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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | return to: views, editorial


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No truce will solve Gaza problem

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As we go to press, Hamas and Israel are inching toward a negotiated cease-fire that we hope will avert an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza. While we give thanks that the open hostilities might cease — for now— a truce in no way ends the real conflict.

Rather, it simply allows both sides to tally the price of war. At least five Israelis died this past week, with scores more injured. More than 100 Palestinians died. Israel did everything possible to minimize civilian casualties, while Hamas terrorists did the opposite, deliberately aiming for civilian centers. On Nov. 20, Israel even sent 24 trucks of food and medical supplies to Gaza; Hamas prevented another 98 trucks from entering.

This latest round of fighting revealed much that is new in the military capabilities on both sides and the geopolitical forces at play.

Perhaps the biggest shock has been Hamas’ targeting of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Gaza-based terrorists can now reach Israel’s populous center, a disturbing development that cannot be allowed to stand.

At the same time, the world witnessed Israel’s extraordinary pinpoint targeting as its air force took out scores of Gaza-based arms depots, Hamas offices, smuggling tunnels and rocket launchers.

And then there was the miraculous performance of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which intercepted hundreds of rockets that otherwise could have caused mass casualties. Iron Dome scored a nearly 90 percent success rate.

Add it up, and Israel has advanced markedly in intelligence gathering and protecting the homeland. On the other hand, Hamas’ long-range rocket arsenal alters the security equation for Israel. Factor in the close ties between Hamas and the Islamist government of Egypt, and Israel has an untenable problem on its hands.

We seem to have reached a stalemate. Each side wants something the other is unwilling to give. Hamas won’t stop waging war until Israel lifts the blockade of Gaza. Israel won’t lift the blockade until Hamas stops the rockets.

Because of political changes in the Middle East, especially in Egypt, Israel is in a weaker position internationally than it was four years ago after its last Gaza incursion. At the same time, Hamas can claim greater international legitimacy and more support from the Arab world. This is a harsh new reality, one that threatens to hamper Israel’s position in future negotiations.

Two decades ago, Israel recognized that a negotiated two-state solution is the only way forward to peace. This past week, Hamas has paid a steep price for its refusal to give up armed terror and accept its Jewish neighbor. It’s time for the world to press them to do so.


Comments

Posted by Jack Kessler
11/21/2012  at  10:04 PM
There IS a military solution

It is a conventional noise to say there is no military solution, uttered because it sounds like one is saying something.  It sounds sage but is wrong.

If the IDF were to invade not all of Gaza but only the southern tip of it at Rafah, they could shut down the tunnels and end the smuggling of rockets and other weapons into
Gaza.  It would also deprive Hamas of its main source of revenue. 

Rafah could be defended against the rest of Gaza with the same kind of separation that now surrounds the rest of Gaza. Gaza’s southern border with Egypt is less than five miles long, shorter than the length of the Bay Bridge.  A narrow Israeli-controlled strip that cut Gaza off from its weapons smuggling tunnels would stifle Gaza’s ability to attack Israel with rockets.

Once they ran out of their current supply of rockets, there would be no re-supply. 

The situation would be the opposite of the buffer zone on the Lebanese border.  There the problem was that Hezbollah had open supply routes.  Gaza would not.

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Posted by craven_maven
11/22/2012  at  09:08 AM
Israel loses. Obama is no friend of Israel.

Just as I predicted, Obama extracted major concessions from Israel on behalf of Hamas: Israel has agreed to ease the blockade of Gaza and stop targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders, exactly as I predicted. Of course, when Israel is unable to abide by these conditions, as inevitably will happen because they’re untenable, Hamas will have an excuse to resume its attacks. This is no peace agreement, even though Obama and Hilary Clinton will be taking credit for one.

For the present, Hamas has won: it can boast it extracted major concessions from Israel and the US and that it withstood Israel’s military might. Thank you, Hilary.

The US has no leverage over Hamas or its backer, Iran – only a military defeat can neutralize Hamas. The US can only threaten to withdraw aid from Egypt and Israel. Thus Morsi’s “cooperation,” which is tenuous and conditional, at best. How can Israel or the US expect a Muslim Brother leader, Morsi, who has openly called for the death of Jews and the destruction of Israel, to prevent attacks on Israel aimed at achieving those very goals?

As Obama did when he wanted to block Israel’s preparation for an attack on Iran prior to his election, Obama this time no doubt again threatened to cut off or slow Israel’s supply of parts for its US-made military jets, without which they would soon become inoperable. Thank you, Hilary.

Meanwhile, as of now, Israel has been hit by 12 rockets since the “truce” went into effect. Only Israel, of all the countries in the world, would be expected not to ignore the “truce” and defend itself.

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Posted by FrankLee
11/23/2012  at  12:24 PM
The military solution was blocked

Mr. Kessler and Maven are right.  The Muslim Brotherhood, including Hamas, has won, with the support of Obama.  The “Gaza Problem” is the Muslim Brotherhood.  Gazans are committed to their Hamas terrorist government - three generations of “palestinians” have succeeded in creating a people committed to the eradication of the Jews. 
When the leftist media bemoans the deaths of Gazans, and compares the number of dead Islamists to that of their Jewish victims, the perversion of political correctness, along with Obama’s dictates, has prevailed to prevent Israel from militarily dealing with its military enemies.  Dead Hamas terrorists is a good thing.  They and their weapons need to be destroyed.
The purpose of the blockade is to prevent weapons reaching the “Hamas entity” - the terrorist State of Gaza.  Hamas won’t “stop waging war” if Israel lifts its military blockade.  It will only “stop waging war” when Israel is destroyed.
The Muslim Brotherhood executed its plans, and Morsi got what he needed.  He was ceded power by Obama to control the “negotiations”, and the next day closed his grip on power in Egypt achieving full dictatorship. 
The overarching issue is America’s response to Iran.  This bodes ill for Israel’s coming war with Iran as the impending existential threat of Iran’s nukes draws nearer, and America’s recent failures, weakness and appeasements in the region cede power to the Islamist enemies of Israel and America.

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Posted by FrankLee
11/23/2012  at  12:27 PM
The military solution was blocked

Mr. Kessler and Maven are right.  The Muslim Brotherhood, including Hamas, has won, with the support of Obama.  The “Gaza Problem” is the Muslim Brotherhood.  Gazans are committed to their Hamas terrorist government - three generations of “palestinians” have succeeded in creating a people committed to the eradication of the Jews. 


When the leftist media bemoans the deaths of Gazans, and compares the number of dead Islamists to that of their Jewish victims, the perversion of political correctness, along with Obama’s dictates, has prevailed to prevent Israel from militarily dealing with its military enemies.  Dead Hamas terrorists is a good thing.  They and their weapons need to be destroyed.


The purpose of the blockade is to prevent weapons reaching the “Hamas entity” - the terrorist State of Gaza.  Hamas won’t “stop waging war” if Israel lifts its military blockade.  It will only “stop waging war” when Israel is destroyed.


The Muslim Brotherhood executed its plans, and Morsi got what he needed.  He was ceded power by Obama to control the “negotiations”, and the next day closed his grip on power in Egypt achieving full dictatorship.

The overarching issue is America’s response to Iran.  This bodes ill for Israel’s coming war with Iran as the impending existential threat of Iran’s nukes draws nearer, and America’s recent failures, weakness and appeasements in the region cede power to the Islamist enemies of Israel and America.

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Posted by craven_maven
11/23/2012  at  02:04 PM
Obama and Hillary sold Israel out

The choice given to Hamas should have been either to stop the rocket assault or face an IDF ground invasion.

This must be a first in military history that a country facing a massed army on its borders, ready to invade, gets to dictate its own preconditions for the withdrawal of that army. Could this possibly be more absurd?

Hereafter, Hamas will be able to blame Israel for resumption of hostilities, on the pretext that the impossible conditions imposed by the US on Israel have not been met, namely the weakening of the blockade and suspension of targeted assassinations. Ironically, Hamas feels free to assassinate any Arab in Gaza at anytime for any reason, without the slightest objection from the US or anyone else; it just dragged the bleeding body of an accused Israeli collaborator through the streets, without trial or redress, of course.

Israel is a dependent of the US and, like a child, must live with the tyranny and caprices of its parent, the US.

The aim of Iran is to corner Israel, to hem it in on every front, militarily, diplomatically, and in the court of world public opinion. So far, with the help of the Obama administration, Iran seems to be succeeding.

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Posted by FrankLee
11/23/2012  at  10:28 PM
Maven should replace the present editorial staff at JWeekly

I hadn’t realized that “maven” is derived from the Yiddish “meyvn”, derived in turn from the Hebrew “mayveen”.

American Jews are in desperate need of Jewish reporters, journalists, editors, publishers and pundits with Maven’s understanding, insight and moral clarity to lead America’s “Jewish” publications.  (It is the “Jewish” leftists who are “craven”.)

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Posted by craven_maven
11/25/2012  at  09:54 AM
Obama sold Israel out, plain & simple, Part I

Thanks, Frank Lee, for the compliment, but I’m not holding my breath, waiting for an invite from Editor Sue Fishkoff. The board which oversees this publication is distinctly to the hard left and unlikely to give any conservative columnist the intellectual freedom to tell it like it is. Or haven’t you noticed the intolerance of the Left for dissent, its intellectual cowardice?

I talked to my Israeli cousin for a couple of hours yesterday and learned:

Seventy percent of Israelis wanted the IDF to launch a ground invasion into Gaza.

But Netanyahu was pressured hard by the Obama administration not to. Obama threatened to not only withdraw loan guarantees and military jet supplies, but to rescind diplomatic support for Israel. The latter, of course, would be disastrous for Israel. For example, it would mean that Abbas would be able to win special status for the Palestinian Authority in the UN in the upcoming vote (which, btw, France has indicated it would approve).

Thus with 70% of the Israeli people wanting an invasion and Obama prohibiting it, Obama in effect subverted the democratic process of the only democracy in the Middle East.

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Posted by craven_maven
11/25/2012  at  10:02 AM
Obama sold Israel out, plain & simple, Part II

Meanwhile the Arabs are wasting no time in taking advantage of the new weakening of Israel’s position by the Obama administration.

From today’s headlines:

1. Hezbollah says it would hit Tel Aviv in future war

http://news.yahoo.com/hezbollah-says-hit-tel-aviv-future-war-103221529.html

2. Hezbollah says could hit all of Israel in future war

http://news.yahoo.com/hezbollah-warns-rocket-barrage-israel-attacks-lebanon-105702217.html

3. ‘Satellites show Iran moving quickly to rearm Hamas’

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=293324

4. Islamic Terrorists Bomb Egyptian-Gaza Border Base

Terrorists destroyed part of an Egyptian base at Rafiah, challenging Cairo’s control over the Sinai after the ceasefire with Israel.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/162489#.ULJFS-8u18F

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