It’s a rhetorical question, but it’s worrisome that it even has to be asked. An increasing number of people don’t believe that they do, or at least give half hearted support to the notion of Israel’s right to fight back.
Special Report by Nidra Poller – Paris, July 22, 2014 – Israel, they say, harumph, has the right to defend itself, but… But not entirely. Both sides are asked to act with restraint. Not exactly both. Because the conflict is lopsided: 37 then 58, 102, and now more than 200 Palestinians killed. The vast majority, according to Palestinian sources, are civilians. Women, children and the elderly, to say nothing of the thousands of wounded. On the other side, zilch. That’s it, the stage is set, the lethal narrative has wheels and it’s going to be fueled daily, automatically, unapologetically.
How might Hamas act with restraint? Its goal is to kill all the Jews and occupy all the territory from the Jordan to the sea. Whereas the Israelis want zero dead, zero wounded, and the pursuit of a productive life in an intact nation. So what would restraint amount to? Hamas would kill half the Jewish Israelis? There is no justification for this cooking-the-books vision of a confrontation with worldwide ramifications: The frontier between civilization and savagery runs along the Gaza-Israel border.
The Israeli army could crush Hamas in the space of 24 hours, simply by disregarding the fate of civilians caught in the interstices of a war machine built instead of a decent place for living creatures. Israel doesn’t use its power that way.
If the heroic Iron Dome were struck with a malediction and all eight batteries suddenly went dead, if ever Hamas got the upper hand, the rockets launched from Gaza could quickly balance the books. Would that be okay? 200 victims on each side. A draw? The competing teams shake hands and go home happy to have played a good game? No. Hamas would pursue its genocidal enterprise without the slightest restraint. What would they say then? The president of the United States, his secretary of state, European leaders, the General Secretary of the United Nations, journalists and readers eager to comment on the “conflict.” If ever Israel became weak like the helpless people of Iraq or Nigeria, what would public opinion say? Sorry, guys. It turns out you should have hit the enemy with all your might. Contemporary public opinion has taken a strong stand on that old-fashioned genocide, the Shoah. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out: it was a terrible tragedy that is sincerely regretted Or almost.