A war that cannot be won

Here are a few more articles about Gaza/Israel. Again, a common thread emerges – propoganda and the sheer unwinnability of this war.

First is Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, criticizing Tom Friedman’s support of the war, which is backed by rationale that conforms perfectly to a text-book definition of terrorism – “politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant … targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience” (quoted by GG). Greenwald’s criticism is primarily of Friedman’s position, not of the war, but it provides some interesting insights. Salon.com: Tom Friedman offers a perfect definition of “terrorism”

Then comes Daniel Larison with a brief and insightful response. Eunomia (the American Conservative magazine): Wrong and Ineffective

Next, again on Salon.com, is Gary Kamiya with an angle comparing the war in Gaza with the 1982 war in Lebanon, and particularly the massacre of the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camp, as depicted in the award-winning new Israeli film “Waltz With Bashir” (which I really should go see already.) Salon.com: What “Waltz With Bashir” can teach us about Gaza

And finally Uri Avnery writes about the impossibility of defeating Hamas:

THE FAILURE to grasp the nature of Hamas has caused a failure to grasp the predictable results. Not only is Israel unable to win the war, Hamas cannot lose it.

Even if the Israeli army were to succeed in killing every Hamas fighter to the last man, even then Hamas would win. The Hamas fighters would be seen as the paragons of the Arab nation, the heroes of the Palestinian people, models for emulation by every youngster in the Arab world. The West Bank would fall into the hands of Hamas like a ripe fruit, Fatah would drown in a sea of contempt, the Arab regimes would be threatened with collapse.

I read his column on on-the-left-side.co.il, in Hebrew, but it can be found on his website (and the Gush Shalom website) in English as well. Uri Avnery: How Many Devisions?

One thought on “A war that cannot be won”

  1. I think you’re right and I’m very much confused.

    Although one cannot really win, a government has to take a decision.

    In the beginning I thought Israel cannot allow the Hamas to terrorize hundreds of thousands of Israel citizens for such a long time without any response. I thought and still think it’s extremely difficult or even impossible to live under those circumstances the Israeli citizens in south have lived for such a long time.

    I do not think any country would allow it.

    I also do not accept the preaching from all the countries that did what they found suitable when they had to take similar decisions. (England in North Ireland, Turkey with the Kurds, Syria whose previous leader killed thousands of his own citizens in a few days in El-Hama, Jordan whose King Houssein killed in September 1970 more Palestinians that we have ever killed, Russia in Chechnya, the US and Nato in former Yugoslavia etc.)

    All of the above plus all the Arab leaders including Yaser Abed Rabbo the Palestinian president are praying that we finish off or at least hit Hamas badly as they are all scared of that Islamic movement at least as we are, regardless of what they say publicly.

    The Hamas movement, I think, is part of a global Islamic war led mainly by Iran and whose aims have been openly announced. In that war everyone and everything are just pieces on a Chess-board, including the citizens of Gaza strip, and if they have to suffer or even die in order to reach that far goal, then they’ll suffer and die. If it’s good for the general cause that they’ll have no food or medicines then it’s all right to shell the trucks that bring them those necessities, or to tell them that they should not go to UNRWA offices to get food because it’s an Israeli scam or to store arms and ammunition in private houses, schools, hospitals and mosques.

    The considerations of the Hamas leadership in Gaza do not seem me to be in favor of the Palestinian citizens there. I do not see what they managed to achieve for the citizens there.

    Regardless of all the above, I would like to feel good when I look in mirror, and right now I do not. I feel bad and ashamed.

    I cannot accept that so many innocent citizens, among them so many children had to be killed by Israel.

    I thought that the air raids of the first few days were harsh enough, so that Hamas would know we’re serious and are not going to let our citizens remain under constant threat.

    Given the up coming February 10th elections in Israel, and the fact that the opposition leaders accused the current leaders for not doing what’s necessary in order to protect our citizens, I do not thing that Ehud Barak (Israel Defense minister) and Zippi Livni (Israel Foreign minister) could freely adopt an attitude like the one I mentioned in the previous paragraph even if they believed it was the right one.

 

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