An army is a blunt weapon. Send it into a populated area where the enemy doesn't wear a uniform and innocents are going to die. This is happening right now in Gaza. Many people are quick to blame Israel for these deaths, calling them "unnecessary" or even "war crimes."

Lately, Israel has had to endure unguided missiles raining down on its territory. Since they are unguided, the people launching them, Hamas soldiers, aren't conducting surgical strikes. In fact, it appears they  would be happy if they hit schools, hospitals, markets, and other heavily-populated targets.

So, imagine you are Israel. Do you have another way of attempting to put a stop to the daily barrage of missiles?

This is not an invitation to criticize the creation of Israel after WW2. It's not an invitation to criticize policies you think led up to Hamas.

I'm only asking what's the alternative to sending in its troops to attempt to drive Hamas out of Gaza?

Tags: Gaza, Hamas, Israel

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Sure - withdraw to the 1967 boundaries, stop illegally seizing Palestinian land, bulldozing Palestinian farms, allowing illegal settlements, proposing a state where non-Jews are 'secondary citizens' (hard to believe that a post-holocaust population can't see the horrific irony of that one) - and then once Israel has stopped committing grotesque daily crimes against humanity, demand the world helps to protect their borders against the likes of the disgusting Hamas.

The difficulty is, they have decades of terrible crimes to atone for and absolutely no intention of doing anything other than bleating out the old 'Hamas is bad' line, which - while true - is completely irrelevant when considering the terrible acts committed by Israel.

Right now its very difficult to support Israel while they drift closer and closer to true fascism.

Your starting premise is pretty horrific too: 'cleansing Hamas out of Gaza' is also the language of fascism.  Cleansing?  Really?  Are you aware of the resonance of that term?

How about Israel stops creating the conditions where Hamas can recruit so spectacularly easily?  It really is hard to conclude to any disinterested observer that Israel has any appetite for peace: it seems that a good chunk of the political elite believe that an effective permanent state of war suits them well.  And I think it does in a narrow kind of way.

Our (I'm a Brit) experience in Northern Ireland was exactly that: stop making it so very easy for the IRA to recruit, inject large amounts of cash into the infrastructure, stop the Unionists owning the public rhetoric - and we now have a dramatically improved - though not perfect - situation.

If the IRA charter was the destruction of the UK and refusal to even recognize it's existence, then you may have the analogy.

I'm no fan of how Israel was created, but If I look at it from the Israeli's perspective, preemptive, strong decisive action was how they survived Nasser. Remember that after the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula as promised. With the 2011 Egyptian revolution, now some of those old tensions are reemerging, but Israel lived up to it's side of the treaty.

Israel played the US/Soviet cold war smart and worked with France to develop nuclear arms and gained many of the US's best conventional weapons. They will negotiate from a place of strength, and frankly, in the Middle East that seems to be the only way to achieve peace. It really is up to Hamas to change their policy and negotiate for peace. Unfortunately that is not their goal, and they will suffer because of their non-compromising ideology. The rest of the world recognizes Israel as a country. Hamas is an religious jihadist cult of death with a ridiculous political agenda.

The only other solution is for the Palestinian people to ditch Hamas and I am guessing that would also be a bloody proposition. Could Israel help this happen by treating the people caught in the middle better...Absolutely! That is probably the only real solution and Israel is not pursuing that solution. It has risks.

No. This is a gross oversimplification of the never ending conflict. For two decades palestine mostly rotted away with very little extremism with many hoping for a peace accord. In the mean time Israel used most Palestinians as cheap labour, built settlements, played geo-political chess and did nothing while the rumblings of an intafada grew. Israel had no reason to take peace seriously because extremism was low, the status quo worked, the world was rather uninterested in the occupations, Lebanon was busy murdering Palestinian refugees and breeding extreemism of its own with its 25 faction based civil war which Israel didn't hesitate to play chess with as well.

To claim that Israel has been a benevolent faction waiting for an opportunity to truly engage in peace talks is a hysterical statement of naive sililness and we have absolutely zero reason to believe that they have any intention of engaging in serious peace talks in the future.

Meanwhile Palestinians (those who live in buildings with walls) are extremely uninterested in any form of peace talks and it's hard to believe Hamas going away. It's hard to imagine either side making any real concessions considering neither side has ever acted in good faith (except Palestine for a decade and Israel at the very beginning) and the Bill Clinton peace talks which predictably fell apart. What else do you expect with two sides that are both are fueled by their own superstitious religious tribalism and pseudo-genocidal rhetoric?

Taking sides in this conflict, painting either side as more or less villainous than the other or more or less victimless than the other can only come from bias. If you objectively review the history of the Palestinian conflict you see two sets of screaming whining children, both with moments of bullying, both with real sincere burdens and grievances, both with histories of atrocious behaviour, stupid citizens who vote for parties bent on making peace impossible and life more miserable or dangerous and less prosperous, a rhetoric that vilifies the other side and calls out for sympathy and money from the world and no hesitation to bring outside forces weapons and money into the fold and no hesitation to spread these problems and extremism to neighbouring countries.

If Israel pulled out of Palestine and granted conditional autonomy would Hamas really go away?

If Hamas disbanded and handed over all it's guns and asked for peace talks would Israel really give back Palestinian land, treat Arab citizens in Israel like any other citizen and open it's borders?

You are the one who oversimplified my post, who said Israel is benevolent? Did you read the last paragraph urging Israel to treat the Palestinians better? The point is that the destruction of Israel has to be off the table, otherwise WTF do they expect? This is the key point and continuation of that stance only gives Israel cause for more abuse.

If Hamas disbanded and handed over all it's guns and asked for peace talks would Israel really give back Palestinian land, treat Arab citizens in Israel like any other citizen and open it's borders?

I believe this is possible if Hamas revoked its charter of death to Israel. Unlike the terrorist organization Hamas, Israel would be forced to yield to strong US and international pressure. It would take time and patience.

Israel's best defense against Hamas is to make Hamas a failure. Presumably, the Palestinians won't want to follow a failed program.

I've changed "cleansing" to "driving," since you seem to find it so coincidentally resonant, much in the way that we can't use "gay" anymore to simply mean happy. "Cleansing" is now apparently owned by the Nazis.

Israel's situation is that it is surrounded by states, most of whom have sworn to destroy it. It is those states (some of whom after all have actually militarily attacked Israel on the ground) who have created Israel's frame of mind. I don't see it as Israel's duty to make things soft and cuddly.

Israel's claim of "the promised land" in not limited to its current boundaries and the occupied territories. Israel claims, that all the lands between the Euphrates and Nile rivers theirs by divine grant. 

    Ethnic cleansing best describes their policies. 

Without understanding the history of the Middle East back to the Ottoman Empire getting a grip on the current problems is impossible.

It is a very nuanced and complex history, it took me about 3 months of dedicated reading to begin to scratch the surface.

To the OP's question:

"How should Israel deal with the missile onslaught?"

I'll offer the same advice I was given as a child by my government during the Cold War..."Duck and Cover!"

I agree with you on this. 

Sam Harris sees no heroes on either side of the Hamas/Israel conflict, but explains why he hesitantly sides with Israel in the conflict.


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