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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Richard Cohen: Almost getting it right about Gaza

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/02/richard-cohen-almost-getting-it-right.html

In Rocketing Toward War, Richard Cohen (you can write to him here: cohenr@washpost.com)  almost wrote a good article about Gaza and Sderot:
 
In Europe and elsewhere, where activists are just plain dizzy from their own moral virtue, Israel is denounced for inflicting suffering on Gaza. But the protesters say nothing about the Qassams raining from the sky -- sometimes as many as 40 a day. The adjectives for the Qassams are innocuous: crude, inaccurate. Yes, but they have killed 13 in the past seven years, and they make life here almost unbearable. The bus stops have been converted to bomb shelters, and a tarpaulin of steel has been thrown over a school to protect it. Question a resident and you will not get bluster. "I'm scared," says Anatoly Ahurov, 25, formerly of the former Soviet Union.
But then he spoiled it:
 
Sderot represents the metastasized insanity of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle -- rockets sent to kill anyone, it doesn't matter whom. The tempting solution is to respond in kind. But this has been done. In Gaza. In Lebanon. Now the northern border is -- fingers crossed -- quiet. Some sort of deal, arrangement, accommodation, understanding has been reached with Hezbollah. Maybe nothing more than a wink. Maybe just a breathing spell.
 
Something like this has to be done with Hamas as well. Israel has the armed might to maul Hamas. But inevitably, the rockets will return, sooner or later reaching Ashkelon, the major port not all that far away. (Nothing in Israel is all that far away.) Gaza is a pitiless trap.
 
Israelis don't trust Hamas, and why should they? It wishes Israel nothing but death. But some accommodation has to be reached. There are ways.
Why?? Why does some agreement have to be reached? Why doesn't the U.S. have to reach an agreement with Osama Bin Laden, and why didn't the allies have to reach an agreement with Hitler, but Israel must reach an agreement with Hamas?? What agreement could be reached with Hamas other than "Truce now, die later?"
 
Cohen missed two essential features of the Gaza situation: The first is that Hamas will not make an agreement unless that agreement allows it to import arms freely, which means it would get stronger. The second is that Hamas is out to destroy Israel and makes no bones about it. The agreement was Hezbollah was not a model. It is a ticking bomb.
 
Ami Isseroff
 
 
 


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