From Webster’s Dictionary:
noun en·e·my \ˈe-nə-mē\
: someone who hates another : someone who attacks or tries to harm another
: something that harms or threatens someone or something
: a group of people (such as a nation) against whom another group is fighting a war
Full Definition of ENEMY
: one that is antagonistic to another; especially : one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent
: something harmful or deadly <alcohol was his greatest enemy>
a : a military adversary
b : a hostile unit or force
Sometimes, when I talk or chat with friends, they say things like “we need to make peace with the Palestinians”, or “they hate us because we’re mean to them”, or any number of similar sentiments. These friends either say or imply that Israel should simply give in to the demands of the PA to stop building in “settlements”, or withdraw to some arbitrary “borders” (in reality, armistice lines), and then, the Palestinians will be our friends, they’ll leave us alone, the Arab and Muslim world (and their supporters) will stop being anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and anti-Semitic.
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
Look at the definition of “enemy” above. I copied and pasted it from Webster’s dictionary.
What it DOESN’T say in the definition is how does one deal with enemies. History tells us that.
While negotiation and compromise is always an ideal (or at least, idealized) solution, it is frequently insufficient, especially when one “enemy” believes it has leverage over the other, or has the capability to destroy the other.
What we are seeing now in the “Arab-Israeli Conflict” (NOT the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, since it has been going on since long before the 1960’s, when we first heard of Arab Palestinians, and long before 1948, when Israel was founded), is a form of warfare against Israel BY ITS ENEMIES.
History has taught us that when attacked, we only have a few choices. This holds true for schoolkids attacked by bullies, as well as for nations.
2. Try to negotiate a settlement (or “peace”);
3. Appeal to a “higher authority” (e.g. the teacher, or the UN);
4. Fight back.
Generally, numbers 1-3 don’t work out very well, unless of course you surrender to the USA, who then rebuilds your country (e.g. Germany and Japan after WWII).
In the case of Israel vs. the Arabs, who gradually are winning the hearts and minds of much of the world, Israel has fought back in cases of extreme need, such as the 1948 War of Independence, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, and the more recent incursions into Gaza, but generally, has held back from decisively defeating their enemies to the point where their enemies can no longer wage war against them. Tactically, Israel hasn’t had much choice, since the US and the rest of the world have effectively stopped them from doing so.
Strategically, this is probably a grave mistake, as each time, Israel’s political position worsens, while the positions of their enemies is strengthened. Since most of the countries Israel has fought (including Gaza) couldn’t care less about a few Muslim lives lost if it weakens Israel, this process could eventually defeat Israel.
Now, the EU is talking about severe sanctions on Israel if Israel doesn’t surrender to the PA and Hamas. Of course, they phrase it a little differently – they say “Israel needs to ‘do more’ to advance ‘the peace process’ ” as if Israel can unilaterally negotiate both sides of discussions in which the PA steadfastly refuses to participate. It is, of course, a classic “Catch-22”, where, no matter what Israel does, it cannot win.
So, what are Israel’s options?
They can surrender to the demands of the PA’s “preconditions” – stop building in settlements, agree a priori to withdraw to the “1967 Borders” (i.e the 1948 armistice lines), and agree to let the “refugees” “return” to Israel. But, as any rational person understands, doing so means the end of Israel as a Jewish state, which is, of course, the end goal of the Arabs (unless you consider what happens to the Jews in Israel once they’re a minority to be the end goal).
They can continue as they have been, appealing to logic, history, fairness, and the goodness of the hearts of the USA, the UN, the EU, etc., although it is unlikely that the anti-semites driving the anti-Zionism and anti-Israel movements are likely to change. It is more likely that their efforts will intensify, especially as the numbers of Muslims in Europe multiply, European politicians give in to their “electorate”, and the UN becomes even more of an automatic majority against Israel.
They can fight. Fighting, in this case, means politically, in the various world forums, and militarily. Once upon a time, it was well-known that if one Israeli died, the enemy would suffer many multiples in retaliation. In other words, Israel made the price of waging war too high for its enemies. Israel, unfortunately has very little choice when faced with enemies who will never give up UNLESS THEY HAVE A MOTIVATION TO DO SO.
Motivation to give up fighting generally comes about through being utterly defeated and being unable to continue the fight.
In the case of the Palestinians and Hamas (et al), they are encouraged by the reaction of the world. Israel actually pays them, props them up, provides goods and services to their really nasty enemies in Gaza, gives them water, lives up (for the most part) to their obligations under the Oslo agreements, and gets very little in return. They get some security cooperation in the West Bank, but are continually kicked in the teeth at every opportunity. They get intifadas, rocks, riots, and murder whenever someone feels they can do it.
I believe that, in the end, the ultimate decisions will be made militarily. Israel will concede a bit too much, or will be pushed a little too far, and will have no choice but to lash out and thoroughly destroy Hamas, then unilaterally determine borders along the West Bank. The world will fume, and there will be sanctions against Israel, but irrespective of what Israel does or doesn’t do, those same sanctions will eventually be applied. We see it now in the actions of the EU, calling for boycotts, sanctions, and all sorts of actions against Israel, including funding numerous anti-Israel NGO’s working inside Israel.
This scenario is not comforting, and it will certainly raise the ire of my more “liberal” friends, who believe that peace and love will always triumph, since all humans desire peace and harmony.
The problem with that perspective is a little-known secret – not everyone shares the same values.
While in the West, we tend toward Judeo-Christian values – turn the other cheek, the Golden Rule, be good to your neighbors, lend a helping hand, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, democracy, etc., there are any number of places in the world, many of them Israel’s neighbors, who believe in NONE of those things. They believe that might makes right, that Jews are scum, that Christians and Jews should be Dhimmi’s and slaves, and the idea of Jews and Christians having their own countries makes them insane.
Make no mistake. The war being waged against Israel is NOT one of land. It is absolutely, 100% a religious war.
Ask yourself – “If Israel were named Palestine, and it was a majority Muslim country, would there be ANY problem with it, other than tribal conflict, Sunni vs. Shiite vs. Alawite vs. Ahmadiyya vs. Wahabi etc.?” You already know the answer. There wouldn’t be. It would be just another shitty little Arab country with some form of dictatorship, with minorities squelched and suppressed, with emigration of those minorities (who would be plucked of everything they own prior to leaving, if they were allowed to leave).
So, what do YOU think Israel should do?