July 04, 2006

Melanie Phillips - Israel's Restraint

Why is it therefore only the Jews, of all peoples in the world, who are thus implicitly not to be allowed to defend themselves from attack?

Why, indeed. Why is it the Jews, who are the most restrained, accused of having no restraint? Why are the Jews, who act with the most purity of ethics in this asymmetrical war of theirs, accused of being as evil and as morally repugnant as Palestinians (who get points for speaking truth to Israel's power)?

My answer has always been, because Israel is not aggressive enough, Israel invites attacks on them. Nobody likes a loser, and nobody will give the big bruiser in the world any help if they realize the big bruiser is not going to hurt them personally. It is human psychology. Size and strength conveys fear of the person who is strong. But humans are not 100% animals, we are not controlled by our instincts, of fear nor rage. If a human being has the knowledge that a big strong guy is prevented from hurting them because of X, then that human will not be afraid of the strong guy.

In psychological terms, it is rationalizing your fears. It is making up reasons to be afraid or not be afraid. And it works.

Therefore Israel is attacked in the media and on the ground, precisely because Israel has shown itself to be someone who will not wipe out your village in return for one Israeli being killed.

Israel is simply in a war of self-preservation. In the circumstances, its restraint has been extraordinary. No other country in the world, under such sustained attack, would have waited for months before taking action to bring this war by terror to an end. Yet not only does Coughlin not mention any of this, but far worse he writes this:

In comparison to the US, the US also has imposed restraint on how we treat terroists and what not. There is a difference however. While Israel is alone and has some weaknesses, America is not alone (we have more pop) and we have far fewer weaknesses (stronger military and Jacksonian core).

So the US's reaction to the execution of our 2 soldiers, is in fact weaker than Israel's reaction, simply because the US is so powerful we react slower given that we have no fear of the terroists. Therefore the situation is not desperate, and it does not call for desperate action. But the US has of course, proven that when desperation is called for, even a multilateralist like Bush can use desperate measures.

A few years ago, a friend of mine said that Israel is totally justified in responding to attacks on their civilians. I disagreed, if Israel was totally justified, they should have used their nuclear armaments and destroyed the entire Palestinian Authority, along with whatever capitals were aiding them though the Israeli Air Force. They did not do that, so obviously Israel did not believe themselves "justified" in doing such things in retaliation for attacks on Israeli civilians. israel didn't even believe that the prevention of Israeli deaths jsutified the use of the Israeli military on their enemies.

In this case, Bush compares quite well. Bush does not believe it is justified or necessary to summarily execute the terroists at GitMo, which would allow us to shut down GitMo. Bush did not believe it was justified because he did not believe the saving of American lives justified the death of a few terroists when those terroists were in our custody. I know, slim point, but still.

Others, like Bush (hollywood, also do not believe we are justified, and I wrote my thoughts about that kind of mess here.

Update, All Things Beautiful also wrote about Israel and stuff here.

This is my comment to it specifically.

Israel should do this.

Tell Hamas and the Palestinians they are willing to deal in exchange for the body of their soldier, but that they need to have the names of the 1,000 people that has been demanded to be released on paper, and in public. This should be broadcast to the UN, let sit for 4 days as an entire week's worth of news cycles beat into it.


When Israel gets that list of people with names and pictures. Israel should hold summary executions of all 1,000 names and faces, broadcasted nationally or just posted on youtube or a website. This should last about a month or so if you can get a few a day.

Israel should then say to the world,

"when a terroist demands that you be released from jail, you might as well slit your own throats" Or/

Durka Durka, Muhammed Jihad. Sherpa Sherpa, bak allad. (as an alternative version)

How's that for Law and Order? Then do Total War. I wrote a response to Melanie Phillip's post about the same subject, Israel's restraint here


Heard on Fox that Israel has in the past exchanged prisoners, 400 Hizbollah for 1 alive guy and 3 bodies. Great. People who say the Israelis are experienced at counter-terrorism, and that we should copy Israel, don't know what they are talking about. Israel is weak, they act weak, of course they are going to get experience in CT that way. That doesn't mean the US should act the same way.

Israel, trading 400 or 1100 prisoners for 1 Israeli? What kind of idiot are they. The kind of idiotic belief that has powered this so called war for 50 years, is that it.


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