George Jonas: Letting Israel’s muggers have their way
Posted: January 07, 2009
What news on the Rialto? Try a re-enactment of The Merchant of Venice. Shylock, played by Israel, vacated Gaza in favour of Antonio, a.k.a. the Palestinian Authority, for the surety of a pound of peace. To make room, Israel dragged Jewish settlers kicking and screaming from the land. Instead of peace, it got Hamas and its daily bombardment of rockets exploding among the civilian population.
When Shylock confronted Antonio demanding to collect his pound of peace, the Duke of Venice, going under the name of UN-EU these days, turned for advice to Portia, masquerading as Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, leading a delegation of EU dignitaries.
“Is the Jew entitled to his pound of peace from the death-merchant Hamas?” the ducal UN-EU wanted to know.
“Well, it’s a valid contract,” Portia-as-Sarkozy replied. “Shylock is entitled to collect his pound of peace.”
“Oh, drat!” said the UN-EU “You sure? Double drat and boo!”
“Do not despair, though,” Portia-Sarkozy continued. “We’re not doctors of law for nothing. Shylock can collect his pound of peace, but the contract says nothing about blood. Sure, Israel is entitled to peace, but only if he can get it without shedding any blood.
“If he does, he’s a war criminal.”
“Oh learned judge,” said Hamas & Co., visibly relieved. “Oh, second Daniel!”
And there the matter stands. Israel’s “right to defend itself,” to which its Western critics are careful to pay lip service, hinges on Israel never actually doing so. The Jewish state is entitled to armed self-defence; it just cannot shed any blood. If it does, gotcha! Shylock drawing blood commits the capital offence of disproportionality.
President Sarkozy pushes for an immediate truce between Hamas and Israel. It’s hard to say if he does so in the mistaken belief that it would further the cause of peace, or in the accurate belief that it would rescue Hamas, one of the most implacable enemies of peace. If the latter, then the President of France, far from being a solution, is part of the problem.
It’s possible, of course, that Sarkozy doesn’t really want what he’s ostensibly pushing for. If so, he’s devious, which is pretty much what everyone expects a politician to be. Finally, since Sarkozy uses the phrase “truce as soon as possible,” he may mean “truce as soon as a reliable method of stopping Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israel has been found,” in which case he may even be right.
The minute the rocket fire stops for good, a truce does no harm – but until then, a truce only reduces the chances of any reasonable resolution to conflict in the region. This is so self-evident that it’s difficult to imagine anyone, let alone a skilled and gifted statesman, not seeing it – yet many haven’t grasped it in the last 60 years. Including some Israelis.
Those who want to wipe Israel off the map and don’t care who knows it, have hit upon a method of pursuing their goal with impunity. First, they harass and try to demoralize Israel with relentless, low-tech terror, such as rocket and mortar fire or suicide bombs aimed at civilians, taking advantage of the small geographic scale of the regional battlefield. Second, when Israel finally asserts itself, they erupt in wounded ululations of humanitarian concerns, causing the international community to force an armistice on Israel before it could defend itself.
Imagine muggers calling 911 to stop their victims from harming them when the mugging doesn’t go their way. Next, picture the police responding and doing exactly as the muggers demand. Voila, President Sarkozy and his bizarre push for a truce – and not just Sarkozy, but the rest of the Euro-gang, headed by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. They flock to the region, ravens disguised as doves, the terminally naive and terminally cynical harbingers of faux-peace from angelic Europe, home continent of World Wars One and Two, to lecture Jewish victims of 60 years of relentless Arab/Islamic aggression about proportionality and humanitarian concerns.
Hamas and supporters are demonstrating the art of the brazen assault, a cultural specialty, whose sheer viciousness is matched by its impertinence. Step one: We hit you as hard as we can. Step two: If you dare hit us back as hard as you can, we’ll have the law on you.
Really? If you don’t want to be hit by Israel, it’s easy. Don’t hit it. The many people and places Israel never bombed or invaded have one thing in common: They never bombed or invaded Israel. The phenomenon is consistent enough to be reduced to a simple formula. For a good night’s uninterrupted sleep, avoid firing rockets into Israel the previous day.