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Yes, Israel Does Have a Right to Exist

Whether Israel actually has the right to exist as a sovereign nation seems to be the underlying question in the debate about the current Israeli offensive against Hamas.

Some critics ask why this action will bring about results that are any different than the poorly planned 2006 Israeli military action in Lebanon. Others focus on Palestinian civilian casualties. And then there are the zealots, conveniently ignored by the mainstream media in this country (and elsewhere, like France) that believe Israel has no right to exist whatsoever.

That Israel has a right to exist as a sovereign state is beyond dispute. It is a sovereign state and has the right and requisite responsibility to defend itself against all enemies. I'll posit that everything outside of that fact is open to debate including Israeli foreign policy blunders, U S meddling that has exacerbated the security problem in Israel, Palestinian homeland issues etc. But the fact remains that Israel is a sovereign nation.

But the reality that Israel is serious this time in its action against Hamas is not lost on even The New York Times which is reporting that :

To Israel's critics abroad, the picture could not be clearer: Israel's war in Gaza is a wildly disproportionate response to the rockets of Hamas, causing untold human suffering and bombing an already isolated and impoverished population into the Stone Age, and it must be stopped...

Yet here in Israel very few, at least among the Jewish population, see it that way.
Since Israeli warplanes opened the assault on Gaza 18 days ago, about 900 Palestinians have been reported killed, many of them civilians. Red Cross workers were denied access to scores of dead and wounded Gazans, and a civilian crowd near a United Nations school was hit, with at least 40 people killed.

But voices of dissent in this country have been rare. And while tens of thousands have poured into the streets of world capitals demonstrating against the Israeli military operation, antiwar rallies here have struggled to draw 1,000 participants. The Peace Now organization has received many messages from supporters telling it to stay out of the streets on this one. (emphasis mine)

As the editorial page of The Jerusalem Post put it on Monday, the world must be wondering, do Israelis really believe that everybody is wrong and they alone are right?

The answer is yes.

"It is very frustrating for us not to be understood," remarked Yoel Esteron, editor of a daily business newspaper called Calcalist. "Almost 100 percent of Israelis feel that the world is hypocritical. Where was the world when our cities were rocketed for eight years and our soldier was kidnapped? Why should we care about the world's view now?"

A united Israel? Yes. That is what differentiates the current military action from the 2006 mistake in Lebanon:

"Unlike the confused and improvised Israeli response as the war against Hizbullah in Lebanon unfolded in 2006, Operation Cast Lead (the Gaza attack) appears to have been carefully prepared over a long period."

"Israeli media reports, by usually well-informed correspondents and analysts, alluded yesterday to six months of intelligence-gathering to pinpoint Hamas targets including bases, weapon silos, training camps and the homes of senior officials. The cabinet spent five hours discussing the plan in detail on December 19 and left the timing up to Ehud Olmert, the caretaker prime minister, and his defence minister Ehud Barak. Preparations involved disinformation and deception which kept Israel's media in the dark. According to Ha'aretz, that also lulled Hamas into a sense of false security and allowed the initial aerial onslaught to achieve tactical surprise - and kill many of the 290 victims (emphasis mine) counted so far."

Victims? Not so much if they were Hamas terrorists.

Hamas may have catastrophically miscalculated and Israel's decisive victory against this Iranian proxy could forebode some intersting foreign policy calculus for the incoming Obama administration. At a minimum it can only be hoped president elect Obama doesn't squander this advantage because the past several weeks of Israeli resoluteness and decisiveness, combined with imminent victory in Iraq, have been an excellent departure from what has been for conservatives a decades long exercise in frustration with US Middle East foreign policy.


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Comments (16)

This illustrates an importa... (Below threshold)

This illustrates an important point: in the short term, the Israelis can only be stopped by Israelis. For all of their protests and handwringing, neither the Arab countries nor the so-called 'international community' is sending troops into Gaza to fight alongside Hamas. And economically, any boycotts or the like have as much chance of working as they did with Hussein or any other 'pariah'. The US does have the ability to cut off arms supplies and economic support, but hopefully the Israelis have enough for the time being.

So it comes down to this, just as has been the case in previous rounds: do the Israelis care enough to let their military do the job? Maybe this time, the answer is yes.

The Guardian link is... (Below threshold)

The Guardian link is fixed.

Israeli PM Olmert brags how... (Below threshold)

Israeli PM Olmert brags how he telephonically crashed a Bush event in order to tell US President Bush to order Rice to abstain on the Gaza resolution in the UNSC last week. Mystery solved.


Israel begins purge of Israeli Arabs from the Knesset.


Israel telling the world to... (Below threshold)

Israel telling the world to get fucked! I like it! Besides, I have infinite fair in our liberal elites to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Just give them time. They won't disappoint.

bryan,what has that got to ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

bryan,what has that got to do with anything? If your next door neighbor started shooting at your house, and the police did nothing. How many of your family members would have to be killed before you did something to stop the people shooting at you? I'll bet, bryan, you would move rather than defend anything.

Obama has in his hands the ... (Below threshold)

Obama has in his hands the most outstanding legacy of any president since Reagan. He can choose whether to support Israel or not. If he does, the result will ultimately be peace in Palestine.

If he does not, things will continue as they have for years.

Perhaps a small glimmer o... (Below threshold)

Perhaps a small glimmer of hope that Israel will finally do what should have been done long ago?

And after Hamas, Fatah, then the ancillary organizations need to be rendered ineffectual.

As for the world's opinion, some rope and urine is required.

"bryan,what has that got to... (Below threshold)

"bryan,what has that got to do with anything?"

Israel is subsidized by the US taxpayer. Israeli citizens are allowed to hold US passports and to work within the US government concocting schemes that Wiley Coyote would call half-assed. Replace "Acme" with "USA". That's the rub.

"I'll bet, bryan, you would move rather than defend anything."
5. Posted by Zelsdorf Ragshaft III

Were you that guy in platoon 2066 that kept trying to wear swim trunks in the shower? No wait! As a level 30 mage your service is in your head and you ass is in permanent Sit.
Or did you sit out service with your head in your ass, like this....(video):


Israel begins purg... (Below threshold)
Israel begins purge of Israeli Arabs from the Knesset.

Ha ha, that's rich. Hey Bryan, how many Jews are in the Iranian parliament? What about the Hamas parliament, or whatever it is they call it? The Egyptian parliament? The Syrian parliament?

Those eeevil Joooos. How dare they?

"Yes, Israel Does Have a Ri... (Below threshold)

"Yes, Israel Does Have a Right to Exist"

That's a straw man or a point conceded since the audience is strictly trans-atlantic. The question is calculated to support the subliminal mythologizing that the US is under treaty obligation to Israel. Meant to be a conversation stopper.

To understand the present, ... (Below threshold)

To understand the present, one must know the past. The real tragedy is that an Israel was ever necessary. This is a people that paid a 200 year price to have one place they could be safe. Joke. No place.But UK & USA felt guilty enough over their own anti-semitism to create israel after WW2.Then they left them without weapons and open to attack. The Arabs had supported nazism and it was no surprise that they attacked a defenceless group. Palestine could not be used as an excuse then. Twice to my knowledge israel has offered the 'Palestine'
land back and it is refused. If Palestine was cared for by the Arab world they would help, not take the hurt children to use use use as suicide bombers and symbols of victim. The Arab world has shown its true heart by victimising its own family in Palestine.We show our irrationality , ignorance and lack of moral core by following the distortions in the media. Remember 9/11. remember the poison gas deaths of Iraqs unwanted.Remember the teerrible camps in Palestine that exist under the pressure of Hamas and other anti-Jewish terrorists.And, NO, I am not jewish. but I do know my history and I am fed up of being fed lies by the Media.Are Islamics moral?Well our first Muslim Politician voted for the Prostition Bill and in fact was the deciding vote that has allowed men to continue prostituting young women from ethnic backgrounds.Do not be deceived.

"That's a straw man or a... (Below threshold)

"That's a straw man or a point conceded ... Meant to be a conversation stopper."

Yeah, because if we refrain from firmly establishing that point as the basis, the conversation could go anywhere. You know, like questioning their right to defend themselves as any other nation would.

Bryan wouldn't move. He'd ... (Below threshold)

Bryan wouldn't move. He'd start protesting against his family trying to defend themselves, and accuse them of hate crimes.

Bryan, Where are you... (Below threshold)

Where are your sources for your posted
accusations? I've known some one for years
who is jewish, and none of her Israelis family
members can come to the U.S. even for short

Hugh, why do you use that b... (Below threshold)

Hugh, why do you use that bold-italic style for excerpts? The blockquote style that the other authors use is so much easier to read.

Israel telling the world to... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Israel telling the world to get fucked! I like it! Besides, I have infinite fair in our liberal elites to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Just give them time. They won't disappoint.

Alright, fess up, who gave this mindless burp 4 votes? Oh, I get it, he used profanity, "liberal elites" and a sentence that makes no sense - What is "infinite fair?" And how will our liberal elites snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for Israel, since Israel has told the world, which I would think would include the US, to get fucked?






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