Last spring, we attended a fundraiser for a Knesset candidate, Moshe Feiglin. He had a five-point plan to eliminate Israel’s problems with her neighbors. I loved it. Point #5 was “no peace agreements,” and darn it, I agree with him. It’s one matter to make peace with sovereign states like Egypt and Jordan. That’s bad enough! Egypt spends its billions of U.S. military aid arming itself for a potential war with Israel. Jordan spends all its energy protecting the ruling family from its majority-Palestinian population. It’s another matter entirely to make peace with shadowy terrorist groups bent on Israel’s destruction. Of course I lament the loss of innocent life that occurred during Israel’s initial assault on Hamas strongholds in Gaza Saturday morning. Part of Hamas’ strategy is to maintain its terrorism forces amongst civilians—a clear violation of international law. The Geneva Convention clearly states members of a military cannot mix with civilians in wartime, and if they do, the state, not its attacker, bears responsibility for civilian casualties. I’m very hopeful Israel can achieve its goals, unlike the bad ending the Hezbollah war had a few summers ago. Furthermore, I suppressed a smile when I read the Tribune headline this morning: “What next for Obama’s Mideast plan? Experts say Israel-Hamas violence may be a crippling blow to peace-talk hopes.” In any peace talks with Hamas, the minimum that Israel should accept are: recognition; renunciation of violence; and honoring previous agreements. Hamas will never, ever agree to those terms. So Israel would be forced to settle for less and be strategically weaker as a result. During the upcoming Obama Administration, Israel supporters ought to fear a White House hostile to Israeli security needs; and peace agreements that weaken Israel with “land for peace.” Zionists are afraid the new President’s State Department, like its predecessors, will blame Israel for its own failings and pressure the state to make concessions it simply cannot afford. If Israel’s attempts to stop the shelling of its land—which Hamas had no intention of stopping long-term—end up achieving that goal as well as ending any possibility of peace agreements with Hamas, then Israel is better off on both counts.
As an aside, let’s keep in mind what Hamas considers “peace agreements”: interim waiting periods that allow Hamas to plan and prepare for the next war or attack wave.