Weighing in on Gaza attacks, Part IV


William Kristol (New York Times):  "In Lebanon, Israel proclaimed war goals that it couldn’t achieve — such as retrieving its two kidnapped soldiers and disarming Hezbollah. Now the Israeli government says that it seeks to weaken Hamas, lessen its ability to fire rockets from Gaza and secure new arrangements along the Egyptian-Gaza border to prevent Hamas from re-arming. These may well be achievable goals."

Yossi Klein Halevi (Washington Post): "I supported the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, simply to extricate us from that region, knowing that we would not receive peace in return. And now my son is fighting in Gaza. The conflict he and his friends confront is far worse than my generation’s experience in Gaza. In our time, we were confronted with mere rocks and Molotov cocktails; my son faces Iranian-supplied anti-tank weapons … Still, I don’t regret that withdrawal. If Israelis are united today about our right to defend ourselves against Gaza’s genocidally minded regime, it is at least partly because we are fighting from our international border."

Wallace Shawn (The Nation): "As poor and oppressed people around the world are very well aware of the events in the occupied territories, and as they strongly identify with the Palestinian struggle and point of view, the future of the Jews looks increasingly dim. Consequently it is disgraceful and vile and no favor to the Jews for American politicians — for narrow, short-term political advantage, for narrow, short-term global-strategic reasons and, yes, also in expiation of the residual guilt they feel over what happened to the Jews in the past — to pander to the irrationality of the most irrational Jews."

John Bolton (Washington Post): "Let’s start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn. Hamas has killed the idea, and even the Holy Land is good for only one resurrection. Instead, we should look to a ‘three-state’ approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty. Among many anomalies, today’s conflict lies within the boundaries of three states nominally at peace. Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability in their own countries."

Aluf Benn (Salon): "To its credit, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government has built its case for attacking Gaza, both domestically and internationally, by showing restraint for a long time and agreeing to a truce that lasted several months. Hamas, with its Islamist ideology and Iranian alliance, has very few friends. This explains the global support of Israel’s actions. There may be protests in the streets in Arab nations and European capitals, but note the lazy pace of diplomatic efforts to call a ceasefire."

Amir Oren (Ha’aretz): "The challenge for Israel is to create an Arab and international envelope around Gaza, free of Hamas’ rockets, and restore to it the Palestinian Authority in the form of Mahmoud Abbas or Salam Fayyad. This may require new elections in the PA, and this time only the parties willing to recognize the existence of Israel and the validity of the Oslo Accords will be allowed to participate. Bringing Hamas face to face with such a reality will be the true success of Operation Cast Lead."

Jerusalem Post (editorial): "For pacifists who believe that all wars are immoral, Israel’s self-defense operation against Hamas in Gaza is necessarily wrong. To such people we invoke the 18th-century philosopher Edmund Burke: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ Confronted by a movement that amalgamates fascism with religious extremism and a genocidal platform, our moral imperative demands Jewish self-defense."

Recommended from JTA