Tragedy in Jerusalem

Yesterday a driver at a yeshiva in Jerusalem opened fire, killing 8. Hamas claimed responsibility; residents of the Gaza Strip rejoiced. The spectacle is sickening but also thought-provoking. How does one respond to such an enemy?

Roger Simon finds himself tempted to recommend an ultimatum and, then, when it inevitably fails, going all Dresden on the Gaza Strip. I’m fine with demanding that Gaza act like a state if it wants to be one, but I suggest several less criminal options when terror resumes:

  1. Cease all economic support for and exchange with Gaza. That includes the provision of electricity and other utilities, as well as financial and other support from the United States. (Is anyone in the Bush administration awake?)
  2. Respond to attacks quickly and violently, targeting, by missile and air strikes, the Palestinian leadership and military infrastructure. Proclaim, and believe in, the doctrine of double effect. Innocent people will be killed. But that is not Israel’s intention; it is an unfortunate consequence of the enemy’s policy of using civilian shields for military operations. The moral disapprobation should properly be directed at them.
  3. This round of attacks is probably cover to distract Israel and the United States from Iran’s proximity to nuclear capability. Don’t be distracted! The perfect response would be strikes on Iran to disable its nuclear development program and to take out its leadership. Why are the mullahs and Ahmadinejad still alive? Why, for that matter, is Assad still alive?

I realize that retaliatory attacks will be met with widespread condemnation, no matter what Israeli politicians say. But that is all the more reason to increase the severity of the attacks. If you’re going to face abuse whether you respond circumspectly, even mildly, or decisively, you might as well respond decisively.

I can’t help thinking of the dialogue in Lethal Weapon when Murtaugh’s daughter is kidnapped:

Martin Riggs: You know they’re going to kill her, don’t you?
Roger Murtaugh: Yeah.
Martin Riggs: So if you want her back, you’re going to have to take her away from them.
Roger Murtaugh: I know.
Martin Riggs: You do this my way. You shoot, you shoot to kill, get as many of them as you can. All you got to do is just not miss.
Roger Murtaugh: I won’t miss.
Martin Riggs: We’re going to get bloody on this one, Rog.

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