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For the sake of peace, Israel needs to stop being reasonable

For the sake of peace, Israel needs to stop being reasonable

Earlier this week I received an email from a friend (and former colleague) who teaches at Stanford.  The email, containing a link to an column, had been forwarded several times before reaching him and arrived in my inbox complete with a good dozen endorsements like, “Makes perfect sense” and “Too true.”

I probably wouldn’t have clicked the link if not for the huge number of academics (judging by the domains) in the various distribution lists.  These are not generally the sorts of people to  endorse sentiments published by the Examiner.

The column, written by Ben Kamin, is titled When Israel does finally talk with Hamas.  And it begins sensibly enough:

A.B. Yehoshua, the renowned Israeli novelist, playwright, and thinker, fiercely independent and deeply rooted in the marrow of Jerusalem, wrote an article yesterday for the Op-ed page of the Israeli newspaper, “Ha-aretz.” He declared that the time has come for Israel to talk with Hamas—something whispered about by many people on the Israeli side and secretly believed by a significant number of Jewish people in general.

Indeed, there were a number of Jewish names on the email’s distribution lists, and a disproportionate number were in the amen corner.  They must have loved the eminently reasonable and sensible way that Kamin goes on for another couple of hundred words, saying nothing that any eminently sensible and reasonable person who wants peace could disagree with—right up to and including the final grafs:

If Israel, with its supremely (sic) intelligence operation, knows that Hamas, however reprehensible, is the linchpin in pulling together the fractured Palestinian coalitions; if the Israeli government, brandishing an extraordinary array of social, cultural, and technological achievements really wants to end this horrifying conflict; it will indeed find a way to talk to the Hamas entity in Gaza.

Only it should not send dreamers like the wonderful A.B. Yehoshua to the table. Let such good men and women write poetry about the peace once it has become a reality.

I just shook my head.  The intended rationality of such commentary, which defines the debate over the generic concept called “Mideast peace,” is precisely why there isn’t peace.  And won’t be without a new approach.

Here’s what I wrote back to my friend:

Sorry, but this is silly.  The question isn’t whether Israel will agree to talk with Hamas.  The question is whether Hamas will agree to talk to Israel…as a Jewish state whose citizens it agrees not to murder whenever possible.  That’s such an obvious observation, it’s embarrassing to have to make it.  There is zero question—rather, there shouldn’t be after Israel forcibly removed all of its citizens from Gaza seven years ago and handed it over to the Palestinians—that Israel desires peace more than anything.  But rather than build a state there, the Palis ELECTED Hamas, an organization sworn to destroy the “Zionist entity.”  It’s been war ever since, and in fact over the last month Hamas in Gaza publicly tortured and summarily “executed” men they called “collaborators” with Israel.  That term applies only to war.  Ask yourself: How come no one ever writes an op-ed in the New York Times or Huffington Post or anywhere else that says, “When Hamas Does Finally Talk to Israel.”  They don’t because they know it’ll never happen, and the longer we continue with this charade, the more people will die.

Today came yet further confirmation of that (via Reuters):

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, making his first ever visit to the Gaza Strip, vowed on Saturday never to recognize Israel and said his Islamist group would never abandon its claim to all Israeli territory.

“Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told a sea of supporters at an open-air rally, the highlight of his three-day stay in Gaza.

I sent my friend at Stanford the link, along with this comment:

I hate being right about this all the time, but this is essentially as easy as picking the winners of a ballgame the morning after.

Insisting that Israel be reasonable with an unreasonable enemy is, as Orwell said of pacifists, objectively pro-fascist.


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Ah, Joel.

…..needs to stop being reasonable

In that, you just lost 75% of your argument.

Your post may be reasonable, but your headline leaves you swimming upstream from the word go.

    exsanguine in reply to Browndog. | December 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Turn your sarcasm meter back on sparky.


      Browndog in reply to exsanguine. | December 8, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Names not Sparky, asshat.

      Address the merits of my post–leave the tough guy playground name calling out of it.

        exsanguine in reply to Browndog. | December 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

        There were no merits. You missed the sarcasm of the title thus, you failed.

          Browndog in reply to exsanguine. | December 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

          Should have just said that in the first place–but, you couldn’t help yourself, could you?

          -I maybe more aware than most how sarcasm flies on this blog–like a lead balloon, so it’s no wonder I missed it.

          -I don’t back down from personal attacks. Moreover, it’s not welcome.

          Let sleeping dogs lie…

    Voyager in reply to Browndog. | December 9, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Why? What is the value in reasonableness?

The only reasonable terrorist is a dead terrorist. That defines how to reasonably deal with Hamas.

    jdkchem in reply to JerryB. | December 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I’m all for making more reasonable terrorists.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to JerryB. | December 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Let the Mossad do their work.

    News Flash: A Hamas convoy that was apparently carrying stockpiles of Sarin gas from Damascus to Gaza was hit by missiles fired from Israeli warplanes and drones. A Ministry of Defense spokesman said, “This convoy was believed to carrying surface-to-air missiles and other contraband Syrian weaponry instead of nerve gas. The IDF had no way of knowing that Hamas and PA leadership would do something so irresponsible as carry this highly dangerous cargo in unmarked vehicles through residential neighborhoods. It also begs the question, ‘What was Hamas ultimately going to do with these weapons?'”

    According to UN officials in Gaza, the death toll is in the tens of thousands, but due to the confusing nature of events and pockets of residual Sarin gas that has settled in low-lying areas and in buildings, it will be days before an accurate account of this tragedy can be presented to the world.

    President Obama was playing the back nine at Pebble Beach and was unavailable for comment. White House spokesman Jay Carney blamed, “Israeli intransigence and over reaction,” for the carnage, but he added that, “The Obama Administration is still closer to the Jewish state than any administration since Andrew Jackson.”

Replace Israel with Republicans. We know who the terrorists are.

“When Israel does finally accept Hamas’ goal to obliterate Israel.”

There. Fixed it.

Just like a battered wife needs to sit down and talk with her abusing husband. She should be reasonable about that!

The Drill SGT | December 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm

The same people cheered Chamberlain after Munich…

Off topic, but speaking of Jews and all, you might chuckle at this, like I did.

Last night was the Montana Avenue Holiday Walk. Our youngest daughter was going with her friends and I quizzed my wife on who was going to watch over them.

My wife said she and another mom, Mimi, (who totally reminds me of Mrs. Jacobson) were going to take turns. My wife said she’d go with the girls first. She said Mimi had to go to a Hanukkah party and afterwards she’d come and relieve my wife. The party was given by her old neighbor and she didn’t really want to go … she wouldn’t know anybody besides her old neighbor and the traffic getting there at that time would be horrible.

When I got home late last night my wife was laughing.

I asked her how the Montana Holiday Walk went. She said Mimi had called her and told her that she’d be relieving her early.

After a horrible, rush-hour traffic-congested drive, they finally reached their old neighbor’s house.

They rang the doorbell. The old neighbor opened the door.

And told them, “The party is tomorrow.”

And so, LukeHandCool, not too early, not too late, but just on time, wishes everyone a Happy Hanukkah.

Kamin’s logic exemplifies a serious emotional problem of the people on the left: that is, they back their logic in to fit their political fantasies. An otherwise completely rational person is in this respect, truly delusional. This kind of thinking if appropriate to a five year old leaving cookies for Santa, as they await a gift.

So it’s no surprise how the lazy, under-accomplished ‘Barack Obama’ was imagined from nothing, and how a ‘fashion icon’ like the dowdy, homely and taseteless Michelle Obama was created from nothing.

Now, it’s Fauxahontas Warren’s turn to be ‘created.’ BUT, we 59 million+ aren’t going for it.

Marshall McLuhan used to say the ‘media is the message.’ But we need to re-phrase it to, ‘the media is the enemy.’

Correction: McLuhan said the ‘medium is the message.’ So I took poetic license…

Did you all read that Obama is sending 200 American top-grade tanks to Egypt along with other military equipment’upgrades?

I was really hoping that the evil Zionists would have drone-zapped Khalid when he stepped foot in Gaza, but unfortunately they restrained themselves just a little too much.

Joel gets it: Hamas wants all the land and wants all the Jews dead. A ‘moderate’ Palestinian wants all the land and wants all the Jews deported or enslaved. There are very few Palestinians willing to share the land, and they don’t talk much because to say that they are willing to share is a great way to be branded a ‘collaborator’ and thus be killed.

Khalid Meshaal is simply saying what is in the opening section of Hamas’ charter. Until they change that there will be no peace.

You can’t be reasonable with unreasonable people. That’s a lesson more of us should learn.

Israel should have sent a missile into Gaza and taken out Khalid Meshaal when they had the chance, just like they did al-Jabari. They will rue the day they passed up this opportunity.

    radiofreeca in reply to FloridaPaul. | December 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Sometimes the best thing you can do, once you know where someone is, is leave them alive and watch traffic in/out of their door and all their email. The problem with killing a known leader is then you have to try to identify the new leader(s). Far better to leave the organization intact, then decapitate right before a major operation.

TrooperJohnSmith | December 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Everyone on the Islamic side says, “Destroy Israel. Push them into the sea!” At what point, does Israel take the same stand?

When one side makes it a winner-take-all proposition, negotiating for a tie for your side is not an option! The Islamists are saying, “No Jews. No Jewish problem!” If any group should take THAT threat seriously, it’s Israel. Now, turn it around. “No Palestinians. No Palestinian problem”.

And fu*k the rest of the world.

The unrecognized victim of post-enlightenment was reason and reasonable.

If you are of rational mind, there are just some actions that you should never undertake.

First, don’t negotiate with terrorists.

Second, don’t surrender conquered territory.

Third, don’t be fooled by false intent.

..not necessarily in that order.

There’s this: “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,”.

I like this better if Israelis would say: “Israel is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,”.

Has any Israeli said that? If they have not, they need to, and also need to mean it, and act on it.

[…] I must recommend a guest post at LI by Joel Berger in which he takes to task, not just the liberal/left US/UK media but also several […]

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | December 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Liberal Jews, whether Mr Cohen of the NY Times, or Tzipi Livni, or A.B. Yehoshua, of the Israeli Political system and Parliament member and leader, are defeating their own race, religion, society, culture, history, and people, let alone the State of Israel.. Whether with, or in their political misleadership, financial donations, political rhetoric, and or votes in support of liberal progressive anti-Israeli / anti-semitic / anti-American views and policies against the very existence, intentionally, and or unintentionally, is due to their perverted polluted poisoned mindset, due to their own self-loathing answer to why they are hated in the world so much syndrome-

As Sigmund Freud’s psychological reasons, where he explains that the instinct to survive from your enemies, drives one into the very arms of their enemies, to hide in plain sight- thus to escape their enemies, they become one with their enemies, embrace their enemies, to be accepted by their enemies.. This is of course asinine stupidity of a useful idiot, and is about as insane as one could get.

Thus what this is, is the Freudian psychological diagnosis of their insanity- liberal Jews like Mr Cohen or Tzipi Livni, need and urge to be accepted by, be a part of their enemies world.

But then again that’s the far left’s whole premise of being, to turn logic and reason and sanity upside down- to make the insane sane, the illogical logical, to make wrong into right, and evil into good, etc, etc.. Thus the equivalence of what they, people like Mr Cohen or Tzipi Livni say, do, and act upon, is synonymous with supporting Hitler for election.

They are not only worse than the anti-Semites of the world- they are truly The Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst of today.

There is zero question—rather, there shouldn’t be after Israel forcibly removed all of its citizens from Gaza seven years ago and handed it over to the Palestinians—that Israel desires peace more than anything.

Why do people constantly bring this up as if it were saying something good about Israel? For this terrible crime alone, Israel does not deserve peace. Israelis complain about the rockets? Their elected government invited those rockets; the misery they deliberately inflicted on 10,000 innocent people is being repaid them. They sowed the wind, and are reaping kassams, grads, and fajrs.

And no, I’m not being facetious; if a USA government had tried such a thing, ethnically cleansing an area in order to hand it over to an enemy, not only would the courts have stopped it, but if they didn’t then violent protests would have stopped it.