Israel! Stop it! Hamas! Stop it! Can I talk to an adult?

The depressing evolution of the War in Gaza over the last week+ has I fear only proved me right in my last posting.

Israel’s case for attacking Hamas –entirely justified of course, except, Israel, justifications don’t work. They are not working in Israel; they certainly aren’t working with the Arab neighbors. The interesting thing is that Israel’s justifications are clearly losing support in the U.S.A –you can see it growing (I should say evaporating) by the day.

Israel’s militaristic boast was that it would teach Hamas a lesson. I don’t know if anyone in Israel used the second part of that familiar phrase –“Once and for all!”

It was all so predictable that I even predicted it myself: “After the War, the Game begins”. OK, the War isn’t actually over yet. Actually it might go on some while more –does the term “flogging a dead horse” mean anything in Israel?

There was a significant change a few days into the war: Israel wasn’t going to crush or wipe-out Hamas; no, it was going to degrade it so much, yes, “teach it such a lesson” that it would, yes, “think twice” before making any trouble again.

Israel likes to give the impression that it knows exactly what it is doing; that it strikes with razor precision. But the truth seems to be that all of Israel’s so-called leaders are subject to the most immature urges and vulnerabilities, in this case, very much complicated by the failure of the 2006 war against Hizbullah –over-doing the military force lost Israel the PR war.

PR, Israel! That is where the war is won. Why do I always get the sense that those militaristically-inclined Israeli leaders, when they see world opinion “turn against them” –which it has slowly done, until the inevitable catastrophe occurs (like bombing a school-full of kids) say to themselves, “What else is new? It just goes to prove that everybody hates the Jews. Yeah, including The Pope”. At which point someone says, “Yeah, the German Pope.

Has anybody talked to Ariel Sharon recently?

With his ever-increasing physical girth –“morbidly obese” is the term that was used– Ariel ignored the advice and the concerns of everybody and piled on the pounds like he was the very embodiment of Israel expanding settlements– to the point of inducing the stroke that rendered him vegetative. Three years later he still lives in that darkened room. It’s a disturbing story, but an even more disturbing metaphor.

This current war seems to be going in almost exactly the same way the 2006 war went. How upsetting it must be invest such force into “crushing” Hamas only to find you end up making it stronger. I can’t at this stage see a way for Israel to reverse this. It has taken every possible excuse to extend the war –it studies every plan for a ceasefire for days and days, with apparently no intention of adopting them.
(And Secretary Rice is issuing the same transparently insincere line of “delay talks until absolutely sure”. Condolezza Cunctander –it worked for Scipio, but not too well for Condi. She will finish her unhappy tour of duty as Madame Sec. in the depressing shadow of that Colossus of Ineptitude, Mr. G.W. Bush. Even with the 2006 multiple deaths of “The Innocents in the Lebanon”, she urged delay.)

How come so many smart people in Israel, and a lot of smart Israelis in New York, can see it, and the Israel leadership can’t. Clearly, the Feb 10th Election has all the candidates mesmerized. “Soft on Terrorism? Not me.”

You will recall that my friend in Tel Aviv laid it all out in the last post. (The Last Post! Sounds so ominous, doesn’t it.) Israel, like Hamas, cannot solve the situation. The only one who can –or might– is President Barack Obama. And he can only do it by applying the pressure to Israel. Which –if he is a True Friend of Israel, and a True Friend of Peace– HE WILL DO.
How ironic it would turn out, that the only way to defeat Hamas would be to let it win.

So, remember Israel; remember Hamas; remember all ye others. This is not about justification. Spare us your “Yes buts”.
This is about The Dead.
This is about the man who told us: “Some are guilty. All are responsible.”

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