It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the slightest about Jews, but now we know what it takes to provoke a hard military response: the chance (admittedly very, very slim) of saving a single Israeli soldier’s life.
I’ve been expecting this for some time. Indeed, I’ve been calling for it. For far too long, they’ve been the target of relentless attacks of various forms, despite repeated “cease-fires” (which don’t seem to mean the same thing in Israel as they do in the rest of the world — there is no actual ceasing of firing going on from the Palestinian side.)
Many, including Secretary of State Rice, are calling on Israel to “use diplomacy” to settle the crisis. As much as I respect Dr. Rice, I have to disagree — diplomacy is useless here. Indeed, it can be argued that “diplomacy” that led to this.
- For years, Palestinians have committed acts of war against Israel on practically a daily basis.
- Hamas has been behind a great deal of these attacks.
- Hamas is currently the legally-elected government of the Palestinian Authority.
- Elements of Hamas carried out the recent attack and kidnaping.
- The Hamas government, while not admitting they possessed the kidnaped soldier, wanted to open negotiations with Israel not over his return, but merely “information” regarding his status.
- The Palestinian version of “diplomacy,” as confirmed in numerous negotiations, consists of “let’s formalize what we already have, and then negotiate what else we will get.”
- The Palestinians have yet to keep a single element of any of the agreements they have reached with Israel — yet Israel is to be bound to honor every single element of every single agreement.
- Hamas has steadfastly refused to acknowledge Israel’s mere existence, and (despite claims to the contrary) has maintained that position to this very day. The matter is not even open for discussion.
So, now, the Palestinians are being reminded of some facts in the only language they have ever understood: that while it’s easy to kill civilians, and even occasionally individual soldiers, there is very little a guerrilla force can do to stop (or even slow down much) a determined modern military force. It’s similar to what we are experiencing in Iraq; the terrorists can’t stop the US from doing whatever we please, but only find success when they target civilians or small groups of soldiers.
I fear it is too late for that 19-year-old young man. To be candid, I considered him as good as dead the instant his disappearance was announced, as I am sure so did the Israeli government. But while there is the slightest chance of rescuing him, it must be done.
And if they fail, then perhaps the Palestinians (and the rest of the world) need a reminder that the Jews are followers of the Old Testament, and not the New. “Turn the other cheek” is not part of their theology — but “an eye for an eye” certainly is.