Saturday, August 2, 2014

GAZA Reality: A Just but Bloody War!

There was supposed to be a 72 hour ceasefire in place today to allow humanitian aid to get to the be- leagued Gazans, who have suffered over Hamas' bull-headed intransigence, but within 4 hours Hamas broke the agreement and started shooting again with the usual Israeli response. It pays to reflect on what has taken place these past few weeks. The reality is there for everyone to see, except for rabid leftist Jew-haters, that it was Hamas provoking this round, and Israel had no choice but to respond.

This may seem surprising to people who don't follow the Middle East closely. They may ask, ''Why is this incursion different from all other Israeli incursions?''  Because Hamas, which was in an existential jam this Spring, needed a new strategy. It had lost its prime ally in the region when the Egyptian army overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood. (Hamas is the official Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood.) It also alienated another of its supporters, Iran, when it sided with the Brotherhood against Bashar Assad in Syria. Opposition within Gaza to Hamas' corruption and misrule was also on the rise. What to do???

Provoke Israel. It had worked in the past. A kidnapping of Israeli soldiers on the northern border had led to Israel's less-than-discriminate assault on Hizballah in Lebanon in 2006. Rocket attacks had provoked Israel's two previous Gaza incursions, in 2008 and 2012. Hamas and Hizballah had ''won'' those wars because their fighters resisted the Israelis more effectively than conventional Arab armies had done in the past but also because the images of collapsed buildings and blood-soaked children had bolstered Israel's growing reputation as an oppressor and a bully in the eyes of the world.

This time is was different, however, for several reasons. The initial provocation, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, was indefensible, as was the retaliatory murder of a Palestinian teen. In a moment or moral clarity, Hamas lauded its kidnappers, while a furious Netanyahu called the retaliation ''reprehensible'' and ordered the police to find the perpetrators and arrest them.

Indeed, Israel's actions have been more prudent across the board. It confined its bombing at first to Hamas' military facilities ad leaders. Civilians were killed in the process -- as was Hamas' intent -- but these were targeted strikes, not the free-range assault o Gaza City that had occurred in Operation Cast Lead in 2008. The ground campaign that followed was limited as well, confined to Shejaiya, a neighbourhood on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City that was a warren of Palestinian fighters and the launch point for a very elaborate tunnel system from Gaza to Israel. Hamas despicably used the
400,000 dollars a year they get from the main Brotherhood supporter, the Sheikh of Qatar, (photo left) Tamim bin Hamad Al
Thani, to build tunnels and not one bomb shelter while hiding their rockets in homes, schools and hospitals.

The fighting has been brutal, to be sure. More than 1200 Palestinians (75% are civilians) and 38 Israeli soldiers have been killed. Editor's Note: (As an Australian I wonder why the leftist scum in my country didn't get upset like they're doing now over Gaza, when 1200 legal boat people drowned at sea because Labor's Kevin Rudd reduced the previous government's strong immigration policy.)  But this is was not an indiscriminate massacre. Israel was protecting its border, the right of any sovereign nation; its citizens were threatened by Palestinian assaults at the receiving end of the tunnels (many of which were foiled during the fighting). Ori Nir, spokesman for Americans for Peace Now says, ''I don't like the casualties that result from bombing the homes of the Hamas leaders, but at least they're phoned first, but it falls within the normal rules of war. The moral bottom line is clear.''

There have been predictable anti-Israel riots in Europe, mostly by the one-eyed cretin Muslims. I'm sure the stupidity of Germany, France and even Australia allowing this savage element into their western tolerant culture has dawned on them. Here in Sydney we even had a Greens Senator and
avowed Communist-trained anti-Semite, Lee Rhiannon, shamefully speaking before a rally of Islamic idiots and getting them all riled up. The Jew-hating Left has been appalled, on cue, by the alleged Israeli ''brutality'' -- without questioning the deadly cynicism (turning down 5 cease-fires) of Hamas.

The Way I See It......Hamas has been outfoxed diplomatically: it opposed the cease-fire agreement proposed by Egypt, which Israel--and the Arab League--supported.  If you are really the aggrieved party, it's not easy to explain why you won't accept peace. By now, in a reasonable world, Hamas would have lost all remaining shreds of its tenuous moral credibility. With the failure of the present 72 hour cease-fire, negotiated by the U.N. and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, one hopes that with Hamas' weakness, and its inability to dictate terms, this will eventually leave a tiny possibility for peace.

The first step is to restore legal order in Gaza by returning the Palestinian Authority--ousted by Hamas in a 2007 coup--to power and bringing in the U.S. trained Palestinian security forces who have done such an excellent job of bringing law and order to the West Bank. The next step is free elections in Gaza, which, given Hamas' current unpopularity, might be won by more moderate factions, perhaps even Fatah.  This is the Middle East, of course, Israel remains intransigent on a West Bank agreement. Peace is a chimera; only the dead bodies are real.

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