After explaining why three Jewish teens had it coming in Hebron, Max Fisher, one of the least knowledgeable journalists writing about the Middle East today (or maybe just the least honest), has a new post up clarifying why those executions are exactly what Israel wanted.
Fisher writes that after the murder of three teenage students by Hamas, it was “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies on Israel’s political right” who “appear to have extracted what they wanted from the crisis.” Or, you may be surprised to learn, the murders make “it far more likely that full-on conflict will resume between Israel and Hamas, a dynamic that Netanyahu seems to prefer.”
Yes, the elected leaders of Israel, the nation’s “right” – because the major swath of the nation’s left-wing doesn’t support putting an end to Hamas, according to Fisher, who fails to offer any polling to back this odd assertion – were happy to use student hitchhikers as bait, hoping they would be kidnapped, executed and dropped in a shallow grave in an empty lot in Hebron. This outcome finally gives Israel the pretext it needed to extract revenge on a bunch of innocent Palestinians.
In Fisher’s view, Israel is pining to kill, longing to occupy, aching to inconvenience. Israel wants to waste millions of dollars tracking down Hamas terrorists; it craves the international backlash that will inevitably follow, and it just never feels quite whole until hundreds of its own citizens, and thousands of Palestinians, are put at risk. There’s nothing quite like persecuting the elderly Arab shopkeeper. Mission accomplished!
Does that sound ridiculous? That’s what the case against Israel sounds like when you refuse to offer any genuine context. And it gets worse. Fisher is also concerned that the Israeli response is “driving a wedge between Hamas and the more moderate, West Bank-based Fatah.” If the groups splinter, Fisher explains, it “will also have the effect of making peace talks far more difficult.”
Does any serious observer of the Middle East believe that the Hamas/Fatah unity government has made it easier for the peace process to move forward? Israel’s chief peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni, a woman of the left and one of the country’s most ardent supporters of a two-state solution, proclaimed that they had no choice but to suspend any talks with the Palestinian Authority while there was a unity pact with Hamas. No Israeli government – left, right or center – could ever reach such an agreement. No government on Earth would. (And, by the way, if Netanyahu’s goal is to utilize this crisis to shatter the unity government, doesn’t that indicate that he is eager for an agreement?)
Shorter Vox: Israel is getting what it wants by making a big fuss about a few bad apples in Hamas.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) July 2, 2014
Then again, judging from his missives, Fisher doesn’t really believe Hamas is a terrorist organization. It has a political wing, you know. And anyway, these murders – though they can be rationalized by the occupation – were only perpetrated by rogue elements belonging to a group “with a record of opposing and undermining Hamas’s ceasefires and negotiations with Israel.” Yep, that’s what’s standing in the way of a new peace agreement between moderate wing of Hamas (which called for a new Intifada right after joining Fatah) and Israel.
The fact is, Fisher can’t even concede that Israel is retaliating for terrorism or rocket fire – 8000 rockets over the years. It’s all just a ploy:
On Tuesday, Israel launched dozens of air strikes in Gaza that it said were retaliation against Hamas for 18 rockets launched into southern Israel. But given Netanyahu’s recent insistence that he will dismantle Hamas in retaliation, it seems unlikely the rockets were the primary instigation. As always, Gazan civilians will feel the brunt of the violence.
Instead, Israel should probably deploy a couple of detectives to track down these rouge wrongdoers — who, for some reason, are celebrated by Palestinians as heroes. Really, when will these Jews learn to stop putting themselves in front of all these bullets and rockets?