Gaza War / Israel was right to attack Gaza

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Position: Israel was right to attack Gaza

This position addresses the topic Gaza War.


For this position


Quotes-start.png "The disintegration of Hamas rule in Gaza would be a devastating blow to Palestinian rejectionists, who since the Hamas takeover of Gaza have been the ascendant "strong horse" in Palestinian politics. It would be a devastating blow to Iran as patron of radical Islamist movements throughout the region, particularly after the defeat and marginalization of Iran's Sadrist client in Iraq. It would encourage the moderate Arab states to continue their U.S.-allied confrontation of Iran and its proxies. And it would demonstrate Israel's irreplaceable strategic value to the United States in curbing and containing Iran's regional ambitions." Quotes-end.png
From Endgame in Gaza, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, January 9, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In fact, Hezbollah was thoroughly shocked by the Israeli bombing campaign, and its supporters, who mostly live in southern Lebanon, are not likely to tolerate another wave of destruction caused by another Hezbollah attack. Even the inconclusive Israeli ground actions in Lebanon, which never involved more than six companies (roughly 600 men), resulted in the loss of some 400 Hezbollah fighters in direct face-to-face combat while Israel suffered only 30 casualties." Quotes-end.png
From Yes, Israel Can Win in Gaza, by Edward Luttwak (The Washington Post, January 9, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "To Hamas, Palestine is part of a cause rather than a political project. One cannot negotiate with a cause that claims celestial benediction, especially when it rejects the very legitimacy of one's existence. A political project, however, is negotiable because it is about worldly problems such as territory, borders, security, exchange of populations and joint administration of certain areas, which could have worldly solutions." Quotes-end.png
From No way forward while the Hamas hydra lives, by Amir Taheri (The Times, January 9, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "If Hamas were to emerge from this conflict with enough dignity to declare victory, Egypt would lose almost as much as Israel. This is why Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, initially blamed Hamas for the violence as well as Israel. The Saudis? There's nothing they fear more than another "victory" for the Iranian regime - and Hamas is increasingly seen as a proxy of Iran." Quotes-end.png
From A Passing Victory, by Benny Avni (New York Post, January 8, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "And then there are the clarion calls for a cease-fire. These words, which come so easily, have proven to be a recipe for disaster. Hamas uses the cease-fire as a time-out to rearm and smuggle even more deadly weapons so the next time, instead of hitting Sderot and Ashkelon, they can target Tel Aviv and Jerusalem." Quotes-end.png
From The Jews Face a Double Standard, by Marvin Hier (The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel always prefers a political solution to a military one, but sometimes diplomacy is not possible without the deployment of legitimate force. Israel's counter-terrorism operation will continue until Hamas' capability to attack Israeli civilians is minimized and the status quo of constant rocket fire ends, laying the foundation for a durable and sustainable arrangement." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's inalienable right, by Jonathan Peled (USA Today, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "If our enemies assumed that the Israeli public would be divided on the eve of an election, they were wrong. When it comes to exercising our most basic right of self-defense, there is no opposition and no coalition. We stand united against Hamas because we know that only by defeating Hamas can we provide security for our people and hope for a future peace." Quotes-end.png
From Militant Islam Threatens Us All, by Benjamin Netanyahu (The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "For there can be peace and prosperity at the smallest of prices. The Palestinians need only say that they will allow Israel to exist in peace. They need only say this tiny thing, and mean it, and there is pretty much nothing they cannot have. Yet they will not say it. And they will not mean it. For they do not want the Jews." Quotes-end.png
From Israel acts because the world won't defend it, by Daniel Finkelstein (The Times, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "On some days, dozens of rockets fell on Sderot. A blimp hovered over the town, and when it electronically spied an incoming rocket, the sirens went off. In Sderot, the sirens were virtually a single, long wail on some days. Everyone took shelter because shelters are everywhere -- a constant reminder of the nearness of death or, at the very least, destruction" Quotes-end.png
From A Conflict Hamas Caused, by Richard Cohen (The Washington Post, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "A New York Times dispatch captured an excruciating moment that took place in a hospital morgue, where a mother had just found half of the body of her 17-year-old daughter. "May God exterminate Hamas!" screamed the woman in crystal-clear understanding that the terrorist band's reckless, inhuman actions had brought death to her child." Quotes-end.png
From From her lips to God's ear: The fury of a bereaved Palestinian mother captures evil of Hamas in Gaza, by New York Daily News editorial board (New York Daily News, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "For decades, the international community has actively assisted in building the terrorists' unique system of control -- over where Palestinians live and in what conditions, and over what they think -- by allowing terrorists to turn the refugee camps into the center of the Palestinian war machine. Instead of working to relieve the refugees' misery, the United Nations has dedicated an entire agency, UNRWA, to perpetuating it." Quotes-end.png
From How the U.N. Perpetuates the 'Refugee' Problem, by Natan Sharansky (The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It is important to remember that the operation taking place in Gaza is not aimed at the Palestinian population with whom we have had close relations in the past, nor is it a punitive act. The operation seeks to restore calm and stability to a region that lacks both due to Hamas's acts. Peace is a mutual interest. The Palestinians chose to elect an extremist group that has inflamed hatred and suffering instead of investing in education and reducing poverty." Quotes-end.png
From Gazans need to choose peace over extremism, by Shai Hermesh (The Guardian, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "A long-term policy aimed squarely at killing or capturing Hamas's leaders, destroying arms caches and rocket factories, and cutting off supply and escape routes will not by itself destroy the group. But it can drive it out of government and cripple its ability to function as a fighting force. And this, in turn, could mean the return of Fatah, the closest thing Gaza has to a "legitimate" government." Quotes-end.png
From An Endgame for Israel, by Bret Stephens (The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Further negotiations will make sense only when Hamas's leaders -- currently emboldened by a combination of popular indignation and Iranian support -- finally arrive at the same conclusion as their secular counterparts, and a new generation of Israelis is persuaded to believe them." Quotes-end.png
From It's a War Process, by Anne Applebaum (The Washington Post, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "At the moment, Hamas does not have rockets of sufficient range and accuracy to hit any of these targets reliably. Apart from the Qassams, it uses Chinese-made Grad missiles and Katyushas, and some longer-range Iranian-supplied Fajr missiles. Because it is hemmed in by Israel on one side and Egypt on the other, it has not acquired an arsenal as deadly or as large as Hezbollah's. But over the past 18 months, Hamas and Hezbollah have significantly deepened their military integration into the Iranian Revolutionary Guards." Quotes-end.png
From Stopping the rockets a necessity, by Greg Sheridan (The Australian, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "For the past decade, beginning with the Oslo process, Israel has been unwittingly signaling to her enemies that she was exhausted and unwilling to fight for her life. That posture has given Iran and its proxies an intoxicating sense of possibility." Quotes-end.png
From What Good Can Come of This?, by Mona Charen (National Review, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "There are certain minimal requirements for statehood, not least of which is accepting the right of one’s sovereign neighbor to exist. At present, no representative of the Palestinian people concedes this right to Israel. As its 1988 charter makes plain, Hamas unapologetically seeks Israel’s destruction. This is why Hamas was formed: to eradicate the Jewish state as a preliminary step in the jihadist quest for global hegemony." Quotes-end.png
From ‘Breaking the Will of the Palestinians’, by Andrew C. McCarthy (National Review, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Of course, civilians have always been in the line of fire and conquest, from Troy to Berlin. But no regime has ever used its citizens so deliberately as tools to arouse world sympathy, as hostages to modern sensitivities. While theories of just war instruct us not to hurt noncombatants, Hamas and its military arm have made a conscious decision, banking on global humanitarian concerns, to ensure that Israel hits as many civilians as possible." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas' zero-sum game, by Fania Oz-Salzberger (San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Here's the bitter truth: Israel can't stop its own bleeding without drowning Hamas in blood. That's Hamas' choice, not Israel's. No negotiations, no compromises, and no shuttle-diplomacy bargains will ever placate terrorists who believe their god wants tributes of Jewish blood." Quotes-end.png
From Don't Stop Until Hamas is Destroyed, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, January 5, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "No nation can justly be asked to endure endless rocket and mortar attacks - and rare indeed is the government that would have demonstrated the restraint that Israel has exhibited for many years now. Hamas started this fight. Israel is well within its rights to try to finish it." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Obligation, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, January 5, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In the long run, the Germans were better off for the destruction of Nazism; and the Palestinians would be, for the destruction of Hamas. If they don't know this now, they will know it later. For those who cannot live peacefully with their neighbours must be stripped of the power to disturb them. The compulsion to live peacefully can then lead towards the habit of living peacefully." Quotes-end.png
From Only the end of Hamas can bring peace to Gaza, by David Warren (Ottawa Citizen, January 5, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "If Israel had yielded to Hamas and refrained from using force to stop terror attacks, it would have been a victory for Iran. If Israel were now to withdraw under pressure without accomplishing the objectives of severely weakening Hamas and preventing the reconstitution of a terror-exporting state in Gaza, it would be a triumph for Iran. In either case, the Iranian regime would be emboldened, and less susceptible to the pressure from the Obama administration to stop its nuclear program." Quotes-end.png
From Why Israel Fights, by William Kristol (The New York Times, January 4, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "A nation like Israel, with enemies on all sides, must maintain an aura of invincibility if it is to have any chance at peaceful co-existence. It was that aura after two wars that induced Egypt to agree to peace with Israel in the 1970s. By contrast, the 2006 Lebanon campaign convinced radical Arabs and Persians that Israel had grown soft and could be beaten. Israel can't let Hamas maintain a similar mythology at the end of this operation, or the costs will be far higher down the road." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Gaza Surge, by The Wall Street Journal editorial board (The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "If that election results in Tzipi Livni as prime minister with Ehud Barak, the Labour leader and former prime minister, as her deputy, the peace process has a serious prospect of getting somewhere. The attacks on Hamas are already helping Livni and Barak in the opinion polls. The international community might not approve, but if we wish to see a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future this is likely to be the best route." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas rockets block the birth of a Palestinian state, by Malcolm Rifkind (The Daily Telegraph, January 3, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Terror can't be tolerated. Unfortunately, Israel's decision to halt military operations prematurely does amount to tolerating terror. The core leadership of Hamas was allowed to survive. Amid the ruins, cowardly terrorists emerged from their bunkers to declare victory simply because they're still breathing." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Mistake, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, January 22, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "But if Israel has succeeded in destroying most Hamas weapons caches and factories, as well as most of the tunnels through which Hamas imported thousands of missiles—even as it claimed Israel was blocking supplies of food, fuel, and medicines through its “siege”—Israel achieved important, if short-term military goals." Quotes-end.png
From The Battle of Gaza, by Clifford May (National Review, January 22, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel's response has been criticized as "disproportionate," which betrays a misunderstanding of proportion's meaning. The goal of military action, when unavoidable, is not to take one life in exchange for each one unjustly taken; this is mere vengeance. The goal is to remove the conditions that lead to conflict and the taking of life. So far, Israel's actions have been proportionate to this objective." Quotes-end.png
From Defining Victory for Israel, by Michael Gerson (The Washington Post, January 2, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "World opinion more vehemently condemns Israel's countermeasures, apparently because its rockets are far more accurate and deadly than previous Hamas barrages that are poorly targeted and thus not so lethal. If America had accepted such rules in, say, World War II, then by late 1944 we, not the Axis, would have been the culpable party, since by then once-aggressive German, Italian and Japanese forces were increasingly on the defensive and far less lethal than the Allies." Quotes-end.png
From The Gaza rules, by Victor Davis Hanson (San Francisco Chronicle, January 2, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "While Israel installs warning systems and builds shelters, Hamas refuses to do so, precisely because it wants to maximize the number of Palestinian civilians inadvertently killed by Israel's military actions. Hamas knows from experience that even a small number of innocent Palestinian civilians killed inadvertently will result in bitter condemnation of Israel by many in the international community." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Policy Is Perfectly 'Proportionate', by Alan Dershowitz (The Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The grievance? It cannot be occupation, military control or settlers. They were all removed in September 2005. There's only one grievance and Hamas is open about it. Israel's very existence." Quotes-end.png
From Moral Clarity in Gaza, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, January 2, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The military surge devised by General David Petraeus succeeded in destroying al-Qaeda's operational effectiveness in Iraq, thereby allowing the Iraqi government to start taking responsibility for governing the country. Israel needs to adopt a similar strategy in Gaza, not least because a large proportion of the civilian Palestinian population would dearly love to see an end to Hamas's unwelcome interference in their affairs." Quotes-end.png
From The assault on Gaza offers the best hope of peace, by Con Coughlin (The Daily Telegraph, January 2, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Wouldn't it be splendid if we could polygraph the entire UN chain of command involved in Gaza? We'd only need to pose a single question: "Have you ever knowingly collaborated with Hamas in support of its goals?" I wouldn't be surprised if all of them either had to answer "yes" or flunk the test." Quotes-end.png
From The Lies of Gaza, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, January 18, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It's a win-win strategy for terrorists and a lose-lose strategy for democracies. Hamas knows that by attacking Israeli civilians, they can secure one of two results: Israel will do nothing and Hamas will succeed in killing Israeli children; or Israel will respond and inevitably kill some Palestinian children, thereby provoking the ire of the media, the international community and ultimately decent people all around the world who are revolted by the cynically manipulated images of dead children." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas' dead baby strategy, by Alan Dershowitz (The Washington Times, January 16, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel can spare its military heavy casualties by largely avoiding urban warfare and continuing its aerial assault until Hamas is either bombed or starved into submission, no matter what the rest of the world may think. But such a strategy should only be the first phase of a well-articulated and -publicized long-term master plan to finally bring about a lasting peace between Arabs and Jews." Quotes-end.png
From Eliminate Hamas, by Roger Chapin (The Washington Times, January 13, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Of course, Hamas enjoys "democratic legitimacy" by virtue of its parliamentary victory in January 2006. And with the quiet expiration last week of Mahmoud Abbas's presidential term, it is the only Palestinian party that enjoys such legitimacy. But this turns out to be no legitimacy at all, since Hamas refuses to recognize the legal basis of the Authority it purports to represent. And this is to say nothing of the putsch through which Hamas came to power in Gaza." Quotes-end.png
From The No-State Solution, by Bret Stephens (The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "They turned it into a gleaming, thriving modern nation, not only a military but an intellectual powerhouse. And so it is only natural that the former owners' descendants want it back, and remember how much their ancestors loved it, and how the new owners only got possession by wickedness and deceit. Such memories have the strange property of growing clearer instead of cloudier every day." Quotes-end.png
From Facing Reality, by David Gelernter (The Weekly Standard, January 12, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The real work of resolving the Gaza crisis is being carried out on two fronts. The first is in Gaza, where the military operation by Israel, launched in self-defense, continues. The Israeli military assault has succeeded in reducing the number of daily rocket attacks, destroying weapons stashes and arms-smuggling tunnels, and killing several hundred Hamas terrorists, including some key leaders." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's just goal: reasonable cease-fire, by Chicago Sun-Times editorial board (Chicago Sun-Times, January 11, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Even if these luvvies might not be aware that on Christmas Eve Hamas legalised crucifixion as a punishment for those who “weaken the spirit of the people”, and have been shooting such political enemies in the head when they find them in hospitals conveniently injured by Israeli bombing raids, they still deserve to be dismissed as useful idiots for a depraved death cult." Quotes-end.png
From No, we are not all Hamas now, by Dominic Lawson (The Sunday Times (UK), January 11, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Hamas isn't fighting for political goals. "Brokered agreements" are purely means to an end. And the envisioned end is the complete destruction of Israel in the name of a terrorist god. Safe in hidden bunkers or in Damascus, the Hamas leadership is willing to watch an unlimited number of civilians and even street-level terrorists die." Quotes-end.png
From The Demons of Gaza, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, January 11, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "This is the Hamas dual strategy: to kill and injure as many Israeli civilians as possible by firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian targets, and to provoke Israel to kill as many Palestinian civilians as possible to garner world sympathy." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas' war crimes, by Alan Dershowitz (Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The hard truth is that no matter how much Israelis crave peace, they cannot achieve it through concessions and compromises and "road maps" - not when their enemies view such overtures and agreements as signs of weakness, and as proof that terrorism works. For 60 years, Israel has had to contend with the hostility of its neighbors and the heavy costs of war; its yearning for peace is understandable. But there will be no peace without victory, and no victory without fighting for it." Quotes-end.png
From Has Israel learned its lesson?, by Jeff Jacoby (The Boston Globe, January 1, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Ultimately, peace will be possible only if most Palestinians and their leaders become convinced that terrorism and violence are a dead end and that they cannot under any circumstances prevail over Israel through the use of force. If today's conflict leaves a seriously weakened and politically damaged Hamas, that result is more likely to enhance the prospects for peace than to weaken them." Quotes-end.png
From Hard Truths About the Conflict, by Robert J. Lieber (The Washington Post, January 1, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "500,000 Israelis live within range of Hamas's missiles. The piercing warning siren dominates the daily routine in towns like Sderot, Ashkelon and Ashdod. Anywhere within 40km of Gaza, communities raise their children in bomb shelters. Israel cannot sit back while Hamas improves the size and range of its arsenal." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas is the obstacle to Middle East peace, by Ron Prosor (The Daily Telegraph, December 31, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "A cease-fire can sometimes be had between civilized governments. But why isn't anyone pressing the United States and its allies in Afghanistan into a cease-fire with the Taliban? A stupid question. Because the enemy is the Taliban, and the Taliban could as easily convert to Christianity as agree to an armistice with its opponents." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas is a Taliban State, by Martin Peretz (The New Republic, December 31, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Reviled by political rivals in the Palestinian parliament and despised by neighboring Egypt, Hamas is an open surrogate for Iran. In response to the rockets, Israel imposed a harsh economic blockade, and Hamas still attacked rather than relent for the welfare of its own. As the rest of the world has averted its eyes and been mute, Israel chose to act, and not as the bully." Quotes-end.png
From Rockets from Gaza have exhausted Israel's patience, by The Seattle Times editorial board (The Seattle Times, December 31, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The Israelis are fighting to free themselves from an unscrupulous opponent, but over and above that, the great hope is that they eventually will be able also to free the Palestinians — not only from leaders who are terrorizing them, but from the delusion that choosing such leaders can lead to anything but ruin." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas Fantasy Rules, by National Review editorial board (National Review, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "This is not a counsel of restraint, of which Israel has shown more than enough through years of provocation. It is merely to point out that no ingenious conceit can disguise the fact that war offers no outcome other than victory or defeat. This is one big thing that Hamas understands, and that Israel must as well." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas Knows One Big Thing, by Bret Stephens (The Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It is Hamas that perfected the use of the suicide bomb, by which young Palestinians were induced to kill themselves so that Israelis could also be killed. It is somehow apt that Hamas should be forever associated with the suicide bomb, for in a larger sense Hamas has proved to be an instrument of the demise of Palestinians in Gaza." Quotes-end.png
From The suffering that Hamas causes, by Jeff Robbins (The Boston Globe, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Precision bombing is a modern science, actually more art than science. The Palestinians typically station their missile-launching sites in residential neighborhoods, close to schools and hospitals, counting on the Israelis to avoid them. A video posted on the Internet, offering a pilot's view of his bombing run, depicts a perfect hit, taking out a rocket site in such a residential neighborhood with little "collateral damage." Not every hit is a perfect score, but civilized men try." Quotes-end.png
From It's time once more to blame the Jews, by Wesley Pruden (The Washington Times, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "What might Israel have done better? It's essential to take out the top terrorist leaders. But Israel's government remains reluctant to target the cowardly Hamas leaders hiding in Damascus - or even the top terrorists remaining in Gaza. For terrorist bosses, the rank-and-file are disposable and replaceable. You can't just kill the gunmen. You have to kill the names. " Quotes-end.png
From Damned if they do, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, December 29, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel's air assault has resulted in more Palestinian casualties, but that is in part because Hamas deliberately locates its security forces in residential neighborhoods. This is intended both to deter Israel from attacking in the first place as well as to turn world opinion against the Jewish state when it does attack. By all accounts, however, the Israeli strikes have hit their targets precisely enough to do significant damage to Hamas forces -- both to its leadership and, on Sunday, to the tunnels from Gaza to Egypt that Hamas uses to smuggle in weapons and build its growing army." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Gaza Defense, by The Wall Street Journal editorial board (The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Our military mission is aimed against Hamas, not the Palestinian people. We are doing everything in our power to target the military infrastructure of Hamas and to avoid harming civilians. This is tragic, but the alternative - that Hamas prevail and ruin all chances of future peace - would be more tragic." Quotes-end.png
From Israel must fight Hamas to open a path to peace, by Akiva Tor (San Francisco Chronicle, December 29, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel must defend itself. And Hamas must bear responsibility for ending a six-month cease-fire this month with a barrage of rocket attacks into Israeli territory. Still we fear that Israel’s response — devastating airstrikes that represent the largest military operation in Gaza since 1967 — is unlikely to weaken the militant Palestinian group substantially or move things any closer to what all Israelis and all Palestinians need: a durable peace agreement and a two-state solution." Quotes-end.png
From War Over Gaza, by The New York Times editorial board (The New York Times, December 29, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel must be allowed to conclude this operation with a decisive victory over Hamas; the untenable situation of intermittent rocket fire and widespread arms smuggling must not be allowed to resume. This is an opportunity to redress Israel's failure to humble Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006, and to deal a substantial setback to another jihadist proxy of Iran." Quotes-end.png
From Palestinians Need Israel to Win, by Michael Oren, Yossi Klein Halevi (The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2008) (view)

Against this position


Quotes-start.png "Unlike al-Qaeda, Hamas is not merely a terrorist organization but a social and political movement with considerable support. Its ideology, however repugnant to Israel and the West, is shared by a considerable slice of the population in every Arab country from Morocco to Iraq. Because it is extremist, it thrives on war, the suffering it inflicts on Palestinians, and the anger generated by the endless, graphic and one-sided coverage of the Middle East's satellite television channels. Every day this war continues, Hamas grows politically stronger, as do its allies in other countries and its sponsor, Iran." Quotes-end.png
From Hard Lesson for Israel, by Jackson Diehl (The Washington Post, January 9, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It was clear that the preeminent issue was opening the crossings into Gaza. Representatives from the Carter Center visited Jerusalem, met with Israeli officials and asked if this was possible in exchange for a cessation of rocket fire. The Israeli government informally proposed that 15 percent of normal supplies might be possible if Hamas first stopped all rocket fire for 48 hours. This was unacceptable to Hamas, and hostilities erupted." Quotes-end.png
From An Unnecessary War, by Jimmy Carter (The Washington Post, January 8, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Whichever choice they make, the war is already cutting the ground from beneath Israeli and western policy across the region. Among Palestinians, it is undermining Mahmoud Abbas - whose presidential term runs out tomorrow - and his Fatah movement, while increasing support for Hamas in the West Bank, where US-trained and EU-financed security forces have now arrested hundreds of activists and banned Hamas demonstrations." Quotes-end.png
From Israel and the west will pay a price for Gaza's bloodbath, by Seumas Milne (The Guardian, January 8, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Massive demonstrations and protests in Jordan calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador over the Israeli military's disregard for civilian life have caused Prime Minister Nader Dahabi to tell the parliament, "Jordan will look into all options, including reconsidering relations with Israel." So much for Feith, Perle and Wurmser's plan to solidify ties between Israel, Turkey and Jordan." Quotes-end.png
From Neoconservatism dies in Gaza, by Juan Cole (Salon.com, January 8, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Military victories and land grabs are futile. Security will come only with political resolution. As it happens, these are not my sentiments, though I certainly share them. They were among some valedictory reflections offered by Ehud Olmert, Israel’s outgoing prime minister, when he announced his resignation last September." Quotes-end.png
From The peace has been lost to Israel’s military victories, by Philip Stephens (Financial Times, January 8, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel’s friends in the US and Europe must urge it not just to cease fire but to commit to an outcome that lays the ground for a comprehensive solution to the battle between Israelis and Palestinians over how – or indeed whether – to share the Holy Land. Therein lies the only real security for Israel, as well as justice for the Palestinians." Quotes-end.png
From Diplomacy must include Hamas, by Financial Times editorial board (Financial Times, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It did so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas men. Israel's objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe." Quotes-end.png
From How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe, by Avi Shlaim (The Guardian, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Under a ceasefire, there is simply no moral justification for the continued siege against Gaza, the cutting of its water supplies, its electricity, its medical aid, its fuel and its food. Yet Israel continued to do this during the six-month ceasefire that Hamas delivered, because it wishes to disrupt the ability of Hamas to govern the Palestinians who voted for it, not just the ability of Hamas to fire its "symbolic" rockets." Quotes-end.png
From There wouldn't have been Gaza rockets without the blockade, by Deborah Orr (The Independent, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "For Gaza could become a vacuum, rapidly descending into Somalia, a lawless badland of warlords and clans. A new force could seek to replace Hamas. Most likely it would be even more radical: al-Qaida has long been pushing at the edges of Gaza, eager to find a way in. Would either of those options appeal to Israel? Of course they wouldn't." Quotes-end.png
From Gaza after a Hamas rout will be an even greater threat to Israel, by Jonathan Freedland (The Guardian, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Of course, Israel has every right to defend itself. It is difficult to imagine what it must be like to live with the constant threat of rocket attacks from a movement which espouses terrorist violence and denies Israel's right to exist. But Israel's approach is self-defeating: the overwhelming use of force, the unacceptable loss of civilian lives, is radicalising moderate opinion among Palestinians and throughout the Arab world." Quotes-end.png
From We must stop arming Israel, by Nick Clegg (The Guardian, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Nearly 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since the conflict broke out at the end of last year. In contrast, there have been around a dozen Israelis killed, many of them soldiers. Negotiation is a much more effective way to deal with rockets and other forms of violence. This might have been able to happen had Israel fulfilled the terms of the June cease-fire and lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip." Quotes-end.png
From What You Don’t Know About Gaza, by Rashid Khalidi (The New York Times, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The basic argument is that Palestinian terrorists represented by Hamas are given to an irrational hatred of Jews so profound that it invalidates their movement, even when they win elections. That was not the view of the Israeli security service when it earlier supported Hamas as the alternative to the then dreaded PLO. Also, history is replete with examples of terrorists becoming statesmen, even within the early ranks of Jews fighting to establish the state of Israel." Quotes-end.png
From Why do so few speak up for Gaza?, by Robert Scheer (San Francisco Chronicle, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "This week's war is not an attack on the Izzidin al-Qassam units -- our movement's military wing -- but is simply aggression targeting the people, infrastructure and economic life of Gaza, designed to sow terror and loose anarchy; it aims to establish new "facts on the ground" -- that is, heaps of rubble with bodies trapped beneath -- in advance of the coming American administration." Quotes-end.png
From Hamas speaks, by Mousa Abu Marzook (Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel is "defending itself" against a people that it dispossessed and has occupied for decades, and specifically by bombing a densely populated territory that it has been collectively punishing for a year and a half. Collective punishment is illegal under the Geneva Conventions. By bombing universities, mosques, lines of graduating police recruits, farms and houses filled with women and children, Israel is violating the law of proportional response." Quotes-end.png
From The Israel rules, by Gary Kamiya (Salon.com, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Virtually all Israelis in proximity to Gaza have lived in fear. These innocent civilians have undeniable rights to be free of indiscriminate attack. Yet their government failed to explore negotiating a renewal of the truce with Hamas, which had brought the greatest calm the region in the last six years. Unwilling to make concessions necessary to extend the truce, Israel deliberately chose the path of blood." Quotes-end.png
From Has Israel's response exceeded its right to defend itself?, by George Bisharat (San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Yet Israel, as the militarily superior power, ought to take the first steps: implementing a massive Marshall Plan in Gaza and in the West Bank to end poverty and unemployment, rebuild infrastructure and encourage investment; dismantle the settlements or make settlers become citizens of a Palestinian state; accept 30,000 Palestinian refugees annually back into Israel for the next 30 years, apologise for its role in the 1948 expulsions and offer to co-ordinate a worldwide compensation effort for all that Palestinians lost during the Occupation; and recognise a Palestinian state within borders already defined by the Geneva Accord of 2003." Quotes-end.png
From It breaks my heart to see Israel's stupidity, by Michael Lerner (The Times, January 5, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "But that means that a battered Hamas just has to find a way to keep firing rockets into Israel to claim some sort of victory. And even if Israel succeeds in stopping the rockets for now, any future regional enemy now knows how best to taunt Israel and delight its enemies: rockets." Quotes-end.png
From Israel’s self-defeating Gaza offensive, by Gideon Rachman (Financial Times, January 5, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "What is urgently needed now is: an internationally monitored ceasefire, of sufficient duration to resume and conclude negotiations on that basis; for Israel then to lift the blockade; and for new elections to decide who speaks for the Palestinians – Fatah, whose position is fast being eroded by this crisis, Hamas, or a combination of them both." Quotes-end.png
From A dangerous gamble in Gaza, by Financial Times editorial board (Financial Times, January 4, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In the last eight days, Israeli missiles have destroyed tunnels on which militants rely. They have razed police stations, homes, mosques and government buildings. They have killed Hamas leaders. But they have also brought fear and misery to a population that has suffered months of economic siege. That fear and misery will worsen." Quotes-end.png
From Israel must withdraw from Gaza, by The Observer editorial board (The Observer, January 4, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Second, if Israel hoped to break Hamas' hold on Gaza it has gone precisely the wrong way about it. Its leaders have done this many times before, repeatedly misreading the way Arab societies work. They believe that if they hit Gaza (or Lebanon) hard enough, the local population will blame Hamas (or Hezbollah) for bringing tragedy upon them. But it doesn't work like that. Instead, Gazans blame Israel - and close ranks with Hamas." Quotes-end.png
From Israel has plenty of tactics for war, but none for peace, by Jonathan Freedland (The Guardian, January 3, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "How many Palestinian Anne Franks did the Israelis murder, maim or turn mad? Unless the Israeli state can see that equivalence there is no future for Palestine and even less for the moral health of Israel where racist attitudes towards Arabs are as dangerously pathological as the anti-Semitism of many Muslims." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's friends cannot justify this slaughter, by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (The Independent, January 19, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "There are elements within Hamas readier than most Israelis realise to negotiate an end to occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. But Israel has to decide that a meaningful peace is its goal too, starting with an understanding that this problem will never be solved by force. But it can be solved." Quotes-end.png
From Amid the horror and doom of Gaza, the IRA precedent offers hope, by Jonathan Freedland (The Guardian, January 14, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "What if Gazans had been allowed to travel freely to and from the West Bank, what if they had been able to sell their goods in Ramallah, Jenin and Nablus, then import food and consumer products for sale back in Gaza? Yes, it's entirely possible that they would have used this opportunity to arm themselves, as Israel feared, and attack Israelis in myriad ways. But it's also possible that they would finally have been able to establish a sustainable economy in Gaza, denying Hamas the opportunity to capitalize on their anger and misery." Quotes-end.png
From U.S. role in Mideast turmoil: Neglect, by Joel Brinkley (San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In 2006 Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Ehud Olmert, was quoted in The Guardian explaining the plan: "the idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet." The technical name for a strategy of imposing fear and misery on a people until they turn against their government is "terrorism"; to repeat myself, Palestinians have the same right of self-defense as Israelis." Quotes-end.png
From Israel in Gaza: Three Wrong Arguments, by Howard Schweber (The Huffington Post, January 10, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel then broke the truce on Nov. 4, raiding the Gaza Strip and killing a Palestinian. Hamas retaliated with rocket fire; Israel then killed five more Palestinians. In the following days, Hamas continued rocket fire -- yet still no Israelis died. Israel cannot claim self-defense against this escalation, because it was provoked by Israel's own violation." Quotes-end.png
From Israel Is Committing War Crimes, by George Bisharat (The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Men like Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan don't have to worry about winning elections, so they can merely stay quiet. If you want to get a sense of where public opinion now stands in the region, listen to the only democratically elected leader in the Arab world. The prime minister of Iraq, America's staunch ally, Nuri al-Maliki, has called on all Arab and Muslim countries to "cancel their diplomatic relations and stop all contacts—public and private—with this murderous regime, which continues its painful aggression against peaceful, unarmed civilians."" Quotes-end.png
From What Makes Ahmadinejad Smile?, by Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek, January 10, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "There's just no clear route from bombardment to a sustainable peace. But the damage caused by this new conflagration won't be limited to the Israelis and Palestinians. Israel's military offensive already has sparked outrage and protests throughout the Arab world. The current crisis also may destabilize some of the more moderate Arab governments in the region -- in Egypt, for instance -- where leaders now face popular backlash if they don't repudiate Israel." Quotes-end.png
From Israel can't bomb its way to peace, by Rosa Brooks (Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We must not forget that before Hamas was elected by the Palestinians, it was encouraged by Israel as a tactic to weaken Yasser Arafat. Israel's recent history leads me to believe that if Hamas is bombed out of existence, another group will most certainly take its place, a group that would be more radical, more violent, and more full of hatred towards Israel." Quotes-end.png
From The illusion of victory, by Daniel Barenboim (The Guardian, January 1, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Six months ago the Israeli Government agreed to an Egyptian- brokered ceasefire with Hamas. In return for a ceasefire, Israel agreed to open the crossing points and allow a free flow of essential supplies in and out of Gaza. The rocket barrages ended but the crossings never fully opened, and the people of Gaza began to starve. This crippling embargo was no reward for peace." Quotes-end.png
From We must adjust our distorted image of Hamas, by William Sieghart (The Times, December 31, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The disproportionate and heavy-handed Israeli attacks on Gaza have been a bonanza for Hamas. The movement has renewed its standing in the Arab world, secured international favor further afield and succeeded in scuttling indirect Israeli-Syrian talks and direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. It has also greatly embarrassed Israel's strongest Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan." Quotes-end.png
From Has Israel Revived Hamas?, by Daoud Kuttab (The Washington Post, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The suffering of civilians already subjected to an economic blockade is seen around the world for what it is: a humanitarian calamity. Every day the bombing continues, it distances Israelis and Palestinians from the two-state peace accord both peoples desperately need." Quotes-end.png
From The Gaza calamities, by The Boston Globe editorial board (The Boston Globe, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It rings pretty hollow when those of us viewing can not only see who is doing the killing, but who is doing the dying. Policemen? Shoppers? University personnel? United Nations employees? Little kids? 3 Israelis vs. 300 Palestinians? Israel, you are so better than this." Quotes-end.png
From Israel, Stop! Just. Stop., by Lorelei Kelly (The Huffington Post, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Like the West Bank, the Gaza Strip has been - and continues to be - illegally occupied by Israel since 1967. Despite the withdrawal of troops and settlements three years ago, Israel maintains complete control of the territory by sea, air and land. And since Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006, Israel has punished its 1.5 million people with an inhuman blockade of essential supplies, backed by the US and the European Union. Like any occupied people, the Palestinians have the right to resist, whether they choose to exercise it or not." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's onslaught on Gaza is a crime that cannot succeed, by Seumas Milne (The Guardian, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It was in this context – under a collective punishment designed to topple a democracy – that some forces within Gaza did something immoral: they fired Qassam rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities. These rockets have killed 16 Israeli citizens. This is abhorrent: targeting civilians is always murder. But it is hypocritical for the Israeli government to claim now to speak out for the safety of civilians when it has been terrorising civilians as a matter of state policy." Quotes-end.png
From The true story behind this war is not the one Israel is telling, by Johann Hari (The Independent, December 29, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Olmert badly miscalculated in launching the 2006 offensive against Hezbollah -- and he's probably making the same mistake in Gaza, which will cost many lives and subject Israel to another round of international opprobrium while distracting attention from the more serious threat of Iran." Quotes-end.png
From Olmert's Final Failure, by Jackson Diehl (The Washington Post, December 29, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Meanwhile, just as Israel's attack on Lebanon strengthened that country's band of religious fanatics -- Hezbollah -- the Gaza assault is almost guaranteed to end up bolstering Palestine's own religious extremists, including Hamas's more wild-eyed and terrorist-inclined gangs. For some Israeli extremists, that may be exactly what they want, because it pushes a two-state solution that much further away." Quotes-end.png
From Obama Fiddles While Gaza Burns, by Robert Dreyfuss (The Nation, December 29, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, pleaded that Israel wanted "quiet" - a continuation of the truce - while Hamas chose "terror", forcing him to act. But what is Israel's idea of a truce? It is very simple: Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonise their land." Quotes-end.png
From We have no words left, by Ali Abunimah (The Guardian, December 29, 2008) (view)

Mixed on this position


Quotes-start.png "The lesson is that Israel needs to step back and figure out how to prevent the same cycle from repeating without end: Israel punishing innocent Palestinians in response to terrorism, inevitably stirring up more radicalization, resentment and retaliation." Quotes-end.png
From Israel’s tactics in Gaza invite Palestinian backlash, by USA Today editorial board (USA Today, January 7, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel has destroyed border tunnels that served as conduits for weapons trafficking from Egypt, as well as weapons stocks. That's fair. It also has invaded Gaza and occupied the northern areas that have served as the launchpad for most of the rockets. That's not practical." Quotes-end.png
From Broker a Gaza cease-fire now, by Los Angeles Times editorial board (Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel, aided by the United States, Europe and moderate Arab states, must try to end this conflict as soon as possible and in a way that increases the chances for negotiating a broad regional peace. That means ensuring at a minimum that Hamas — a proxy of Iran — is not seen as gaining from the war, that the rocket fire is halted permanently and that the terrorist group can no longer restock its arsenal with more deadly weapons via hundreds of tunnels dug under the Egypt-Gaza border." Quotes-end.png
From Incursion Into Gaza, by The New York Times editorial board (The New York Times, January 5, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "While justified by Hamas's continuing attempts to kill Israeli civilians, the invasion heightens the risks that Israel has faced all along. Even a defeat of Hamas on the ground might not end the missile threat, and it could be forced into a full-scale occupation of Gaza. That outcome would be a serious blow to Israel's larger interests -- and those of the United States." Quotes-end.png
From Escalation in Gaza, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, January 4, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It was Hamas, not Israel, that provoked war by breaking a cease-fire. And it was Hamas, not Israel, whose refusal to accept the other's right to exist created an intractable barrier to meaningful negotiation. All true. But the notion that Hamas could be bombed into sensibility is a little hard to imagine. The more likely reality is that the fallout of this bombing campaign is hardening the resolve of the militants that survive it, while generating international outrage at Israel's heavy-handedness." Quotes-end.png
From Pressure for cease-fire must intensify, by San Francisco Chronicle editorial board (San Francisco Chronicle, January 4, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Now that Hamas has been weakened, Obama and Clinton should look at Gaza's history for the best way to vanquish the movement: The key lies in convincing the local population that Hamas militants are killing chances for peace." Quotes-end.png
From Shift the blame to Hamas, by Trudy Rubin (The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 14, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "That may eventually buy short-term relief for the people of southern Israel who live under a rain of rocket fire, and whose government has every obligation to secure their safety. But rather than weaken Hamas politically, it seems just as likely that the effect of the bloody siege will be to harden sentiment against Israel on the Palestinian street and drive new recruits into the arms of Hamas' military." Quotes-end.png
From Silence the guns in Gaza, by Los Angeles Times editorial board (Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel will not be able to topple Hamas unless it fully reoccupies Gaza, and it will probably not be able even to stop the rocket attacks on its cities without some kind of political settlement. For that, Israel will need the mediation of Egypt, Saudi Arabia or other Sunni states. Israel must be careful not to allow its military campaign to undermine its own diplomatic end game -- or to hand another political victory to an Iranian regime that remains a far greater threat to Israel than Hamas is." Quotes-end.png
From Divided on Gaza, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, December 30, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Most Israelis seem prepared to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders and abandon Gaza (as they did in 2005) and most of the West Bank while bunkering down behind the big new security barriers that snake across the countryside. An insecure Israel will still lash out when it feels threatened, as it did in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza now, even though such military spasms are likely to be ineffective and even counter-productive." Quotes-end.png
From Gaza is more than a simplistic morality play, by Mick Hume (The Times, December 29, 2008) (view)