The old story about the deadly scorpion and the frog has been adapted to the current situation in the Middle East.
In the original fable, the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across a river, but the frog is afraid of being stung. The scorpion manages to convince the frog by arguing that, if he were to sting the frog while being carried across water, both would sink and drown. Convinced by the scorpion’s logic, the frog embarks across the river with the scorpion on his back -- only to be stung halfway across.
As both scorpion and frog descend to their deaths, the frog asks the scorpion why he stung him.
“Because that’s my nature -- and this is the Middle East,” replies the scorpion in the new iteration of the story.
Sadly, the most recent war between Hamas and Israel reflects the moral of the story.
Hamas persists in its incessant rocket war against Israel, even firing a missile at the precise moment a hard-negotiated five-hour ceasefire came to an end. Hamas must certainly realize that it cannot win this war. It is outmatched and alone, virtually isolated from its Arab allies. Egypt, in fact, may be more inclined to see Hamas decimated than to lift a finger in support.
Yet it is the nature of Hamas to commit these senseless acts of terror -- and after all, this is the Middle East.
The leadership of Hamas has lost its already tenuous connection to reality, forcing upon Israel and the rest of the civilized world a question that looms like a dark cloud over the horizon: how to cope with a nation-state that has given itself over to its own suicide?
It is a very real dilemma for Israel, especially since the so-called “moderate” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas makes no secret of his emotional ties with Hamas, with all its attendant murderous ways. What possible negotiation can occur when one’s adversary has no goal other than your annihilation?
Curiously, though, Hamas still has supporters: both the U.S. and European nations still pour funds into both the West Bank and Gaza, and the West continues to give lip service to a two-state solution despite this most recent evidence that a Palestinian state would just be a launching pad for Katusha rockets. As the events of the last few weeks have proven, any other expectation would be utterly naive.