The aim of victory must be peace

08.26.03

Martin Wasserman writes that Israel has been in denial about the nature of this war (via Israpundit). He claims that:

Israel’s goal must not be peace, but victory, because without victory there can never be peace.

So far, so good. But then he goes on to say that:

The Palestinians and their supporters seek a war of annihilation against us. We must deal with them as they deal with us. We must stop trying to differentiate between good and bad Palestinians, just as they don’t make that distinction among Jews.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Because you see, that’s letting them win. That’s letting those who preach hatred and intolerance and racism vanquish those who would seek peace.

There’s no way out of this mess by simply trying to destroy the terrorist evil. Destroy it, yes. By all means. But the effort must be two-pronged. There needs to be a simultaneous development of a new movement on the Palestinian side – a peace movement. You simply can’t trap three and a half million people in a lousy situation and not present them with a way out – your way out. Because they’ll simply gravitate towards the way out that is the worst possible way for you.

Wasserman claims that we must stop saying that the Arabs want to live in peace, because each terrorist bombing proves that they don’t. And I agree with him that the current Palestinian leadership is corrupt and supporting terrorism, the terrorist groups are gaining popularity, and Israel’s in for a big mess. The percentages of Palestinians who support suicide bombings, who think the intifada should continue, and who don’t see an option of ever living in peace with Israel are far too high. They hate us. They hate not just Israelis, but Jews. And there is no excuse for terror, and the world is in serious denial about the so-called “root causes” of Palestinian terrorism. Israel is fighting a war and the ultimate aim of war must be victory. On these points, no disagreement from me.

But the aim of victory must be peace. It may not be right or fair that Israel has to concern itself with the aftermath of smashing the infrastructures of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad. But it’s certainly in Israel’s best interest to be concerned. We must continue to make individual distinctions, even if they won’t. We must continue to reach out our hands to anyone brave enough to speak out for peace, in hopes that these tiny seedling movements will grow. We have to encourage the emergence of another way out for the Palestinians. We mustn’t become like them – those who would kill all hope – because that lets them win.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lucile 08.26.03 at 9:16 PM

1. Mr. Wasserman states that THIS bombing clearly proves…etc. etc. Well, what about the LAST dozen or so? Didn’t they prove anything? Were we still forming an hypothesis? And what about the NEXT terrorist attack, and the one after that, and the one after that…etc.
No more proof is needed.

2. Israpundit tries to make the case for the “peaceful” palis. Just as in the U.S. where the muslim population votes on terrorism with their silence, (and in many cases, support of…), the palis are voting by their actions, and lack thereof. If the peace process wins and terror is defeated, then terrific …they get their own state. If the PLA wins and Israel is exterminated, then even better. They still get their own state, and beaches besides.

3. And I agree with Mr. W on an important point. The boundary of Israel should be the Jordan River. Those explosive belts will make for difficult swimming.

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2 Hanthala 08.26.03 at 11:07 PM

There you go Lucile. Makes my job easier when the pro-Israel side sound like such freaks. Thanks.

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3 Nanook 08.27.03 at 8:40 PM

Maybe that’s part of the point, though, Hanthala. I think you’ve been reading and posting on this blog for long enough to see some how, say, my opinions differ from Sari’s differ from Lucile’s. Yet — and, granted, I don’t claim to know exactly what you mean by the “pro-Israel side” — all three of us would surely fall on that “side”, insofar as clearly all of us believes that Israel has a right to exist, even if we don’t agree on its policies.

So when you say Lucile makes your job easier, what do you see your job as being?

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4 Hanthala 08.28.03 at 12:05 AM

Oh for crying out loud Nanook. My “job” is an expression. What I mean is that when people on the pro-Israel (granted the terminology is bad, what I mean is anti-Palestinian) side sound like freaks they discredit themselves and I don’t feel the need to reply in any serious manner.

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5 Nanook 08.29.03 at 7:03 AM

Hang on — think you’re being a bit sensitive; I was trying to make what I think a valid point, if clumsily:

The point was about how “debates” about the conflicts (Arab-Israeli, Israel-Palestinian, etc) in the Middle East devolve into useless pissing matches where debaters comb each other’s words for evidence of a grievance, find it triumphantly, and crow victory in injury.

Which ultimately makes such debates little more than exercises in looking for “sides” and trying to polarise opinion along those sides: radicalisation which, I suspect, ends up alienating at least as often as reaching the folks that one is theoretically trying to convince.

Maybe I’m getting all philosophic here, but if people are going to bother talking at all about Middle East politics from all the way over here, then the least we can do is try and find other ways to do it. Rather than look for war metaphors and strategies for transforming everyone into a walking cliche — and I’m certainly as guilty of doing that as anyone — look to see what common ground there is with folks who we disagree with.

For what it’s worth, anyway.

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6 hanthala 08.30.03 at 5:41 AM

man (literally), that’s too gushy wooshy for a hillelnik

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7 Hanthala 08.31.03 at 7:52 PM

Nanook, I didn`t disagree, but one thing that could be usefull is for people with your opinions to debate the Sharons and Luciles on this site (and elsewhere of course). There has been a lot of talk concerning antisemitism within the “pro-Palestinian” mouvement. This has resulted in much discussion within the mouvement leading to popular education. What I’d like to see is some discussion within the “pro-Israel” side (two “sides” for the sake of discussion) over anti-Arab & anti-Muslim racism. I don`t think that you are racist, for instance, or that you approach this conflict from that perspective, yet if Segacs, Sharon, or anyone else makes racist comments/arguments, I don`t see you (or others with similar opinions) point that out and try to discuss it.

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