Define ‘aggression’

Over the weekend, Israeli troops and tanks invaded Gaza, the coastal strip of land south of their country which is inhabited almost entirely by Muslim Arabs, speaking the same colloquial Arabic as the Egyptian residents of the Sinai.

From the tone of some of the news coverage, one might get the impression Israeli generals and politicians occasionally wake up in the morning and — motivated by little more than boredom — say, “Hey, the weather’s nice. What say we invade a neighboring Arab state and kill some people?”

In fact, the Israelis voluntarily withdre-w from Gaza more than three years ago.

Many had hoped Arab leaders there would thereafter devote their energies and capital to building schools and hospitals, and especially to developing non-violent, civilian employment.
Instead, the Arabs effectively turned northern Gaza into a launching pad for missiles and mortar strikes into Israel — thousands, year-round.

On Feb. 27, 2008, for example, about 50 Quassam rockets were fired towards the Negev, one striking a parking lot near Sapir Academic College, where it killed 47-year-old Israeli student Ron Yahye.

A cease-fire was agreed upon by both sides to begin on June 19, 2008. Israelis can be forgiven if they barely noticed, as attacks continued at a rate of nearly 10 per day.

On Dec. 3, for instance — still during this supposed “cease-dire” — at least four Qassam rockets and 15 mortar rounds were fired from the Gaza Strip at the western Negev. Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades claimed responsibility. Ironically, one mortar attack on that date damaged an Israeli power cable being used to transfer electricity to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

According to news reports from Fox News, ABC News, The New York Times, and other sources compiled by Wikipedia, on Dec. 17, a Qassam rocket struck the parking lot of a shopping center in Sderot, injuring three Israelis. That was the day BEFORE Hamas declared an end to its six-month “truce” with Israel.

On Dec. 26, a dozen rockets and mortar bombs were fired from Gaza into Israel, one accidentally falling short and striking a northern Gaza house and killing two Palestinian sisters, aged 5 and 13.

On Dec. 27, a 58-year-old Israeli man was killed when a rocket from Gaza hit his apartment in Netivot.

On Dec. 29, a 27-year-old Israeli man was killed when a Grad-type rocket hit a construction site in Ashkelon. Hamas later claimed responsibility for that attack. A 38 year old warrant officer was killed by a mortar when it hit a military base near Nahal Oz. The same day, a 39-year-old Israeli women was killed when a rocket hit Ashdod.

Try to imagine how long the United States would tolerate such deadly attacks on American civilians across one of our own borders before responding in force.

So, once again, Israel tanks roll.

This, of course, is just what Hamas seems to want. Now they can again stage the well-planned photo opportunities they crave, with wailing Arabic women cradling dead or wounded children in their arms. Hamas fighters launch missiles from crowded schools, then scream for international condemnation of the “atrocity” when Israel shells the missile-launch site. Every Palestinian casualty reports adds the phrase “and a baby.”

And no one ever seems to ask them, on camera, “So, how do you think that business of firing 10 missiles a day into Israel for the past year is working out for you, now? Still think that was a good idea?”

In London, Muslim Arabs block streets in protest Israeli “aggression.”

For the record, it’s “aggression” when you start something. Responding to murderous attacks after an astonishing full year of forbearance is not “aggression.” The appropriate international response to Israel’s actions is “Let us know when you’re done.”

In France, where violent Muslim Arab extremists — the kind of people who shot charity worker Margarat Hassan and cut off the unarmed Nick Berg’s head with a dull sword when THEY enjoyed freedom of action — don’t seem to need much of a special occasion to riot and burn things, Muslim Arab extremists once again riot and burn things.

On Dec. 27, Egyptian border police fired on Palestinians fleeing across Gaza’s western border, the Christian Science Monitor reported. Weirdly, neither the Arabs nor any of their allies at the United Nations sought to condemn THAT “humanitarian violation.”

In Gaza itself, Hamas officials called last weekend for their brethren to rise up against Israel with suicide attacks, turning Gaza into “a graveyard” for Israel soldiers.

But why? Why do these Arabs want Gaza to become “a graveyard” for anyone? What kind of people engage in a long and consistent course of action which can only result in the deaths of civilians — including their own children?

Is there any way off this merry-go-round of death?

Historian Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, thinks there is.

In a column earlier this week, Professor Pipes argues the Arab “Palestinian state” which the United States has been promoting since the 1993 Oslo Accords has become a “complete Palestinian failure … a toxic brew of anarchy, ideological extremism, antisemitism, jihadism, and warlordism.”

This leaves “only one practical approach, that which worked tolerably well in the period 1948-67,” he argues. “Shared Jordanian-Egyptian rule: Amman rules the West Bank and Cairo runs Gaza.

“Indeed, the Christian Science Monitor’s Ilene R. Prusher found already in 2007 that the idea of a West Bank-Jordan confederation ‘seems to be gaining traction on both sides of the Jordan River,’” Professor Pipes notes.

Dan Diker and Pinchas Inbari documented for the Middle East Quarterly in 2006 how the PA’s “failure to assert control and become a politically viable entity has caused Amman to reconsider whether a hands-off strategy toward the West Bank is in its best interests.”

Despairing of self-rule, even some Palestinians welcome the Jordanian option, Dr. Pipes reports. “An unnamed senior PA official told Diker and Inbari that a form of federation or confederation with Jordan offers ‘the only reasonable, stable, long-term solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.’”

A Jordanian Palestinian recently agreed, telling The New York Times’ Hassan M. Fattah: “Everything has been ruined for us — we’ve been fighting for 60 years and nothing is left. It would be better if Jordan ran things in Palestine, if King Abdullah could take control of the West Bank.”
If Palestinian Arabs continued to launch freelance attacks on Israel while under Jordanian or Egyptian jurisdiction, that would become an internal police matter for those states, which no longer seem to yearn for another war with Israel.

If the Palestinian Arabs dislike Israeli occupation — and are unable to join the ranks of the peaceful nations of the earth — perhaps they would prefer to live under the rule of their Arab brethren.

10 Comments to “Define ‘aggression’”

  1. Puck Smith Says:

    Mr. Suprynowicz,

    I find this essay disappointing considering the level of insight you normally exhibit. One would get the impression that history began last year that everything in this benighted land at least since the Balfour Declaration had never happened.

  2. Qanni Lahyne Says:

    Why are you telling only one side of the story? When you do that you are spreading Israeli propaganda. Are you a secret Zionist or just full of American media disinformation? This we can get from Fox News!

  3. Eric ".44 Magnum" Cartridge Says:

    Hey Vin–

    I love most of your writing (“Waco Killers & “Carl Drega” were excellent!), but this pro-Israel shit is way off base. Israel has been the aggressor state since 1948, created by a bogus UN “mandate,” stealing land already inhabited by others, and killing those who refused to surrender their property “voluntarily.” You are way off base here, and I’m sorry you haven’t learned anything from the lesson of US aggression against Afghanistan (which quickly spread to Iraq) which you defended at the Freedom Summit in Phoenix in 2001. At the time, I attributed your position to be an emotional, knee-jerk response to the events of 9/11, but by now I would think it obvious to every libertarian that the military-industrial complex is in league with Israel to encourage perpetual wars of aggression in the land of oil.

    I’d like to hear the “libertarian” argument for “Manifest Destiny” as well.

    In Liberty,

    Eric “.44 Magnum” Cartridge

  4. Will Says:

    @Vin: Great writing! I’m getting so annoyed by media reports on gaza – they all seem to favor palestina. And though palestinian civillians are the victims as well, hamas is the only party to blame for all this misery.

    @Eric: Statistics show that 99,99% of all people identifying with .44 magnums have a .44 weenie as well.

  5. Alex Says:

    Will,
    First, that statistic was entirely made up (duh, right?). And second, your comment about Eric is a fallacy called “argumentum ad hominem”.

  6. JustPassingThrough Says:

    This might shed a bit more light on the history of the dispute for those who are unaware:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_of_Palestine

  7. Alex Says:

    Although, to be fair, I say screw both sides. They’re both power-hungry and corrupt governments doing what governments do best – destroy everything that is good about humanity. Neither side is concerned with the freedom, economically, politically, or socially, of it’s constituents. Yes, Israel was the initial aggressor, and I suppose a libertarian argument exists that supports Palestinian efforts to achieve a separate country. But, the PA and Hamas’ efforts have been anything other than to try to kill as many Israelis as possible.

    What can we, as freedom-loving Americans, learn from that whole Israeli-Palestinian clusterf***? Are there any implications or lessons for Free-State movements or secession movements? Some may not like this kind of talk, and may describe us free-staters as defeatist, but especially, if the s*** really hits the fan, in the form of a prolonged depression paired with widespread civic unrest (possibly due to high unemployment and rebellious youth who will refuse to pay for their increasing share of Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security) and an increase in the police state (all of which are at least very possible under the soon-to-be Obama administration) the talk of freedom-oriented communities, even state-wide secession, will become much more common.

    Thoughts?

  8. Alex Says:

    Oops, can’t edit my previous post. Should read: “But, the PA and Hamas’ efforts haven’t been anything other than to try to kill as many Israelis as possible”

  9. Casey Says:

    Vin,
    Great article. This has precisely what I have been saying. It always seems the world turns a blind eye to Arab extemists when they murder “in the name of Allah”, but whenever the people they have attacked bite back there are violent riots and international outcry. I also find it ironic that there was hardly any media coverage showing the aftermath of what the Hamas rockets did in Israel. These Islamc extremists are nothing but bugs and need to be wiped off the face of the earth. I say keep at it and give them what they asked for. Oh, by the way, the next time you a Palestinian baby or child killed in Gaza take a moment to think about the ones sacrificed by Palestine as suicide bombers!!!!

  10. LongtimeReader Says:

    Acknowledging what every thinking news-watcher should have already noticed, that activities fundamental Islam (i.e., what most everyone else refers to as “Islamic extremism”) endorses largely get a free pass in the mainstream media, makes for a good article.

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