The Demons of Gaza
Only Hamas is to Blame for the War; Only the Palestinians Can Stop It
January 10, 2009
The New York Post
Israel hasn’t killed a single civilian in the Gaza Strip. Over a hundred civilians have died, and Israeli bombs or shells may have ended their lives.
But Israeli didn’t kill them.
It’s time to smash the lies. The lies of Hamas. The UN lies. And the save-the-terrorists lies of the global media.
There is no moral equivalence between Hamas terrorists and Israeli soldiers.
There is no gray area. There is no point in negotiations.
Hamas is a Jew-killing machine. It exists to destroy Israel. What is there to negotiate? When Hamas can’t kill Jews, it’s perfectly willing to drive Palestinian civilians into the line of fire – old men, women and children. Hamas herds the innocent into “shelters,” then draws Israeli fire on them. And the headline-greedy media cheer them on.
Hamas isn’t fighting for political goals. “Brokered agreements” are purely means to an end. And the envisioned end is the complete destruction of Israel in the name of a terrorist god. Safe in hidden bunkers or in Damascus, the Hamas leadership is willing to watch an unlimited number of civilians and even street-level terrorists die.
Lives, too, are nothing but means to an end. And dead kids are the coins that keep the propaganda meter ticking.
All Hamas had to do to prevent Israel’s act of self-defense was to leave Israel unmolested by terror rockets. All Hamas needs to do now to stop this conflict and spare the Palestinian people it pretends to champion is to stop trying to kill Israelis and agree to let Israel exist in peace.
Hamas didn’t, and Hamas won’t.
Now Israel has to continue its attack, to wreak all the havoc it can on Hamas before a new American president starts meddling. If Israel stops now, Hamas can declare victory just for surviving – despite its crippling losses.
While it’s impossible to fully eliminate extremism, killing every terrorist leader hiding in a Gaza bunker is the only hope of achieving even a temporary, imperfect peace. The chance may not come again.
And don’t worry about “creating a power vacuum.” Let the Palestinians pick up their own pieces. Even anarchy in Gaza is better for Israel than Hamas. Israelis, Americans and Westerners overall share a tragic intellectual blind spot: We’re caught in yesterday’s model of terrorism, that of Arafat’s PLO, of the IRA, the Red Brigades or the Weather Underground. But, as brutal as those organizations could be, they never believed they were on a mission from God.
Yesteryear’s terrorists wanted to change the world. They were willing to shed blood and, in extreme cases, to give their own blood to their causes. But they didn’t seek death. They preferred to live to see their “better world.”
Now our civilization faces terrorists who regard death as a promotion. They believe that any action can be excused because they’re serving their god. And their core belief is that you and I, as stubborn unbelievers, deserve death.
Their grisly god knows no compromise. To give an inch is to betray their god’s trust entirely. Yet we – and even some Israelis – believe it’s possible to cut deals with them.
In search of peace, Israel handed Gaza to the Palestinians, a people who had never had a state of their own. As thanks, Israel received terror rockets.
And the Palestinian people got a gang war.
Peace is the last thing Hamas terrorists and gangsters want. Peace means the game is up. Peace means they’ve disappointed their god. Peace means no more excuses. They couldn’t bear peace for six months.
This is a war to the bitter end. And we’re afraid to admit what it’s about. It’s not about American sins or Israeli intransigence. It’s about a sickness in the soul of a civilization – of Middle-Eastern Islam – that can only be cured from within. Until Arabs or Iranians decide to cure themselves, we’ll
have to fight.
Instead, we want to talk. We convince ourselves, against all evidence, that our enemies really want to talk, too, that they just need “incentives” (the diplomat’s term for bribes). The apparent belief of our president-elect that it’s possible to negotiate with faith-fueled fanatics is so naive it’s
Yet, it’s understandable. Barack Obama’s entire career has been built on words, not deeds, on his power to persuade, not his power to deliver. But all the caucuses, debates, neighborhood meetings and backroom deal-making sessions in his past haven’t prepared him to “negotiate” with men whose single-minded goal is Israel’s destruction – and ours.
If Obama repeats the same “peace-process” folly as his predecessors, from Jimmy have-you-hugged-your-terrorist-today? Carter through Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, he’ll be devoured before he knows he’s been bitten.
How many administrations have to repeat the identical error of believing that, deep down inside, terrorists, gunmen and warlords really want peace every bit as much as we do? Israel’s enemies aren’t just looking to cut a sharp deal. They want to destroy Israel.
Which part of what they shout in our faces is so hard to understand? Israel’s foes have been preaching Jew-hatred for so long that even the “moderates” can’t turn back now.
And why does the global left hate Israel so? Why would they pull out the stops to rescue Hamas?
Because Israel exposed the lie that a suffering people can’t lift itself up through hard work, education and discipline. Israel didn’t need the help of a hundred condescending NGOs and their misery junkies.
Because the Holocaust is a permanent embarrassment to Europeans. They need to believe that Israelis are kosher Nazis.
Because, from the safety of cafes and campuses, it’s cool to call terrorists “freedom fighters.” It makes you feel less guilty when you hit up daddy (or the state) for money. I mean, dude, it’s not like you have to, like, live with them or anything, you know?
(The preceding sentence is not a direct quote from Caroline Kennedy.)
Because, above all, the most-destructive racists in the world today are mainstream leftists. Want the truth? The Left codes Israel as white and, therefore, inherently an oppressor. Israel is held to the highest standard of our civilization and our legal codes – and denied the right to self-defense.
But the Left tacitly believes that people with darker skins are inferior and can’t be expected to behave at a civilized level. Leftists expect terrorist movements or African dictators to behave horribly. It’s the post-modern, latte-sucking version of the “little brown brother” mentality.
The worst enemies of developing societies have been leftists who refuse to hold them to fundamental standards of governance and decency. But, then, the Left needs developing societies to fail to prove that the system’s hopelessly stacked against them.
A battered, impoverished, butchered people built a thriving Western democracy in an Eastern wasteland. Israel can never be forgiven for its success.
In this six-decade-old conflict that Israel’s intractable neighbors continue to force upon it, there not only are no good solutions, but, thanks to the zero-sum mentality of Islamist terrorists, there aren’t even any bad solutions – short of nuclear genocide – that would bring an enduring peace to the Middle East.
And even the elimination of Israel wouldn’t be enough. The terrorists would fight among themselves, while warring upon less-devout fellow Muslims.
All Israel can do is to fight for time and buy intervals of relative calm with the blood of its sons and daughters. By demanding premature cease-fires and insisting that we can find a diplomatic solution, we strengthen monsters and undercut our defenders.
And don’t believe the propaganda about this conflict rallying Gaza’s Palestinians behind Hamas. That’s more little-brown-brother condescension, assuming all Arabs are so stupid they don’t know who started this and who’s dragging it out at their expense.
Gaza’s people may not care much for Israelis, but they rue the day they cast their votes for Hamas. Hamas is killing them.
Ralph Peters is a retired U.S. Army officer and the author of “Looking For