Thursday, June 29, 2006

Deep Thoughts on Gaza Crisis

Is anyone else getting pissed off about the coverage of Operation Summer Rain? I mean, media accounts breathlessly state that the region might fall into a war because of the fate of one man - Gilad Shalit.

Too bad that meme couldn't be more hopelessly wrong.

The media focus on the fate of Shalit fails to recognize the following:

1) the breach of the Israeli border along Gaza by Islamic terrorists with ties to Hamas with a 300 foot long tunnel;

2) in the ensuing battle, two Israeli soldiers were killed, and Shalit was captured;

3) the incessant missile and rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza by terrorist groups including Hamas, AAMB, PIJ, Fatah, and the PRCs;

4) the kidnapping and murder of at least one Israeli since Shalit was captured;

5) the ongoing refusal of Hamas to recognize Israel and continued calls for Israel's destruction coming from both Hamas and Fatah;

6) claims that the Palestinian terrorist groups have WMD (though unconfirmed - we must honor the threat that they might actually have them and aren't simply posturing and making empty threats);

7) claims that the same Palestinian terrorists launched one such chemical warhead shell into Israel - again unconfirmed but this comes from the Palestinian terrorists spokespeople;

8) Israel has the inalienable right to defend itself from such threats;

9) Israel has been infinitely patient with the ongoing terrorism and attacks against the sovereign nation of Israel;

10) Israel's response has been extremely measured and limited thus far, unlike the terrorists who continue to provoke Israel into taking far harsher steps.

In sum, the blame for this situation rests with Hamas, Fatah, and the Palestinians themselves. Israel is doing what it must do to defend itself from the ongoing terrorist threat.

Now, there are those of you who think that Israel was wrong to give up Gaza and that this showed incredible weakness. Some of the same folks also call for extreme measures against all of Gaza. Consider the following; that if the Israeli settlements were still present in Gaza, they would provide inviting targets to the same terrorists firing at Israel, would be far more difficult to defend, prove far more costly to a limited Israeli defense budget, and make it even easier for Palestinian terrorists to kill, capture, or otherwise attack Israelis than at present. Also the extreme responses demanded by some in wake of the WMD usage claims would result in many Israelis caught in the fallout.

Israeli PM Olmert wants to delay the IDF incursion into Gaza, but that hasn't stopped the IAF from imposing justice on two Islamic Jihad terrorists. Meanwhile Eliyahu Asheri's body was laid to rest today as thousands of mourners turned out. Asheri was killed within hours after being captured by the terrorists - showing that they had absolutely no intention of ever handing him back over to Israelis alive.

Carl in Jerusalem and Israellycool have more.

JPost is reporting that Fatah officials are blaming Hamas for the current crisis.
A senior Fatah member said on Thursday that although Israel should be condemned for its incursion into the Gaza Strip and the arrest of senior Hamas officials, it was Hamas who brought these actions upon the Palestinian people.

He blamed Hamas' uncompromising, extremist approach - especially that of Hamas leader in Damascus Khaled Mashaal - for turning the whole world against the Palestinians.

The official, an associate of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, told Israel Radio said that Mashaal interfered with any attempt at moderation or mitigation of the economic embargo on the Palestinians.
This would seem to fit my hypothesis that the current conflict is being used by Hamas and Fatah to try and get Israel to eliminate the other.

The IAF is busy again today - attacking Northern Gaza power stations.

So are the terrorists- firing four kassams into Israel.

Count on Meryl Yourish to make a point that's often lost on folks. Israel exists. It doesn't need Hamas or the EU or anyone else to recognize that fact. It is what it is. Golden Gate second's Meryl's suggestion.

ConservaJew thinks that continued neogtiations and diplomacy is another word for crap. The anger against the terrorists is quite palpable and understandable. And the anger is directed at the diplomats who are counselling further talk, but I can understand that too, as that's what diplomats do - they're supposed to talk. It's cold comfort for terrorists' victims, and for future victims of Palestinian terrorists, but the diplomats have their jobs, and the soldiers have theirs.

Israellycool continues to have ongoing updates.

Curiouser and Curiouser thinks that the IDF incursion and ongoing airstrikes into Gaza may be paying dividends - widening the rift between Fatah and Hamas. Well, that makes sense, especially when you consider the hypothesis I'm toying with - namely that both Fatah and Hamas are trying to use the IDF to settle their own civil war in no uncertain terms. That is most likely the best reason that the IDF hasn't gone in to Gaza and rooted out all the terrorists - the uncertainty of being played by the Palestinian terrorist factions.

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