Noiembrie 2012


WASHINGTON — Why was there an IsraelGaza war in the first place? Resistance to the occupation, say Hamas and many in the international media.

What occupation? Seven years ago, in front of the world, Israel pulled out of Gaza. Israel then declared its border with Gaza to be an international frontier, meaning that it renounced any claim to the territory and considered it an independent entity. In effect, Israel had created the first Palestinian state ever, something never granted by fellow Muslims — neither the Ottoman Turks nor the Egyptians who brutally occupied Gaza for two decades before being driven out by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel wanted nothing more than to live in peace with this independent Palestinian entity. After all, the world had incessantly demanded that Israel give up land for peace.

It gave the land. It got no peace.

The Gaza Palestinians did not reciprocate. They voted in Hamas, who then took over in a military putsch and turned their newly freed Palestine into an armed camp from which to war against Israel. It has been war ever since.

Hamas first killed Jews with campaigns of suicide bombings. After Israel built a nearly impenetrable fence, it went to rockets fired indiscriminately at civilians in populated areas.

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What did Hamas hope to gain from this latest round of fighting, which it started with a barrage of about 150 rockets into Israel? To formally translate Hamas’ recent strategic gains into a new, more favourable status quo with Israel.

Hamas has gained strategic strength from changes in the regional environment. It has acquired the patronage and protection of important Middle Eastern states as a result of the Arab Spring and the Islamist reversal in Turkey.

For 60 years, non-Arab Turkey had been a reliable ally of Israel. The vicious turnaround instituted by its Islamist prime minister, Recep Erdogan, reached its apogee on Monday when he called Israel a terrorist state.

Egypt is now run by Hamas’ own mother organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is simply the Palestinian wing. And the emir of Qatar recently visited Gaza, leaving behind a promise of a cool $400 million.

Hamas’ objective was to guarantee no further attacks on its leaders or on its weaponry, launch sites and other terror and rocket infrastructure. And the lifting of Israel’s military blockade, which would allow a flood of new and even more deadly weapons. In other words, immunity and inviolability during which time Hamas could build unmolested its arsenal of missiles — until it is ready to restart the war on more favourable terms.

Yet another ceasefire, this one brokered and guaranteed by Egypt and Turkey, regional powers Israel has to be careful not to offend. A respite for rebuilding, until Hamas’ Gaza becomes Hezbollah South, counterpart to the terror group to Israel’s north, with 50,000 Iranian- and Syrian-supplied rockets that effectively deter any Israeli pre-emptive attack.

With the declaration of a ceasefire on Nov. 21, Israel seems to have successfully resisted these demands, although there may be some cosmetic changes to the embargo. Which means that in any future fighting, Israel will retain the upper hand.

Israel has once again succeeded in defending itself. But, yet again, only until the next round, which, as the night follows the day, will come. Hamas will see to that.

 

Ethnic cleansing advocate Alan Dershowitz is not at all happy. He is devastated by the media and international community’s failure to distinguish between the Israeli military and ‘Hamas terrorists’ (this is how he refers to Palestinian freedom fighters). Last week, Haaretz lent its pages to the Talmudic spin-meister – and I was delighted because Dershowitz’ arguments throw new light on the depths of Jewish ideological and political morbidity.

“As Hamas continues to target Israeli civilians in their homes, Israel continues to target terrorist leaders and other legitimate military targets.” It seems that Dershowitz has found the magic formula that distinguishes between the ‘Jew’ and the ‘Goy’ in this conflict. The Jew is always a ‘civilian’ who happens to be a ‘victim’, while the dozens of babies, children and women murdered in the last week by Israel, they must have been ‘terrorist leaders’.

Dershowitz argues that the Hamas policy is “designed to sow terror among the Israeli population.” This is a peculiar argument. Due to its limited means, Hamas is confined to the use of primitive rockets. If Hamas had cruise missiles at its disposal and still used them to target civilians, then I would be the first to agree with Dershowitz and even support his argument. But the contrary is true: It is the IDF that possesses the most sophisticated weaponry and is capable of targeting military targets with precise, even astonishing accuracy. So, with that in mind, every Palestinian civilian casualty caused by the Jewish state must be counted as an Israeli attempt at massacre and therefore, nothing short of a vile war crime.

Dershowitz justifies Israeli barbarism by pointing at Article 51 of the United Nations Charter that clearly refers to the ‘right of self-defence’. But the Harvard spin-doctor forgot to mention that the Gazans are actually living under Israeli occupation in IDF-controlled concentration camps. As such, it is the people of Gaza’s right to resist that is clearly protected by International Law.

I have proved numerous times, the Jewish ethnic campaigner Dershowitz is no Jewish sage and his advocacy of mass murder is very problematic. Dershowitz clumsily falls into traps he himself foolishly sets. “What would Egypt do if Hamas or Islamic Jihad suddenly began to lob deadly shells in the direction of Cairo suburbs? What would any country do?” says this Zionist mouthpiece.

Let’s just examine his Hasbara logic. Would Dershowitz be similarly outraged if he had found that, back in the Spring of 1944 a bunch of heroic, militant Jewish, Auschwitz inmates had managed to launch a few long range missiles towards Berlin? Would Dershowitz see them as ‘war criminals’ attempting to murder German civilians? Would Dershowitz support Hitler’s decision to unleash his wrath against those Jewish inmates and their ‘terrorist’ militant leaders? No he would not because Dershowitz’ tribal ethics are, above all, flexible – he fiddles around with his arguments hoping that no one will read him carefully enough to notice.

“There are some who argue,” says Dershowitz, “that all targeted assassination is unlawful, since it constitutes ‘extrajudicial killing.’ But all military deaths are extrajudicial killings, as are deaths caused in the civilian context by individual acts of self-defense or by the police shooting a dangerous fleeing felon.” Someone should remind dear old Dershowitz that Palestinian militants are living and operating within an Israel-controlled open air prison. This means that the IDF is operating as a police force and its first duty is to attempt to bring the so-called ‘criminals’ to trial. The attempt to equate Hamas leaders with ‘fleeing felons’ is pathetic, for Hamas was democratically elected by the Palestinian people. Furthermore, neither Israel nor USA, Britain or any state I can think of would deploy a F16 against any ‘fleeing felons’. If Israel really insists on exercising its judicial power, it should send police forces into Gaza to capture those it regards as threat – and then charge them in court.

“Israel’s response to the Hamas rockets must of course be proportional, but proportionality does not require that Israel wait until a large number of its civilians are actually killed or seriously injured. Israel’s response must be proportionate to the threat faced by its civilian population.” Thus Dershowitz manages to empty the notion of proportionality of any meaning at all. Would Dershowitz also argue that we equally pursue the leaders of AIPAC for pushing America into war with Iran? Clearly, such a conflict could escalate into world war, should we wait until a large proportion of humanity is reduced into dust?

“It is the obligation of every sovereign state, first and foremost, to protect its civilian population from terrorist attacks,” parrots Dershowitz, but I thought that, according to the Geneva Conventions, an occupying force is responsible for the protection of the civilian population living within the occupied territory. Israel starves, abuses and, when it deems it necessary, murders its occupied population. Israel is obviously a criminal state, its leaders are war criminals and their enthusiastic advocate Dershowitz is the ultimate embodiment of Zionist filth. The fact that Dershowitz holds a podium in Harvard is just one more manifestation of the devastating transformation of American academia into just one extended Yeshiva.

Gilad Atzmon, now living in London, was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He is the author of The Wandering Who and one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. He can be reached at:atz@onetel.net.ukRead other articles by Gilad.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/11/alan-dershowitz-devils-advocate/

 

Some observations as the Gaza crisis continues to unfold:

1. The Iron Dome anti-rocket and missile defense system seems to work better than most people expected. Israel is becoming very good at shooting down missiles.

2. Israel also seems to be getting better at not killing civilians in Gaza. The numbers are of course too large, and this could change in an instant, but right now the casualty rate is much lower than in Operation Cast Lead. And yes, of course, much smaller than the numbers from the American drone war in Pakistan. Hamas, of course, is trying to maximize civilian casualties. Which brings me to:

3.The media is biased against Israel. Yes, got it. Yes, Israel is being judged harshly. Yes, I know that probably 300 people have been murdered in Syria since this Gaza affair started, and no one cares. An acquaintance of mine, a Syrian living in Beirut, wrote me in frustration about this last night. „We get very little interest from the international press compared to the Palestinians. What should we do to get more attention?” 

My advice is to get killed by Jews. Always works. That said, what do pro-Israel people want? And what does Israel itself want? Israel is more powerful than its Palestinian adversaries, and the press almost axiomatically roots for the underdog. There is much greater sympathy for the Palestinian cause than before, which is partially Israel’s fault – if Israel didn’t appear to be a colonizer of the West Bank, it would find more sympathy. Jews, and certainly a Jewish state, are never going to win popularity contests, but the situation wouldn’t seem quite so dire to Israelis and their friends if people plausibly believed that the Netanyahu government was interested in implementing a two-state solution.

4. Barack Obama hasn’t turned against Israel. This is a big surprise to everyone who has not paid attention for the last four years, or who had decided, for nakedly partisan reasons, to paint him as a Jew-hater.

5. Israel’s media campaign – Gamify? – is disgraceful. David Rothkopf just pointed out to me that people are most influenced by their enemies. In this case, the braggadocio of the IDF is beginning to resemble the braying of various Palestinian terror outfits over the years. All death is tragic, even the deaths of your enemies.   

6. I’ll be asking the same question over and over again the coming days: What is Israel’s long-term strategy? Short-term, I understand: No state can agree to have its civilians rocketed. But long-term, do Israeli leaders believe that they possess a military solution to their political problem in Gaza? There is no way out of this militarily. Israel is not Russia, Gaza is not Chechnya and Netanyahu isn’t Putin. Even if Israel were morally capable of acting like Russia, the world would not allow it. So: Is the goal to empower Hamas? Some right-wingers in Israel would prefer Hamas’s empowerment, because they want to kill the idea of a two-state solution. But to those leaders who are at least verbally committed to the idea of partition, what is the plan? How do you marginalize Hamas, which seeks the destruction of Jews and the Jewish state, and empower the more moderate forces that govern the West Bank? 

Here’s one idea: Give Palestinians hope that Israel is serious about the two-state solution. And how do you do that? By reversing the settlement project on the West Bank. It is not unreasonable for Palestinians to doubt the sincerity of Netanyahu on the subject of the two-state solution, when settlements grow ever-thicker. There’s no way around this: The idea of a two-state solution will die if Israel continues to treat the West Bank as a suburb of Jerusalem and Kfar Sava, and not as the future location of the state of Palestine.

UPDATE: 

7. Hamas also lacks coherent thinking. Here is David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on where Hamas went wrong in this latest round of violence: 

Hamas seems to have miscalculated on several fronts. First, it may have believed that Israel would avoid major action for fear of antagonizing the new government in Cairo, given Gaza’s proximity to Egypt and Hamas’s close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. It may also have believed that recent shows of regional solidarity (including the Qatari emir’s visit to Gaza last month and ongoing support from Turkey) would raise the diplomatic cost of Israeli action to prohibitive levels.

In addition, Hamas may not have expected an attack against a high-profile target like Jabari, which was a change from Israel’s pattern of sporadic retaliation to rocket fire. Indeed, Israel considered him a leading terrorist – he was responsible for overseeing at least one suicide bombing in the late 1990s and was key in Hamas operations during the second intifada, when the group carried out numerous suicide attacks. And when Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, he organized its fighters into a military force with companies, battalions, and brigades. Jabari is also believed to have overseen the detention of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, allowing himself to be photographed when Shalit was swapped for Palestinian prisoners last year.

  http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/11/the-iron-dome-press-bias-and-israels-lack-of-strategic-thinking/265360/