You can’t win the war you don’t fight

This can’t be allowed to continue.

Yesterday there was another fatal stabbing at Etzion junction, a place which has seen several murders and countless terror attacks. A beautiful young woman, Hadar Buchris, was murdered for the crime of being Jewish in the land of Israel.

Between October 1 and November 22, 20 people have been killed (19 Jews and one Palestinian murdered by mistake), and 180 injured in a total of 91 attacks.

These terror attacks have been encouraged and praised by Palestinian Authority officials and media, although they are not organized or specifically commanded by them. This is the strategy they call ‘popular resistance’. The most popular weapon has been the knife, followed by the automobile. Firebombs and rocks are also used. It is sometimes even called “nonviolent” because only rarely are firearms used, although shooting attacks are becoming more and more common lately.

Recent polls show that a majority of Palestinians favor “armed resistance” and are more militant than the very unpopular PA, which seems to be taking its cues from the “street” rather than the reverse.

Before I discuss what should be done to stop the terrorism, it should be pretty obvious what should not be done: the response to a wave of murders should not be to reward the murderers for their enterprise.

Unfortunately, this is almost certainly what John Kerry will do on his upcoming visit, in which he intends to make suggestions on how “both sides” can take steps to restore calm. Since the US has been suggesting to the Palestinians that they stop incitement since the days of President Bill Clinton without effect, what’s left is that Kerry will try to get Netanyahu to give something to the Palestinians to show his good will. I’ve heard speculation that this might include transferring some land that is under full Israeli control today (Area C) to Palestinian civil control (Area B).

I’m sure that there will be other creative ideas, all based on the principle that the way to stop the murder is to improve the conditions for the Palestinian Arabs or to strengthen their leadership – thus proving to them that the way to obtain concessions is to kill Jews. This is an approach that can only make things worse.

The army will be installing more barricades and checkpoints at critical junctions. They will try to stop infiltration of Palestinians across the Green Line (illegal residents have committed some of the recent murders). These are steps that should be taken, but they aren’t solutions. A solution needs an overall strategy.

I think the truth is that we are at war with them – the PA, Hamas and also the “Palestinian people.” We did not want war. We wanted to live side by side. There is enough room for that. But you can’t live side by side with someone who wants to kill you. You can’t share the land with someone who thinks it all belongs to him and that you can leave or die.

The Arabs don’t accept our moral, historical or legal rights to any of the land. Their response to our ill-advised attempts at compromise has been to try harder to murder us. They couldn’t do it en masse in 1948 and 1967, so they are trying to do it one by one today. It’s a different kind of war but war nevertheless.

You win a war by hurting the enemy, not helping him. If it’s a war for territory, you occupy and control the territory. Our strategy has to be to occupy and control Judea and Samaria, cooperate with those Arabs that want to live alongside us peacefully, expel the ones who do not, and kill the ones who try to kill us.

That’s it. It’s really simple. The rest is tactics.

But, but, but. No, there aren’t any buts. True, war is brutal and ugly and innocent people are hurt. The fact is we are already in a brutal, ugly war and innocent people are being hurt, every day. The war has been going on, waxing and waning, since 1948, for 100 years, or for 2000 years – depending on how you want to count.

The Muslims have always taken the long view, the historical view. They remember the battles of the 7th century, the ‘setbacks’ of the Crusades, and the ultimate expulsion of the Crusaders from the lands they occupied. We should take the long view as well. What’s happening at Etzion junction is an extension of what has been happening all over the land for tens, hundreds, thousands of years.

The enemies have been various. There have been victories, and as Obama would say, “setbacks.” History tells us that victories will be temporary, and we’ll need to fight again and again.

Unhappily for us, this is one of those times. We are already in the midst of a war with the Palestinian Arabs, and losing it isn’t an option. But we can’t win the war we don’t fight.

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4 Responses to You can’t win the war you don’t fight

  1. sabashimon says:

    Spot on Vic.
    Of course the most absurd example by far of the inversion of your axiom “you win a war by hurting the enemy, not helping him” is our continuing to supply Gaza with fuel and electricity. It’s almost satirical in its’ stupidity, yet we are doing exactly that……helping our mortal enemy.
    We seem insistant on continuosly proving just how stupid we are.

  2. Keefe Goldfisher says:

    It is war. And Sabashimon’s comments are absolutely correct… and maddening to contemplate. If Israel could just stop protecting Abbas, deal sternly with Gaza, resist anything that Obama dreams up, and undo the damage from the Left… could it be any worse than it already is?

    The EU may still have some steam to press its anti-Semitic agenda, but they are rapidly losing it. The old trick of diverting attention from the elites who brought in millions of Muslims who do not want to assimilate, and have the natives pay for their welfare… has worn thin. We are on desperate times in Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. France is the example that shows the public is tiring of the treasonous stewardship of the country by its leadership. Even now, after the Paris attacks are still fresh, the Hollande government has done its air strikes, and everything goes back to the way it was… accepting independent Muslim states within France proper; strike back, without acknowledging the deeper problem. Attacking Jews has lost its appeal for the general public, though not for the Muslims in France. And attacking Israel is not the tried and true diversion it always was.

    Freeing Israel for the battle it has to wage locally is a necessity, and is coming about as part of the diminution of the power of the EU and the US to threaten Israel. Our President is on the hot seat for the first time in 7 years. He can’t blithely dismiss his poor record of judgment and strategy, try as he might. The public is against his choices the way they were against the Iran deal, but this time the Press is not cooperating in enforcing the President’s views. Meanwhile, Russia is sending ground troops into Syria and Iraq to demolish ISIS. Putin appears to have good relations with Israel.

    I don’t know how this ends, but having her people killed on the streets is not an option for Israel. And by any definition it is a war of the Palestinians and Muslims against Israel.

    I think we Jews have an even longer view.

  3. Nancy B says:

    Yes! No doubt about it, terrorists attacking and killing innocent civilians on a daily basis (for 2 months) constitutes war and Israel once more has no other alternative but to fight back. Once Israel begins to configure the land in ways that will best protect her people I can only imagine the hypocritical world and media responses – but all them be damned! Every single war that Israel has fought has been defensive (am I right about this?).

    The other night I was up late and I happened to see Obama’s Press Conference from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was infuriated that he spoke of the terrorist killings of Nohemi Gonzalez in Paris and Anita Datar in Mali but not *one* word about the terrorist killing of Ezra Schwartz! Here are the parts of Obama’s press conference that I took directly from the White House Transcript.

    “Of course, given the events of this week, much of my work here in Asia focused on the urgent threat of terrorism. Today, families in too many nations are grieving the senseless loss of their loved ones in the attacks in France and in Mali. As Americans, we remember Nohemi Gonzalez, who was just 23 years old, a design major from California State University. She was in Paris to pursue her dream of designing innovations that would improve the lives of people around the world. And we remember Anita Datar of Maryland. She’s a veteran of the Peace Corps, a mother to her young son, who devoted her life to helping the world’s poor, including women and girls in Mali, lift themselves up with health and education.

    Nohemi and Anita embodied the values of service and compassion that no terrorist can extinguish. Their legacy will endure in the family and friends who carry on their work. They remind me of my daughters, or my mother, who, on the one hand, had their whole life ahead of them, and on the other hand, had devoted their lives to helping other people. And it is worth us remembering when we look at the statistics that there are beautiful, wonderful lives behind the terrible death tolls that we see in these places.”

  4. Keefe Goldfisher says:

    What a great point, Nancy B.

    Our President sharing his thoughts about the loss of young life is like so much else that he does: It’s calculated to solemnize the action as something other than Islamic radicalism (that’s why the urgency to explain Paris and Mali as mere terrorism, and exclude a terrorist death in Israel where the media and the President still don’t refer to what’s happening as Islamist terrorism); it’s also too personal a declamation, for me, of grief for people he doesn’t know–grief over young American lives lost ought to be neutral as far as sympathy… sparing commentary over the one death is more at political policy than genuine grief or sympathy; like all of his speeches about this topic, it’s meant to substitute for actual strategy or action. Anodyne words now, to prevent doing something substantive later, or to allow the passage of time and the eventual implementation of the exact opposite of concern for Islamic terrorism take over, to become the active facilitation of it, like the Iran deal is.

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