ends up being fully anti-Jewish, just slipping in a bit of Hebrew to do it, as if that somehow gives it a hint of truth. Must be true, he can cite the word! No, you act as you do and speak as you do because you don’t like Jews and believe that Hamas is justified in killing attacking them because they’re being limited in their ability to kill more of them by blockades and border restrictions. You completely ignored my argument that Hamas and Palestinians are not one and the same. Why? Because you don’t care. You have a hatred not only for Israel but for Jews. Sad that your “kibbutz days” didn’t abate your hatred.
I guess you may be surprised to hear that I am Jewish. Now re-read your diatribe and examine your mentality.
Actually, I just re-read my own. It is I who apologise, for the initial “shame on you.” It was unwarranted.
I accept you apology. BTW I assumed you were Jewish when you spoke of Kibbutz Days. Clearly, we have had different experiences with Israel and Israelis. Because I have spent most of my time in the Northern and Western Galilee regions where Jews of all varieties, Arabs, Druze, Muslims and Christians, all work together and live together, I have interacted with people on both sides of this debate within Israel. The vast majority desire peaceful coexistence. Getting there is the difficulty and it is made far more so by those who support Hamas or allow it to gain support because Hamas opposes peaceful coexistence. The best Hamas will consider is a hudna during which it will seek to strengthen enough to fight again. I think with rockets by the thousands threatening all parts of Israel, we’re not at the point when Israel cannot allow that to happen and the dynamic of the conflict has changed. Obviously, my opinion. You are free to disagree, but just know that most Israelis agree with me at this point, including the political left. Meanwhile, you really should apologize for the “Ani” comment too. If anyone said such a thing about any other racial or ethnic group, you would assuredly call them on it. It is not excusable because you are a Jew.
If that comment gave you the impression that I am anti-Jewish or anti-Israel, I hope I can convince you that this is as far from the truth as the inference that I am pro-Hamas. In all honesty, I have no time for any terrorist organisation, and like you, I posit the blame for the recent tragedy squarely with them. Any sympathies I express are for innocent men, women, and children caught up in this, and I make no distinction between Palestinians and Israelis in that regard. Dead kids are an awful thing to happen, that’s all.
I have, in fact, been somewhat frustrated by the myopia of the world media on this topic. In case you think this is a shifting position on my part, I call your attention to comments I made elsewhere during the conflict:
As a matter of fact, my experiences and memories in Israel have been very positive. Back in the early 80’s, I worked with a really great bunch at Kibbutz Eilot (then a few miles North of Eilat, but Eilat has since grown considerably). The project was cultivating and irrigating the Negev desert, seeding it with a very salt-resistant, humous-forming variety of grass, then growing melons, then dates, in chronological and geographical stages. Now, I can look at Google satellite with pride, and see where we made something green out of nothing. I’m still in touch with some of those guys. Everybody did a stint in the army, but nobody was an aggressive person. I’m also familiar with the Galeel region, like you. I worked on archaeological digs there, mostly around Tiberias, Capernaum, and Korazin. But that “making something out of nothing” ethos is something valuable that I see whenever I see Israel.
The “anee” comment in fact is a true account: I spoke no Hebrew when I first arrived on kibbutz. In my first attempts to learn on day 1, I identified “anee” as being a word that cropped up a lot. I asked my friend, Avi, what it meant, because I heard it so much. We both laughed heartily when he told me. My remark to you did not specifically address the Jew, or even the Israeli. Rather, it spoke of that part of human nature which causes us to magnify our own perspective, and place ourselves at the centre of the world. Hamas suffer from this, certainly. The point of my remark was simply that your stance also exhibited this universal failing, from which none of us are immune.
Now, about the assertions you made in your response about my hating Jews, maintaining anti-Jewish tropes, opposing Jews, being anti-Jewish, not liking Jews, wanting Hamas to kill more Jews, hating Israel, and hating Jews (yes, all of those accusations appeared). I think you can see now that those accusations are without foundation, so I take no offence. However, I do ask you to please consider the readiness and the vigour with which you leaped to that position. This is an easy way to discredit opposition, but not a valid one. “The UN only thinks that because they all hate Jews” (which we so often hear) does nobody any credit. Please forgive me if this paragraph sounds sanctimonious.
I apologize for applying to you what unfortunately applies all too well to others. I was making those comments, not because I believed them accurate of you, but to point out what your argument would lead to coming to fruition. I’ll try to be more accurate in my frustration next time. But any strengthening of Hamas would lead to that. Also, Duncan, I know that the British media is exceedingly hostile to Israel and provides an account of the conflict that is entirely unfair and full of Hamas propaganda, often with the cover of UN approval with UNRWA being heavily influenced by Hamas in Gaza. I’m glad you’re now reading our blog. Also take a look at http://www.TimesofIsrael.com for accurate news. There are certainly faults with some, if not much, of what Israel has done, but not with all of what it has done or even the major reasons that it has needed to act as it generally has. At least that is the case from my perspective.
You are absolutely correct about the British media. They have had their telescopes held up to the side of their heads for the last 2 months. Reasoned debate is starved of fuel here.