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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Today's Two Must-Read Articles on Gaza

Thomas Sowell in National Review:
...If you want to minimize civilian casualties, then minimize the danger of war, by no longer coming to the rescue of those who start wars. 

Not only was Israel attacked by vast numbers of rockets, but it was also invaded — underground — through mazes of tunnels. There is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micromanage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death. Such self-indulgences are a danger, not simply to Israel, but to the whole Western world, for they betray a lack of realism that shows in everything from the current disastrous consequences of our policies in Egypt, Libya, and Iraq to future catastrophes from a nuclear-armed Iran.

Those who say that we can contain a nuclear Iran, as we contained a nuclear Soviet Union, are acting as if they are discussing abstract people in an abstract world. Whatever the Soviets were, they were not suicidal fanatics, ready to see their own cities destroyed in order to destroy ours.

As for the ever-elusive “solution” to the Arab–Israeli conflicts in the Middle East, there is nothing faintly resembling a solution anywhere on the horizon. Nor is it hard to see why.

Even if the Israelis were all saints — and sainthood is not common in any branch of the human race — the cold fact is that they are far more advanced than their neighbors, and groups that cannot tolerate even subordinate Christian minorities can hardly be expected to tolerate an independent, and more advanced, Jewish state that is a daily rebuke to their egos...

And from Sayeh Hassan in The Ottawa Citizen:

...The Hamas Covenant states that all of Palestine (in which it includes Israel) must be governed under Sharia Law and cannot be ceded to a non-Islamic state. Article 13 of the Covenant further declares: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement … There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad.”
Imagine how these words read to Gazans who want nothing more than for their children to enjoy peace, prosperity, and the everyday benefits that come with liberal democracy. Further consider how this rejectionist language (and the violence it inspires) undermines Palestinian moderates who have eschewed violence and embraced the path of negotiations with Israel.
After Israel evacuated its citizens and soldiers from Gaza in 2005, Hamas was able to seize control of the territory in less than two years. How long would it take an emboldened Hamas, with Iranian backing, to do likewise should Israel withdraw from the West Bank? Such a prospect is as much a threat to Mahmoud Abbas and moderate Palestinians as it is to Israelis.
Many who have watched the conflict over the past few weeks have made the fundamental error of viewing it as a national struggle between Israelis versus Palestinians. In reality, an extremist segment of the Palestinian leadership – Hamas along with other terror groups – has effectively hijacked the Palestinian national movement in the name of Islamism...


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