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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sage WaPo advice: Give up, Israel!

The Washington Post has an editorial about Israel and Hamas that is, for the most part, factually accurate:
Neither side seems to want such an all-out fight -- particularly not Israel, whose defense minister has pointed out that an invasion could cost hundreds of lives and leave thousands of Israeli troops stranded in Gaza without an exit strategy. But neither Israel nor Hamas has been satisfied with the informal cease-fire they reached in June with the help of Egypt. During the summer and fall, the rocket fire from Gaza diminished but never entirely stopped. Israel, in turn, allowed only a modest increase in the flow of goods into Gaza, which has been under virtual siege since last year, and frequently sealed off the strip entirely in response to fresh attacks.
The cease-fire was also supposed to include no more Hamas weapons smuggling, and the "modest increase" of goods included cement that Hamas seized for itself to build an extensive network of tunnels and bunkers. The rocket fire did diminish, at least until early November.

But the recommendation that the wise editors come to is predictable, and absurd:
But an increasing number of Israeli thinkers are pointing out that the prevailing strategy of trying to isolate and destroy Hamas while building up the rival Palestinian leadership in the West Bank hasn't worked.
The "unnamed expert" ruse of editorial writers as well as journalists is the time-honored way to put forth their own opinions as if they belong to a higher power, conveniently ignoring any other.
Some 200,000 Gazans recently turned out for a rally in support of Hamas; a war would only strengthen the movement's most radical factions.
The two parts of this sentence have nothing to do with each other. I recall the pro-Hamas rallies last year far exceeded 200,000 - and the pro-Fatah rallies did as well. The idea of pacifying the radicals by giving in to them is so extraordinarily wrongheaded that it could only have been written by an MSM editorialist.
Israeli officials rightly point out that no country should have to tolerate missile attacks on its cities; such attacks justify a military response. But Israel would be better positioned to defeat Hamas politically and diplomatically if it allowed the full resumption of food, medicine and fuel deliveries to Gaza and made clear its willingness to end other restrictions on civilian trade in exchange for a full cessation of rocket attacks and other hostilities.
Wow. Israel sent in daily deliveries of goods essentially every day from August through October, truckloads of food, medicine, fuel, clothing, building materials, and other goods. In return, Hamas built up an arsenal of more rockets, imported tons of explosives, gathered more money by taxing smuggled goods, didn't lift a finger to take administrative responsibility of Gazans' daily lives (leaving that to Western money filtered through Fatah institutions,) and created an infrastructure to kidnap more Israeli soldiers. And the wise old men of WaPo now say that Israel should do exactly the same thing again?
If Hamas is to be toppled, it will have to be through a political process led by Palestinians.
Every poll over the past year of Gazans shows that Fatah would get more votes in an election than Hamas. Yet Hamas still holds power. Perhaps it is because Hamas is a military dictatorship that has wiped out its political opposition in Gaza? Hamas' hold on power has only increased as its popularity has gone downhill. How, exactly, would more pro-Western Palestinian Arabs manage to seize power politically from ruthless Islamic extremists?

Which means that the Washington Post is counseling Israel to do nothing about a new terror statelet next door that is dedicated to murdering every Jew in rocket range - besides, of course, make sure that Hamas never takes any of the responsibilities of power by providing them with all their basic needs.

And similarly, Egypt gets off scot-free in this absurd editorial for its role in isolating Gaza. Arabs simply cannot be expected to be responsible for bad things happening to their brethren - only the would-be targets of Arab terror must turn the other cheek.

(h/t Soccer Dad via email)