Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Irresponsible Calls for Premature Ceasefire

While U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo to broker a cease-fire, he is likely to find that the urgency he feels is not shared by the main protagonists. As former National Security Council head Giora Eiland pointed out, the three main sides to a cease-fire - Israel, Hamas and Egypt - don't at this point have an overwhelming sense of urgency.

Israel, having made the decision to launch a ground incursion - and now paying a heavy price as a result - will not want to stop until it has significantly degraded Hamas' operational capabilities. Hamas, too, is not in any great rush to stop the firing. In Hamas' thinking, by continuing the fighting they have little to lose: Israel will come under increasing pressure as the Palestinian civilian casualty rate rises, and one of their "spectacular" attacks may succeed.

Egypt is definitely not shedding any tears over the beating Hamas is taking. Nor is Egypt necessarily sad to see Israel bleed.
(Jerusalem Post)

I'm Done Apologizing for Israel - Rabbi Menachem Creditor
  • I am a progressive American rabbi who leans left pretty hard. So, when it comes to Israel, many of those with whom I engage in social reform expect me to react to Israel's military actions in Gaza with scorn and criticism. To those who suggest that Prime Minister Netanyahu is over-reacting to the missiles, I offer this response:
  • Israel is risking Israeli lives in surgical strikes to destroy weapons-smuggling tunnels created with building materials Israel allowed into Gaza for infrastructure projects to benefit Palestinian society.
  • Israel has agreed to two humanitarian cease-fires. In the first hours of those ceasefires, Hamas rained down over 70 missiles onto Israel civilians. Israel is doing its best, sacrificing its own children to preserve the lives of Palestinians
  • I am done trying to apologetically explain Jewish morality. I am done apologizing for my own Jewish existence. Having watched in this last week anti-Semitic "die-ins" in Boston, violent assaults against Jews in Los Angeles and Antwerp, and an almost pogrom at a synagogue in Paris, I'm done mincing my own words.
  • We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies.
(Huffington Post)

Gaza Fighting Resembles Second Lebanon War - Amir Rapaport

In many ways, Operation Protective Edge resembles the Second Lebanon War much more than it does Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2009 or Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.

What makes the fighting much more difficult is the strengthening of Hamas, which used the period in which the Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt to establish a real military industry in Gaza and to smuggle in a large amount of anti-tank missiles.      
(Israel Defense)

Tunnels Matter More than Rockets to Hamas - Michael B. Mukasey  

The entire network [of tunnels] is the jewel of Hamas' war-planning.
The writer served as U.S. attorney general (2007-09).     

(Wall Street Journal)

Gaza's Ordeal Has Not Struck a Chord with Many Arabs - Diana Moukalled

For the most part, there is little noticeable outrage over the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza. At this point, we must admit that the ordeal of Gaza's residents has not struck a chord with many Arabs.

Perhaps the difficulty is that the victims in Gaza have been crowded out by the many more in other places. Palestine is no longer the only tragedy of the Levant.      

(Asharq al-Awsat-UK)    

India Refuses to Censure Israel - Walter Russell Mead

India's parliament rejected a resolution that condemned the Israeli military campaign in Gaza - a conspicuous change for the country, which has historically been supportive of Palestinian claims.                     
(American Interest)

Hamas Sees Itself as the Victor - Avi Issacharoff

Due to the high death toll among IDF soldiers and the devastating blow to the Palestinian civilian population, Hamas sees itself as the victor. The perpetuated myth of a massacre in Sejaiya has brought the organization an unprecedented degree of support among the Palestinians, especially in the West Bank.

However, the myth of that "massacre" has also created panic among the Gazan public.

The driving emotion among the residents of Gaza is one of mass hysteria. This means that during the next operation in Sejaiya, or in any other neighborhood, the IDF will likely encounter far fewer civilians. The majority of Gaza residents in combat zones will from now on flee for their lives - heeding the IDF's warnings and not Hamas' calls to stay.
(Times of Israel)

Two cartoons, both several years old, attest to Israel facing the same condemnation then as now.  The international community seems to prefer that Hamas remain in place.

A Gaza Solution: Demilitarization - Michael B. Oren

The key to ending the current battle between Hamas and Israel - and preventing more fighting in the future - is the demilitarization of Gaza. Simply put, Hamas without rockets is not the same Hamas. The Obama administration supports the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state. President Obama provided the most recent precedent for demilitarizing Gaza: the removal of chemical weapons from Syria. The U.S. must unite with international and regional governments to convince Hamas that it has no choice but to demilitarize.

Still, Hamas is sure to cling bitterly to its rockets. And silencing the rocket fire may require reoccupying most of Gaza. That is why Israel must be allowed to maintain - and, if necessary, escalate - its pressure on Hamas.
The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S.
(Los Angeles Times)

How Many Israelis Must Die Before We Are "Allowed" to Defend Them?
- Hilik Bar

The coldhearted subtext is that Israelis must die in order for their military campaign to gain any sympathy. Yet no interviewer would dream of asking a British army general or politician why more Afghans died than British soldiers in the war there. 

As Israel's ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, said recently: "We don't have to apologize for Israelis not being killed." 
The writer, deputy speaker of the Knesset, is secretary general of the Israeli Labor party.

Are Israeli Actions in Gaza "Disproportionate"? - Alex Safian

In the Pacific Theatre in World War II, over 2.7 million Japanese were killed, including 580,000 civilians, as against 106,000 Americans. Does it follow that Japan was in the right and America was in the wrong? Just having more dead on your side does not make you right.

There is no requirement that Israel place the lives of its own citizens in danger to protect the lives of Palestinian civilians.

Hamas' Civilian Death Strategy - Thane Rosenbaum

In the U.S. if a parent is found to have locked his or her child in a parked car on a summer day with the windows closed, a social worker takes the children away. In Gaza, parents who place their children in the direct line of fire are rewarded with an interview on MSNBC
The writer is a professor at the New York University School of Law.
(Wall Street Journal Europe)


Joel said...

How true. Every critic of Israel should read these items and really think about them.

Bruce said...

Definitely. Thank u so much for your comment!

Bruce :)

Bruce said...

And isn't that graphic amazing!