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Israel Can Let the Lights Go Out over Gaza

June 19 2017

In April, in order to punish Hamas for refusing to pay taxes, the Palestinian Authority (PA) decided to stop supplying the Gaza Strip with fuel for its sole power plant. The PA then also ceased its long-time custom of paying for 40 percent of the electricity Gaza imports from Israel. Unsurprisingly, Hamas has agreed neither to start paying its taxes nor to start paying for its own power imports. Israel, after supplying the electricity free of charge for six weeks, has now announced that it will pull the plug. Efraim Inbar comments:

The Hamas leadership in Gaza has threatened Israel with “an explosion” if it does not supply electricity to Gaza at the expense of Israeli taxpayers. Blackmail is, of course, part of the Hamas repertoire. . . .

Voices in Israel and abroad are advocating “moderation”—meaning capitulation—and insisting that Israel has no interest in an escalation. While Israel naturally prefers quiet along its borders, giving in to Hamas’s demands and granting it a victory will only lead to further demands. Supplying electricity to Gaza in exchange for a promise that Gazans refrain from shooting at Israeli civilians is no different from paying protection money to the Mafia.

There is no strategic or moral reason why Israel should supply free electricity to Gaza. While Israel does not desire escalation, it has no reason to fear it. . . .

Hamas exploits the suffering of Gazans to extract humanitarian aid and sympathy for their cause. But Gazans cannot be exempted from responsibility for the consequences of Hamas’s actions.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority

 

Being a Critic of Israel Means Never Having to Explain How It Should Defend Itself

April 23 2018

The ever-worsening situation of Jews in Europe, writes Bret Stephens, should serve as a reminder of the need for a Jewish state. Israel’s critics, he suggests, should reflect more deeply on that need:

Israel did not come into existence to serve as another showcase of the victimization of Jews. It exists to end the victimization of Jews.

That’s a point that Israel’s restless critics could stand to learn. On Friday, Palestinians in Gaza returned for the fourth time to the border fence with Israel, in protests promoted by Hamas. The explicit purpose of Hamas leaders is to breach the fence and march on Jerusalem. Israel cannot possibly allow this—doing so would create a precedent that would encourage similar protests, and more death, along all of Israel’s borders—and has repeatedly used deadly force to counter it.

The armchair corporals of Western punditry think this is excessive. It would be helpful if they could suggest alternative military tactics to an Israeli government dealing with an urgent crisis against an adversary sworn to its destruction. They don’t.

It would also be helpful if they could explain how they can insist on Israel’s retreat to the 1967 borders and then scold Israel when it defends those borders. They can’t. If the armchair corporals want to persist in demands for withdrawals that for 25 years have led to more Palestinian violence, not less, the least they can do is be ferocious in defense of Israel’s inarguable sovereignty. Somehow they almost never are. . . .

[T]o the extent that the diaspora’s objections [to Israeli policies] are prompted by the nonchalance of the supposedly nonvulnerable when it comes to Israel’s security choices, then the complaints are worse than feckless. They provide moral sustenance for Hamas in its efforts to win sympathy for its strategy of wanton aggression and reckless endangerment. And they foster the illusion that there’s some easy and morally stainless way by which Jews can exercise the responsibilities of political power.

Read more at New York Times

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza Strip, Israel & Zionism