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Defeat Hamas. There, I Said It.

We must drop the assumption that there is no way to vanquish Hamas. Terrorists have been defeated before.

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The trail of an Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome defense missile system, used to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells from Gaza, is pictured on November 15, 2012. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

In a military operation that lasted just eight days, the Israeli Army killed Hamas’ military chief Ahmed Jabari; air strikes destroyed large numbers of Iranian-made rockets and missiles, many in underground sites; and the Iron Dome missile defense system brought down no fewer than 421 rockets launched from Gaza, an 84 percent success rate. What ought to happen next is that the makers of Iron Dome—a consortium led by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Weapons Systems Ltd.—should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Israel should take the fight into the Hezbollah-controlled areas of Lebanon where a further 60,000 Iranian-made rockets and missiles are being hidden. And, above all, the civilized world should celebrate Israel’s victory, even if temporary, over this fascist organization.

Yet instead of calling for the ultimate downfall of Hamas—in the way that senior U.S. military figures speak of al-Qaida—we are gripped by an entirely unwarranted sense of defeatism over the terrorist group. Despite the fact that Israel won this latest battle, our commentariat seems to have embraced the assumption that there is simply no way to prevail politically or militarily over Hamas; they express no confidence in an eventual Israeli victory over Hamas’ foul and naked terrorism.

“Hamas and other militant groups will build better rockets,” whined Peter Beinart on The Daily Beast, “able to kill more Jews.” Yes, of course. But Israel will be simultaneously be able to build better Iron Domes, able to knock more rockets out of the sky. In the eternal battle between medieval hatred and Enlightenment technological know-how, the latter has always managed to contain the former.

“Does anyone actually believe that Israel would be able to fully neutralize the Hamas/Islamic Jihad threat?” blogged Jeffrey Goldberg. “Now is the time to try to Egypt card.” But assuming that President Morsi, late of the Muslim Brotherhood, is some sort of Israeli trump card is absurd. And the deployment of five batteries of Iron Dome actually does mean that much of the threat—indeed 84 percent of it—is being neutralized.

Meanwhile J Street put out a press release on Nov. 12 stating: “We are watching with grave concern the stepped-up rocket attacks from Gaza on southern Israel over the weekend, and we call upon the Palestinian factions responsible to cease fire immediately.” How about that for utterly pathetic? How likely was it that the Hamas leadership was going to suspend their attacks because they were being “called upon” to do so by a lobbying outfit based in Washington, D.C.?

So, on the one hand you have those who argue that yes, Israel was justified in carrying out Operation Pillar of Defense, but as a best-case scenario it merely bides time. Hamas will rearm, soon there will be another round, and the Jewish state will not be able to deal the group a fatal blow. On the other, you have those that are already preparing their Goldstone Report Part II about how Israel is committing war crimes, arguing that Hamas, though not blameless, is a legitimately elected government that Israel must come to terms with. Both of these perspectives come together to demand that Israel negotiate with Hamas—never mind the fact that Hamas is constitutionally committed to the destruction of Israel.

The fact that this, with rare exception, represents the entire spectrum of public debate about a savage terrorist organization shows terrible moral collapse. The West has defeated worse fascist entities than Hamas in the past and ought to be able to again in our own times. Even the Tamils are quiescent today, defeated by decades of relentless pressure brought against them by the forces of civilization, constitutionalism, law and order. Thousands died, just as they have in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, but eventually the will of the terrorists was broken, and today Sri Lanka is rebuilding itself in peace.

The IRA similarly put up a 30-year long struggle against the democratic legitimacy of the British government, during a period in which every election returned a clear majority of members of parliament committed to keeping Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. The IRA were brought to the table after it finally dawned on the republican communities of Ulster that the will of the British would not be broken, however many bombs went off. Even terrorist organizations with deep links in their communities can be defeated when it finally becomes clear to those communities that they are holding back an honorable, decent, and workable settlement. Especially when there is absolutely no hope of victory.

What cannot be allowed to continue is this defeatist assumption that vicious terrorism needs to be bought off, that there is no way militarily and politically to defeat our enemies, and that in even attempting to do so we are committing crimes as bad as they. The ghastly doctrine of moral equivalence that lurks in those assumptions is far more dangerous than any missile that Hamas can fire at Tel Aviv, or bus-bomb it can let off.


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Poupic says:

You came so close but in the end you did not have the courage to arrive at the ultimate conclusion. Britain’s resolve to remain north Ireland won it is still part of Britain although morally wrong. Israel has a valid claim to Judea and Samaria, the heartland of the Jewish nation patrimony that was taken away by the same Britain and given away to Transjordan, a British creation for an Arabian family. In the end Israel has to remain in Judea and Samaria just like Britain does in northern Ireland.

julis123 says:

No we can’t do that because it would make American Jews feel uncomfortable that we are defeating our enemies.

    Please. Israelis are much more likely to have an honest conversation about this than Americans. I can’t understand how people think that JStreet wanting to cease fire in Gaza and supporting a two state solution is radical. It’s so benign. There are many more radical ideas right here in Israel, and the motor of the pro-Israel propaganda machine that keeps us stuck in blindness is in the States.

      by the way, everyone I know in Be’er Sheva, where I work, who was under rocket fire last week wanted the cease fire very badly, and cared a lot about the innocent Gazans who were dying in the conflict, even as they ran in and out of bomb shelters all day with their children. they did not appreciate people wanting to keep the war going in support of Israel. they still don’t. and they are not just thinking short-term; these are people who are very well-educated about the big picture. the pro-israel machine needs to become much more nuanced, and honest. it does no good to continuously cry victim and want to create more violence to end the violence. the day after the cease fire, two more palestinian homes were destroyed in Silwan. During the war, a man from the Tamimi family who protests weekly–non-violently–to return to their wells for water in Nabi Saleh, was killed by a tear gas canister fired by the idf during the protest. someone else from his family died this way last year. These things happen daily here, and they go unnoticed; all we notice is the rockets that fire into Israel. Would acting morally stop Hamas from being Hamas; no? But it would give us a moral leg to stand on while protecting ourselves, and it would allow Palestinians to be free, so that what they’re fighting for is not basic freedom, which anyone would fight for. c’mon, people. the time has come to stop the cycle of violence, not to fuel it. Things are at a real breaking point right now, and we have a choice which way they go. this article is entirely misguided, and dangerous for Israel.

Saint_Etienne says:

I appreciate the spirit, but this article is actually short on concrete suggestions. How do we actually defeat Hamas, pace Mr. Roberts? Do we just wait for it to lay down its arms, like the IRA did? Or do we just invade the shit out of Gaza and stay to rule it for ever after, like in Sri Lanka? Both options don’t seem that good. I was hoping he would come up with something else, but, alas, he didn’t.

    SMIA1948 says:

    Uh, you defeat Hamas the same way the U.S. defeated Imperial Japan. Saturation bombing until they surrender unconditionally.

      Saint_Etienne says:

      In this approach you actually propose to kill off a signficiant fraction of the Gaza civilian population. That would probably lead to a rather Pyrrhic victory.

      And it won’t happen anyway – the IDF will not obey such an order.

        SMIA1948 says:

        During WWII, my parents’ generation killed 2.4 million Japanese, out of a population at the time of 73 million. About 0.4 million of these were civilians, who were killed by aerial bombing. And, if they had not surrendered unconditionally, the Americans of that time would have killed them all. Notice that this approach worked. Our two countries have now lived in peace and friendship for the past 67 years. This was not a Pyrrhic victory.

        If the settlement of a conflict cannot be negotiated, it must be resolved by force. Hamas is publicly committed to the destruction of Israel. How do you negotiate with that?

        In an all out war, it would be Hamas that would decide how many of their people died. The Japanese surrendered unconditionally after only about 5% of their civilian population had been killed. And, they were a pretty fanatical bunch.

          Saint_Etienne says:

          And what happens afterwards? Who and how rules the rest of the population?

          SMIA1948 says:

          Again, the same as in the case of Imperial Japan. As Gaza was pulverized from the air, and casualties mounted, at some point the Hamas “Death to Israel” position would become discredited in the minds of the Gazan public. New leaders would emerge advocating real peace.

          I doubt that the Palestinians are more cohesive and fanatical than the Japanese of the 1940s, so a sufficiently decisive and costly military defeat should change their minds about obliterating Israel. At that point, how costly their lesson would be up to them.

          You could think of this situation as Darwinism at work. It is stupid to attack and threaten another party that is willing to leave you alone, and also has the power to annihilate you.

          BTW: No need to bring up the Palestinian’s grievances. We are talking about total war here. The Japanese had grievances against the U.S. in 1941, too.

          Saint_Etienne says:

          I don’t know. I thought that the “total war” idea had lost some of its moral currency in the modern world.

          Come to think of it – why not nuke Gaza and be done with it?

          SMIA1948 says:

          The goal is to defeat and discredit a crazed ideology, not to kill for the sake of killing. We could have killed everyone in Japan, but we would have made the world (and ourselves) poorer by doing so.

          Surely you can see that to fire little rockets at a nation that possesses nuclear weapons is insane. How long do you think Hamas would survive if they were doing this to Russia?

          Saint_Etienne says:

          I guess it depends on your definition of “insane”. Anyway, since you brought up Russia, it might be worthwhile to point out that within a decade (1994-2004 or so) Russia has fought two wars on its territory against Chechen nationalist/separatists/jihadists. (By the way, why two? Because the first one ended in a stalemate, which looks more like a Russian defeat). During these wars the Russin army practiced carpet bombing of cities and villages (on its own territory, I remind you). Incidentally, the main victims of this were the ethnic Russian residents of Chechnya (they used to form about 50% of the population).

          So, lots of blood, cruelty and treasure later – what is the result? Chechnya has its own autonomous regime, nominally responsible to the federal authorities but quite independent in practice; it receives regular “tribute” from Moscow and is governed as a mild Islamic state (the Sharia is not officially part of the law, but very much respected). There is practically no ethnic Russian population there today – they have been either killed (carpet bombing, remember?) or fled to neighbouring regions where they eke out a miserable existence.

          This is much much worse than the result Russia could have obtained by compromising with Dudayev in 1994.

          So, what was exactly the point about the Russian example?

          SMIA1948 says:

          As you say, Chechnya is part of Russia, and lots of Russians live there. This limits what the Russians can do. If the Gaza strip (which contains no Russians) started firing rockets into Russia, Russia would annihilate it (probably with nukes).

          If the Gazans won’t stop firing rockets into Israel and recognize Israel’s right to exist, there’s nothing left for the Israelis to do other than to change the Gazans’ minds about this by force.

          As the example of Japan in WWII showed, this can be done. A fanatical enemy can be transformed into a friendly ally.

          If any of you have a better model for dealing with the Gaza-Israeli conflict, please speak up. The approach that the U.S. used to deal with Japan in WWII did work.

          Babaoz says:

          so , arising from the ashes of gaza would be a new progressive Govt of Gaza, that would recognise Israel, give up the armed struggle, and allow Israel to take back the abandoned settlements. But wait , there is already a Palestine just like that, it’s called the west bank, and how is that working out for the people of the west bank ?, not very well. So how would that brave new world be any better than the old one for Palestinians ?

          andrew r says:

          “During WWII, my parents’ generation killed 2.4 million Japanese, out of a population at the time of 73 million.”

          Would you like to explain what your parents’ parents’ generation were doing in the Philippines and at Wounded Knee?

          SMIA1948 says:

          I don’t understand the question. My grandparents would have been the WWI generation, and they arrived in the U.S. from Poland around 1910.

          My point is that Hamas has declared that Israel must be annihilated. This means that Hamas must be annihilated. The way the U.S. dealt with Imperial Japan in WWII provides a good model of what will work. A massive enough defeat will discredit the Hamas ideology and make peace possible.

          andrew r says:

          Israel successfully annihilated Palestine through forced displacement of the Palestinians during 1948-50 (Yep, Palestinians were still expelled by Israel even after signing the armistice agreements with the Arab states). I know when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail, but to cast Hamas in the same mold as Imperial Japan is more than a bit insane, considering Hamas is not an army, has not invaded any country and in fact had *their* country invaded.

          For comparison’s sake, here’s a list of countries Japan invaded during the last century: Korea, China, Philippines, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore.

          Countries Israel invaded since it became a state: Egypt (1956,1967), Lebanon (1978, 1982, 2006, and 13 Lebanese villages were occupied by the IDF during 1948), Syria (1967) and the remainder of Palestine not occupied in 1948 (1967).

          SMIA1948 says:

          I’m not concerned about the “merits” of the arguments on the two sides or about who did what to whom in the past. The U.S. didn’t argue with Imperial Japan over the fact that it had taken some of its territory from the Native Americans and the Mexicans. America simply destroyed and discredited the existing Japanese regime, and allowed a new group of Japanese leaders to emerge and make a lasting peace.

          Hamas has declared, in its charter, that it is not willing to share the earth with the state of Israel. They are firing hundreds of rockets into Israel to show that they mean it.

          It’s time for Israel to show Hamas respect by taking its declaration at face value, and taking the actions necessary to ensure that Hamas will no longer be forced to share the earth with Israel. Eventually, a more realistic leadership will emerge from the rubble and make peace.

          andrew r says:

          “I’m not concerned about the “merits” of the arguments on the two sides or about who did what to whom in the past.”

          That makes a whole lot of sense considering you care enough to opine that one party should carpet bomb the other.

          SMIA1948 says:

          Arguing “merits” is only productive when both sides are willing to be persuaded by argument. This does not appear to be the case here. If a conflict cannot be resolved by negotiation, it must be resolved by force. The way that the U.S. resolved its conflict with Imperial Japan in WWII is a reasonable model for how Israel can resolve its conflict with Hamas.

          andrew r says:

          Actually it isn’t, because with Hamas gone there will still be a conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. And while you might be obsessed with Hamas’ “crazed ideology,” Israel’s crazed ideology is what caused and continues the conflict.

          Babaoz says:

          sorry you’re out of date, Hamas a few months ago accepted a two state solution , thereby implicitly accepting the existence of the state of Israel. But you won’t believe me will you, since this “Hamas wants to destroy Israeli” line , is really rather convenient isn’t it.

          SMIA1948 says:

          Great! Let us know when Hamas amends their constitution to this effect. Until they do, this is all tactical B.S.

fred lapides says:

What is not noted: Hamas will continue to exist so long as they get funding from the many nations that want to see Israel harmed but do not want themselves to enter the fray “in person.”

    actually, Fred, Israel blocks their funding. they get weapons through tunnels, but no funding, because of Israel.

      kweansmom says:

      See yesterday’s article on the funding of Hamas.

      herbcaen says:

      Thanks for the Hamas hasbara, Ayla. Hamas gets its funding from Saudis, Iranians, and NGOs. Wired funds dont have to go thru border crossings, they flow seamlessly. Ayla, do you fund Hamas?

        the fact that they can’t receive funding freely the way other countries can speaks for itself. and, nah; I don’t think I’d fund a government who drags their own people to death. But I appreciate the “you’re with us or against us” mentality–that’s certainly worked for us in the past ;).

          herbcaen says:

          have you ever considered exercising your right to return to Michigan? Since Israel is worse than Syria or Auschwitz, why are you here? You are like someone who soils their own bed and then complains of the smell

          Herbcaen–articles like this are a deterrent from everything that really matters, and the only point I was trying to make about funding hamas is that israel controls legitimate funding to Fatah as well as Hamas; they are an occupied people, and that is bad for Israel. But here’s the only really important question: would you feel safer if we toppled Hamas, as this article suggests we do? Honestly. Would you? Without even getting into all the innocent lives that would be lost, lives I cried for last week, so if that’s what you mean about soiling my own place, then I guess I’m guilty, and people who manage to feel nothing over that are not? I have friends, Bedouin friends, with family in Gaza. They are humans to me, and not so far removed from myself. Oh no–an open heart in Israel that doesn’t care only about one kind of person–send her back to Michigan–that is un-holy! We can’t have that in the Holy Land–we’ve completely forgotten what the Torah says about how to be on this land; on any land. But anyway, Herb, would you feel safer?

          p.s. saying, when met with criticism of Israel, that the critic (in this case about the fact that Israel controls Palestinian funding) is making Israel out to be worse than auchwitz (wow) or syria, is a) ridiculous, b) anti-intellectual, c) exactly what keeps Israel stuck where we are. and you say I’m a hasbarist… interesting. Also, you say “here” in regard to Israel; I guess you’re a very early riser? Possible, just checking. you have a right to an opinion wherever you are–just keep it honest.

          herbcaen says:

          Ayla, there are many wonderful reasons to live in Israel. Unfortunately a small group of people live in Israel only to trash it and make a career of doing it. I believe you fit in this category. It is sad that you dont see any of the positive things about living in Israel, and that you use the Israel byline only to burnish your credentials while trashing it. Many Jews lived in S Africa, had nice lives there, but couldnt stomach the apartheid and racial discrimination, so they started new lives in Israel, the US, Australia, etc. Since you and your friends subscribed to Herr Desmond Tutus belief that Israel is worse than S Africa, the only honest thing to do is follow your friend Lisa Goldman back home

          Herbcaen–where on earth you get that I have nothing good to say about Israel is beyond me. I just don’t come onto blogs about wiping out Hamas–when I believe that is the worst thing possible to do for the future of Israel–and make a long list of the things I love about Israel. You, on the other hand, make a huge leap from my criticism to saying I think Israel is worse than Auchwitz, which is simply insane. I am here trying to help the Israel I love. I recognize that you are doing and saying what you do and say because it is what you believe is best for Israel. For you not to see that about me makes you a very narrow person.

          p.s. you apparently like to spend your time and energy tracking me on the internet while using a false name, here, yourself. And you apparently believe that there are only a small group of people here who care about Palestinian justice exactly because we care about Israel. The truth, however, is that where I live in the Negev, and also in my circles in Jerusalem, there are so many Israelis who are excited about the Palestinian U.N. bid, and you never hear from them on the internet because they don’t comment, nor are they activists or journalists. they were born here; they’ve learned to spare their energy between wars. Many people I know here, too, wanted the ceasefire last week; no one thinks that the war, or a further escalation such as what is being suggested in this article, makes/would make them safer. So we are not such a minority. If you want to disagree, fine, but stop bullying commenters here who disagree with you by making absurd leaps to our anti-Israeli-ness. I can’t wait to tell all the ISraelis I know who feel as I do that “Herbcaen” thinks their country is worse than Auchwitz. This is exactly the mentality that keeps us all stuck i this conflict.

          You’re an idiot.

      They get boatloads of cash thru those tunnels and openly brag about it.. Try again

        hi “Iran Aware”–I already came back and said this wasn’t my most important point, nor did I make it well, since the point I was trying to make is that Gaza and the West Bank are under Israeli control, so they can’t receive *legitimate* funding. Of course they get money, you are right. Anyway, I do not believe that stopping their funding, nor toppling them (the thesis of this article) will make a bit of difference in the long run. Palestinians need a good reason to topple Hamas themselves, which has to do with their quality of life. If we do it, we make things worse. If they do it, it’s true change. Nice name, btw, “Iran Aware”–continue on from comment thread to comment thread, spreading the word ;).

    more important than my comment about Israel controlling legitimate funding to hamas and fatah is this: it doesn’t matter. we won’t be more or less safe depending on how much funding they receive, because the more you suppress a people, the more violently they rise up for their own freedom; it will back fire. We’re asking all the wrong questions.

    the best way to defeat Hamas is to bolster Fatah, and Palestinian quality of life in the West Bank. You know what would have been the worst thing for Hamas? If the U.N. bid had been approved last September.

The problem isn’t Israel. As long as Israel is a military colony of the USA, they will have to continue to settle for limited response. The Saudi/Islamist influence, dominates the world media and halls of power. Hence the rising support for Palestinian issues, including support for Hamas. One only has to look at the difference in responce for about 170 Palestinian dead, mostly Hamas thugs with civilians killed largely by the Hamas tactic of hiding behind civilians, and the limited condemnation of Syria’s 40,000+ dead, mostly civilian deliberately targeted by the Assad regime.

    the only thing sillier is saying Israel is military colony of the United States would be to say that Israel is a military colony of Iran Did your mother drop you on your head,you cannot get anymore silly

    Pam Green says:

    Israel is not a military colony of the U.S. Israel leads the U.S. in military technology and, at this point, Israel and the U.S. have become competitors in military equipment sales. As for Assad, no proof has ever been brought forth that Assad killed 40,000. It’s the Islamist terrorists (the so-called ‘rebels’) who are slaughtering people with guns intentionally provided to them by Obama.

There is an underlying assumption in so many “pro-Israel” perspectives that Israel is only the victim, only reacting. This is garbage. Not only that, but let’s say we actually defeated Hamas–who are certainly an unseemly leadership–once and for all, according to the thesis of this article. Who believes that would make Israel safer? Many more children and other innocent humans–both Gazan and Israeli, though many more Gazan–would die, and we would be less safe in the end. Anyone who sees this risk as worthwhile is dehumanizing Palestinians.

PaulHalsall says:

The IRA realised they could not win the demographic long game. Palestinians already seem to have won that game, and now it is just a matter of waiting until the under 18 year olds grow up.

Meanwhile the British never bombed the Bogside in Derry or other areas harbouring IRA terrorists. Hey, we did not even initiate a boycott of the USA which allowed NORAID to raise funds and where still prominent congressmen (i.e. Peter King) openly supported the IRA.

A solution based on peace would be much better.

Not to mention, of course, that, evil as many Tamil Tigers actions were, massive war crimes against civilians were done to beat them.

I wonder if Mr. Roberts also approves of the “successful” campaigns against the Kulaks in the USSR?

    genelevit says:

    No, it is more like successful campaign against nazis in WWII. Don’t you have a pity for the German children killed in Dresden, Hamburg, Keningsberg and Berlin?

      PaulHalsall says:

      Yes, I think Dresden in particular was a war crime, like Nagasaki, and the post Nagasaki bomb runs over Tokyo so that the US could “go out with a big show.”

        How anyone in your right mind can say Nagasaki was a war crime in the end it saved Japanese lives more important in time of war. It saved American lives. PS if you Were not Jewish the Japanese were much more vicious then the Germans they were murdering over 200,000 Chinese every month in the only country to lose a higher percentage of its people then the Philippines was Poland who were murdered by Nazis and Marxists. I lived in Japan and loved it. But never would let them play victim

        genelevit says:

        OK, so you think that Nagaski was a war crime but sacrificing thousands of American citizens in order to capture the islands and end the war – wouldn’t be a crime? (if you could end the war without casualties). And why Dresden and not Berlin “in particular”? Is that because children in Berlin were killed by Russians and not by British or for some other reason? (More German civilians were killed during attack on Berlin than in Dresden, BTW).
        Who do you think should be responsible for the casualties among civilians – the side which accidentally kills them during military operation or the side which started the hostilities?
        (Here is the simpler question: During bank robbery and exchange of fire between policeman and the robber the policemen ACCIDENTALLY kills bystander. Who should be responsible for his death – the policemen or the robber? What do you think? )

          PaulHalsall says:

          I think all area bombing was immoral, but it may have been necessary to end the wars against very evil enemies.

          But both Nagasaki and Dresden (and the huge Tokyo raid after Nagasaki) were about causing more destruction after the allies knew the war was won.

          I have never bought the “Hiroshima saved a million lives” line, but even accepting that for the sake of argument, there was no justification for Nagasaki just three days later: that was just done to try to convince Stalin the US had a lot more such bombs (when in fact the US only had one other in reserve.)

          genelevit says:

          I’m glad that you know why USA bombed Nagasaki. I just want to tell you that Stalin didn’t need the second bomb to realize that he needs it too. As to the bombing of Dresden – the allies indeed knew by that time that they already won the war. However, they had also to convince Germans as well. When you are saying that the bombing of Dresden was a war crime and immoral because it brought death to many civilians you sound like a very arrogant person since you don’t really know if it brought more deaths or less. It is very much possible that this bombing saved more lives than it took away, even among Germans, not to mention the innocent prisoners of the concentration camps: Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Serbs, etc

          Saint_Etienne says:

          Tha analogy is flawed, as carpet bombing is an intentional, rather than accidental, killing of bystanders.
          You may instead make the case that German or japanese children are not actually bystanders, since they can grow up to be soldiers. But that would be parroting an old PLO/Hamas line…

          genelevit says:

          The intention was not to kill bystanders but to destroy German economy. And I may just repeat what I already said: you don’t know what could cause more deaths among civilians (including German civilians): carpet bombing or few extra months of war. Therefore don’t judge them.
          Israel, BTW, didn’t use carpet bombing in Gaza. However it has been criticized for its actions by the British “progressives” more than they had ever criticized their own government for the carpet bombings of Germany.

          Saint_Etienne says:

          I am not in the judging business here – it’s just that when I see a flawed argument, I point it out.

          And I am not sure what your present argument is: that the bombing of Dresden shortened the war? I don’t think so.

          I am not sure I like to call it a “war crime” because the modern concept of war crimes largely emerged from the aftermath of WWII. What the Germans did (and to a large extent the Japanese) was so abhorrent and so inhuman that it should have been obvious to them in real time they were perpetrating horrible crimes.

          Carpet bombings were then, if I understand correctly, considered part of the legitimate way to wage war – this understanding shifted later, so I am willing to give the Brits and Americans the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe even on the atomic bomb which might have been perceived more like an extra-mega-super-strong bomb of the usual variety and less like the doomsday device we now know it to be.

          But while I do not label the bombing of Dresden as an actual war crime, I do hold that it was an act of wanton destruction and that involved not a small measure of moral callousness. If you could make a convincing case that it was militarily justified, I’d change my opinion, but I know of no such argument.

          genelevit says:

          Now we are talking about Dresden instead of Gaza. Yes, bombing of Dresden shortened the war significantly. You obviously don’t know the history if you claim otherwise. How many days Red Army needed to capture the city (German or of German ally) of the similar size? Let say Konigsberg or Budapest or even Vienna? And how many days Red Army needed to capture Dresden? Check it out. Not to mention that after the bombing (only “after” but not a day before) Wehrmacht soldiers started to surrender on the Western front by huge numbers. (between Feb 18 and beginning of March 280 thousands POWs). Just a coincidence?

          Saint_Etienne says:

          Well, I was talking to you about Dresden to begin with. Anyway: I still doubt your assertion that the bombing of Dresden actually shortened the war. Can you produce some reliable source for that? For instance, where do the Feb18-March28 statistics come from? Why this particular timeframe? I am also afraid you conflate the Eastern and Western Fronts a bit.

          I do not claim a very detailed knowledge of this phase of the war, but a quick lookup on the History Channel page produced no corroboration of your claims.

          So, I am looking forward to seeing those references, but perhaps without holding my breath too much.

          genelevit says:

          Look, even the article you referred me to, admits: The Allies claimed that by bombing Dresden, they were disrupting important lines of communication that would have hindered the Soviet offensive. THIS MAYBE TRUE, but there is no disputing that the British incendiary attack on the night of February 13-14 was conducted also, if not primarily, for the purpose of terrorizing the German population and forcing an early surrender”. And they achieved their goal. After bombing of Dresden, Hamburg and Leipzig Germans on the Western front basically stopped fighting (excluding just few hard boiled “patriots”). This is a huge subject and I cannot convince you by my short comment. You may read yourself: there was only one German city of good size that did not offer Soviets fierce resistance. That was Dresden.

          Leslie78 says:

          People usually say Dresden was unnecessarily bombed because it had no military or strategic value. Also, it was a city of enormous beauty and many wonderful structures were destroyed.

          genelevit says:

          check wikipedia: “During the foundation of the German Empire in 1871, a large military facility called Albertstadt was built.[9]… The garrison saw only limited use between 1918 and 1934, but was then reactivated in preparation for the Second World War.
          Its usefulness was limited by attacks on 17 April 1945…” (bombing of Dresden)

    mouskatel says:

    Palestinian birthrate is going down, Jewish Israeli is going up. Try again.

Federico Marini says:

Il paradosso é che i cittadini ebrei dello Stato Ebraico,evito di parlare di Israeliani, perché ci sono quelli obbligatoriamente israeliani e quelli che pur essendo ad esempio italiani, o sedicenti italiani, mentono spudoratamente perché la loro vera patria é Israele, pur dicendosi, abusando, occidentali, ignorano tutto dell’Occidente vero, ch’è l’Europa ed anche dell’ Oriente, pur essendo fondamentalmente degli orientali.

E’ per questa ignoranza che non si capisce la dicotomia tra la politica ad esempio dei paesi arabi sunniti, come l’Arabia Saudita, che li spinge sebbene di mala voglia a dare una mano agli Usa ed indirettamente ad Israele. mano che poi lavano per la vergogna. in senso antiiraniano e la “emozione”, che li sollecita nel contempo ad aiutare i loro fratelli arabi, che lottano per la libertà,nonostante il maggiore alleato di questi sia proprio il “nemico tradizionale” l’Iran.

Aggiungo che ora gli stessi popoli sunniti cominciano a rumoreggiare contro i loro governi, il Qatar è disposto a fare ponti d’oro ai cittadini di Gaza e l’ha dimostrato e la stessa monarchia Saudita comincia a riflettere sul suo futuro.

Lo stesso Scià di Persia, pur professandosi alleato degli Usa e forzatamente anche vostro, inviava una barca di denaro ai Palestinesi ,in lotta.

Per quanto riguarda il vecchio continente, il vero Occidente, molti governi si portano ancora dietro il retaggio della sconfitta della seconda guerra mondiale, la cosiddetta colpa dell’olocausto e recitano la loro contiguità al semitismo ebraico,anche quando commette crimini davanti alle telecamere, non escludendo lo stesso Stato Pontificio, si sentono vili e colpevoli e cercano di lavare la loro cattiva coscienza di essere troppo sordi e troppo ciechi,con gli aiuti alle vostre vittime.

La Storia finora vi h concesso forse per mal gestita “pietas”, forse perché distratta, troppo tempo, ma ora comincia a dire basta. Siete troppo presuntuosi o stupidi per accorgervene? Io che leggo il Daily Forward ed il nuovo Tablet, Jerusalem post., Haaretz, sono sicuro che ve ne siete già accorti.


Federico Marini.


genelevit says:

Hamas has widespread support not only from the radical Islamists (like Iran) but also from the group of western influential bohemians, who call themselves “progressives”.,7340,L-4312929,00.html
It is not easy to fight on two fronts: one against medieval hoodlums and another against modern self-righteous as*holes (BBC staff, Chomsky, Leigh, Redgrave, Carter, etc)

“Defeat Hamas. There, I Said It.”

“We must drop the assumption that there is no way to vanquish Hamas. Terrorists have been defeated before.”

By Andrew Roberts|November 28, 2012 7:00 AM


See: “Sleep on precious one…”

See: “Pillar of Cloud” and “Desolation”

See: Moses and Jesus prophesy Israel’s disobedience and destruction:

Given that most people of Gaza had their homes in Israel before 1948, the best way to defeat Hamas would be to let them live throughout Palestine (Now known as the Zionist entity Israel) and rebuild their houses that were demolished. It’s the right thing to do, but it also means Israel can’t be a Jewish state anymore, so of course it will continue to commit warcrimes in order to keep the gains from previous warcrimes.

    Yeah, there’s a working solution. Or not. Sorry alrf, but Jews no longer allow their own throats to be slit for the pleasure of the anti-Semites.

      yeah jacob, bc Palestinians want nothing more than to slit Jewish throats. fucking racist moron.

        Actually, yes, a lot of Palestinians want nothing more than to kill Jewish Israelis, to the extent that they rejoice in suicidal attacks on civilians on a range of scales, from suicide bombings to rocket wars to September 11th. This is clearly not to say that ALL Palestinians feel this way, nor is it to say that the majority of Palestinians feel this way (although that may, in fact, be the case). But if you listen to what Palestinian leaders say, or what crowds of Palestinians chant at protests and rallies around Gaza and the West Bank, it is patently obvious that Palestinians who prefer killing Jews to working out a liveable solution have the ability to carry out whatever violence pleases them, while Palestinians who prefer peace have absolutely no say. Get your head out of the sand.

          andrew r says:

          On the other hand, Israel and the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the state actually succeeded in killing enough Palestinians they were able to steal their land. Most people who commit violence do so for a material reason, not because they are bloodthirsty maniacs out for the fun of it. No doubt when Israel finds a way to exist as a Jewish state without violence, it will be perfectly reasonable to demand the same of Palestinian resistance.

          That argument works only as long as you ignore both the attempts by the Palestinians to kill enough Jews, and then the subsequent invasion by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, with the explicit goal of destroying Israel and slaughtering its Jewish population.

          Again your claim that it is Israel, which as attempted to make peace with these groups, only to see continued calls for their lives (see Egypt now under the Muslim Brotherhood), shows a certain bankruptcy to your argument.

          andrew r says:

          Look, you can superimpose the persecution of Jews in Europe onto Arab opposition to the Zionist project and pretend that’s just another case of antisemitism. You can play that game all you want. Anyone who does their homework on Zionism and doesn’t have a partisan interest in defending it can see the Zionists made their Arab enemies fair and square. They are the aggressors in this conflict because they immigrated to Palestine with the intention of replacing the Palestinians, and eventually created a Jewish majority by forcing them across the armistice lines; any violence to defend the Jewish state from being retaken by its rightful inhabitants, the Palestinian refugees, is an extension of that aggression. The original intent was violent and the execution was violent.

          Anyway, the Muslim Brotherhood has been contradictory on Egypt’s relationship with Israel. As long as they’re taking US aid they know what’s good for them.

          There is nothing to superimpose andrew. The Arab political leadership of the day said it quite explicitly and publicly. Their goal was to destroy the newborn state of Israel and if they wound up crushing every last Jew to do so, were quite ready and willing to go that far. Indeed, Israel suffered casualties that amounted to 10% of its population during the 1948 war as a result of the Arab invasion.

          As for the wider issue of anti-Semitism, it was found throughout the Arab world, which decided that after over a millenia of habitation, to purge their nations of their Jewish citizens.

          As for your claim of non-partisanship, it falls by the wayside given your continued comments about the ‘Zionist project’. The idea that immigration into a region is ‘fair and square grounds’ for destruction is idiocy, and racist to boot. Your argument that the Jews were ethnically cleansing Arabs ignores the reality that Jews were ethnically cleansed from the towns and villages in the West Bank, and the city of Jerusalem, which held a Jewish majority population, was not only ethnically cleansed, but saw its religious sites desecrated and destroyed.

          Given the ethnic cleansing of Jews, the idea that the Palestinians, and only the Palestinians are the ‘rightful inhabitants’ of the land is false and the idea that the original intent of the Jews was violence is equally false and ignores the many acts of violence, both individual and group, undertaken by the Arabs pre-1948.

          As for the MB’s actions, go take a look at what is being put into the Egyptian Constitution this week before declaring how wonderful their relationship with Israel will be.

          andrew r says:

          First of all, the situation for Middle Eastern Jews since WWII is not interchangeable with the Palestinians. And the legal situation is not the same in every country. While Jews may have fled Morocco and Tunisia following independence because of pogroms or whatever the reason, those countries technically give Jews the right to return.


          Also Lebanon has a large diaspora thanks to the civil war that’s not limited to Jews, and they’ve never lost their citizenship. The Magen Abraham synagogue in Beirut was recently restored.

          I’m not going to pretend that Jews did not face violence in these countries, but to say they have an open-ended policy of ethnically cleansing Jews is asinine.

          Even if it is the case that after a millenia the Arab world spontaneously decided to purge itself of all Jews, the Palestinians who were expelled by the Zionists did not do anything to their persecutors and should not be held responsible for what was done by a third party just because they are Arabs.

          “The idea that immigration into a region is ‘fair and square grounds’ for destruction is idiocy, and racist to boot.”

          See, your rephrasing has nothing to do with what I said; Of course I did use some of those words but you omit a few others, which amazingly, changes the meaning. “they immigrated to Palestine with the intention of replacing the Palestinians” That preposition is important. There is a litany of quotes from major and minor Zionist figures that propose transferring the Arabs going back to Herzl. One good example is a letter of Arthur Ruppin’s from 1914:

          “In May 1914, to note one example, 255 he submitted his plan for the transfer of Arabs from Palestine to Syria. In a letter to Dr. Victor
          Jacobson256 he wrote: “We are considering a parallel Arab colonization. Thus, we are planning to buy land in the regions of Homs,257 Aleppo etc. which we will sell under easy terms to those Palestinian fellahin who have been harmed by our land purchases.”258 Ruppin to Jacobson, [12 May 1914],
          pp.1-2, (CZA L2/34ii); extract reprinted in: (Alsberg 1955/6, 206-07).
          [Bloom 363]”

          So while Ruppin here is proposing a less overtly violent way to get rid of the Arabs, this letter still shows getting rid of them was part and parcel of creating a Zionist state, irregardless of what they’ve done to Jews. The Zionists had to turn to violence because buying land and mass immigration wasn’t sufficient; eventually the Arabs had to be removed by force. The motive for removing them clearly existed before and regardless of what any Arab party did.

          Jacob or is it Jakob? Jewish settlement in the middle east has come at a massive cost to the Palestinians and local Arab nations. Israel brought this fight to the Arab nations not the other way around. Palestinians and Hamas were not travelling to Europe to “slit Jew’s throats” they had nothing to do with the European persecution of the Jews. It was when the Jews landed by force on their doorstep and brought the war with them that the middle east turmoil began and has not stopped. It began with Jewish settlement so a logical assumption is that it can also end with Jewish removal, hence Hamas wanting to eradicate the state of Israel “remove the cause, removes the problem”. An interesting point is that Hamas never existed prior to Israeli occupation (dramatic music) dun dun dun dun dunnn!!! “For every action there is a reaction” Hamas is the reaction to Israeli aggression, Israeli aggression created this monster.

          Hamas is no more a terrorist organisation than any group who vows to protect their land, families and way of life from invaders at all cost. If that is the criteria of a terrorist than just about every American I know has a terrorist ideology. If you came into Texas trying to take our land and build “Israeli only settlements” (which is a great example of Israeli racism and apartheid ideology) every Texan would get the biggest gun they own and shoot at you also. Israel plays the proverbial victim when in truth it’s forced settlement and occupation of already occupied land is what started this.

        Itamar massacre: Fogel family butchered while sleeping

        Names of Itamar attack victims cleared for publication Saturday evening: Udi Fogel, 36, Ruth Fogel, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and three-month-old Hadas were stabbed to death. Surviving kids staying with grandparents

        Yair AltmanLatest Update: 03.13.11, 00:27 / Israel News
        Palestinian TV airs show praising Fogel family murderer

        In weekly show dedicated to Palestinian prisoners in Israel, Hakim Awad’s mother and aunt describe convicted perpetrator of Itamar attack as a ‘hero and legend.’

        By Avi Issacharoff | Jan.29, 2012 | 3:35 PM |

        Tel Aviv bus hit by bomb; Hamas celebrates

        By Rami Amichai

        TEL AVIV | Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:12am EST(Reuters) – A bomb exploded on a bus in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding 15 people in what Israeli officials said was a terrorist attack that could complicate efforts to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

        Celebratory gunfire rang out across Gaza as the news spread and the territory’s Islamist rulers Hamas praised the bombing, but no one claimed immediate responsibility.

      andrew r says:

      That’s a real nice remark about the people killed in the Holocaust and pogroms. They allowed it.

        We were herded into the gas chambers andrew.

        the phrase “Never Again” means something to us.

          andrew r says:

          Not herded, forced at gunpoint. You don’t herd sheep by starving them in a ghetto. Zionists don’t seem to realize that likening Holocaust victims to sheep is an act of dehumanization.

          Yes herded andrew. Jews were dehumanized to the point of near extinction in Europe.

          And your claim that the Palestinians should be included in that phrase to is equally disgusting. Jews are not the new Nazis and no one is trying to exterminate the Palestinians.

          This is especially true in light of the ideology of Palestinian groups like HAMAS, which do call for the religiously-sanctioned slaughter of Jews and the total destruction of Israel.

          andrew r says:

          Many Palestinian civilians have been killed so Israel can become (and remain) a Jewish state. They’ve died for a racist cause. The numbers aren’t equivalent; the grotesque sacrifice imposed on those who died is.

          The idea that Jewish nationalism, alone among all the nationalisms of the world, is racist again exposes your claim that you are a non-partisan as a lie. It also makes you out to be a bigot.

          Given HAMAS’ own explicit call to slaughter the Jews, one voice among many in both the Palestinian communities and the wider Arab and Muslim world, shows that while their deaths are gross sacrifices, it comes as a cost borne by Arab instringence to Jews living in an independent state. But hey, why worry about that when Jews have been ethnically cleansed from practically every Arab state in the world.

    genelevit says:

    Start from yourself, Andrew. Give your home to the local Indians and go back where your ancestors came from. Instead of bla-bla-bla … Maybe when Israelis will see your example they will follow. Prove that you are not a hypocrite.

      andrew r says:

      There are other examples Israelis can follow.

      And you probably know that Germany makes it easy to become a naturalized citizen if your ancestors were expelled by the Nazis.

      Anyway, whether or not America ever de-colonizes, there is no reason Americans shouldn’t turn against supporting Israel when they foot the military aid themselves.

        genelevit says:

        I am just saying that it is easy to be a hypocrite.

          andrew r says:

          Certainly. Supporting Israel goes against everything we learn about racism in public school.

          Wonder what school you attended if that’s your claim. Israel is a liberal democracy which even bans the death penalty. It protect minorities, and allows Arabs to vote, serve in its Parliment, on its high-courts, in its military, in its hospitals and on its sports fields, as both player and referee. It protects a free press, both domestic and foreign, allows ethnic and cultural minorities, including gays and lesbians to live in peace.

          Contrast that with HAMAS ruled Gaza with Farfur the Mouse, PA ruled West Bank where its President has declared that any future Palestinian state will be ethnically cleansed of Jews. Or perhaps Syria? Or Egypt? Or maybe even Saudi Arabia?

          Try again.

          andrew r says:

          “allows ethnic and cultural minorities, including gays and lesbians to live in peace”

          I could explain how that’s a load of crap if I thought you’d listen. Starting with the frequent demolitions of makeshift towns like al-Arakib.

          Right, a whole load of crap. You realize you utter these words a day after Muhammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami was sentenced to life for the high crime of ‘poetry’ in Qatar.

          I hate to burst your bubble andrew, but the United States has the law of eminent domain on its books and uses it quite regularly.

          andrew r says:

          I’ve argued in other places that the USA practices de-facto racism, so you can keep the double standard accusations.

          By the way, if you are that concerned about human rights in Qatar, you might consider that Israel takes military aid from a country that uses Qatar as an airbase.

          genelevit says:

          It tells rather about quality of education in public schools

          andrew r says:

          Well, yeah, the fact that we don’t learn Israel practices racial segregation is huge blindspot.

Gastone Ciucci Neri says:

yeha, I am sure that Israel can defeat Hamas. One of the most powerful army in the world against a bunch of desperados, no match. May be Israel instead of dropping the usual GBU -15 ordinance from the F-15s this time could use few of its 200 atomic bombs. Cleaner and faster job ! The Palestine problem solved once and for all in Israel style.

Habbgun says:

Expulsion will be the end of it all. Either Jews or Palestinians. Expulsion of the Palestinian now is the most humane solution and not for Israel but for the Palestinians. With the Arab Spring the previous states are falling and what it means to be a citizen of an Arab country is changing also. They stayed in refugee camps because that was what the corrupt leadership of those countries wanted. Now that those leaders are done for we are looking at a hopeful new beginning. Let us not waste it.

The interesting thing about Andrew Roberts comments is that this was the same argument pre-Defensive Shield when PM Sharon rolled the IDF back into the PA controlled areas of the West Bank.

Everyone screamed bloody murder (remember Jenin?) and yet, after a fight, the IDF controlled the ground, and Israel, working with the PA, shut down the armed factions including the suicide bombers.

Unfortunately, while this can work for Gaza too, it still leaves Israel with the quandry of how to deal with the Palestinians and wider Arab world that still cannot accept the idea of an independent Jewish state living at peace in the neighborhood.

The IRA weren’t defeated. They forced the British government to the negotiating table, forced them to accept IRA leaders in government, the restructuring of governance in the north of Ireland to end discrimination and the principle that in a future referendum the north can vote itself out of the UK. Are you prepared to share power with Hamas and end laws that privilege Jews in Israel/Palestine? I doubt it. Bad analogy buddy. Stick with talking about things you know something about.

    hadhrami says:

    “the principle that in a future referendum the north can vote itself out of the UK” A lot of people saw this as a major defeat for the IRA as they’d been killing people for 25 years on the basis that the majority in the north should NOT get to decide whether or not they got to become part of the Republic of Ireland. Ultimately the IRA realised they weren’t going to be able to force the North into the Republic by using terrorism and went with democracy instead. If you don’t achieve your “war” aims then most would see that as a defeat.

      Babaoz says:

      it’s called compromise, and peace was only achieved in N.Ireland because both sides practiced it. It’s a nuance that’s rather too complicated for most on this forum.

dongszkie says:

Even IF Hamas is eradicated that will NOT change the picture and reality to the Jewish state of Israel. Terrorism is not a monopoly of Hamas, it’s the whole muslim and arab society that is terrorizing Israel and Hamas or Hezbollah,and others are just their wielded clubb of choice. While there is muslim or arab society Israel should resigned to the reality of dealing w/ terror all their life. Both will remain and both is destined to be permanent—a sort of status quo blight for humanity.

I think mr. Roberts oversees some points, which makes the pessimistic vision seem more realistic as well.

The IRA for example wasn’t beaten by raining down rockets on them, it was beaten by means of espionage & sabotage. That’s why they entered negociations, because their organisation was starting to become cripled. The IRA could be defeated by the British government, because of some circumstances which are very hard to reproduce, or plainly missing in the case of Hamas. Think for example of the fact that the British government had a much larger grip on Northern Ireland than Israel has on Gaza.
Now of course Israel could*, but is – I hope – not stupid enough to start a long, expensive, messy prolonged ground war like in Sri Lanka. However, what Mr. Roberts seems to forget is that the Sri Lankan regime*2 not only had as goal to defeat the Tamil Tigers*3, but to reconquer the country, though that might also be a wish of Mr. Roberts.
That is not to say it is impossible to defeat Hamas, just that I don’t see how Israel would do it.

Lastly, I’d also say that even if they manage to defeat Hamas, there will be new groups. That is not as my direct predecessor suggested, because it is inherent to Arab culture, but – as with European right-wing populist ((crypto-)antisemitic) parties – because they come forth out of real concerns. That is the root of the problem.

* Or actually, maybe it couldn’t. It would be economic self-mutilation in the long term.

* 2 hich is btw not so much on the side of civilization as he suggests, that is if one wouldn’t choose to overlook a quite unignorable record of corruption.

*3 Which is not the same as the “Tamils” which is the civil population, although Mr. Roberts perhaps has a habit of equating civil populations with terrorists.

Plumbline says:

The terrorists will get their just dues eventually………

…..Matthew 13:41
The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness

RasInNm says:

Hamas will by becoming obsolete. The IRA became obsolete when the Irish economy improved to the extent that rebellion became a much less attractive alternative. Can the Gazan economy be invigorated? Probably-with the help of the Egyptians and others who would gain from a less restive and more productive Gaza. At the same time, municipal services like hospitals, schools and care centers could be set up to eliminate the Hamas monopoly. The biggest problem is with the sentiment of many in Gaza (and the West Bank, too) that their life in Palestine is just a phase and that real life will begin when they return to the homes they abandoned/lost. This is a problem because they can’t be compensated and relocated. If they see that they can better provide for themselves and their children in their new homeland, then that problem too will end. It is ironic that one of the first acts of a Palestine homeland will be to allow much of the population to ‘self-deport’ if they also get the ‘right of return’.

Hamas is not terrorist. They may wish to remove the millions of European and American Jews who have emigrated there over the last six decades, taking their land and homes. But Israel is actually doing it. Look what the UN gave – without Palestinian consent – to Israel in 1947. Look what they have now. They just keep taking, and expect an occupied , defeated people just to be quiet and accept it. Palestine is occupied, Resistance is a duty. And if you look at the last attack on Gaza, Hamas’s military-to-civilian kill ratio was much better than the Israeli one. It always has been.

    Saint_Etienne says:

    Are you aware of the fact that in 1947 the Arabs actually started a war instead of accepting the Partition? Are you aware of the fact that they lost it?

      andrew r says:

      Are you aware that Deir Yassin made a non-aggression pact with Givat Shaul (neighboring settlement), adhered to the pact and was attacked by the Irgun with Haganah backup? I posted an extended quote from ‘Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited’ in this thread. (For good measure, it mentions Qaluniya and al-Maliha also refused to join the irregulars).

      A similar situation played out in Sheikh Muwannis, a village subsumed into Tel Aviv. The villagers fled after 5 of them were kidnapped by the Irgun, and the Israeli govt. did not permit their return (Of course).

Sheryl says:

Yes on the moral equivalency issue. But you’ve left out a more-than-minor detail: the thousands (tens of thousands? more?) Gazans who are opposed to Hamas, but cannot speak out in order to make change. You’re suggesting a civilian bloodbath.

Leslie78 says:

The articles in Tablet have gotten much better lately. Realistic, honest commentary on the situation in Israel. Such a refreshing break from the liberal apologies of the past few years.

    Pam Green says:

    Maybe so but Tablet still allows a lot of anti-Semitic propaganda on these threads – for example, “andrew r” below and others.

What a great one-sided article, you wouldn’t know what it means to be objective. If Israel returned all the Palestinian land they have systematically stolen and committed to rebuild all the homes they illegally destroyed forcing Palestinians in refugee camps I guarantee you Hamas would stop firing rockets, they have honored many ceasefires after negotiations gaining them far less. Let’s also look at who broke the last two ceasefires….Israel with an election looming the PM is trying to win the hardliner votes. By showing just how “serious” he is about illegally occupying other peoples land and treating the Palestinians the same as Hitler treated the Jews in the early 1930’s. I think its a modern day tragedy or as Jimmy Carter put it one of the worst examples of de-humanization he can think of, he compared it to South Africa’s Apartheid. After all the persecution and mistreatment the Jewish race has suffered you would think they would have some empathy or at least some deep rooted sense of shame over the way they treat their Palestinian neighbors, it is atrocious!

    HAMAS’ own leadership has said it will never make peace with Israel.

    Your racist ideology is seen with your attempt to compare the Jews to the Nazis. It’s a charge that is ugly as it is false.

      Well Jacob, would you make peace with your neighbors if they occupied
      your house? Forced your family to live in sub-human condition refugee
      camps while they built on your land? And established military
      checkpoints all over your land forcing you to carry identification to
      get from point A to B on your own land? No one in their right mind

      You need to re-read my post, I never said they were Nazi’s
      the nazi party with Hitler as chancellor didn’t have power in Germany
      till 1933. I compared their treatment of their Palestinian neighbors to
      Hitlers early 1930’s treatment of the Jews. Systematic persecution,
      isolation, propaganda, physical and mental abuse on going
      De-humanisation, confiscation of property and land rights these are all
      methods Hitler used early in his political career to persecute the Jews
      and now Israel uses these same tactics against Palestinians. That is a
      simple fact, you should read one of the many books and 1000’s of
      articles written by western journalist identifying Israel’s progressive
      theft, abuse and imprisonment of the Palestinians.

      Israel since
      1967 has broken 54 UN charter agreement, Geneva conventions and
      international road map laws relating to their “treatment” of the
      Palestinians, but you probably don’t want to research this and discover
      the truth.

sympathetic newsreader says:

My understanding was Israel does not wish to rule the palestinians so, defeating their leaders was never an objective. The point was to stop the hail of rockets in the south for the benefit of civilians where the reasoning goes after that and whether it holds is the cause of fuss at the moment. What are you saying that you rather would over turn the table and go hell for leather rather than allow those civilians to enjoy some calm in their lives? I do not think Israel wants to be the one responsible for breaking the cease fire. Well whose problem is it something else also did happen in all those above scenarios ‘something’ dawned on someone but that is no guarentee it will dawn on Islam. There is a half hearted hope that they will be educated through various levels of skirmishing of what the boundaries are ultimate acceptance and reconciliation to the hard facts of life and reality, is not victory, stalemate or defeat exactly. America has observed it has not entered into an old fashioned war with british gentlemen who yeild to save the lives of their men or whatever, with all those military customs in fact we still have relatively little insight into what is what and why with no more guarantees of what tomorrow will bring either than we had yesterday. The reconciliation (not targeted killing) of some of those folks has not meant that they all agreed or that nobody will ever blow a fuse lose their temper get angry and do something regrettable in the future either.

I have now been told by someone using a dead holocaust survivor’s name that I’m “an idiot”. I haven’t commented on Tablet for over a year, but when I did a year ago, the same thing happened. This place is awful, and it’s especially awful for Jews and for Israel. Where are the monitors, here? In my opinion (and I do live in the Negev, with Israeli citizenship), the only way to take Hamas down–and everyone wants to do this–is by ending the occupation, improving the lives of Palestinians, and letting them take Hamas down. Already there are plenty of people in Gaza who hate Hamas, but they can’t speak out freely, as all of you must know, because surely that’s part of why you don’t like Hamas, right? If we take them down, more will rise up. And there are *always* ways to get people money, especially in the middle east. we’re asking all the wrong questions. If you disagree, I recognize that it’s because you feel differently about what’s good for Israel. I wouldn’t call you names, and if I did, I’d do it with my own name, and certainly not in the name of a dead survivor of Auchwitz. you know where you’re allowed to freely criticize Israel without being called horrible things? In Israel, where everyone in my desert community seems happy about the U.N. bid approval, and upset about Bibi’s approval of 3,000 more settlement homes including in area E-1 which would limit palestinians’ movement between areas of Palestine. and we are now allowed to call it “Palestine”. the people around me are not activists or journalists; they’re just good, old-fashioned Israelis who want to get on with peace.

Defeat Israel. How about that instead.

Jacob Blues you should watch this, some great middle east conflict insight from former US president Jimmy Carter!

Jacob Blue or is it Jakob Blue? Jewish settlement in the middle east has come at a
massive cost to the Palestinians and local Arab nations. Israel brought
this fight to the Arab nations not the other way around. Palestinians
and Hamas were not travelling to Europe to “slit Jew’s throats” they had
nothing to do with the European persecution of the Jews. It was when
the Jews landed by force on their doorstep and brought the war with them
that the middle east turmoil began and has not stopped. It began with
Jewish settlement so a logical assumption is that it can also end with
Jewish removal, hence Hamas wanting to eradicate the state of Israel
“remove the cause, removes the problem”. An interesting point is that
Hamas never existed prior to Israeli occupation (dramatic music) dun dun
dun dunnn!!! “For every action there is a reaction” Hamas is the
reaction to Israeli aggression, Israeli aggression created this monster.

Hamas is no more a terrorist organisation than any group who vows to
protect their land, families and way of life from invaders at all cost.
If that is the criteria of a terrorist than just about every American I
know has a terrorist ideology. If you came into Texas trying to take our
land and build “Israeli only settlements” (which is a great example of
Israeli racism and apartheid ideology) every Texan would get the biggest
gun they own and shoot at you also. Israel plays the proverbial victim
when in truth it’s forced settlement and occupation of already occupied
land is what started this.

Thank you Andrew Roberts, non Jewish historian par excellence. You said what had to be said. A wonderful Chanuka message. Thank you for your clear insight and wisdom.

Babaoz says:

I’m British, and the author’s analogy with the IRA is not correct. The british government sat down with the IRA when they were still terrorists , and then brokered a deal with some concessions to the IRA. They now share power with the people who are loyal to the crown. So please Mr Roberts , don’t make false comparisons, even if they do suite your topic.

thewisebard says:

Recommended viewing: The Battle of Algiers

TorontoBobby says:

First and most important step toward defeating Hamas is to stop arms coming in from Egypt.

Guest Ish says:

“Just do it!” may be correct but it’s not a complete strategic plan, General Reebok!

Hamas may think that forcing Israel to pay for an expensive and extremely lengthy occupation is victory of a kind, for example. They wouldn’t be entirely wrong about that.

So here’s my strategic plan: Invade and yet… don’t immediately occupy. How does that work?

Use ground forces to split the Gaza Strip into 3 sections with no communications between them. Occupy only the strips of land necessary to make and enforce those divisions.

If that is insufficient force to cause real change (as is likely) then send in heavy raids into sections as necessary, or simply maintain the splits and demonstrate that that can be done rather inexpensively. Help ‘tother faction reestablish control in at least one of the newly divided sections, or at least get out of their way as they do so. Still no real compliance? Occupy the middle section or least resistant section thoroughly and reduce its military potential and equipment to nil. Allow residents movement out if they wish that. Allow peaceable residents of other sections movement IN if they please. Let that simmer for a few months. This isn’t an outrageously expensive operation compared to full occupation, and is something of a close siege. More action needed to get any significant compliance? Place the most resistant section under tight siege, also allowing careful civilian movement out for more months, while performing short strikes at an increasing pace. Finally, go in for a full occupation of that section if needed – which isn’t unlikely, but will meet considerably less resistance at that point. Feel free to pull back to the divisions as a less expensive alternative to full occupation if desired, or necessary to allow action vs Iran.

If low cost is more important than speedy results, just create the splits and finally enforce them largely remotely, by mechanical means (few or no boots on the ground once the strips are established.) Let the opposition know that more divisions won’t be too hard to create.

PS – dear tabletmag, please fire your web programmers, and hire ones whose eyesight isn’t so good: you are now posting popups that can’t be dismissed by anyone who selects larger print sizes. They are permanent eyesores on the sight. This obscures the screen and makes typing more difficult.


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