Monday, August 04, 2014

Blind alley

US Secty of State Kerry and Pres. Obama are making a basic and profound mistake in trying to bring a mutually agreed ceasefire to Gaza in order to stop the carnage.  They are treating Hamas as if it is a responsible civilized equivalent of Israel.  It is not!  It is an Islamist terrorist organization that is equivalent to al Qaeda.  Having civilians killed means nothing to them.  Hamas are prepared to fight until the last Gazan, since every Muslim killed in the holy struggle against the infidel Jews and Christians is a martyr to the cause.
Since it has now been determined that the supposedly abducted IDF officer Hadar Goldin was in fact killed, and the IDF have destroyed ca. 31 attack tunnels opening inside Israeli territory, the IDF is ready to pull back.  They have withdrawn from parts of northern Gaza and dropped leaflets to tell the Palestinian population that they can return to their homes (what's left of them).  The IDF is generally stopping aggressive operations, but without any ceasefire agreement with Hamas, because of course Hamas cannot be trusted, they lie and break their own truces in order to inflict casualties on the IDF.
The big question arises, at this point, after 26 days of Operation Protective Edge, is Israel or Hamas in a more advantageous position?  I have to say that I think, contrary to many commentators, that Hamas has done very well.  We must not underestimate our enemy.  First, while they have taken many casualties, they don't care, to them casualties are welcome, they are not humanists as we are, as they themselves say, their soldiers love death while ours love life.   They also use the civilian casualty count as a PR weapon against Israel, that the western media lap up. 
Also, they have tens of thousands of Hamas soldiers in reserve, ready to fight in the streets of whatever city the IDF enters, it will be a bloodthirsty quagmire for the IDF.  Meanwhile Hamas still manage to fire 50-100 missiles into Israel every day, from their seemingly inexhaustible supply, so even with Iron Dome, the IDF has not been able to achieve the first aim of the incursion, which was to stop the missiles that have been raining down on Israel for 14 years.  Finally, the attack tunnels have proven to be a great success for Hamas, not only has the IDF failed to find many of them, but it has taken a very long time to destroy them (what are they doing all this time, can't they just blow them up).  Hamas have used them at least twice to carry out successful attacks against IDF forces resulting in at least 6 deaths.  This can hardly be called a success for Israel.
Yes, Israel can pound Gaza and bring it to ruins, but they cannot continue to do this forever, as the civilian casualties mount the pressure for a ceasefire on Israel becomes stronger, and it is impossible to "destroy" Hamas or "demilitarize" Gaza, without a more extensive campaign that will result in many more Israeli deaths.  It is a dark, blind alley down which the Government must fear to enter.  So the Govt. has decided to unilaterally withdraw from most of Gaza, after giving Hamas a very bloody nose.  What will happen now, whether or not the Union between Fatah and Hamas will last and whether or not the Gazan people will simply accept Hamas control again, remains to be seen.  Meanwhile the missiles continue to fly over Israel.


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