For Israel, Failures Never Learned and Lessons for Today
As prominent Zionist Max Nordau once observed, “Logic is a Greek art, and Jews can’t tolerate it. The Jew learns not by way of reason but from catastrophes.” Although the circumstances have changed greatly since those words were written, Max Nordau’s wisdom as applied to Israel has not changed.
In 1947, Arab countries rejected a UN plan to partition the British mandate in Palestine into two states. Armed with British weaponry and guided by British officers, Arabs were convinced they could claim the entire territory by military triumph. If not for comrade Stalin, who supplied the Jews with weapons via Czechoslovakia and dispatched hundreds of seasoned Soviet officers and generals of Jewish heritage to Palestine, all of whom played a pivotal role in the formation, organization, and leadership of the Israeli army, including the air force, Israel would not exist.
In subsequent years, however (e.g., 1956, 1967, and 1973), after each decisive victory, Israel crawled back to the humiliated enemies, begging them for reconciliation and offering captured lands as concessions for peace and recognition of the State of Israel. The process was called “land for peace” and has resulted in neither land nor peace.
Nevertheless, despite these failed bargains and the ever-present and immediate threat of annihilation, Jews have fallen prey to the seductive illusion that peace can be bought. They’ve spilled much blood to achieve this lofty goal.
In 1993, Israel signed the Oslo Accords and accepted a new advanced form of “land for peace” called the Two-State Solution. This solution, widely supported by the West, was, ironically, an older concept the Arabs had rejected in 1947.
Image: Destroying Hamas operational headquarters. X screen grab.
By and large, Israel had not learned the lessons of the past. Israelis continued repeatedly stepping on the same rakes.
In 2005, Israel handed over control of Gaza, a strategically vital territory, to the Palestinians as a step toward realizing the Two-State Solution. Regrettably, this transfer resulted in a terrorist enclave close to Israel under the control of Hamas militants.
Insanely, this terrorist enclave has been sustained through donations from the United States and European countries, with Israel helping out by providing essential utilities (electricity, water, etc.), food, and humanitarian aid to its adversaries.
Hamas, content with the prevailing situation, portrayed itself as a victim of Israeli occupation, leveraging this image to gather international moral and financial support. Hamas’s leaders have little incentive to establish a state and assume responsibility for their citizens’ well-being. Their stated objective has consistently been Israel’s destruction through perpetual confrontation.
Fortunately, Hamas’ time has passed, and a new era, characterized by political, economic, and philosophical transformation, has dawned in the Middle East. Donald Trump’s ABRAHAM Accord ushered in a fundamental change in the relations between Arab nations and Israel.
The dynamics have shifted: it’s no longer a binary conflict between Arabs and Jews. Instead, it has evolved into a coalition of Sunni Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, aligning with Israel to counter the existential threat of nuclear Shia Iran. As a result, the focus has diverged away from Palestinian rights to fostering cooperation against the common peril. In this new landscape, the Palestinian issue has become an obstacle to the emerging reality.
Against this background, the latest attack by Hamas’s barbaric savages should be viewed as the last desperate attempt to remain relevant. Indeed, there were no calls by the Saudis and other Sunni states for an immediate ceasefire, no threats of oil embargo, and no customary condemnation of Israel. (Admittedly, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman issued a statement supporting the Palestinians, although it was weak sauce lip service compared to what once might have been.) The rest of the world is preoccupied with other problems.
Russia is deeply involved in Ukraine, has no national interest in taking sides in the current conflict, and sees itself as a beneficiary since American military assistance to Ukraine would be redirected to Israel. The Biden Administration is happy, as well, to get involved on Israel’s side to deflect attention from the Ukrainian debacle.
The world political environment, particularly in the Middle East, is as favorable to Israel as ever.
Hence, it is time for the Israelis to follow the teachings of the father of modern terrorism, Vladimir Lenin, and eradicate Hamas. Lenin, who both perpetrated terrorism and was on the receiving end, taught that “Terror can be conquered only with greater terror.”
Time is of the essence. It will not take long before CNN, MSNBC, and others to show Palestinian children dying from lack of water and food. Public opinion will, as always, turn against Israel. Israel will be demonized, and the U.S., which just declared full support of Israel, will reverse its posture and demand a ceasefire, access to humanitarian aid, negotiations, exchange of prisoners, etc.
The left, including many Israelis, will ignore the atrocities that Hamas committed and begin spilling crocodile tears about “innocent” Palestinian civilians caught in the middle.
Golda Meir once described the liberal Jews’ attitude toward Arabs this way:
We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.
In reference to Palestinians, this idealistic scenario is unlikely to happen any time soon. Generations of Palestinians have been raised on the conviction that the state of Israel is an illegitimate usurper of Muslim lands. Therefore, before condemning Israel for attacks on civilians, we must remember that the so-called Gazan civilians are parents, sisters, and children of Hamas’s members. Those civilians hate the Jews so much that they produce children specifically to blow themselves up to kill Jewish children.
We should have no qualms about “innocent” Palestinian women and children dancing in the streets celebrating killing the Jews being collateral damage in the eradication of Hamas. The law of superior force shall prevail, and the threat from Hamas eliminated once and for all.
Alexander G. Markovsky is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a think tank that examines national security, energy, risk analysis, and other public policy issues. He is the author of Anatomy of a Bolshevik and Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It. Mr. Markovsky is the owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services, LLC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.