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Israel. No More Mr. Nice Guy

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it's got to the point that israel needs to project raw power to secure a two-state solution.

it's got to the point that israel needs to project raw power to secure a two-state solution.

From now on, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy in Israel. Promising “a disproportionate response” to Hamas for rocket attacks signals a new direction for Jerusalem. For years they have been on the wrong end of one of the most successful PR juggernauts of recent history – the Palestinians.

Nothing seems to dent the Palestinian love-bubble. The fact that Hamas has been targeting innocent Israelis for years through suicide bombings and rocket attacks seems to mean nothing, the fact that they use human shields means less, the fact that they brutally murder anyone remotely seen as an informer, irrelevant. Hamas has maintained lock-tight control on Gaza in order to further its longstanding total war against Israel. It gets as close as it can to starving its own people into hatred. The constant portrayal of Gazan as victim is incongruous with the fact that most of Hamas leadership has nothing to do with the place. To them maintaining the degradation of the world’s largest refugee camp is a means to an end. 

Meanwhile, Israel, a liberal democracy, gave Hamas plenty of time to stop the missile attacks before they became politically unacceptable. IDF policy is very clear on trying to minimize civilian casualties, and when there are abuses, IDF soldiers are disciplined and tried in closer accordance with the rules of war than in any other democratic country. Israel supplies Gaza despite the hatred coming from there towards the Jewish state. Meanwhile Egypt does nothing, locking down its borders, and providing precious little aid, as it imagines in terror what the Islamist threat from Gaza would mean for their authoritarian government. The rest of the Arab world also talk a good game, but deliver nothing.

The list goes on and on, but nothing that Israel seems to do gets any traction with the world community, and overturn their constant moral equivalency. There are numerous reasons for this. Latent anti-semitism, large Muslim communities in Western States, the disproportionate power of various petro-states keen on stoking the fire of Israeli-Palestinian conflict for their own ends. The Arabism of European diplomatic corps plays a big role too. Israel has made blunders, but the bar is set so high for them, and the scrutiny so great by sniping British and French journalists that it’s hard not to.

There’s nothing new about this – but there might be something very new about Israel’s approach to the barrage.

Olmert and Livni, two pretty moderate polticians, seem to have decided that Israel will no longer compete for goodwill from Europe. And if that’s true, they’re right. Courting Europe is a lost cause. As long as Israel doesn’t engage in independently verifiable rather than Palestinian-only reported excesses, then with America’s constant support, Europe is simply not a relevant part of their equation. They can do without it.

Israel’s future is on the line, and strategically the ‘no more Mr. Nice Guy’ approach makes far more sense. The demographic clock is ticking there, and in fifty years or so, they will have to abandon democracy in its purest form, unless they have created a two-state solution. It is more imperative than ever. This was the realization that created the new Sharon, who’s untimely departure from the scene led to a major strategy vacuum, until now.

Palestinian power is a chimera. All they have is PR. The Palestinians go with their strength (and don’t get me wrong, rocket attacks are part of the PR machine), and so should Israel. To get that two-state solution Israel must be seen as an immovable force, negotiating from a position of raw power rather than weakness. Unless the Palestinians become afraid that Israel will never relinquish control of its own state to an Arab majority, they will never opt for a two-state solution.

Written by coolrebel

February 1, 2009 at 10:04 pm

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