June 28, 2006

What is Israel playing at?

Blowing up power stations…

…destroying bridges.

Doesn't Israel's move into Gaza seem more like an act of war than an attempt to arrest what we should probably call terrorists?

It isn't anti–semitic or anti–security to say that Israel's moves overnight were grossly disproportionate to the threat that they believe exists. What they're doing is akin to us going and blowing things up in Northern Ireland because we're trying to smoke out the IRA. Quite simply it's the sort of tactic you might expect in the early 1900s, but today seems completely ridiculous.

Yes, Hamas is virtually impossible to work with, and yes they claim that Israel shouldn't exist. But when has violence ever prevented more violence?

Many of the actions which Israel take seems to be a deliberate attempt to encourage retaliation, forcing continual escalation which will eventually give them a justification for invading.

While the Palestinians aren't about to sign a peace agreement, that doesn't mean that Israel should fight fire with fire.

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Much of the Israeli action is a political strike designed to demonstrate to the Palestinians that Hamas cannot defend them, or even defend basics like power supplies. Knocking a bridge out is probably simply designed to isolate the battlefield and to stop the movement of opposing forces into the area. It is textbook counter–insurgency method. Of course, they are also looking for their lost soldier but as they don't appear to know where he is – else they might have just put together a snatch squad – it is a moot point as to whether the raid will succeed in its stated aim.

    The only downside is that the Palestinians are having Gaza City slowly reduced to rubble. A population with somewhere to live and something to live for can be pressured in this way. But a population with nothing to live for cannot and joining the struggle against the Israelis probably seems the only way to go on. Life becomes cheap with no real civilised values. It is an ideal source of new recruits for the pure terror organisations in the Palestinian controlled areas. It's a good question as to whether or not the Palestinian population take the time to consider that their government cannot protect them against the Israelis or whether they just see the troops and get angry with them, meaning that the strike is counter–productive from that point of view. The cause and effect thing is probably not really that apparent when you're actually living on the battlefield.

    Really, the situation is just fubar.

    28 Jun 2006, 11:57

  2. "... Israel's moves overnight were grossly disproportionate to the threat that they believe exists." With Sharon out of action, the need for Israeli Politicians to look like hard men has increased massively. This will continue until the Israeli people believe that they have a good security record – the rights of Palestinian people don't come into it.

    "Hamas is virtually impossible to work with" – I'll believe this when someone aside from Abbas tries to work with them. As it is there is sweet FA evidence either way.

    28 Jun 2006, 11:59

  3. Michael S

    Yet none of the western powers will raise a finger to intervene, nor question their actions (aside from those empty disapproving press releases, which are no doubt being copy and pasted as we speak).

    Its also interesting that you feel it necessary to point out that what you are saying isn't anti–semitic. For me, this highlights the problem. It seems that anybody who criticizes Israel or Jewish people is immediately vilified and branded an anti–semite. It is as if this slander is constantly in the air waiting to counter any anti–Israeli/Jewish argument you offer.

    As for the holocaust, I fully understand what a terrible event this was, and that it should never be forgotten. However, I resent the fact that these same people seem to use this event to their advantage, to this day – in arguments, property disputes etc. The fact that seems to be forgotten is that many other ethnic minorities were devastated by the holocaust, and I think it is highly disrespectful to ALL of the victims, that the memory of this tragic event should be manipulated in such a way.

    28 Jun 2006, 12:21

  4. Michael S – you've hit the nail on the head regarding anti–semitism. It seems to be a necessary qualification every time you mention Israel nowadays, and is strangling the debate.

    Personally I've never understood on what grounds Jewish people might be seen as 'different' to Christians or Muslims that would explain why people are presumed to be anti–semitic.

    28 Jun 2006, 12:37

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