Friday, January 02, 2009

Israel vs. Hamas

Emails between myself and a friend in Israel tend to increase in frequency whenever that region of the world falls into another spat of increased violence, or with this most recent violence, war. I am typically checking in on him to get his take on things. And he sometimes sends me links to pictures, videos, or stories that are in high circulation in Israel.

He sent me a video a few days ago. I encourage you to go watch it.

I wrote back and asked him if he thinks Israel can destroy Hamas’ will, and desire for the destruction of Israel, with this continual bombardment, and apparently now, a brief, ground invasion to take out the leaders of Hamas.

He believes Israel’s bombardment of Gaza will weaken Hamas and that Israel will likely move troops into Gaza to take out important figures in Hamas leadership.

I remain very skeptical of Israel’s actions because I don’t think it will destroy the will of Hamas and other organizations dedicated to the destruction of Israel. I see it weakening Hamas but also stoking the fires of other terrorist groups, possibly leading to another intifada with increased missile attacks and suicide bombings.

But where I get hung up is when I consider Israel’s alternatives. They have certainly put up with many attacks without full on retaliatory war, more than most nations can say; including the U.S. Does Israel not retaliate? Do they seek a path to peace through diplomacy? Again, it is hard to imagine any modern nation having the patience for diplomacy in such a conflict. Although in my mind I wish leaders of the world’s powers and armies would have such patience, I know in my heart if a terrorist organization, committed to the destruction of the U.S., was firing missiles into the country from Canada I would fully support some sort of retaliation if there was no end in sight. I think 90% of the country would.

I think western media outlets tend to really push stories about the Israeli offensive when the collateral damage is, in the eyes of many, unacceptable, pushing the meme that when a modern, civilized country cannot defend itself without killing women and children it is an outrage. But when Hamas fires wave after wave of rockets into Israeli towns with the goal of killing anyone and anything it is just the way of the world, people will always hate Israel. Am I; is Israel, supposed to resign themselves to that supposed truth? I can’t blame Israel for not.

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