Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dershowitz and Hamas

So Dersh was on CNN earlier tonight, and said something along the lines of "Israel can only succeed by defeating and destroying Hamas."

I had the same response as I always do to that sort of thing: And how, exactly, do you propose to do that? You can kill every member of Hamas, but you still won't get rid of the organization. Anybody who says they're Hamas is, um, Hamas. It's a concept, and you can't kill an idea.

The only way that Israel could theoretically "destroy Hamas" is to make it illegal to be a member of an organization called Hamas. But, ahah, how do they propose to make that happen, either? You can't make something illegal unless you are a government. And Israel has been steadfast about not wanting to occupy Gaza.

But that's it, isn't it? That's just about the only endgame that makes sense right now: re-occupation. They can't completely "destroy" Hamas without the power of a government to make organizations illegal. And they can't actually prevent rocket attacks unless they have a government's ability to enter homes and dictate what is and isn't acceptable behavior. They cannot achieve their goals unless they are the government of Gaza, and that means re-occupation, since Fatah would never threaten its own position by endorsing Israel's actions.

I'm not saying this is some Machiavellian plot by the Israelis to re-occupy Gaza. I don't think that's the case at all. I think that the various military and political leaders aren't really considering their endgame, and don't realize that they've boxed themselves in to the extent that there's only one possible one, and it's both odious and ultimately fruitless.

No, I think they're listening too much to the reflexive apologists like Alan, who aren't really concerned with Israel's security, but just making its actions look as good as possible in the foreign press to make themselves look good in turn. And I think it's going to bite them in the ass when they end up either re-occupying a riotous Gaza Strip, or withdrawing and facing the inevitability of more rocket attacks from defiant Gazans.

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