STEVEN PLAUT: WHY NETANYAHU BLINKED
The Hamas terrorists fired over 1,500 rockets into civilian areas of Israel just before and during the recent “Pillar of Defense” military operation, rockets that killed at least five Israelis, wounded many others and did loads of damage. Southern Israel underwent the regional equivalent (and the moral equivalent) to the Londoners of the 1940s who endured the German Blitz.
Israel had learned in its 2006 war with the Hezb’Allah Islamofascist terrorists in Lebanon that bombing from the air does not achieve very much against entrenched terrorist infrastructure. Nevertheless, that was essentially the same failed military strategy used against the Hamas savages by the Netanyahu government in the “Pillar of Defense” campaign. Air attacks with conventional weapons not only failed in Lebanon, they also failed to end the aggressions by Germany and Japan in World War II, and they generally failed elsewhere.
Air bombings without ground incursions were tried for well over a decade by Israel against the Gaza terrorists and failed. In part, this was because of the insane Israeli practice of warning the terrorists which buildings were about to be attacked so that the denizens of those buildings could escape. While Israel was not officially admitting sending similar sly messages in the “Pillar of Defense” operations, I would not rule out the possibility that such messages were sent, no doubt in order to “reduce the death count.” As had become clear in the “Cast Lead” military operation back in 2008, terrorists can only be eliminated with ground troop operations.
The pursuit of air war against the genocidal terrorists pales into mere silliness when compared with the incomprehensible agreement by Netanyahu to a ceasefire, this before the terrorists and their infrastructure were eliminated, before most of the rockets were destroyed, and in fact only a few hours after a Tel Aviv bus was attacked by a Hamas bomb. Even worse was the fact that Netanyahu reportedly agreed to halt targeted assassinations against terrorist leaders and partially lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip as conditions for the ceasefire.
Targeted assassinations are the most effective tool in the Israeli arsenal (and of course are also used effectively by the US against al-Qaeda). They, and not Israel’s “security wall,” are entirely responsible for the end to suicide bombings of Israeli buses and cafes in recent years. And the blockade of Gaza is motivated by the need to make it more difficult for the savages to import Iranian missiles and other weapons. True, there is also a political dimension to the blockade, much as there is for the American embargo of trade with Cuba, while the “human costs” of the one are no more serious than those of the other.
Meanwhile, by agreeing to the ceasefire even while the wounded and wreckage of the Tel Aviv bus bombing were still being gathered up, Israel sent the signal that it was capitulating to Hamas demands. The ceasefire allowed the terrorists to claim that their “victory” against the children and women riding in that Tel Aviv bus had resulted in the Israeli concessions. The Hamas handed out celebratory candies in Nazi-like ghoulishness.
Hillary Clinton’s glowering and threatening presence no doubt contributed to Netanyahu’s decision to wimp out and call off the ground invasion, even though tens of thousands of reserve troops had already been mobilized in Israel. (Rumors in Israel also hold that Obama was coercing the ceasefire by threatening to withhold crucial military spare parts.)
But just what did Netanyahu have to show for it all? The ceasefire will prove to be like all previous “ceasefires” with the Gaza savages, where the Hamas and its clones continue to fire rockets at the Jews but the Jews turn the other cheek. Rockets landed in Israel almost every day during the years before the “Pillar of Defense” operation. They were ignored by the media, which does not consider attempted murder of Jews to be newsworthy. Israel’s stance was that as long as these did not cause “too many” civilian deaths and damages, they were “tolerable.”
The Hamas, as expected, issued its usual “reports” about civilian deaths caused by the Israeli operations and these were gobbled up by the Western media, by and large hostile to Israel. I am convinced that if the current staff at the BBC were reporting about the Battle of the Bulge, they would feature press releases by the German authorities that claim that only babies and women were being targeted by the Americans in their aggression against the German homeland in that battle. In the “Cast Lead” operation in 2008, the same media were filled with reports of hundreds of civilian deaths, while later proofs that almost all those “civilians” were in fact armed terrorists were lucky if they made it to page 37 at the bottom in small fonts.
The Israelis living in Israel’s Negev south had borne the brunt of the Hamas rocket aggressions, but these were also the most vocal in denouncing the ceasefire that Netanyahu had signed. In essence they were chanting, “All We are Saying is Give War a Chance.” Countless previous “ceasefires” had simply left them abandoned by the Israeli government as sitting-duck targets for Hamas weapons.
Without elimination of the terrorist infrastructure, nothing of significance had been achieved. A snap poll by Israel’s Channel Two TV station confirmed the impression. The poll found that 70 percent of the Israeli public opposed signing a cease-fire with Hamas, 24 percent were in favor and 6 percent were undecided. Naftali Bennett, the rising star within the Israeli Right, credited with energizing the opposition to Netanyahu from that end of the spectrum, not only denounced the ceasefire but openly called for tearing the Gaza Strip in half and then conducting anti-terror search-and-destroy operations.
And then there was the media’s use of the term “militants,” the code word used by anti-Semites to refer to the Gazan genocidal terrorists and fascists. Calling them “militants” is equivalent to asserting that they are no more murderous or evil than marchers in protests against AIDS and killing of whales, and in fact have legitimate grievances. The BBC, in particular, took care never to refer to a terrorist act of violence without appending the “militant” terminology, even when Hamas terrorists dragged the bodies of still-living “collaborators” through the streets of Gaza with their legs tied to the backs of motorcycles. I personally am of the opinion that any journalist characterizing terrorists as “militants” or “activists” should be regarded as directly participating in aggression against Israel and treated as an enemy combatant. During the military operations Israel repeatedly bombed the “Media Tower” in Gaza, which held the communications offices of terrorist organizations, but also housed the crews of reporters for the BBC and other British media. Israel claimed it bombed the building because of the former terrorists, but I prefer to think it was because of the latter terrorists.
Ultimately, stability and tranquility will be created only when it is understood that the real cause of terrorist violence in the Middle East these days is not Israeli “occupation” but rather the REMOVAL of Israeli “occupation.” Terrorism will continue as long as the world is dangling out “hopes” to the Palestinians that they will eventually get their own state, a state they know will serve no other purpose but to escalate the war of Arab aggression against Israel.
The most important lesson of recent years, and it is by now understood by everyone except university leftists and anti-Israel journalists, is that nothing will really put an end to the terror and rockets from Gaza other than some good old-fashioned R&D – Reoccupation and Denazification. Everything else is a delusion. Israel must re-occupy the Gaza Strip, subject it to martial law, and carry out a decades-long program of Denazification.
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