Bernie Sanders's bloody folly

Bernie Sanders cited "a moment when US-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children" as a reason for his attempt to block a $735-million weapons sale to Israel. 

Suppose Bernie really cares for Palestinians and wants them not to suffer.  How does a weaker Israel help achieve that goal?  It will produce the opposite effect, for two totally different reasons.  Firstly, sensing Israel's weakness, Hamas will become more emboldened, daring and adventurous, and more willing to try its luck.  The more frequent the flare-ups inspired by the perception of Israel's vulnerability, the higher the count of Palestinian casualties there will be.  So, Senator Sanders, if your mind worked aright and you wanted to reduce Palestinian suffering, you would have wanted Israel to be strong rather than weak — and, to be seen as strong, America solidly standing behind it.  Deterrence is one way of avoiding conflict and, therefore, casualties.  Your attempt to make Israel weak will hurt Palestinian civilians, not help them.

It will hurt them for another reason, too.  Palestinian civilian casualties are relatively low because Israel uses precision weapons to achieve its military goals.  Suppose the Senate follows Bernie's lead and refuses to supply modern weaponry to Israel.  Sanders expects that in that situation, Israel will just roll over, surrendering to Hamas's demand — and there will be peace (per Bernie, "the weapons sales fuel conflict between Israel and Palestinians").  But the Israelis know full well the kind of peace they can expect from Hamas — the "peace of the grave."  Israel will still fight Hamas tooth and nail, with whatever weaponry is available.  Less precise weapons available to Israel will cause even worse "collateral damage"; there will be more, not fewer civilian casualties on the Palestinian side.

We know why the "squad" wants Israel disarmed.  Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are the spearhead of the Islamist fifth column that, among its other goals, wants Israel destroyed.  That's easy to understand.  The fellow travelers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hate America and hate Israel by extension.  But Sanders?  His suggestions, if effected, would have results that are the polar opposite to his desire to protect Palestinian civilians.

With his latest suggestion, Sanders yet again showed such poor understanding of basic statecraft as to make one wonder how and why the great state of Vermont keeps re-electing him.  I guess there are more fools in America than just one.  But luckily, the remainder of the Senate stays sane.  "'I can't imagine that passing,' Senator Jim Risch, the committee's top Republican, told reporters."  Not everyone is stupid, Bernie.

Image: Noel St. John.