Israel is now in the midst of invading Gaza. Justified or not, it is just stupid. Ultimately, it seems like the only thing that matters in this never-ending war between Israel and the entire arab world is how it plays out PR-wise in the rest of the world. And on those terms, Israel loses every time its military goes on the offensive. They end up killing lots and lots of arabs, many of them civillians, and so they look really really bad.
If I were in charge, I'd just let the rockets come. Not because I want Israeli civillians to be killed, but because they are so damn ineffective that hardly anyone will be hurt. Further, as history has shown, you simply can't stop them anyway. The benefit to letting them come is it lets Israel and ONLY Israel claim to be the victim. They can show on TV all of the innocent civillians hurt or killed after each attack. They can make much of this. Meanwhile, the Palestinians, since the Israelis aren't launching attacks of their own, will have no such images and no such claims to air. Then Hamas will just look like the murdering thugs that they are and they will have no argument that it is justified for them to randomly murder civillians.
This would have to be combined with Israel allowing open borders, so there is no difficulty with humanitarian aid getting in, and the trade will help people find work other than just launching rockets.
I don't expect it will change things overnight, but over time, as this pattern is repeated - Palestinian murder accompanied by Israeli restraint and clear humanitarianism, attitudes will change. Eventually they will even change in the arab world, though that will take some time. Before someone starts calling me naive or starts pointing out the duty of a nation to protect its citizens - I will say that I realize this and this is exactly about protecting citizens. Israel's existence is in no way threatened by random small rocket attacks. It just isn't. Israel has a massive advantage against the Palestinians militarily. This massive advantage is what allows them to sit and not respond with force. They don't need to. It is like how a massively muscled man can basically ignore a tiny person's attack on himself with punches that really don't hurt. Retaliate, and the strong man looks like a bully. Stand there, ignoring the ineffective punches while trying to calm the small attacker down makes the big man look compassionate and diplomatic and makes the small attacker look more and more foolish.
Israel is playing right into the terrorists' hands right now. Sort of how Bush did so after 9/11, giving Bin Laden his biggest wet dream of the US overreacting and alienating the world. And that is just stupid.
4 years ago