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January 9th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

How to be stupid . . .

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/08/gaza.security.council/art.israeli.soldiers2.idf.gi.jpg caption="A photo provided by the Israel Defense Forces shows Israeli paratroopers in Gaza on Thursday."]
Rosa Brooks
The Los Angeles Times

How to be stupid Hamas style:

Refuse to recognize Israel. Remind the world that the establishment of Israel in 1948 was accompanied by the often violent displacement of 700,000 Palestinians, but ignore the fact that more than 60 years have gone by, making it a bit late for a do-over. Ignore the fact that most Israelis weren't even born in 1948, and that Israel is recognized as legitimate by an overwhelming majority of the world's states. Keep insisting on its destruction.

Use suicide bombings and rocket attacks on civilian targets as a method of warfare. Don't stick to military targets. Instead, blow up civilians on buses and in cafes. Adopting a deliberate policy of war crimes and crimes against humanity helps ensure that few of the world's governments will want to go anywhere near you.

Get into vicious factional battles with fellow Palestinians. Why present a united front when you can fight with each other? Constant infighting gives the Israelis yet another reason to consider you a worthless interlocutor. And by driving rival party Fatah out of town, you can drive a wedge between Palestinians and give many Arab governments another reason to hope you fail.

Keep that cycle of violence going! The Israelis killed a Palestinian? Quick, fire a barrage of rockets toward Israel. You know they'll respond with even greater force. Be stubborn and keep up those rocket attacks! Israeli bombs can't tell the difference between your fighters and Gaza's schoolchildren. Let the civilians pay the price for your "brave" resistance.

How to be stupid Israel style:

Never pass up a chance to rub salt in open wounds. Keep on building settlements in occupied territory. Stuff like that. Ya know?

Undermine and isolate potential interlocutors who might be able to represent the Palestinians. First, destroy Palestinian Authority infrastructure and withhold funds and supplies needed for critical social services, thus helping to push ordinary Palestinians into the arms of Hamas, with its ample social services programs funded by Iran and private Arab donors. Then, when Hamas wins Palestinian elections, isolate Gaza and undermine Hamas.

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Filed under: Hamas • Israel • Rosa Brooks
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. sam

    It is very sad to hear that from Rosa , Maybe if you lived in Gaza , or even if you been under occupation , maybe than you will be able to feal what means of someone robbing you and your family and you cant do anything about it .Maybe than you will will understand that kiiling your parents infront of your face what will result . Maybe than you will understand that humans available in other countries not only in the united States . Maybe than you will understand that the dispalcement of 700thousand people in 1948 is not ok .Maybe than you will tell who is the killer and who is the victim ,maybe than you will understand why people strap bombs , maybe than you will have a sympathy for the cause of those palestinians .

    January 9, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  2. Lana

    The sides game is the one that has to stop. There are no sides when innocent civilians are getting killed. What should we do? As an international community, we have spent the last 50 plus years ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people. Enough is enough. No more lives need to be lost. Also, from do we allow terrorist groups to become governments? We did it with Fatah and then we allowed it with Hamas. It is time to start from scratch and it is time to hear the plea of Palestinian men, women and children. The defense of Israel or of Hamas is simply wrong.

    January 9, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  3. Alan

    I don't think that if someone took away your right to vote, your right to travel, your right to the pursuit of happpiness, right right to legal redress etc., that you would say, "it's to late to change the political situation in the country in which you live"; and I for one, would certainly not think that you were stupid.

    January 9, 2009 at 9:18 am |