Thursday, June 29, 2006

Israel goes into Overkill Mode

Whilst there was some hope that Israel's response to the capture of one of their soldiers, Corporal Gilad Shalit, would be proportionate and responsible, its latest actions can now only be described as "an eye for 64 eyes". Two Gazan bridges have been destroyed, a power station crippled, empty fields shelled by 155 mm artillery, a population terrorised by sonic booms and now finally, in a further escalation, 64 MPs, mostly Hamas, have been arrested.

How all this is somehow going to help the Israelis to get their man back remains a mystery.

More ironically, the fact that both sides are now closer to the brink of all out war than they have been for a long time, comes at a time
when progress towards the recognition issue was starting to be made. This then is what Hamas get in return for a small but significant concession: being rounded up by Israel. What kind of signal is this sending to the Palestinian people and the world at large?

Call me cynical, but at this junction it's difficult to escape the impression the Israeli Government isn't really all that interested in the recognition issue or in negotiations for that matter and that all that really matters to them is unilateral "convergence". Be done with it and be damned, as it were. Who's going to stop them? That's a rhetorical question, of course...

Guardian report.

13 Comments:

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous David Zarnett said...

Israel is acting quite hysterically, no question about that. But, in contrast to what the media seems to be reporting, I think there really is no movement on the recognition issue. The Prisoner's Document offers little in this regard from my reading of it. Recently, Hamas legislator Salah al-Bardaweel said: "We said we accept a state (in territory occupied) in 1967 - but we did not say we accept two states."

The problem is in the vagueness and hidden meanings of the wording of many Hamas statements and the Prisoner's Document. Its good PR.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Richard said...

Okay, Gert. I'll grant your wish -- you're cynical.

As cynical as I am - and with good reason.

An operation of this magnitude needed more time to prepare for and then impliment that has allegedly been the case.

This was going to happen [soon] whether or not a soldier was kidnapped, though that incident certainly did turn out to be the cloud with the silver lining, as far as the righties were concerned.

As someone pointed out at my place, we should have smelled a rat that something big was afoot when both Bush and Blair paid seperate [ only just] to Israel very recently.

And obviously, they both gave the nod.

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger J.UL1R4 said...

You know I was just thinking something along the similar lines as Richard, it's not impossible...

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Gert said...

David:

"The problem is in the vagueness and hidden meanings of the wording of many Hamas statements and the Prisoner's Document."

I second that. It leaves the question though, would an explicit, unambiguous recognition of Israel by Hamas really make all that difference? I think it's understandable if they don't really see it that way, in the light of Israel's arresting of so many Hamas MPs.

Honestly, I despair. For both sides. Israel really is now making a mountain out of a moleheap, it seems to be racting more fiercely to this incident than to suicide bombings.

All this, including the usual "this is state terrorism by Israel" from the Palestinian side, isn't helping and it isn't serving Israel's long term security concerns either.

Will those arrested be charged and tried? That would be a logical step to take if the Israelis really believe they have the law on their side. Wait and see.

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

gert,
I will start by answering your last question. the answer is yes, there are people in the Israeli Govt. who say the law is on our side.. I am not sure becuase I don't know the laws well enough.

As for what we are seeing today, this is nothing more than biuld up from the past 10 months... the incident on sunday was nothing more than a straw (a heavy one maybe), but it is the result of trying to figure out what to do with Gaza now...
How much longer did you think Israel was going to stand by and watch Palestinian groups fire rockets and plan attacks against Israel?? This had to happen at one point or another.

The other thing is the fact that it's being directed by the Govt. We can no longer say these are renagades acting on thier own. This is directed by the official Elected Govt. of the PA, and that is why I think it is nothing less than a declaration of war. It is not terrorism, since they went after soldiers, but it is still an act of war. But my Govt. doens't get it so...

BTW - what do you suggest we do in this case?? what should ISrael have done?

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Oleh:

"what do you suggest we do in this case?? what should ISrael have done?"

What Israel should have done is not for me to say, as I do not understand its motives at this point.

What is broadly agreed upon is that Israeli response was disproportionate. I mean, they even flapped their wings at Damascus! All for one Corporal...

True, there have been no civilian casualties but the Palestinian population will nonetheless suffer if the lights stay out. Most Palestinians have nothing to do with incident.

It seems to me that Olmert needed a show of strength, designed really with people like you and Olah in mind...

And in the end some form of diplomacy will probably solve the problem but the damage to (already fragile) Palestinian infrastrucure will remain.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

I am glad you have so much respect for people that you can write:"all for one corporal..." How much force is proportional for "one corporal"??

Also, Saying it's about one corporal truly shows how little you understand the situation. This is a lot more involved than that - such as who was behind it, (I.E - the Syria incident and our dear friend Mashal controlling from there) and what was done. you also seem to be ignoring 10 months of Kassams (I know I know they don't do anything...)

what would be proportional use of force?? killing a low ranking terrorist?? digging a tunnel and sneaking up behind them and shooting a bunch of them with an RPG and Assault rifles?? This concept of proportional use of force is really getting tiring... it's fun to throw it around, but in fact Israel is doing today what it need in order to ensure quiet on it's border.

BTW - Just in case you didn't realize - Israel is not using even a small fraction of it's force. Considering that the IDF is based on reserve - and NONE have been called up should give you an idea of the proportions Israel is using (Unlike Defensive shield - after the Park Hotel, when we called up a lot of forces!)

"It seems to me that Olmert needed a show of strength, designed really with people like you and Olah in mind..."

What are people like me and Olah?? are you saying that he is looking strong for me?? While I am "honored" I suspect, this just shows how little you know about Israeli politics and about Olmert. I think Olmert is doing the Only thing left under the circumstances... It has very little to do with pleasing the population that DIDN'T vote for him.

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Oleh:

We're going to have to respectfully agree to disagree, since as our positions are about a million miles away. Further discussion here with you will not make any difference to our respective viewpoints.

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

Gert,
That was a very elegent way of getting out of not answering Questions.
But that's ok According to the Independant We are going to have peace with Hamas soon, Just as soon as Israel decided to end it's war against those poor people.
http://backspin.typepad.com/backspin/2006/06/war_and_peace.html

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Israel is acting quite hysterically,

actually it's not, it could just shoot rockets without aiming like the palestinians....

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

This was going to happen [soon] whether or not a soldier was kidnapped, though that incident certainly did turn out to be the cloud with the silver lining, as far as the righties were concerned.


i think the HUNDREDS of rockets shoot off from gaza, the kidnapping and execution of the 18 yr old civilan by palestinians also played into it

 
At 8:50 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Honestly, I despair. For both sides. Israel really is now making a mountain out of a moleheap, it seems to be racting more fiercely to this incident than to suicide bombings.

yes, 3 kidnappings in a week by palestinians and new longer range rockets fired from gaza was the tipping point... as for fiercely, not hardly, notice how few palestinians have been killed? if israel wanted to it could drop bombs in markets or at a hamas funeral full of geneva convention approved uniformed targets

 
At 8:54 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

stated: What is broadly agreed upon is that Israeli response was disproportionate. I mean, they even flapped their wings at Damascus! All for one Corporal...

all for one jew.... yep if it was jesus he was one jew...

but it wasnt just one corporal, it was 3 kidnappings, (including 2 executions) hundreds of rockets, 110 suicide bombing attempts, stabbings to name a few...

stated: True, there have been no civilian casualties but the Palestinian population will nonetheless suffer if the lights stay out.

israel knocked out 43% of the gaza strip's power, the other 57 % is provided BY ISRAEL

stated: Most Palestinians have nothing to do with incident.

most palestinians VOTED for Hamas

 

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