Accommodating Bullies

Member Group : From the Kitchen Table

It’s among everybody’s favorite movie themes.

The young fellow gets pummeled every day by the bully who wants his lunch or his homework or his girl or his whatever. He tries to avoid the bully, but the bully anticipates his escape routes. He tries to reason with the bully, but the bully laughs in his face. He tries to just give the bully what is demanded, but the bully just demands more.

And every day, he comes home bruised and bloodied and frustrated.

By this point in the movie, the audience is itching to see the bully get what he deserves.

Finally, the young fellow decides that he has had enough. So he learns how to defend himself, and confronts the bully. And, he succeeds. Sometimes the confrontation is public, and sometimes it is private. But the bully is always defeated, and the audience always cheers.

Now imagine if the story’s climax was modified. In the imaginary ending, when the hero is about to confront the bully, they are stopped and brought before a "conflict resolution" committee to air their grievances. The committee is designed to make sure that there is no confrontation, so each side of the conflict must be willing to "give" a little bit. The bully agrees not to hit the hero any more, and the hero agrees to share his lunch or his homework or his girlfriend with the bully once a week.

Of course, since bullies, by definition, thrive on the threat of confrontation, the one in our story soon decides that once a week is not enough, and he starts tormenting the hero again. The hero takes it for a while, and finally decides to confront the bully. That decision starts the committee process all over again, only this time the hero loses TWO days a week.

The "conflict resolution" committee does not regard the bullying as a problem, it regards the confrontation as the problem. As long as the hero is willing to be tormented, there is no conflict that needs to be resolved. It is only when the hero decides to stop the bully, that a potential conflict appears, and the committee acts to prevent the conflict.

Such a story live would offend audiences, and the movie would fail. We all know that the only effective way to stop a bully is to actually take the necessary action to make the bully stop. Even if that action involves a bloody nose.

Israel is in the process of stopping a bully.

As long as Israel was willing to let terrorist bully called Hamas use the Gaza strip to launch rockets and suicide bomber attacks on its citizens, the international community did not see any crisis. But when Israel finally decided that enough was enough, and took action to stop the torment, "conflict resolution" experts from around the world converged. A few recognize that Hamas must be stopped. But too many are speaking about giving "weight to both sides" of the conflict.

The reality is that Hamas is an international bully who is no more interested in justice than its schoolyard counterpart. But unlike its schoolyard counterpart, Hamas does not throw punches – Hamas throws rockets.

Hamas is a bully that must be stopped, and Israel needs and deserves international support in its effort to do so.