Define Winning and Losing In The Israel-Arab Conflict

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Lets take an unemotional look at the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Hamas is using the Palestinian people to paint an emotional picture far different from the reality that exists. Hamas can’t defeat Israel by fighting them in Gaza, it can only hope to defeat them by winning the Propaganda war they wage in the minds and hearts of the people of the world. The cost Israel makes Hamas pay for their attacks, must be high enough to keep Hamas from wanting to try it again anytime soon. That is reality, perception from propaganda is not reality.

Here are two great articles about the conflict. They are,

Cease The Cease-Fires, by Thomas Sowell, and

Winning A Lose/Lose War, by Victor Davis Hanson.

Here are some excerpts from “Cease the Cease-Fires”.

“According to the New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a cease-fire to “open the door to Israeli and Palestinian negotiations for a long-term solution.” President Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” — again, with the idea of pursuing some long-lasting agreement.”

“The Middle East must lead the world in cease-fires. If cease-fires were the road to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet.”

“Cease-fire” and “negotiations” are magic words to “the international community.” But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish? “In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression.”

“…when Hamas or some other terrorist group launches an attack on Israel, they know in advance that whatever Israel does in response will be limited by calls for a cease-fire, backed by political and economic pressures from the United States.”

“If you want to minimize civilian casualties, then minimize the dangers of war, by no longer coming to the rescue of those who start wars.”

“There is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micro-manage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death. Such self-indulgences are a danger, not simply to Israel, but to the whole Western world, for it betrays a lack of realism…”

“As for the ever-elusive “solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East, there is nothing faintly resembling a solution anywhere on the horizon. Nor is it hard to see why. Even if the Israelis were all saints — and sainthood is not common in any branch of the human race — the cold fact is that they are far more advanced than their neighbors, and groups that cannot tolerate even subordinate Christian minorities can hardly be expected to tolerate an independent, and more advanced, Jewish state that is a daily rebuke to their egos.”

Here are some excerpts from “Winning A Lose/Lose War”.

“Once again neighboring enemies are warring in diametrically opposite ways”.

“Hamas sees the death of its civilians as an advantage; Israel sees the death of its civilians as a disaster. Defensive missiles explode to save civilians in Israel; in Gaza, civilians are placed at risk of death to protect offensive missiles.”

“Hamas wins by losing lots of its people; Israel loses by losing a few of its own. Hamas digs tunnels in premodern fashion; Israel uses postmodern high technology to detect them. Hamas’s missiles usually prove ineffective; Israel’s bombs and missiles almost always hit their targets. Quiet Israeli officers lead from the front; loud Hamas leaders flee to the rear. Incompetency wins sympathy; expertise, disdain.”

“Westerners romanticize the Hamas cause; fellow Arabs of the Gulf do not. Westerners critical of Israel are still willing to visit Israel; sympathizers of Hamas do not wish to visit Gaza.”

“….Timidity explains much of the Europeans’ easy damnation of Israel. Putin escapes the disdain accorded to Netanyahu, because Netanyahu governs a small nation and is predictably reasonable; Putin governs a large one and is predictably unreasonable. Trashing Putin might involve some risk; trashing Netanyahu brings psychological relief.”

“If Israel blows up Hamas’s tunnels, dismantles its arsenals, destroys its missiles, devastates its military, and leaves Hamas weak and discredited, the world will quietly turn its attention away in a sort of grudging admiration of Israel’s success, with an unspoken conclusion that Hamas may have gotten what it asked for.”

“But if Israel panics, retreats from Gaza under a premature ceasefire with Hamas ascendant, and, as a victim, hunkers down under a rain of missiles, then the protests will only intensify and the world will shrug that Israel is suffering what it deserves. At least up to a point, opportunism, not morality, guides public opinion.”

“It is said that the 34-day Lebanon War of 2006 was a terrible defeat for Israel. Perhaps. But so far Hezbollah has not unleashed its huge arsenal of missiles, at a time when such coordination with Hamas might have kept all of Israel underground. Why?”

“…. Hezbollah quietly remembers the damage of 2006, the years of rebuilding, and the costs, both human and material, that it incurred by its so-called “victory” — and the subsequent lack of world sympathy for Hezbollah. The world cared little for postwar Hezbollah not because of its cause (which a sick global community often supported), but because of its image as a loser that foolishly squandered its capital for nothing. The same Germans who tuned Hitler out after Stalingrad had earlier egged him on after the fall of Paris. In an ill Europe of the 1940s, even the Holocaust did not lose Hitler public support; losing the war did.”

“In the supposedly lose/lose world of Middle Eastern warfare, Israel must ensure that Hamas nevertheless loses far more than Israel itself does, not because the world will publicly sympathize with the cause of the Jewish state, but because, for all its ideological chest-pounding, an amoral world still privately gravitates to the successful and distances itself from the failed. Only if Israel finishes its ongoing dismantling of Hamas will the current war end. In six months, long after MSNBC and CNN have gone on to their next psychodramatic stories, long after John Kerry has moved on to his next Nobel Prize quest, those in Gaza who now yell into cameras encouraging their leaders to kill the Jews will quietly agree not to try another such costly war with Israel — and that fact, and only that fact, will lead to a sort of peace, at least for a while.”

 

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