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Netanyahu On Gaza and Hamas; Dershowitz on Moral Idiocy

Wednesday, December 31, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The once and perhaps very-soon-again Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview yesterday on the battle to topple Hamas in Gaza. Read the whole thing. Key exchanges:

Q. In the short-term, what needs to happen. Can there be a ceasefire with Hamas?

A. “I think we want to make sure that the firing of rockets stops, but also that the capability to fire future rockets is also stopped.”

Q. And how long can this take? Will it be weeks, days?

A. “I don’t know. I think what is important is the goal and not how long it takes to achieve.”

Q. And if you’re elected prime minister in the coming election, will removing the Hamas administration in Gaza be a key goal of your government?

A. “Yes.”

Q. And how would you go about it?

A. “With all the means necessary to achieve it.”

Q. What about the peace talks with the Palestinians, with Mahmoud Abbas, who has been critical of Hamas? Will you be pursuing peace talks?

A. “Absolutely. I believe there are Palestinians who want peace and Palestinians who are terrorised by Hamas. In fact, I think the people of Gaza are being terrorised by Hamas itself. They’re held hostage … I mean Hamas … puts its arms caches, its rocket launchers in dense civilian populations. They’re basically using these people as human shields … My goal is to defeat Hamas and to bring up peace with those Palestinians who want to live in peace.”

Q. And can that be done without targeting Hamas leaders specifically? Do you see Israel targeting Hamas leaders in this operation?

A. “I don’t want to get into the tactics. I think this Hamas regime has to go.”

I have no idea how the war on Hamas is impacting Israeli politics and the approaching elections on February 10. If there are Israeli political bloggers in Israel with stellar reputations like those of Powerline or Geraghty in the U.S., please send me the links via hugh@hughhewitt.com.

Be sure to read as well Alan Dershowitz’s “Israel, Hamas and Moral Idiocy” in today’ Christian Science Monitor. Everytime I hear some MSMer passing along a condemnation of Israel’s alleged “disproportionate response,” I ask myself if the critics employing that canard want Israel to respond with 2,000 rockets lobbed into Gaza with no targeting. The use of indiscriminate missile attacks against civilians is a war crime. If Hamas had bigger and deadlier rockets that could reach farther into Israel and kill more, it would use those, just as Hezbollah did in the 2006 war. The moral idiots that Dershowitz refers to are counting dead and wounded, not focusing on the means of the attack and the intent. Israel is declaring, hopefully one and for all, that it will not abide the use of such missile attacks and will strike back whenever they are employed and will do so until they end.

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Understanding Blagojevich

Tuesday, December 30, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The key to Blago: Which moves will help the book deal?

He reminds me of my hometown’s old congressman Jim Traficant. No sense going quietly into the clink. Perhaps Blago will defend himself at trial?

Hamas the “Hedgehog”

Tuesday, December 30, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Don’t miss Bret Stephens’ essay on the war against Hamas. Key graphs:

Hamas knows one big thing, which it labels “resistance” or, for Western audiences, “ending the occupation.” Just what that means was made clear by Palestinian cleric Muhsen Abu ‘Ita in a televised interview. “The annihilation of the Jews here in Palestine,” he said, “is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine.”

This kind of genocidal incitement is more than idle ranting: Gigantic ambitions sustain political movements through hard times. Hamas is also sustained by the insight that Israel’s considerable military capabilities are unlikely to be matched by political will. It believes that whatever attacks come will be tempered by a host of humanitarian and diplomatic considerations. It believes that Israel wants to avoid a public relations debacle (so Hamas will do everything it can to engineer or fabricate one). It believes that the weight of international sympathy will be on its side. It believes, too, that the last thing Israel wants is to reoccupy Gaza, with all the costs and complications that entails.

Hamas believes, in short, that while Israel will do many things, and do them well, it will not do the main thing. And that, in turn, means that as Israel exhausts its target list, as eventually it will, the storm will pass. Then the green flag of the movement will fly defiantly over the tallest building left standing, its prestige hugely boosted — and Israel’s commensurately diminished — throughout the Muslim world.

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