The Therapy Sessions
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Inky misses the point
Self defense is understandable, but peace won't come with the killing of any one terrorist leader.
The Inquirer seems to have mastered the art of nuance.
This much needs to be made clear: Just as the United States has a right to go after Osama bin Laden, Israel had a right to go after Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
OK. got it.
As the founder and leader of Hamas, a group whose terrorists are responsible for hundreds of attacks, including suicide bombings, against Israeli Jews and Arabs, Israel had a right to go after Yassin as a threat to the state.
OK. Evil man. Got that too.
But that doesn't mean the killing was the best strategy
Hmmmm. Please explain.
It's hard to see how the killing will make Israelis safer or end the 3-year-old Palestinian uprising that has claimed hundreds of lives on both sides.
What were Israel's other options?
Ignore him? That has been a fatal strategy that Israel has followed for a decade.
Arrest him? And this would make Palestinians rational and ready to return to the bargaining table?
On the contrary, it would unleash the same terrorist forces that Israel faces today - except that they would have a demand after each attack: Israel must free Yassin!
Israel has acted wisely. Every leadership change in an autocratic organization like Hamas increases the possiblity of fragmentation.
I believe that the Palestinian Authority faces civil war. The Israeli wall and the targeted assassinations of people like Yassin make civil war more likely.
I hate war, but I can be quite Machiavellian: if you can get your enemies to fight amongst themselves, you make yourself safer.
This is Israel's long term strategy.
And does anyone think for a moment that catching or killing bin Laden or his lieutenant, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, will shatter al-Qaeda or stem Islamist extremists' attacks against the United States?
Does anyone seriously think it will HURT?
It is clear from this editorial that Inquirer's editorial staff is deeply divided. This editorial is the work of a committee, with little contributions from everyone.
There is nothing "clear" about it.
Some editors have no problem with the killing of Yassin. A few editors are under the mistaken impression that a peace process can forced on the region by the US. Some just want to blame Bush.
Israel is engaged against an enemy that demands its complete destruction. There is no negotiation with such a foe.
Some people at the Inquirer seem to believe that Arafat can be pressured into recognizing Israel's "right to exist."
But these cynical editors know the truth: Arafat already did so, as one of the conditions of Oslo in 1994.
Lot of good that worthless promise has been (Is the world still unaware of this man's complete contempt for the truth?).
Israel is - and let me make this clear (not Philadelphia Inquirer "clarity," but John Rogers' clarity) - AT WAR.
Israel has a right to exist because eight million, heavily-armed Jews are living there, and they are willing to fight to the death to maintain their state.
It doesn't matter what the US says. It doesn't matter what Arafat says, or the UN says. And it certainly doesn't matter what the impotent Europeans say.
This much needs to be crammed down Arab throats: Israel is here to stay. Get over it.
Maybe the fact that a bunch of Jews can make a working economy and a succesfull democracy in such an inhospitable land should tell you something about your own governments and economies.
For 50 years, Arabs have been killing Israelis for being successful where they themselves have failed.
It is time to tackle the root of Arab failure. And that is why we are in Iraq.