If you need to have a good laugh before Shabbat, read Michael Oren's take on the Israel-Hamas truce/cease-fire agreement in the Wall Street Journal here
I have no problem with the title, "Israel's Truce with Hamas is a Victory for Iran." I am sure that Oren would have liked Israel to repeat America's success in Iraq with a "rolling, multi-month operation."
No, what amuses me so much is Oren's narrative of the "tragedy". Here is what he writes:
"The roots of this tragedy go back to the summer of 2005 and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The evacuation, intended to free Israel of Gaza's political and strategic burden, was hailed as a victory by Palestinian terrorist groups, above all Hamas.
"Hamas proceeded to fire some 1,000 rocket and mortar shells into Israel. Six months later Hamas gunmen, taking advantage of an earlier cease-fire, infiltrated into Israel, killed two soldiers, and captured Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
"Hamas's audacity spurred Hezbollah to mount a similar ambush against Israelis patrolling the Lebanese border, triggering a war in which Israel was once again humbled. Hamas now felt sufficiently emboldened to overthrow Gaza's Fatah-led government, and to declare itself regnant in the Strip. Subsequently, Hamas launched thousands more rocket and mortar salvos against Israel, rendering parts of the country nearly uninhabitable.
"In response, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) air strikes and limited ground incursions killed hundreds of armed Palestinians in Gaza, and Israel earned international censure for collateral civilian deaths and "disproportionate" tactics. Israel also imposed a land and sea blockade of Gaza, strictly controlling its supply of vital commodities such as a gasoline. But the policy enabled Hamas to hoard the fuel and declare a humanitarian crisis."
Like most Israeli apologists, Oren denies the Jews effective agency in their encounter with the Palestinians. Jews almost never take the initiative; they only respond. Hence it is wrong to look for the roots of the tragedy in the Israeli support of Hamas during the eighties by the Israelis, or the war against Hamas during the nineties, or the response of the Israelis to the Second Intifada, which crippled Fatah, or the sanctions against Hamas after they won democratic elections promoted by the US and Israel. These points are unimportant because the Palestinian actions and attitudes toward Israel are independent of anything Israel may do to them; they are born of MUSLIM ANTISEMITISM AND FUNDAMENTALISM that needs no external impetus. From Oren's account, it would seem that Israel never fought against Hamas before 2007, or even pressured them. Only after Hamas took over the Gaza strip – "emboldened by Israel's failure in Lebanon" (apparently, Hamas has no internal-Palestinian agenda, either)-- did Israel launch air strikes.
Oren doesn't talk about targeted assassinations, or sanctions, or shelling, or incursions, or about Israel's virtually complete control over the economic life of the Gaza strip. He doesn't talk about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza from 2000 on. He doesn't talk about Israel's kidnapping soldiers (or violating Lebanese sovereignty with fly overs.)The Gaza evacuation is the exception that proves the rule -- because that was a deliberately unilateral move that excluded the Palestinians. Oren can make a silly statement about Hamas leaders being able to walk freely in Gaza while children in Sderot cower in bomb shelters. If there are Hamas leaders like that, it is only because the four previous generations of Hamas leaders were blown apart by Israeli shells. I know enough not to listen to Oren's new and revisionist history. I read the papers when the events happened. But some Israelis actually believe this junk. I am going to keep Oren's article for when Obama pulls out of Iraq. Now, that will be a victory for al-Qaeda, right?