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Ben Shapiro
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Why Israel Will Lose -- Again


It's deja vu all over again. At least that's how it always feels when Israel undertakes a major operation against the Muslim terror groups that surround it. Whether it's Fatah or Force 17 or Hezbollah or Hamas, the story always stays the same. First, Israel appeases its terrorist enemies in order to promote peace. Next, Israel's enemies do violence to her. Then Israel responds with sporadic outbursts of tremendous force. In response, the international community caterwauls. Finally, Israel retreats. And the cycle begins again.

That's how it has always gone for Israel. And that's how it will go this time.

When Israel fails to dislodge Hamas – and Israel will fail to do so — Hamas will claim victory. Israel will go back to the negotiating table and make more concessions. And more of its citizens will die.

Clearly the Palestinian Arabs and their allies, all of whom wish that the gas chambers of Nazi Germany had been big enough to fit all the Jews worldwide, are to blame for the endless violence. The Israel-Arab conflict isn't about faux outrage over borders or supposed anger over refugees. It's about the Arab desire to wipe Israel off the map. The Arabs aren't concerned about an independent Palestinian Arab state — after all, they've been spending billions on rockets instead of working toilets. When Israel handed over the Gaza Strip, including beautiful Jewish-built greenhouses, the Palestinian Arabs promptly razed the greenhouses and elected Hamas. The Arabs are concerned about killing Jews.

So the Palestinian Arabs aren't any mystery. The real mystery is the utterly suicidal nature of the Israeli government.

Israel always concedes. Israel always leaves her enemies intact. Israel always stops short. This conflict continues because Israel refuses to end it.

But why?

There are three major reasons why Israel, like Europe, is more interested in appeasement than victory.

First, Israel is filled with tired Israelis. After 60 years of unceasing war, Israel's population is exhausted. They don't have the willpower to withstand the constant battering of the Europeans and the leftist Americans and the Russians and the Chinese. They want peace, and they want it now. They don't want to see their children drafted and killed in Gaza or in Jenin.

The Israelis are tired. And because they are tired, they have become foolishly optimistic. “Things can't get much worse,” the Israelis think to themselves.

“Things have to get better. Maybe this time — this time — if we just give until it hurts, they'll stop hating us.”

And so they give until it hurts. Until it agonizes. Until it kills. And they won't stop giving until they have nothing left to give.

Second, Israel's governmental system promotes “centrism.” Even if most Israelis found the intestinal fortitude to push for destruction of their enemies, the governmental system would prevent it. Israel, unlike the United States, has a parliamentary government. This means that every elected prime minister must forge a coalition with those across the aisle in order to maintain power. Every Israeli government is a conglomeration of rightists, leftists, and centrists. That is why Kadima, a center-right government led by Ehud Olmert, has hard-left former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak as its Minister of Defense. The moment an administration veers too far from the center, the government falls, and new elections are called.

Third, Israel has never decided on a founding philosophy. Israel was originally established as a homeland for the Jewish people — but such ethnic and cultural sentiments are considered passe by Israeli policymakers. The post-Zionist movement, which accepts Arab nationalism but rejects Jewish nationalism, dominates Israeli intellectual life. And it forces Israel to apologize for its own existence.

Israel need not apologize for its existence. It must remain a proudly Jewish nation. For 2,000 years, Jews were persecuted in other lands. In Israel, they have a refuge. Not only that — in Israel, Jewish principles can be promoted. And those principles are worth promoting. After all, it is the Judeo-Christian ethic that underlies Western Civilization. It is the Islamist ethic that underlies the murderous, terrorist-sponsoring regimes in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria and Egypt.

In order for Israel to win its long fight against its Muslim enemies, Israel's population must shake itself off and stand together — proud, unified, and strong. Israel must stop making excuses for defending herself.

Until then, Israel will continue its losing streak. In a week or two, a cease-fire will be declared. Hamas will celebrate victory. Ehud Olmert will go, and Netanyahu will be elected. And a year or two from now the cycle will repeat. This endless conflict will end only when Israel decides to end it.

Ben Shapiro, 24, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. He is the author of the new book "Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House," as well as the national bestseller "Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth." To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



2 Comments | Post Comment
Wow, I wish I had had all the answers to the most difficult issues of our times when I was 24. Ben, you are too young to sound so world-weary. Our poor planet and all her peoples need our smart, young thinkers, like yourself, to create new ways of problem-solving, creating imaginative new strategies to bring us together. One way you could start: Imagine an Israel and Palestine living in reasonable peace with each other. Then think of different ways they could have gotten there. Who knows, you might hit upon an idea for positive action that could begin to change things!
Comment: #1
Posted by: Kathy Keck
Wed Jan 7, 2009 6:04 AM
Sir;... What are the chances that poor little victim Israel is teaching the world the true light it sees humanity in??? If they will attack and kill so many innocents to get at the guilty when those people are semites like themselves, how can anyone trust them??? The nation of Israel is great with intelligent people who are everywhere masters of their fields... Where are they not great??? They are prominent in government, business, finance, science, entertainment and news, medicine and law... But if they look at us as aliens from space might look all pitiful little earthlings, to make into food or labor or kill outright, how can your chosen people be trusted??? I think the persona of the victim is the perfect guise for the criminal... What do you think??? Let us all blame their victim, the victims' victims, make them a scapegoat, and then find a new victim... But is that not sort of humiliating, to act the victim when the world turns on your collective finger tips??? You win, and humanity loses, but for some reason you cannot escape acting like poor little oppressed Israel... Don't you want to just once stand up like a man and stride like a giant??? Isn't it the humiliation of having to act like poor little injured Jews that makes Israel so positively deadly??? I don't know...Honestly, it is baffling, that these masters everywhere can never get beyond their roles of servants, but in the one place they are truely masters they are clearly executioners??? It is a mystery....Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:12 AM
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