The World Cheers When Israel Gets Tough

Playing it soft and fuzzy just won't do.

Jack Engelhard,

OpEds Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
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Maybe this time Israel has learned a lesson, that the world comes around to its side when it plays tough.

Derision happens when Israel goes whoring after peace. People hate a patsy.

Tough guys don't dance (or give up territory).

The usual suspects, like the United Nations, are of course blaming Israel for the Arab Palestinian stampede into
This time around, they couldn't find the words to blame Israel.
Egypt after Israel cut off fuel for Hamas rockets.

But there have been surprising responses from sources not normally friendly to the Jewish State. Condoleezza Rice, at least for the moment, dropped her sympathies for the "poor" Palestinians, stating that, "The problem comes first and foremost out of the security situation by Hamas in Gaza." (Those thousands of rockets onto Sderot and other southern Israeli towns.)

Speaking of those poor Palestinians, by the way, we hear that in less than two days these poor folk spent $130 million dollars on food and other purchases. Where did that money come from in a "refugee" environment? Some shopping spree - and it's doubtful that Americans, the richest people on Earth, could spend so much money so quickly even during the Christmas rush.

Condi isn't alone in somehow finding justice for Israel's fuel blockade. The New York Times revealed that tearing down that wall to Egypt was not an overnight sensation. Hamas, those wily coyotes, had been softening up that barricade for months. What's more, that plague of darkness (over Gaza) was largely self-inflicted. (They sure know how to play the victimhood card.)

Even the BBC had to admit (reluctantly) that the chaos in Gaza and the flight into Egypt was caused by Hamas. Ditto two British newspapers, the Independent and the Telegraph. This time around, they couldn't find the words to blame Israel. Neither could the Chicago Tribune, which once published a horrific cartoon against Israel, but now editorialized that, "If the Palestinians stop lobbing rockets into Israel, there will be no retaliation."

Haaretz, Israel's newspaper of record for the far-left and the far gone, also approached the situation from Israel's point of view.

All that because Israel finally woke up and showed some muscle. Goodness, even Israel's leaders, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, defended Israel's right to defend itself. Where has this been and what's taken so long? Last week, Israel's Foreign Ministry sent out a press release defining Israel's rights in time of war. Where have these people been hiding?

Those rockets have been raining on Israel for years, actually decades, and in all that time Israel, hat in hand, sought "peace."

The world translated that as cowardice. People dump on cowards, from the schoolyard to the world stage.

The world still cheers David against Goliath, and the world cheered Israel after the Six Day War. That's when
The world still cheers David against Goliath, and the world cheered Israel after the Six Day War.
Egypt massed 100,000 troops to face Israel from Sinai and cut Israel off from the Straits of Tiran. Israel took the hint and attacked and demolished the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel said: "You talkin' to me?"

(Menachem Begin, upon another war, this one into Lebanon, was quoted as saying: "They want a holy war? We'll give them a holy war.")

We love a tough guy, and if it's not love, it's fear and respect. That's a lesson for America as well, against those who insist that we cut and run from Iraq and Gitmo.

We also love the underdog, and perhaps, in this relatively favorable climate, it might be timely to remind the world that the Palestinians are part of a general Arab population that numbers 300 million against Israel's five and a half million Jews - and that the land occupied by the Arab League is twice the size of the United States. Israel's "occupation" is about twice the size of maybe Brooklyn.

Playing it soft and fuzzy is no way to make friends and influence people. Israel lost its glamour when it hesitated to go after the Arab armies in what turned out to be the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Right around here (in my view) the "new anti-Semitism" began its surge. Israel's natural enemies, mostly silent up until then, perceived this reluctance as stereotypical passivity - and this always invites and encourages the bully.

Chutzpah invites admiration. When will they ever learn?
Jack Engelhard's latest novel, the newsroom thriller The Bathsheba Deadline, is now ready in paperback and available from and other outlets. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore.