Glorifying Defeat

It says a great deal about the terrorists who run Hamas that they dared to speak of victory even as parts of Gaza were reduced to a smoking ruin. Let’s recap what happened: Hamas bombarded southern Israel with missiles in an attempt to kill as many Jews as possible. Israel responded with a military operation that did not exactly stretch its capacity for making war. In a matter of days, the Hamas terrorist mastermind was dead; so were more than 100 Palestinian civilians.

For Hamas, this was victory. Its sympathizers fired their weapons into the air and carried on as though the Hamas-Israel truce were the second coming of V-E Day. It was more than bizarre. It was sad. Tragically sad.

And yet, much of the world’s media seemed to swallow this nonsense whole. Few dared to point out that the devastation in Gaza looked very much like a crushing defeat.

But that’s how it goes in this corner of the world. Terrorists launch an appalling attack on civilians, and the world rises to condemn Israel’s response. Israel fights back with selected and judicious outrage, and its enemies are allowed to proclaim victory amid the ruins of their bomb factories and training camps.

It is hard to know what to make of all of this, except to say that Israel clearly will never win the hearts and minds of the world’s media, and so should continue to defend itself without feeling obliged to keep one eye on public opinion.

There will be more missiles—count on it. Hezbollah, the terrorist group based in Lebanon, already is talking big about unleashing its own missiles on Israeli cities. Apparently Hezbollah’s leaders would like a share of the glory that comes with attacking defenseless Israeli civilians. If they make such an attempt, they certainly will experience the same sort of victory that Hamas is enjoying at the moment.

If Israel cannot win over world opinion as it seeks to defend itself, its leaders ought to at least point out—repeatedly—that the missiles that were aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were dispatched to the region by Iran. The madmen who run Iran are more than happy to have surrogates kill as many Jews as possible and then bear the brunt of Israel’s response. But Israel should make it clear that Iran has Israeli blood on its hands. And Israel does not stand by idly when Jews are targeted for extermination.

In the meantime, Hamas will continue to strut on the world stage and talk about its victory over mighty Israel. Sane people—and there are more than a few of them out there—should be able to recognize reality. Perhaps one day the people who die for Hamas’s bravado will understand the absurdity of it all, too.