Sunday, July 27, 2014
The cease-fire and the donkey's jaw
Dr. Reuven Berko
When I was a child, my late uncle asked me how many donkeys were in this sentence uttered by Samson: "With a donkey's jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey's jawbone I have killed a thousand men" (Judges 15:16). Over 1,000 dead in Gaza cause all of us to sorrow over those hurt and the destruction caused to places where Hamas members hid, using civilians as human shields.
It wasn't any modern-day Samson that brought this disaster upon the people of Gaza. It was actually their leaders. The catastrophe could have been twice as bad if many of the residents had not heeded the IDF's warnings and evacuated (despite Hamas forbidding it) and if Israel hadn't protected its citizens. Those who demand "proportionality" in the number of casualties must be angry at how few casualties Israel has and furious that the Israeli leadership committed the sin of giving its civilians siren alerts, shelters, and the Iron Dome system, and sent its soldiers to protect them while the Hamas leadership used its civilians as a bullet-proof vest.
It seems that Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders, who bear the responsibility for the deaths of 1,000 of their citizens -- including terrorists -- number many more than five donkeys, and include Khaled Mashaal, Ismail Haniyeh, Ramadan Abdallah Shalah, Musa Abu Marzouk, and Dr. Mahmoud a-Zahar (and others who are enjoying fitness equipment in Qatar or are well-protected in the basements of Gaza).
It would be too much to expect donkey-men like "spokespeople" Fawzi Barhoum and Sami Abu Zuhri -- the "young guys" of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad -- to use the brief cease-fire to run and document the severity of the damage to lives and property and show those images to the Hamas leaders who are hiding. By doing so, they might blow apart the fantasy of murdering Jews and annihilating their country they've become addicted to thanks to their religion's opium of murderous interpretation. Maybe the pictures of the horror will bring them back to reality.
Tradition holds that on Laylat Al-Qadar (Night of Destiny), which falls in the middle of this week, the fate of the Muslims will be decided. Despite this, Hamas leaders continue to ignore the disaster they have brought and will bring upon the Palestinian people and lock themselves into their absurd demands. As if they were the victors, they are demanding to remove the siege as a precondition to any talks, demanding a reward for their murderousness in the form of opening crossings and the port, funds, goods, and other "treats" that will allow them to replenish and upgrade their weapons arsenal in preparation for the next round. Now that they have received a short cease-fire, maybe they will look at the pictures and realize how bad the catastrophe is.
In their latest speeches, Mashaal and Ramadan Shalah stressed that they were waging a war of annihilation against Israel and that they would wage it in Judea and Samaria, as well. They refuse to de-arm and announced that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his "reconciliation government" must stop the talks and security cooperation with Israel. In the performance they are planning, Abbas will serve as "prime minister" in Gaza, a fig leaf, allowing murder to continue as designated in the days of Palestine Liberation Organization founder Yasser Arafat: They will arm themselves and commit terror attacks and murder while Abbas will send them money, take responsibility for the civilians and say "it wasn't me." Indeed, the rais (president) has already hurried to pay out $20 million for electricity and medical needs.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry continues to play the role of village cop for President Barack Obama. Kerry is holding dialogue in Paris with Turkey and Qatar, who represent Hamas and are working against America's allies, and neglecting his allies Israel and Egypt. Not since Othello has there been a play in which a leader is so betrayed and misled.
Because anyone who is merciful to the brutal will wind up being brutal to the merciful, the IDF will stick to its mission to eliminate the terror tunnels, even when they are dug inside mosques. After all, Muslims blow up each other's mosques on a regular basis, and their prophet was the first person in history to set fire to a mosque (Masjid al-Dirar in Medina).
Just as Laylat Al-Qadar approaches, Israel is once again making it clear that it has nothing against the Palestinian people. Israel's willingness -- not for the first time -- to agree to a cease-fire shows how merciful it is, in light of the risk that Hamas members will use it to improve their positions and endanger IDF soldiers. But the army's mission will be fulfilled and negotiations on a permanent deal will be conducted with a tough hand. This is how the people treats Pharaoh.