To Jeremy Corbyn and His Ilk, Israel Is an Enemy That Must Be Crushed

In Britain, notes Daniel Johnson, the waving of the Union Jack is increasingly greeted with “condescension and disdain or worse” in elite circles, although EU flags seem entirely acceptable. And for members of the Labor party, there is another favored flag:

[No] animosity greeted the unprecedented (though by no means spontaneous) flag-waving that erupted at the Labor party conference last month. Not that any member of what was once the party of Clement Attlee and Tony Blair would be seen dead waving a Union Jack. No, the eruption of flags brandished by the far-left delegates who now dominate the largest “progressive” party in Europe elicited no censure. That’s because they were Palestinian flags.

The flags alone were disturbing enough. But the context made them even more provocative. The Labor party has been embroiled in the burgeoning scandal of left-wing anti-Semitism ever since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader in 2015. Last summer, new revelations of institutional prejudice against Jews or extreme attitudes to Israel, together with attempts by the leadership to suppress criticism or to purge the critics, made the front pages almost daily. . . . In his speech to the conference, Corbyn announced that his first act on becoming prime minister, on day one, would be to recognize Palestine unilaterally as a sovereign state. . . .

[Corbyn] personifies the pathology of the left throughout the West, admittedly in an extreme form. For hardline leftists, Israel is the archetypal enemy of the archetypal victims: Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular. . . . The existence of Israel is a challenge even to liberal Europeans, because its proud defense of its national identity and independence calls into question the internationalism of the EU. But for the hard left, Israel is not merely an awkward anomaly, to be alternately chastised or cold-shouldered. For them, Israel is an arch-enemy that must be crushed. . . .

If Brexit goes badly—as it may well do, given the malice of Brussels and the muddle of Westminster—then the public will blame the Conservatives. Britain could elect a Labor prime minister who is not only unfit to lead his country, but who hates it so much that he has refused to sing the national anthem. . . . One might suppose that if Corbyn were to find himself at 10 Downing Street, the mandarins of Whitehall would sabotage any attempt by his government to carry out extremist policies. But that assumption does not hold water.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK), United Kingdom

 

Israel Should Try to Defang Hamas without Toppling It

Feb. 22 2019

For the time being, Hamas has chosen to avoid outright war with the Jewish state, but instead to apply sustained, low-intensity pressure through its weekly border riots and organizing terrorist cells in the West Bank. Yet it is simultaneously engaged in a major military build-up, which suggests that it has not entirely been deterred by the previous three Gaza wars. Yaakov Lappin considers Jerusalem’s options:

In recent years, the Israel Defense Force’s southern command, which is responsible for much of the war planning for Gaza, identified a long-term truce as the best of bad options for Israel. This is based on the understanding that an Israeli invasion of Gaza and subsequent destruction of the Hamas regime would leave Israel in the unenviable position of being directly in charge of some two-million mostly hostile Gazans. This could lead to an open-ended and draining military occupation. . . .

Alternatively, Israel could demolish the Hamas regime and leave Gaza, putting it on a fast track to a “Somalia model” of anarchy and violence. In that scenario, . . . multiple jihadist armed gangs lacking a central ruling structure would appear, and Israel would be unable to project its military might to any single “return address” in Gaza. This would result in a loss of Israel’s deterrent force on Gaza to keep the region calm. This scenario would be considerably worse than the current status quo.

But a third option, in between the options of leaving Gaza as it is and toppling Hamas in a future war, may exist. In this scenario, the IDF would decimate Hamas’s military wing in any future conflict but leave its political wing and police force in place. This would enable a rapid Israeli exit after a war, but avoid a Somalia-like fate for Gaza with its destructive implications for both Israelis and Gazans. . . .

On the one hand, Hamas’s police force is an intrinsic support system for Gaza’s terrorist-guerrilla forces. On the other hand, the police and domestic-security units play a genuine role in keeping order. Such forces have been used to repress Islamic State-affiliated cells that challenge Hamas’s rule. . . . Compared to the alternative scenarios of indefinite occupation or the “Somalia scenario,” a weakened Hamas might be the best and most realistic option.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security