With all of the op-eds, news reports, video clips, blogs, pundits and outspoken individuals one would think there isn’t much left to say. Gaza has turned into one of the most insane situations we’ve ever seen over here and we’ve seen many over the past 60 odd years.
I know that comparisons with Nazi Germany are flying thick and fast at the moment but when I look at Gaza right now my instinct is to think of Berlin in 1945. If the allies were forced to make the same considerations as the IDF the Russians probably never would have moved in and finished the war. It would probably still be a Nazi enclave to this day. Concern for Berliners and the knowledge that the Nazis still there were so clearly defeated and so obviously fanatical, willing to fight to the last Berliner that the final onslaught would have been considered a crime against humanity.
Of course back then not only was the final attack always going to happen, the only real controversy was which country would have the honor of making it civilian casualties be damned.
Now you can rush to bring up the differences, it being WWII and a long time ago there are many, but you might want to reflect on the similarities also. If Israel launches a full scale attack on Gaza she will simply be outcast in the world.
Instead we are forced to sit here with these nutters to our South West firing rockets at us. We could make an agreement with them. No one seems to be in any doubt that it’s possible, just like no one seems to be in any doubt that such an agreement would result in yet another conflict in a couple of years time. Against a Hamas who used the terms of the agreement to rearm, re-equip and prepare for the next round.
So here I sit in the comfort of my apartment in Tel Aviv wondering and worrying about the future of my country and I have to confess. I’ve got no answers for you. The UN is going to pull off another Goldstone style inquiry, the result of which will be condemning Israel for being so much more powerful than Hamas. Demonstrators in the world’s capitals will keep demonstrating and Hamas is clearly going to remain in charge.
And I don’t have a clue what to do about it. I don’t think Israel’s leaders do either. We’re hearing that 2,000 Palestinians have died in this round of violence, we’ve lost over 60 soldiers and the rockets and mortars are still falling. I can see that this presents no existential threat to Israel but I don’t care. A threat, even one that doesn’t mean the end of the country but simply the end of life as we know it is unacceptable. And it’s also unacceptable to force our way into Gaza and deal with the threat by military means.
So now we have the worst of both worlds. A constant drip drip of casualties, a military operation without an end in sight and condemnation from the world anyway. What’s every bit as bad is the fact that the lid has been blown off the barrel of anti-Semitism that has been firmly welded shut for decades.
It’s taken me by surprise.
The sheer ferocity of the hatred expressed on the streets of countries who consider themselves to be the most enlightened in the world. In fact they consider the anti-Semitism they’re displaying to be justified because of their enlightenment. Gazans are dying so it’s okay to go hit a couple of Jews. Apparently. The views of peace loving people have become so twisted that burning down a synagogue in Paris is acceptable specifically because Israel and Hamas are in a conflict.
I guess there were warning signs already, most notably in the form of the Quenelle and the instant popularity this inverse Nazi salute gained, not just in its native France but elsewhere around the world.
In this time of worldwide distress for Jewry both in Israel and outside our weaknesses become apparent. Even our strength has been used against us in a way that’s similar and every bit as absurd as telling the Russians not to take Berlin for fear of the casualties to German civilians that they would have inflicted. Now I’m aware while I’m writing this that there is a huge difference in the number of casualties between Palestinians and Israelis. There is no point or reason to argue that’s not the case, of course it is and it’s every bit as disturbing to me as every other part of this mess we are in.
So what are we supposed to do? Look at the mess that is Gaza and say to the fanatics inside that we’ll give them anything they want just so long as they don’t fire any missiles or mortars at us?
That we’ll give them whatever they want just so long as they don’t make us kill them?
So in a world without answers I say our leaders are left with only two bad options. Negotiate with Hamas and provide some modicum of what they want and then we all brace ourselves to go through this again every couple of years. Or, attack Gaza to the utmost extent the world be damned.
That won’t stop Hamas rockets either…nothing will. But it might give us some quiet time. This drip drip of rockets followed by air strikes is doing nothing for us though.