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The Gantseh Megillah

The Outspeaker

You shall not take revenge and you shall not bear a grudge against the members of your people; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself- I am Hashem
(Vayikra 19:18)

When a potential convert approached Hillel and asked to be taught the entire Torah while standing on one foot, Hillel summarized as follows, "That which is hateful to you do not do to others. All the rest is commentary. Now go and learn."
(Shabbos 31A)

"What do we mean by the defeat of the enemy?  Simply the destruction of his forces, whether by death, injury, or any other means -- either completely or enough to make him stop fighting…  The complete or partial destruction of the enemy must be regarded as the sole object of all engagements. . . .  Direct annihilation of the enemy's forces must always be the dominant consideration."

War is the extension of state policy by other means.


The extension of state policy by other means. If this definition is in fact true, than an obvious corollary must follow. All war is a result of the failure of politics and diplomacy. Physical conflict must therefore be the inevitable result of incompetence. Was there ever a war in which all parties engaged did not claim they were defending themselves? Ridiculous, right? All conflict must by definition have an aggressor and a defender. If all parties are defending themselves, there is no reason for conflict, unless the aforementioned incompetent politicians have duped one or both parties. This dynamic is sickening enough in and of itself, but its aftermath is the actual problem. Hitler, without the stupidity of the Treaty of Versailles, would have been little more than a raving lunatic in urine soaked trousers, attempting to peddle his line of crap on some Munich street corner to disinterested passersby. Instead, he became the vehicle for the ruination of an entire generation. The young Americans who have been thrust into an unnecessary war in Iraq have yet to return to their roosts, and when they do, the nightmares, flashbacks, and other dysfunctions of the veterans of Vietnam will pale by comparison. Another generation butchered and damned by the gross stupidity and mendacity of rich old men.

And what’s the deal in Gaza? Certainly you cannot fire rockets into people’s living rooms for any length of time without expecting a response of some sort from the government charged with the protection of the populace. Indeed, it would seem that the aggressors in this case might be inviting a response. Let’s look at the next-to-last quote above. If we accept this (and, as an avid reader of history I do) then the Israeli response is perfectly in keeping with the insane guidelines of armed conflict. It has been suggested that the response was disproportionate to the provocation. That Hamas had killed “only” four Israelis,” and the Israelis have to date killed several hundred Palestinians. Perhaps the Israeli forces should have killed four of the Hamas forces and withdrawn?


War, as Sherman has notably said, is “all hell.”  It is not tit-for-tat. Never has been, never will be. Once the wheels have been set in motion, once the hatred and anger have been harnessed, directed, and released, armed conflict has a life of its own, and like the soldiers who prosecute it, grows beyond the control of those who initiated it.

To Hamas, I would recommend that you rethink your platform. Israel is not going to quit, surrender, or be easily killed. They are certainly not going to leave. You can play this game indefinitely, but the results are going to be the same each time. You are up against an enemy of your own creation, one who cares not a damn for your terror tactics for the simple reason that they have been terrorized for thousands of years by folks that make you look like pacifists by comparison. After a thousand years of pogroms, mass murder, humiliation, and degradation, they don’t really have much to lose, do they?

To the “innocent” Palestinian civilians, I would suggest that you knew what those rocket launchers were going to be used for, and should have taken matters into your own hands when Hamas located them near your hospitals, schools, homes, and Mosques. What in the name of hell did you think was going to happen when the Israelis inevitably retaliated? I would further suggest that you get used to the idea of a Jewish state as a neighbor, and vote for a government that is capable of accepting (at long last) the same concept. We infidels have recently grabbed a shovel and cleaned out our OWN political barn, and let me tell ya, it feels like the first day you wake up after the flu is gone! Then go hang your figs in the market, play dominos under a nice shady fig tree, and invest in one of the countless resort hotels that would most assuredly turn a nice profit in a sane and peaceful Middle East.

To Israel, I suggest that you withdraw to the 1948 borders and dismantle every one of the settlements in the territories not within those borders. Do you really think there will ever be peace until you do? I would further suggest that you rid yourselves of your OWN religious fanatics, including those who think that Hashem favors Jews over other religions or races, and those who believe that God approves of killing Philistines in order to clear land for his very own Chosen People. Send them to Argentina, or the Antarctic or someplace else where no one has to listen to their bullshit. I, for one, am sick unto death of their noise.

Now that I’ve solved the Middle East problem, I’ll express my gratitude for your indulgence, and invite your comments. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

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