Published in The Jerusalem Post, November 16, 2018.
I dare you to answer these 15 questions about Israel’s ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza without cracking a bitter smile and heaving a sigh of cynical disbelief.
1. How long do you think that the current ceasefire with Hamas will hold?
a. Several more hours
b. One week
c. One month
d. Until the end of Avigdor Lieberman’s tenure as defense minister, tomorrow
2. What do you call this past week’s fighting?
a. A skirmish
b. A round of conflict
c. An operation
d. A war.
3. When this ceasefire inevitably is shattered by Hamas, Israel will then do which of the following?
a. Assassinate the entire Hamas leadership
b. Again cut-off electricity and gas supplies to Gaza for a few weeks
c. Bomb some more empty buildings in Gaza
d. Agree to another ceasefire
4. Prime Minister Netanyahu is worried that the ceasefire with Hamas will hurt his political standing with residents of Sderot and other hard-hits southern regions, and instead they will vote for whom?
a. United Arab List
b. Yesh Atid
c. Yisrael Beteinu
d. Bayit Yehudi
5. How many such military “operations” has Israel been forced into since the unilateral withdrawal of settlements and the IDF from Gaza in 2005?
d. Depends on how you define “operation,” and who cares; the point is that Israel hasn’t deterred Hamas from attacking
6. How many rockets and missiles have been fired into Israel from Gaza since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s vaunted “disengagement” (unilateral withdrawal) from Gaza?
d. 40,000 and at least 10,000 acres of agricultural fields have been burned
7. What was the only time that the Israeli left-wing lauded Ariel Sharon?
a. When he fought for the Mitla Pass in Sinai in 1956
b. When he led troops across the Suez Canal in 1973
c. When he surrounded Beirut in 1982
d. When he took “Zionist initiative” (sic.) and unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, paving the way for Hamas rule
8. What did Prime Minister Olmert call his plan for unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank, and would this have caused more or less missile fire into Israel?
a. Disengagement Part Two, and it would have led to calm
b. Convergence, and with PA cooperation there would have been no missiles
c. Consolidation, even though more conflict was expected
d. Realignment, and obviously this would have resulted in missile fire from the Samarian highlands into Ben-Gurion airport and Gush Dan
9. Who provides the most diplomatic and material support to the Hamas in its confrontations with Israel?
a. The United Nations and the European Union
b. Iran and Turkey
c. The BDS movement
d. All of the above
10. World leaders will respond to future rounds of Israel-Hamas conflict by doing what?
a. Calling on “all sides” to end the violence
b. Condemning Israel for “disproportionate” use of force, and pouring more cash into Gaza reconstruction without serious supervision of how Hamas uses the funds
c. Condemning Hamas for firing indiscriminately at Israeli civilian centers, for partnering with Iran, and for standing committed to Israel’s destruction; while expressly backing Israel’s right to defend itself against the genocidal Hamas, without reservation
d. Answers a and b
11. If 450 rockets were to fall in one day on populated areas of Paris, Bonn and London, what would be the “proportionate response” of Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and Theresa May?
a. They would seek to invest billions in the attacker’s economy to improve quality of life and squelch the urge to attack France, Germany and Britain
b. They would vote for a UN Security Council resolution calling on all sides to show restraint
c. They would wipe-out the leadership of the attacking party from the face of the earth
d. They would carpet-bomb the attacking zone to kingdom come, as the allies did in WWII
12. Which of the following do you think that Hamas leadership is likely to do over the coming decade?
a. Decide to devote all its funds to education, employment and civilian reconstruction
b. Invest in high-tech parks and advanced agriculture
c. Teach peace and democracy in its pre-schools and high schools
d. Continue to drown the people of Gaza in terror attack tunnels, underground cement bunkers, rocket factories, and false dreams of overwhelming Israel
13. In the coming years, Israel will devote the bulk of its national resources and efforts to which of the following tasks?
a. Purposefully targeting Gazan schools, mosques, hospitals and civilian housing centers
b. Educating its own public towards enlightenment, scientific advancement and economic success
c. Promoting democracy and human rights, and humanitarian aid missions in the region and around the world
d. All of the above except a
14. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas was unable to halt Israel and Hamas from reaching a ceasefire, because of what?
a. He was sleeping
b. One of the rockets from Gaza hit and killed a Palestinian from Hebron
c. He likes to see Israel bleed, and he knows that there will be many additional ceasefires that he can yet try to stop
d. Nobody asked for his opinion
15. If Avigdor Lieberman or Tzipi Livni were today Prime Minister of Israel, they would handle the situation so much better than the current prime minister, by doing which of the following?
a. Decapitating Hamas leadership, and sending the IDF on an 18-month bloody campaign to re-conquer every inch of Gaza
b. Swiftly reaching a peace accord with Abbas who would assume responsibility for Gaza and bring goodwill to the entire area
c. Getting Egypt to take control of Gaza, and Jordan to take control of the West Bank, ensuring long-term stability
d. All of the above answers are ridiculous
In my opinion, the correct answer to all questions is option d.