[Make sure to read Daniel Greenfield’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
What should a nation do when its women and children are murdered and taken hostage?
Israel has the same choice it always had. That choice becomes clearer each year and with each atrocity.
It can carry out another “limited incursion” into Gaza, bomb the homes of some terrorists and then go home, hopefully with the hostages, and wait for something like it or worse to happen again.
Or it can actually go to war and win.
Israel, like America, doesn’t win wars anymore. It has operations. It takes out terrorist leaders and occasionally terrorist cells. And then it goes home. But when home is within a stone’s throw of where monsters live, then there’s no way to go home. Home is where the monsters are.
A war ends with victory. The destruction of the enemy. The Islamic terrorists have been waging a war meant to end in victory since Israel was reborn. Unless Israel fights to win, it will be lost.
What does a war look like? It is not “proportionate” or “limited”. It is not based on “deterrence” and does not end with a “truce”. If at the end of the war, the enemy still exists, you have not won.
Israel has yet to fight a war against the terrorists. Let alone win one.
It’s been 30 years since the Israeli Left sold the myth of peace with the Arab Muslim invaders in Gaza and the West Bank and under 20 years since building walls and defenses was sold as the alternative.
Neither of those were ever a viable option against a genocidal enemy.
The myth of peace and the myth of defense never took into account the reality of who the enemy is.
The enemy is not Hamas, a grand name for an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, backed and financed by Iran, it is a culture that has been out to kill Jews and all non-Muslims since the days of Mohammed.
What we have seen in the Hamas attacks, the murder of elderly women and children, the degradation of a murdered woman’s corpse, and all the rest of the atrocities, comes from the same ideology and culture as the one that beheaded prisoners and burned them to death in Syria and Iraq, that raped imprisoned political prisoners so that they would not die virgins in Iran, and that sexually assaulted 12-year-old girls in Iraq by men who declared that rape “brought them closer to Allah.” The same one that flew planes into skyscrapers, set off bombs at a marathon and drove trucks into spectators.
These are only a few of the more recent and notable atrocities in over a thousand years of terror.
It is impossible to live in peace with the Religion of Peace except in temporary truces or through strength. And strength does not mean possessing devastating weapons that a nation is too afraid to actually use. It does not mean building walls and hoping that each time the enemy comes, they can be thrown back.
The bloody lesson that is being taught yet again is that playing defense gives the enemy the initiative, the momentum and the choice of battlefield.
The Simchat Torah massacres are being called Israel’s 9/11. They have one thing in common which is that both America and Israel came to believe that they could rely on intelligence and occasional targeted air strikes to hold off Islamic terrorists. But the terrorists only have to get it right once. They can and do fail most of the time, but when they succeed, a nation burns. Given enough tries, enough training and enough support, they will eventually succeed. That’s simple statistics. And then what is happening now happens.
Playing defense is what leads to 9/11 or the mass butchery of Israelis that happened during the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.
Playing defense is slow suicide.
The first rule of co-existing with Islamic Jihadists is that you can’t.
You can’t make peace with them and you can’t have an ‘understanding’ with them. You can only deter them for so long. Eventually they will break through your defenses. And then planes will crash into skyscrapers and young people will be massacred at a concert. Worse will come if you don’t learn those lessons.
Either you defeat Islamic terrorists or they will defeat you. The idea of a middle ground is an illusion that lasts only as long as your capabilities do.
The only thing that works is going on the offensive.
Going on the offensive was what made Israel possible. Draining swamps and making the desert bloom was all well and good, but it was citizen militias and then an early national military that made the country of an oppressed minority into a viable possibility by striking ruthlessly at the enemy.
Until the 1980s, Israel did not tolerate Jihadists within its borders. By the 1990s, it had not only learned to tolerate them, it had made a deal with them. By the oughts, it learned to accept them as a fact of life. Shvitzers with big titles bragged that there was an understanding, that the terrorists knew not to go too far or there would be more air strikes. By this decade, Israelis in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv got used to being in bomb shelters again. Now, the terrorists broke through in a full-fledged assault on Israeli territory beyond the so-called ‘Green Line’.
There is big talk now about permanently ending the military capabilities of Hamas. I truly hope that it’s sincere because such big talk has been heard before. And then the air strikes kill women and children in Gaza. The world condemns Israel. The United States threatens to cut off support. And it all falls apart.
Sharon’s Disengagement from Gaza, as many have noted, has failed. The idea that Israel can isolate Gaza and prevent Hamas from killing more Israelis is deader than the estimated 700 victims. A number that will only continue growing. And it’s been dead long before that.
Israel has a choice between eliminating Hamas from Gaza or reliving this Simchat Torah again. And worse.
There are no other choices on the menu. Neither peace nor deterrence will work. Only war.
A war ends when the enemy does.
How many times must we repeat Bialik’s ‘City of Slaughter’ in a country that was built to put an end to such things? How many times must we go down to the graves of murdered women and children who died because we lacked, not the physical courage, but the moral courage, to put an end to their killers?
How much longer must we choose every other option but war while imagining that rejecting war is somehow noble or will spare lives?
How much longer must we live in a fantasy world in which hard choices don’t have to be made?
When an enemy wants to exterminate you: your choice is war or death. Peace and deterrence mean death. War means survival.