(Note: This is the first of a series on Hamas and the “activist” “relief” ships. I have no idea how long it will take me to say all I have to say.)
The Muslim world believes it has hit upon a new tactic in their ongoing war to destroy Israel, one they think might finally work. And it’s getting closer to the one tactic I think might actually work: the non-violent resistance and confrontation tactics that worked for the civil rights movement in the United States, and the Indians who followed Gandhi. It’s the one strategy that has been proven to work against a democracy that holds superior power.
Naturally, this being the Muslim world, they’re screwing it up. There are plenty of reasons, but the most fundamental one is the psychological incompatibility of Islam with the mindset behind civil disobedience.
In order to be successful, civil disobedience requires many things. The first is an opposition democratic government that holds itself as morally superior, and concerned about its reputation in that area among its own citizens. That was true in the United States in the 1960’s, in the United Kingdom in the 1940’s, and it is true of Israel today. So that’s covered.
The demands upon the anti-government forces, however, are exceptionally stringent. They must be completely committed to the non-violent approach, to the point of ignoring all forms of provocation and assault. They must be willing to suffer tremendous humiliations, indignities, and punishments without their dedication to non-violence wavering.
And that is utterly incompatible with the Muslim mindset. Because, at its core, Islam is a culture based on pride and shame. It is deeply concerned with its “honor,” and demands that its followers take action — violent action — if their honor is impugned or if shame is brought upon them.
And the tactics of non-violence are built upon accepting shame and humiliation and insults and disrespect, upon bearing up under them, of taking them in stride, in not striking back against those casting the insults.
Here’s a perfect example: the word “martyr.” In the West, we even have a term called “martyr complex” that refers to someone who actually wants to be a victim, and collect sympathy for their suffering. But in the Islamic world, a “martyr” is someone who seeks to kill their supposed enemies at the cost of their own lives.
In brief, to the West, a martyr is someone who suffers or dies for the martyr’s beliefs. In Islam, a martyr is someone who dies while killing others for the martyr’s beliefs.
The “relief ships” and the “peace activists” are getting close to this practice, but they — naturally — have to put their own spin on it. What they are doing is militant pacifism, violent civil disobedience, forceful nonresistance.
And they are incapable of seeing the fundamental paradox in that.
They stock ships up with “relief supplies” — including such essentials as expired medicines, heavily-used wheelchairs, and the like — and set sail for Gaza, announcing their intention of running the Israeli blockade. They reject compromises, such as having the supplies unloaded in an Israeli port and turned over to the International Red Cross for transportation (after being inspected for contraband). When legally boarded, they mob and attempt to kill the Israeli soldiers. And when the cargo is taken to an Israeli port and transported to Gaza, they reject it at the border crossings.
Then they follow it up with declarations of more blockade-running, their peaceful intent to be reinforced, it appears, by Iranian warships. The Iranian Red Crescent (the Muslim affiliate of the Red Cross) is at the heart of it, and apparently sees no problem in accepting the use of threats of force to deliver their “humanitarian” aid.
The rejection of the compromise, coupled with the rejection of the actual supplies, reveals the true intent of the “peace activists.” It isn’t about getting humanitarian supplies into Gaza; there’s absolutely no shortages of such things. No, what the whole thing is about is ending the Israeli blockade so more weapons can flow into Gaza — weapons that will be used to further Hamas’ goal of the destruction of Israel.
Sadly, this just might have some success. One of the keys to Israel’s survival over the years has been American support — military, financial, and political. But now we have the least Israel-friendly administration in history, one that seems eager to give Israel the back of its hand while kowtowing to the avowed enemies of Western democracy. Oh, they won’t say such openly, but the actions of the Obama regime speak much louder than their empty words.
One of the unspoken truths of history is that American support for Israel has headed off countless wars, as Israel’s enemies have looked at the United States’ willingness to help Israel and decided that it wasn’t worth the risk of incurring our wrath. Now, though, that stabilizing factor is considerably weakened, and those nations and quasi-nations are feeling emboldened. Not only is the American commitment to defending Israel significantly more questionable, so is the American resolve to act on its own interests.
That is a tremendously dangerous situation. When America is perceived as strong, other nations feeling aggressive tend to tread lightly. When America is seen as weak, the aggressors feel empowered and take risks they would not at other times.
Risks like sinking a South Korean warship. Risks like sending warships into the Mediterranean to confront Israeli warships. Risks like pursuing nuclear weapons.
So, on top of everything else, the Muslim world has another reason to less than fully adopt the non-violent approach they find so repugnant: they don’t have to. All they have to do is put on a few of the airs of the movement, and their “useful idiots” will carry the water for them. They don’t have to give up their pride, their need to express themselves violently — they can count on others to downplay that aspect and talk mainly about the shallow similarities to the civil rights movements. And it will work.
Right up until it doesn’t.
And the bloodbath that will follow will be horrific.