What is victory? I keep hearing that victory is "stopping the rocket fire." Well...if that is victory then victory is unattainable. It takes a handful of people to smuggle in a rocket and launch it. No, that cannot be victory.
In my mind victory is the point at which Palestinians themselves go after the people launching the rockets and use deadly force if necessary to stop their own from violating the peace. Nothing short of that is victory.
What it is going to take to get there is both extreme suffering to the point that not only do Gazans believe that it CAN get worse than it is, but that it DEFINITELY WILL get worse, if they do not stop rockets from leaving their territory. On top of that must be a reasonable belief that when those rockets do stop, things will get a whole lot better than they are now.
One cannot win a battle against another's honor and pride. One can win a battle if one uses reason against reason. It needs to be made abundantly clear that victory for the Palestinian people lies in stopping the rocket fire, making peace with Israel, and establishing prosperity and freedom for themselves at peace alongside it. I do not believe that Hamas is capable of accomplishing that vision, but I do believe that to be the vision that must be shared, the vision that must be created.
Those who call for an immediate cessation of violence do not understand that they are at the same time calling for the surrender of the Palestinian people to a future of hatred and suffering, a future devoid of the hope of freedom and prosperity, a future that can only be accomplished for them with the removal of Hamas and the implementation of peace. They call for the cessation of the process to overthrow tyranny and hatred and the process of instilling real hope in the hearts and minds of the people. In their zeal to avoid bloodshed, they avoid any hope of bringing Shalom and Salaam to the peoples at war.
The words said by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 ring eerily true:
"There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come."
"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"