June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006: Babbin-Hamastan -&- Pipes-Gaza

Jed Babbin: Into Hamastan June 29, 2006

Unless he is extraordinarily lucky, Israeli Army Corporal Gilad Shalit won't live to see his twentieth birthday. The Sunday raid by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip succeeded in wounding and kidnapping Shalit, killing two of his comrades and wounding two more. Israel has begun a sizeable military penetration into Gaza which aims to recover Shalit - alive or dead - and punish the Palestinians for their raid. As the Israeli incursion began early Wednesday, America and Egypt were counseling calm and - if he's still alive -- a scared teenage boy was sitting in some lightless room in Gaza praying for rescue.

[....] Hamastan poses problems both too large and too small for Israel to solve. The small problems, such as terrorists excavating the terror tunnel used to surprise Gilad Shalit's unit, can never be entirely prevented. The military strike into Gaza this week won't re-establish Israeli occupation, and it will from time to time be repeated. Bigger problems, such as the Hamas government and the support it gets from Israel's neighbors, won't, say some top Israelis, be solved by topping Hamas because there's no moderate Palestinians to take their place. That is another counsel of despair. Israel is stuck in a military cycle it thinks can't be broken. But it can, and it must, for our benefit as much as Israel's.

"[Symposium] On the Strip: Where To Go from Gaza?"

[....] Washington urges understanding, restraint, compromise, management of the problem, and other half-hearted and doomed remedies. The result is an ever more exhilarated and aggressive Palestinian population that believes victory within reach.

Washington's mistaken approach goes back to the Oslo accords of 1993, when Yasir Arafat seemingly closed the existential conflict in writing to Bill Clinton that "The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security." But Arafat's assurances were fraudulent and the Arab effort to eliminate Israel remains very much in place.

Israel, with U.S. support, must defeat this foul ambition. That implies inflicting a sense of defeat on the Palestinians, and winning their resignation to the permanent existence of a Jewish state in the Holy Land. Only then will the violence end. [....]


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