How Do Israelis Cope?

(Los Angeles Times) Yossi Klein Halevi - Outside my window, in the Palestinian village across the road, they celebrated the supposed victory of Hamas over Israel every night after the cease-fire with fireworks. A poll confirmed that an astonishing 87% of Palestinians support the organization whose deepest religious longing is the destruction of Israel. On the news they're reporting members of Islamic State have infiltrated across the Jordanian border. We've got Hizbullah on our northern border and Hamas to our south. During the recent failed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Secretary of State John F. Kerry suggested that Israel yield control over the West Bank border with Jordan to an international peacekeeping force. Yet last week hundreds of UN peacekeeping troops on the Israeli-Syrian border barely escaped into Israel after al-Qaeda forces overran their position. Who should we rely on to protect us if not ourselves? Israelis watch the fate of the Yazidi and Christian minorities in the Middle East and tell each other: Imagine what would happen to us if we ever lowered our guard. We are caught in a pathological pattern. A jihadist enemy fires rockets against Israeli civilians. Israel tries to stop the rockets, often launched from schools and mosques. The result is widespread civilian casualties, which is precisely what the terrorists want. The international community reacts with horror - against Israel. And we emerge from each round of fighting one step closer to becoming the world's pariah state. We cope because we have no choice. The writer is a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

2014-09-16 00:00:00

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