Hamas fires some of those Rube Goldberg, homemade stovepipe rockets into Israel and Israel responds. Israel must respond, I get that, but consider this:
The Hamas rockets are merely ballistic, they cannot be aimed. Usually they land almost unseen out in some field somewhere. It takes a lot of rockets to eventually kill one Israeli (or, in one instance today, to kill a Palestinian construction worker at an Israeli building site, talk about the wrong place at the wrong time). So do you think Hamas is really trying to: 1) kill Israelis; 2) make a symbolic display; or 3) evoke a violent Israeli response?
My money is on number 3.
It is an amazement to me that Israel performs according to the Hamas script. Every TV in the world springs to vigorous life with images of unfortunate, blown-up Gazans and heroic Palestinian rescue workers. Citizens in a dozen countries, who already hate the Jewish plantation, fill the streets in protest of Israeli “atrocities.” Many countries make statements unilaterally, and the UN joins in, suggesting that both parties cease hostile fire immediately. Never mentioned is who fired first, which makes the statements a tacit condemnation of Israel, whose firepower is thousands of times greater than that of Hamas. The predictable result is obloquy for Israel and another public relations victory for Hamas.
A better idea would be for Israel to hold their fire and go on a public relations offensive of their own. News footage of rockets being fired; rockets exploding; damaged buildings in Israel; wounded and dead Israelis; heroic Israeli rescue workers; surveillance photos of Gazan fighters transporting and firing rockets; Israeli diplomats making every effort to stop the rocket fire by talking with Hamas politicians. If this occurs to me, it is occurring to others as well. Maybe it’ll happen next time.
Hamas is cynically sacrificing the lives of its citizens for discrete propaganda victories in their struggle to drive all Israelis out of “Palestine,” and back to wherever it is that they believe the Jews should go. Oklahoma maybe, who knows? I don’t think they’ve really thought it all the way through. Maybe they want to just kill all the Israelis. Some of them do, I’ll bet.
I agree that thinking something like this all the way through is quite a challenge.