Sunday, December 28, 2008

Waiting for Lefty

The Gaza war is falling into a predictable pattern, with the so-called Zionist left in Israel, a.k.a. the Meretz party, also acting predictably. Meretz has backed virtually every major Israeli military operation in memory in its initial stages, and that includes both Lebanese wars, Operation Defensive Shield, etc. So it was no surprise to me when that party came out in favor of a military operation in Gaza. See here

In a healthy country, the progressive left would be highly skeptical of the military and a militaristic mind-set. But what is called "progressive left" in most countries is called the "extreme, self-hating Jewish left" in Israel. What passes for left in Israel is what we would call in America, "the wimpy liberal" or "the centrist-liberal" Democratic party – you know, the sorts of folks who automatically vote in favor of every military action at the outset, and then wait for the body count to go up, or the war to get "close to home", before it expresses regrets.

That Condi Rice and the Bush government support Israel's massive bombardment make utter sense to me; it is just a pity that Meretz in Israel, and Meretz International, have learned nothing from their past experiences (Remember how they, with Labour, supported the first 48 hours of the first Lebanon war?) and how they have once again fallen in with the neocons and the liberal hawks. Predictable, but sad.

In the post below, I suggested that Meretz would eventually come out against the war; the question was one of timing. Well, guess what? Haaretz is now reporting that the government will approve the call up of reserves. See in Hebrew here. Is this the "limited, focused operation" that Meretz called for?

Are you ready, yet, Zionist lefties to speak out? Or are you waiting for your sons in Tel-Aviv – those who still serve in the Reserves -- to be called up first?


Anonymous said...

With all due respects Jerry what do you expect the Israeli government in this situation? What would any self respecting government do if insurgents, from across a frontier, were endangering their citizens? The Gazans brought this on themselves. I have no sympathy for them.

Jerry Haber said...

What do I expect them to do, David? Oh, that's easy. I expect them to over-react, to foul things up, to get bogged down, and then to get bailed out by a cease-fire mediated by the UN or some other third party. Then I expect the usual round of recriminations, the appointment of a commission headed by some retired judge, scattered protests, new elections, etc., until the next time they do the same thing.

Isn't that what always happens?

Anonymous said...

I also expect them to impose a blockade that hurts a million civilians, hoping the pain will hurt Hamas. I expect their supporters to be oblivious to the moral issue here, though the slightest indication of anything like an academic boycott of Israeli universities (a trivial act in comparison) will bring out cries of "Anti-semitism".

Not that I supported such a boycott myself, but the double standard is pretty obvious.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps this time Jerry the IDF will finish the job. Allow me to borrow a few lines from Clem Tholet z'l, the son-in-law of one of the greatest men of the 20th century Ian Douglas Smith:

"They can their men to murder,
They can say their words of hate,
But our men and boys are fighting for the things that they hold dear,
And this land and all its people will never disappear!"

Let the foul Islamic horde taste Judah Maccabbee's iron sword!

Diana said...


Yes, and if all this is so predictable, then why did Hamas provoke what they knew would be a brutal response by shelling Israel? Forget morality, what about elementary cleverness?

C'mon Jerry, deal with that.

Abe Bird said...

Nothing is predictable in wars and even not in peace, especially when the other part is an extreme Islamic Jihadist Hamas Hunta. Half of the Kibbuzim surrounding Gaza belong to Meretz members. The leftists there were taught that peace is a nice word but ineffective, concerning the Arab Palestinian terrorists. Being leftist, even as Meretz is, doesn't mean that one should being bent down before those Islamic Satanic forces.
Who would have predicted that the Jews will hold themselves for 7 years in front of daily shooting of Qassams and mortars? That makes no sense. It's time to change the rules. Every nation would have acted immediately to crash those terrorists. While you think that ONLY Jews has no right to react and defend themselves.
You are right while saying "that what is called "progressive left" in most countries is called the "extreme, self-hating Jewish left" in Israel." Israel astonishing while sees how those "progressives", as you call yourselves, are so conservatives while talking about "Palestinians". You made your idols, created of shells metals and slivers' stones covered with khafias and belly bones, crying death to Jews. It is not 'wimpy' to stand straight and high against Islamic Hooliganism. Every mean to destruct those evils are 'limited' enough.
What do you mean by "massive bombardment"? Is destructing of all the Hamas Islamic infrastructure depends on the number of bombs one drops on them? Or, by achieving the blessing mission?
What do you mean "come out against the war"? No one is in favor of 'the war' or any war. But when one attacks you, you have no other choice but defend your self with appropriate power and hit back the sticky enemy.
Every Israeli reserve, Right and left, are ready to fight those bloody enemies. Well, you can say that there are some "Sarvanim", but they are quite few, about 500. That's all. And they are not called any way to service.
I want to announce here my full support to Israel and the Jewish people in their right fight against evil. Let them fight as they wish in order to teach those lunatic Islamists that peace is peace and not terror. Since they chose terror then they should eat the dish they baked.

Jerry Haber said...


Hunta is spelled "Junta"

I am not oppposed to all wars. Just dumb, immoral, costly, and unnecessary ones. Like the Second Lebanon War or the Second Iraq War.

You probably supported both of them. Well, rally round the flag, boys!

The only way you can wipe out Hamas in Gaza is by wiping out lots of Gazans, maybe even a majority of them. It is one thing to go after terrorists -- but what do you do if a whole population, under siege, is willing to fight with them?

Exterminate them, Abe? And then who will live there?

The problem with Israel is that it never thinks past the "shock and awe" stage. It has clear military superiority. But it never gets the end game right.

That's one of the reasons that it is one of the must unstable democracies (probably beat by Italy), with governments coming and going at a breakneck speed.

Look, I am no fan of Hamas, or militant fundamentalism, whether Jewish or Islamic. I hope I am wrong on this war; I hope that after the war, Gaza and Israel will flourish under new regimes. But as disfunctional a state as Israel, with its sixty year history of wars and dispossession, unparalleled in the world, doesn't exactly have a great track record on getting the endgame right.

Diana said...


Israel's a state? I thought it was a medieval Polish ghetto with a few modern trappings. I'm not joking.

I think you sidestepped my question. Again.

Peter H said...

I don't think Hamas was trying to provoke Israel, Diana. I would say the escalation of Qassam firing was a combination of (a) trying to force better terms onto Israel (e.g. a ceasefire that would end the siege and blockade of the Gaza Strip & re-open commerical crossings) and (b) not wanting to be perceived as backing down under pressure. Also, Hamas (like most obsevers of Israeli politics) was under the impression that Israel had no interest in a major military operation in Gaza; in that sense, they obviously miscalculated.

In terms of "What should Israel do?", I can't speak for Jerry, but I don't think he is saying that Israel should just sit back and happily allow hundreds of missiles to be fired into population centers. There certainly are alternatives to a massive military attack that have been offered - read Daniel Levy's post on Saturday, for instance.

Diana said...

"I don't think Hamas was trying to provoke Israel, Diana."

I can't accept that, Peter. One thing that Jerry and I agree on is that the behavior of both parties is quite predictable.

The rest of your paragraph, trying to force better terms, blah blah...makes my eyes swim. At my age, you've heard it all before.

I'll say it again: Hamas knew the Israelis and they are prepared. Wave those bloody stumps before the cameras and point to Israel and scream, "brute! Nazi!"

I don't give a shit anymore. The US is bankrupt. I want us to cut our military spending by 100% and tell the rest of the world to go straight to hell while we sort out our own problems.

Jerry Haber said...

Diana, if you don't give a shit anymore, then please don't leave comments on my blog.

This blog is for people who do give a shit.