Israel: Irrationality of ‘Everything Necessary’

By Dallas Darling

Prior to yet another international freedom flotilla headed to Gaza, this one consisting of trying to deliver humanitarian aid and letters of solidarity, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: ‘…we will not shy away from taking any necessary action, offensive and defensive, to protect our country and to protect our citizens.’

Several days later, a senior military source claimed Israel would do everything necessary to prevent this international flotilla from reaching Gaza, even if it was not carrying weapons. Like the last international flotilla, wherein Israeli forces stormed aboard and killed several peaceful activists who were merely trying to challenge a harsh blockade, several “Free Gaza” ships have already been sabotaged. Commandos have also arrested and imprisoned nonviolent activists.

The phrase “everything necessary” is extremely irrational. It is one that often leads to illogical and self-destructive behaviors. Self- and national-destructive behaviors, that is, that were observed when the United States Congress gave President Lyndon B. Johnson “everything necessary” to fight a war against Vietnam, and when President George W. Bush said he would do “everything necessary” to strike back at those who attacked the Pentagon and World Trade Centers on Sept. 11, 2001. Whereas the U.S.-Vietnam War led to the deaths of seven million people, President Bush’s preemptive wars and military occupations have now lasted more than eleven years. They have killed hundreds of thousands of people, produced millions of refugees, and have cost four trillion dollars.

For Israeli officials to use the “everything necessary” threat, which in this case is to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching women and children in Gaza, points to vindictive and egocentric thinking and behavior. It is the kind of thinking and behavior that does not seek to understand others, let alone respect their rights. Once this kind of thinking and behavior dominates a nation, it will continually rationalize and deceive itself into believing that its position is the only correct or justifiable one.

Such a nation believes it is the only one that experiences truth. Thus, its reality is the only reality that matters. Military raids that kill innocent people trying to deliver humanitarian aid, stealing or occupying land, or launching large-scale armed invasions against a beleaguered people, are always justified.

This kind of pathological thinking and behavior ignores contradictory evidence. It conveniently forgets important historical facts, as experienced by others, and easily dismisses challenging information.

“Everything necessary” thinking and behavior fails to notice flagrant inconsistencies between what a nation professes to believe, and how it actually behaves. The result, of course, is always the same: more human rights abuses, more false imprisonments, more destruction and innocent people killed, and more absurd actions.

It is especially tragic that in stopping the “Free Gaza” international flotilla, Israel, which suffered millions of deaths during the Holocaust, is using the same irrational thinking that Adolf Hitler used towards the Jews when he said: “To attain our aim we should stop at nothing.”(1)

– Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John‘s Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for He contributed this article to Visit:


(1) Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, And The Ongoing Assault On Humanity. New York, New York: Public Affairs Press, 2009., p. 18.

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