Right to exist

Charles Krauthammer leads his column on Israel’s current offensive against Hamas with a sentence from a December 27 AP report that I quoted in “Calling Hamas, part 2”:

Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.

The sentence buried in an otherwise typical AP report is indeed clarifying, as Krauthammer eloquently argues.

Israel and Hamas differ on the question of Israel’s right to exist; Krauthammer makes this point as well. Hamas is organized around the aim of wiping Israel off the map by whatever means necessary. Hamas is the perfect proxy of Iran, which also differs with Israel on this fundamental question.

The question goes to the heart of Israel’s conflicts, as the historian Yaacov Lozowick demonstrated in his aptly titled book Right to Exist. Lozowick now blogs, incidentally, at Yaacov Lozowick’s Ruminations.

On Wednesday the Jerusalem Post reported on the high school and kindergarten in Beersheba that had been hit by Hamas rockets. Fans of the peculiar moral calculus to which Israel is subject must have been disappointed that deaths were averted due to the closure of the schools in the current conflict. See also “Miracle in Ashdod.”

In the New York Times, Mark Mazzetti reports that Hamas has upgraded its arsenal in the past 18 months. Hamas puts ceasefires to good use.

Also worth reading today are Caroline Glick, who argues that Israel is on track to lose the conflict along the lines of the 2006 outcome with Hezbollah, and Victor Davis Hanson, who documents the world reaction to Israel’s offensive.

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