Small and malevolent: The third time in Gaza

Another operation that ends after they fired on us and we responded with greater firepower cannot be considered a victory.

Gaza border, July 18  (photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)
Gaza border, July 18
(photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)
A puny little man with a nasty disposition is walking down the street when he runs into Mr. Skornik, a kind, quiet giant who has a black belt in every martial art imaginable and can tear out an opponent’s liver with his bare hands. The little man jumps on Mr. Skornik and starts flailing at him. What does he think is going to happen? Does he expect Mr. Skornik to conduct a civil discussion with him about how to improve his financial situation? Does he expect him to think that he was suddenly possessed by a “bad boy” and deal only with that part of him? It’s not going to happen. The man’s bones are about to be crushed. He’s a goner.
It’s no different with nations. When the “nation of Gaza” attacks Israel, nobody can expect us to use tweezers to pluck out the bad boy that took over all of a sudden. The government in Gaza was elected by a wide margin.
It wasn’t airlifted in from outside. It is the people’s choice.
The Hamas leaders have two primary objectives.
The first is to remain in power, and the second to improve their conditions. The rest of the drivel comes later: to strike at the Jews and anyone else who isn’t willing to live by its rules; to establish an Islamic empire throughout the region – actually, why not think big – throughout the world. Such an empire can compel everyone it doesn’t assassinate to live like people did a thousand years ago. It can take delight in persecuting women and homosexuals, in public whippings, in cutting off offenders’ hands or stoning them to death.
But we can’t really blame them. After all, it’s been about 500 years since Islam contributed anything positive to human civilization, aside from humous. For nearly two weeks most of Israel has been under attack, not including the communities near Gaza for whom this has been the daily routine for quite some time.
Beyond the danger the rocket barrages pose, it is an insult to the citizens of Israel and shows utter disregard for them as human beings. It is obvious to everyone, including the prime minister, that this is unacceptable and has to be stopped immediately. But how? What options do we have? How can we use our prodigious military might against terrorists who hide themselves among a civilian population? These are not the right questions. What we should be asking is whether Hamas is an unwanted element in Gaza, despised by the local population? Are the Gazans rising up against it in an attempt to free themselves from its grip? Answer: not at all. Hamas came to power thanks to massive public support, and if life in Gaza becomes unsustainable, its governance will be meaningless. It is hard to live in Gaza these days – but not hard enough for the rocket attacks on Israel to stop.
Another operation that ends after they fired on us and we responded with greater firepower cannot be considered a victory.
The terrorist who aims a rocket at us from within a crowded neighborhood is too small a target. The whole neighborhood should be flattened. The citizens have to learn that if someone wants to fire rockets near their home, they’d better prevent it from happening or get out of there, because soon they won’t have any home to live in. There won’t be any electricity or gas either. Nothing. You don’t rid a dog of fleas with tweezers; you immerse the whole animal in an anti-flea bath.
Let everyone think we’ve gone crazy, that it’s not a good idea to provoke us.
If you’re weak and puny, no matter how mean you are, you don’t mess with someone who’s bigger than you.
Translated from the Hebrew by Sara Kitai, skitai@