Monday, May 31, 2010

What gets Israel in trouble is NOT incidents such as what happened today when the Israelis boarded and took control of a ship in violation of Israel's blockade of Gaza... what gets Israel in trouble is its weak-assed response to such incidents as today's.

Israel gets in trouble because its enemies sense weakness. They know that as soon as the shooting stops, Israel is going to cry and apologize and come across as the erring party. And sensing that weakness, Israel's enemies push and push and continue to whittle away at what little remains of Israel's support. And Israel makes it easy for its supporters to back away... when Israel itself acts like it done wrong, it is only natural for other countries to distance themselves from the offender.

If however, instead of crying and apologizing, blah, blah, blah, about the 'loss of life, yadda, yadda, yadda, Israel had instead stood up and defended its actions and promised to do the exact same thing the next time such an incident arose, Israel's enemies would get no traction and Israel's supporters wouldn't have the opportunity to distance themselves as much.

As someone just wrote, Israel acts as if they're trying to avoid both bloodshed and condemnation... and they end up with both. Israel's enemies know this and thus stage stunts like today's. They know there may be some price to pay but not much. If Israel stood its ground, and actually was a bit more aggressive in defending its position, its enemies wouldn't be able to recruit so easily (it is much harder to recruit volunteers for a mission that is 100% fatal than it is for a mission where the chance of death is in the single digits).

Israel (like the United States) has always had the military ability to defeat its enemies, both conventionally and the so-called asymmetrical variety. Unfortunately, its political leaders (as is also the case with the United States) doesn't have the brains or fortitude to stand up against its enemies. To the politicians, an enemy is someone to win over, not someone to kill. Israel (like the United States) would be a lot safer it focused on killing its enemies and stopped trying to persuade its enemies that they should all live together in peace.