The only mistake Israel made was not issuing the following statement last week (or, to be more precise, four years ago): “Due to the hostile deeds and bellicose words of the government of Gaza, a state of war exists between Israel and Gaza. The government of Gaza has engaged in relentless and unprovoked attacks on Israel’s sovereign territory and citizenry. For years, Gaza has unhesitatingly fired rockets and mortars that have killed, wounded and terrorized civilians in Israel. For four years, Gaza has held hostage – in defiance of international law – an Israeli soldier named Gilad Schalit, and has deprived him of his freedom and human rights. We hold Gazans – who overwhelmingly elected a Hamas government explicitly dedicated to Israel’s destruction – responsible for all aggressive actions emanating from their territory. Therefore, anyone seeking to enter Gaza without the authorization of Israel, or anyone seeking to provide Gazans with any material support without the express authorization of Israel, will be considered to be aiding and abetting the enemies of Israel and will be treated with the appropriate severity customary in wartime.”
Such a statement would have clarified at the outset Israel’s position, and put the world and the “activists” on notice that any attempt to strengthen Gaza in its war against Israel would be dealt with harshly. Instead, Israel minces words, preferring the illusions of the “peace process” to the reality of persistent conflict. The rhetoric of international protest should not be taken seriously, as it is all part of the game, and with the proper and pointed Israeli response – without apologies, regrets or offers of compensation – will recede within days. Indeed, if Israel’s response – now, properly direct and blunt – becomes limp, flaccid and remorseful, that will only prolong this manufactured crisis. And manufactured it was.
Obviously, the whole point of the charade was not to supply Gazans with “humanitarian aid” (they don’t need it, and Israel in any event offered to unload, search and then deliver whatever was appropriate) but rather to goad the Israelis in killing some “activists.” In that sense, nine dead, for Muslims, is a very small price to pay for a public relations triumph. Sad to say – but unsurprisingly – Muslims do not value life the same way Westerners do. They gladly die for a cause. Those who don’t believe that should ponder a few phrases – suicide bomber, 9/11, jihad – and consider the dozens of countries across the globe that have been victimized by Muslim suicide terror. As a Hamas parliamentarian said several years ago, taunting Israel and the West: “We love death the way you love life.” If so, these terrorist sympathizers not only got what they deserved, they got what they wanted. Spare me the crocodile tears and soppy rhetoric about the “tragic loss of life.”
The only botched part of the raid seemed to be that the Israeli commandoes allowed themselves to be assaulted by these “peaceniks” for almost an hour before they responded in kind. That was an operational failure. Otherwise, there was much good that came out of the raid:
1) Israel’s blockade of Gaza was upheld, and the enemy is on notice that these stunts will not succeed. If tried again, the reaction should be even swifter and less merciful.
2) Since Israel can reiterate to the world that a state of war exists between Israel and Gaza, it should restrict any aid – even humanitarian – until Gilad Schalit is released alive and well.
3) PM Netanyahu had to cancel his scheduled meeting with President Obama. As noted here several days ago, this session would have redounded to Israel’s detriment. My, this new crisis is so serious that perhaps Netanyahu will be unavailable until after the summer, and maybe not even until after the Jewish holidays in the late summer. If he comes earlier, he is foolish.
4) This morning, the UN Security Council passed a resolution stating in part: “The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza”… and… “condemns those acts which resulted in the loss” of lives. And the Obama administration supported this resolution, claiming that it was watered down from an even harsher condemnation of Israel. Result: Israel can no longer count on this US government to defend it from the tendentious and obsessive hatred of the UN towards Israel. Clarity is always beneficial, and so much for the Obama “charm offensive” that is trying to lure liberal US Jews back into the Obama corner.
5) Another proof (as if another was still needed) that the UN is a joke, and a waste of valuable real estate in New York City. The North Korean sinking of a South Korean submarine several months ago killed five times as many human beings as died in the flotilla follies, with no response. Muslim-Arab terrorists have killed in recent years 1000 times as many human beings as died off the Gaza coast, with no response. Rhwanda. Darfur. If the UN has condemned the rockets into Sderot, I do not recall it. I do recall that Noam Schalit this past March asked the UN Human Rights Commission to intervene on behalf of his captive son; he stills waits for their response.
6) Perhaps it will stop people from mindlessly spouting the utter nonsense that Turkey is Israel’s closest ally in the Middle East. That was true for many years. It is no longer true. That was true when Turkey was governed by secular leaders. It has not been true since PM Erdogan – a rabid Islamist – took power in 2003 and shifted policy away from Israel and the West and closer to the Arab-Muslim world. Turkey sponsored this flotilla and dispatched it from its shores. It is today part of the Muslim axis against Israel. It is anti-Israel. That doesn’t mean it will always be anti-Israel; it does mean that today it is anti-Israel, and pretending it is not is misguided. Side note: would that the Turks could muster a fraction of the passion and outrage it feels about the Israeli raid and the loss of nine lives here for the 1,500,000 Armenians that Turkey massacred in 1915 and still refuses to acknowledge.
7) Another blow to the “peace process,” currently in the guise of the George Mitchell proximity talks. All these efforts are doomed to fail, because they all are designed to facilitate Israel’s demise rather than create a lasting peace. The riots across the world are a timely reminder to Jews and Israelis – many of whom suffer from a peculiar form of amnesia – that a visceral, religious-based hatred of Jews and Israel is alive and well, and prospers whenever Israel shows any weakness. Much of the world has not reconciled itself to Israel’s existence or to Jewish nationalism, and all the Oslo agreements, treaties, signing ceremonies, retreats, surrenders, concessions, compromises, good-will measures and handshakes have not changed that one iota. Almost inarguably, Israeli weakness in the last 20 years has exacerbated Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred across the world, especially the Arab world.
8) PA “President” Mahmoud Abbas (whose term expired long ago but in the comical world of Arab “democracies” will serve as long as he wishes) accused Israel of “state-sponsored terrorism.” Well, isn’t that rich (in the sense of cloying) ? Of course, Abbas is an expert on “state-sponsored terrorism,” so he must know it when he sees it.
Jews and people of good will everywhere must remain resilient – physically and psychologically – against the onslaught that has started and will continue for several days. Be strong. These PR battles are not incidental to the war against Israel but one of the major battlegrounds. The enemy has in numbers what it lacks in truth, justice and morality – and the latter are always stronger. Do not parrot the trite and wrong-headed sound bites about the “botched raid.” On the contrary: the raid was not botched at all. The raid was a success. Soldiers go into battle ready to kill and be killed. Israeli soldiers killed so that they should not be killed. Gaza and Israel are at war. That is the nature of war. Israel’s vital interests were protected by its military forces. And Jewish blood is no longer cheap.