Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Gaza rant

Dov Lior, the rabbi of the settlement of Kiryat Arba, has issued a religious ruling permitting the total destruction of Gaza if Israel’s military leaders deem it necessary. Lior is considered one of the more extreme rabbis on the religious right. In his ruling, he wrote (...) “The defense minister may even order the destruction of Gaza so that the south should no longer suffer, and to prevent harm to members of our people who have long been suffering from the enemies surrounding us,” he wrote. Haaretz
A statement like the above in the mouth of say, Harry Truman, would have been rather normal during World War II; the days of Hiroshima and the fire bombing of Dresden and might even make sense in today's Israel... that is if Israel were in any danger of being overrun and destroyed by her many enemies... but that is far, far, from the case. 

Leaving moral reservation's aside, Israel's reaction is purely hysterical and enormously counterproductive to their interests, both long and short term.

This hysteria is what frightens me most.

One of the things that worries me most is that, having the Iron Dome anti-rocket system that destroys over 90% of incoming missiles the Israelis don't have the sense to hunker down and sweat it out till the blockaded Hamas runs out of rockets, just using drones etc to keep the Hamas fighters off balance... 

Because with their monumental lack of sangfroid they have allowed Hamas to sucker them into a street by street, house by house, toe to toe, man to man, infantry battle, where all their technological advantages are neutralized. The Palestinian's secret weapon, their greatest war resource in the long run is their birthrate and their willingness to die for their cause. They are using these strategic advantages now.

Although the ratio of casualties is around ten to one the IDF is taking what by hysterical, Israeli standards are very heavy casualties and what is much more important in the long run, they are getting the sort of worldwide "baby killer" reputation that did so much damage to America's prestige and influence during the war in Vietnam... Israel is far from being as unsinkable as the USA... and perhaps more important... the mechanisms by which the tail wags the dog in Israel's relationship with America are getting creakingly obvious to even the dullest American wits. DS


Anonymous said...

wish you were right about even the dullest Americans waking up to the truth. Most are still oblivious to the
way Israel ignores us, pretends to negotiate peace but doesn't, takes our money gladly. This is a nation of idiots when it comes to Israel. We shouldn't let the trail wag the dog but we do.

stunted said...

Israel has gone around the bend. It is now in the rare company of North Korea, confined and defined by its nuclear-powered paranoia. It shares with its American sponsor a deluded narrative of exceptionalism that fosters an unshakeable belief that all its actions are righteous. Unfortunately, all statements concerning Gaza from America's leaders show no sharpening of wits and though I have long been disconnected from US television, I can't imagine any sharpening in evidence there either in the commentary broadcast to the public. For my colleagues at work, as for the US government, Israel is defending its security. Palestinians, let alone Hamas, have no rights as they support terrorism. It is impossible to see any "good" place where this ongoing tragedy will end for anyone. Numbingly sad.

Robert Seed said...

Hamas must be stopped, but this not the way. Over 1000 Palestinians killed. Has to stop

stunted said...

Robert Seed's seemingly reasonable comment has it the wrong way round--it is Israel that must be stopped. Hamas came into being as a response to Israeli seizure of Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 and gained credibility during the first intifada in 1987 when Israeli intransigence neutered the PLO (then the radical group for Western powers and Israel). Another Palestinian group will arise if Israel and its Western defenders neutralize Hamas because the core problem is still not dealt with, that being illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, which is where most Hamas rockets land, not in Israel.

Now we are presented with the tunnels--and handcuffs and syringes--as proof of Hamas intent to prey on Israelis, to take them hostage, when the tunnels also allow the import of supplies Israel has choked off via its blockade of Gaza where it holds 1.7 million people hostage, controls every aspect of their lives and is now pulverising what remains of their infrastructure from the last Cast Lead Israeli pounding a few years back. The blockade is the first thing that needs to be lifted or Israel will just have to kill all in Gaza. The Israeli "diet" of allowing only enough supplies to maintain minimalist life will always feed resistance. Netanyahu will not succeed any more than Sharon and all Israeli leaders before him in crushing Palestinian will to self-governance. Israel has to stop.

stunted said...

Juan Cole says it so much better: