Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another "War" with Gaza

Why are we seeing another “war” with Gaza? I can think of several reasons. None of them have to do with rockets. (See my Post of January 7, 2009, Rockets, Rockets, Rockets)

Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak are facing an election in January and need an atmosphere of fear to insure their re-election. (After all, it worked for George W. Bush.) Israel's method of operation for years has been to provoke a reaction and use that as an excuse to “defend” itself. Last week, Israel assassinated the leader of Hamas, Ahmad Jaberi, his body guard and a cameraman, by firing a rocket into their car just days after Israel had reached a ceasefire agreement with Hamas. Israel expected a response and it worked. After all, it worked four years earlier when rocket fire had stopped for four months. Suddenly Israel invaded Gaza killing six Palestinians. Hamas called off the cease fire and Israel get the war it wanted.

In the past week, Hamas has launched a thousand qassam rockets, weighing less than a hundred pounds each, into territory taken from them by Israel. One crude rocket hit a building and three innocent Israeli citizens were killed. Israel has retaliated with round the clock bombardment which has resulted so far (as of November 20th) in killing over 100 and wounding 860 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The Gaza hospitals are running out of beds, drugs and supplies.

The media calls it a war. However, one side has an army; 175,000 troops, 3,000 tanks and 786 fighter aircraft. On the other side is Hamas with 12,000 volunteers at best, ill trained and poorly equipped. However, Israel is in an uproar. For the first time, Hamas has fired “long range” (40 mile) rockets at Tel Aviv. Two rockets got through the Iron Dome, which Israel got to test with 90 percent success. One fell into the sea and the other in a field. But the psychological impact is enormous. If suddenly Hamas can reach the center of Israel's business and playground, nobody knows what effect that could have on investments, tourism and Jews who might return to Israel for the good life?

I saw on the internet a placard carried by an old man which read:

                                                                     take my water
                                                                 burn my olive trees
                                                                  destroy my house
                                                                       take my job
                                                                     steal my land
                                                                 imprison my father
                                                                    kill my mother
                                                                  bomb my country
                                                                        starve us
                                                                      humiliate us
                                                                     I am to blame:
                                                                  I shot a rocket back.

Israel's ambassador and our U.S. News media constantly explain that Israel, “Has a right to defend itself.” Noam Chomsky defends Hamas:

When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing … You can't defend yourself when you're militarily occupying someone else's land. That's not defense. Call it what you like, it's not defense.

So, add it up. Netanyahu and Barak need election propaganda, the Iron Dome defense system needs to be tested, Iran is too tough to tackle and the U.S. is bogged down in re-election adjustments and debt crisis. Wow! What better time could there be for Israel to do what it seems to do best. Attack its neighbors, especially those who are unarmed and defenseless.

Thomas Are
November 20, 2012

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