Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.
The latest iteration of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians (in this instance Hamas) provides nothing new to those who follow the region and conflict. This new chapter in the repetitive saga of a Palestinian group lobbing rockets into Israel and that nation’s overwhelmingly unequal response provides us with a new reason to mourn the loss of innocent lives and justify our directionless anger. Regardless of one’s thoughts about the proportionality of Israel’s response, we should all be clear that every nation – let alone one surrounded by perceived enemies – has the absolute moral and lawful right to defend itself from an aggressive opponent.
There should be no question, therefore, about the validity of Israel’s attack on Hamas; Israel is a sovereign state and anyone who attacks this – or any – sovereign state has to expect a response – either proportional or disproportional. Obviously, Israel’s response is nowhere near proportional and, while the response is justified, I believe the question we should be asking is whether this response is effective in eliminating future attacks. The answer is obvious and it is that this disproportional response is effective in reducing attacks in the short-term but absolutely ineffective in the long-run. The caveat here is my definition of an effective policy which is one that, over time, reduces the number of a nation’s enemies and does not either maintain or increase that number.
On the basis of that definition, this policy has been entirely unsuccessful. It goes without saying that any policy that includes rocket attacks that kill children such as 7-year-old Jamal Al Dalu and his seven relatives including four children will neither engender support nor solidarity. On the contrary, it will result in statements like “we still have so much in our pockets, and we will show you if we have to,” and increase the fundamentalist tone and the culture of martyrdom in the Occupied Territories. Obviously, comments such as those from the spokeswoman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who said that the IDF was “still looking into” the strike which she described as an accident do not help matters. While the strategic solution to this crisis will come through a measured response from Israel, on a tactical level, I remain confident in my belief that the secret behind this version of the conflict lies not in Israel’s response but what Hamas expected to gain from its rocket attacks – and that is something that has not been made clear to the general public.