Commentary Magazine


How the West Helps Hamas Thwart Future Israeli Pullouts

Several commentators have already noted that foreign airlines’ suspension of flights to Israel due to Hamas rocket fire may mean Israel will “never-ever hand land to Palestinians ever again,” as Shmuel Rosner put it on Twitter; Israel can’t afford to have its sole air bridge to the world be at the mercy of a terrorist organization’s whims. But blaming Hamas alone for such a development would be unfair, because the problem isn’t just that Israel evacuated every last inch of Gaza and got 13,000 rockets (and counting) fired at its territory in exchange. It’s that after evacuating Gaza and getting 13,000 rockets in exchange, Israel discovered it still had zero support from the West for any military steps sufficient to actually suppress this rocket fire.

Western leaders seem curiously oblivious to the fact that the promise of “international legitimacy” was the trump card played by every Israeli premier who executed territorial withdrawals to refute critics who worried (correctly) that the evacuated areas would become hotbeds of anti-Israel terror. Yitzhak Rabin, in withdrawing Israeli forces from parts of the West Bank and Gaza under the Oslo Accords; Ehud Barak, in the unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon; and Ariel Sharon, in the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza all made the same simple argument: If Israel is subsequently attacked from these areas, it will then have full international legitimacy to do whatever is necessary to stop the attacks. And most Israelis believed them.

Today, no Israeli believes this anymore. Those prime ministerial promises were made in 1993, 2000, and 2005–i.e., before the Second Lebanon War of 2006, Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008, or the current Gaza operation. And what Israel discovered in all those wars was that Western leaders, diplomats, journalists, intellectuals, and other opinion leaders indeed declared loudly that Israel has a right to defend itself–but only on condition that it not kill civilians. And since it’s impossible to avoid civilian casualties in any war, much less one against a terrorist organization that deliberately uses civilians as human shields, that effectively means Israel has no legitimacy for military action at all.

This lack of legitimacy is evident in countless ways. Virulently anti-Semitic demonstrations against the Israeli operation have swept the Western world, though no such demonstrations were ever held against the far greater slaughter in, say, Syria. The UN Human Rights Council is working on launching an inquiry into Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza–though not, needless to say, those of Hamas; a similar inquiry after the last Gaza war produced the infamous Goldstone Commission, whose report accusing Israel of “war crimes” was opposed by only eight Western countries in the UN General Assembly, despite being so libelous that even its lead author subsequently repudiated it.

Leading European intellectuals have declared on public radio that all “Zionists” should be shot and the West should arm Hamas. Ostensibly sober diplomats have made witless statements (to borrow Peter Wehner’s apt term) about how Israel is losing “moral authority” by “overdoing” its military operation, when in fact, the ground operation has been limited to a small stretch of Gaza near the Israeli border, leaving the rest of Hamas’s military infrastructure untouched. Both Washington and European capitals are demanding that Israel “do more” to prevent civilian casualties, without explaining what more it could do short of abandoning the military operation and simply letting Hamas launch its rockets undisturbed, while also demanding an “immediate” cease-fire that would leave Hamas with much of its military capability intact.

In short, Israel has learned that once it cedes territory, it’s at the mercy of any terrorist organization that chooses to attack it from that territory, because it will never have international legitimacy to conduct the kind of military operation necessary to suppress such attacks. And that’s not Hamas’s fault at all. It’s the fault of that same “enlightened West” that claims its top priority is an agreement that would get Israel out of the West Bank.

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5 Responses to “How the West Helps Hamas Thwart Future Israeli Pullouts”

  1. TIKI SHAPIRA says:

    So, it’s time Israel starts living up to Western expectations and starts being the country which is ‘losing it’s moral authority, but gets back it’s senses!

    This ‘Western morals code, I just wonder who draw them up?

    The Jew killing W-Europeans? The Jew killing E-Europeans?The Jew killing Muslims? The Jew killing Arabs? The Jew killing churches? The ‘humanistic & moral’ institutions with their constant inflammatory but hollow accusations against Israel, the Jew among the nations?

    Who precisely is responsible for the ‘moral conduct for those making it their life purpose of killing all the Jews from Israel (first) after which the Diaspora will have another chance of meeting Western ‘morals!

    NO, Israel should’t start living up to the Western ‘moral code for they haven’t got one…..Israel does!

    The West is a disgusting, slimy, hypocritical, lying, Jew hating part of the planet with rivers of blood from millions of Jews to prove it and they are the last ones teaching the Israeli’s anything about morals!

    I prefer the hysterical Arabs/Muslims. They roar they hate Jews/Israeli’s and should all be exterminated, which than gives Israel/Jews, according the Western moral code, the legitimation to return the honour…..or is this moral right only reserved for others, JEWS NOT ALLOWED!

    • THOMAS SOLOMON says:

      Tiki this is one of the best explanation i have encountered here that sums up the current situation.

      To the Gordons. you are the first commentators that i have found the calls on the west to tell Israel what more it can do to avoid civilian casualties. Kerry’s comment that used the word pinpoint is the last straw.

      The conclusion that no prime minister can cede one more inch of territory is a fact that i hope has finally sunk in. Israel was to now take out Hamas, there is no other choice and tell the international community to go to hell.


    Despite pulling out of Gaza, Ariel Sharon believed that holding onto the Land in Judea and Samaria is important, namely for providing “Strategic Depth” militarily. One can thank Hamas for reminding those who think otherwise.

    Besides, Judea and Samaria are no more than “just plain real estate” , than the Vatican is just plain real estate, or Mecca is just plain real estate.


    We in the west do seem to be losing our way; with foolish, cowardly, amoral leaders, with a strangely compliant and malformed media, and with the rise, once again, of a ruthless, pernicious and aggressively intimidating force. Those who would destroy Israel ( and the passive west) are on a run just now, though it won’t last.
    Where is the one leader to show all of us that the price is now too high to tolerate perverse groups such as ISIS or HAMAS to prosper? And to then return them to the hell that bred them. To allow Jews, Muslims, Christians to thrive.


    What the West needs is new leadership. We don’t need to sue the President or impeach the President, we need a leader like Reagan who laughed at and ridiculed Carter with “there he goes again” every time Carter espoused another ridiculous ideas.

    America’s allies are failed nations most of whom capitulated to Hitler, and whose descendants can be expected to get on their knees to Hamas. In fact, France and Norway set up their own Nazi governments, arrested Jews and turned them over to the Germans. Why would you expect their children to have any more backbone?

    My vote next election goes to the tough guy who stands up for Israel and who brings our foreign policy out of the dismal depths of failure and despair that Obama and Kerry have led us to.

    America, I hardly know you.

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