Krauthammer: Those troublesome Jews

Charles Krauthammer
Friday, June 4, 2010 
The world is outraged at Israel's blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its 
illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World 
and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers. 
But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, 
writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. 
Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel -- a declaration backed up 
by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having 
pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel 
imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets. 

In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded 
Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded 
("quarantined") Cuba. Arms-bearing Russian ships headed to Cuba turned back 
because the Soviets knew that the U.S. Navy would either board them or sink 
them. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely 
what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from 
acquiring lethal weaponry. 

Oh, but weren't the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. 
Otherwise they would have accepted Israel's offer to bring their supplies to an 
Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by 
Israel into Gaza -- as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other 
humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza. 

Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the 
flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, 
i.e., ending Israel's inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping 
into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas. 

Israel has already twice intercepted ships laden with Iranian arms destined for 
Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that? 

But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? 
Because, blockade is Israel's fallback as the world systematically 
de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself -- forward and active 

(1) Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by 
hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense 
-- fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai and Golan Heights) 
rather than its own. 

Where possible (Sinai, for example) Israel has traded territory for peace. But 
where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective 
buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southern Lebanon to protect 
the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza, rather than 
expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks. It is for the same 
reason America wages a grinding war in Afghanistan: You fight them there, so 
you don't have to fight them here. 

But under overwhelming outside pressure, Israel gave it up. The Israelis were 
told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel 
insurgencies -- and therefore withdrawal, by removing the cause, would bring 

Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land -- 
evacuating South Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. What did it get? An 
intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, 
multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting 
rocket attack. 

(2) Active defense: Israel then had to switch to active defense -- military 
action to disrupt, dismantle and defeat (to borrow President Obama's 
description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda) the newly armed 
terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel 

The result? The Lebanon war of 2006 and Gaza operation of 2008-09. They were 
met with yet another avalanche of opprobrium and calumny by the same 
international community that had demanded the land-for-peace Israeli 
withdrawals in the first place. Worse, the U.N. Goldstone report, which 
essentially criminalized Israel's defensive operation in Gaza while 
whitewashing the casus belli -- the preceding and unprovoked Hamas rocket war 
-- effectively de-legitimized any active Israeli defense against its 
self-declared terror enemies. 

(3) Passive defense: Without forward or active defense, Israel is left with but 
the most passive and benign of all defenses -- a blockade to simply prevent 
enemy rearmament. Yet, as we speak, this too is headed for international 
de-legitimation. Even the United States is now moving toward having it 

But, if none of these is permissible, what's left? 

Ah, but that's the point. It's the point understood by the blockade-busting 
flotilla of useful idiots and terror sympathizers, by the Turkish front 
organization that funded it, by the automatic anti-Israel Third World chorus at 
the United Nations, and by the supine Europeans who've had quite enough of the 
Jewish problem. 

What's left? Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign 
is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense. Why, just last 
week, the Obama administration joined the jackals, and reversed four decades of 
U.S. practice, by signing onto a consensus document that singles out Israel's 
possession of nuclear weapons -- thus de-legitimizing Israel's very last line 
of defense: deterrence. 

The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- 
hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For 
which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from 
defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists -- Iranian in 
particular -- openly prepare a more final solution. 


This Story
  a.. The world is angry. Why doesn't Israel care?
  b.. Krauthammer: Those troublesome Jews
  c.. Nudging Israel toward a Gaza fix

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Kirim email ke