Monday, December 03, 2012

When the dust settles

There have been many evaluations of the aftermath of the Gaza war (Operation Pillar of Defense).  But here is another way of looking at it:  
  1. Would you rather be a Gazan or an Israeli?  If anyone answers the former, come and see me, I have a bridge to sell you.  Not only is Israel larger and more populous than Gaza, but it is much better armed with much more advanced weapons.
  2. The destruction in Israel was bad, but nothing compared to Gaza (that's why they get all the media sympathy).  Gaza is dotted with huge ruins of former government buildings and terrorist chief's houses that have been destroyed (yet they declared victory).
  3. About 30 times more Gazans were killed than Israelis; of those killed in Gaza a high percentage were pinpoint assassinations and 100 of the ca. 150 killed were terrorists.  Only 5 Israelis were killed by missiles fired from Gaza and only one of them was a soldier.
  4. The Iron Dome anti-missile system definitely saved many Israeli lives (some estimate ca. 100) and in effect negates the Arab strategy of using missiles to take their war to the Israeli population.  When fired the Iron Dome was ca. 85% successful!
  5. The GDP per capita, the usual index of econonomic development, is ca. $32,000 for Israel and about $2,000 for Gaza.
  6. No country or group came to the aid of Hamas in Gaza, not even the Palestinians in the PA, nor Egypt nor any other Arab country, nor Iran or Hizbollah did anything to help the Arabs of Gaza.  Note that Israel did not need anyone's military help, but did get support up to a point from the US and the EU. 
  7. Although many of us would have preferred if Hamas were hit even harder, the avoidance of a ground offensive reduced casualties on both sides and buys Israel another period of quiet, but for how long no one knows.
  8. The fact that Iraq is no longer a viable military force, Syria is engaged in a civil war, Lebanon is poised on the edge of a sympathy civil war, Egypt is now mired in civil unrest and Hamas is greatly damaged means that Israel has a freer hand in dealing with any other military threat, such as Iran.
  9. The main diplomatic threat to Israel is from the PA. But, even though Pres. Abbas had an automatic majority at the UN for non-member observer status for "Palestine", a vote in the General Assembly is purely advisory, not legally binding. 
  10. Israel took unilateral retaliatory action by authorizing planning for 3,000 new housing units in Jerusalem and in E1, the area between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, that effectively separates Judea and Samaria and would prevent a contiguous Palestinian State.  But, actual building would not take place for ca. 3 years, leaving plenty of time for negotiations.
  11. The Palestinians are more obsessed with destroying the Jewish State than building a Palestinian State.


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