Beyond the Cusp

November 15, 2018

Looking at Gaza and What Was Learned


What was learned is actually yet to be learned. Outside of Israel, very few will ever acknowledge any knowledge they gain as time passes. How do we know this? That is easy, they have yet to learn what the average Israeli, even many in the most insular of places such as Tel Aviv, already know and their leaders pretend that these facts do not exist. This knowledge is that the Hamas threat, backed by Islamic Jihad and Iran, just as the threat from Hezballah in the north, will continue to threaten the people of Israel until our leaders simply take their nerve and act instead of postponing the inevitable which only gains levels of danger each time it is permitted to continue to exist. When Hamas first took control of Gaza by ousting the Palestinian Authority and murdering virtually every member of Fatah left behind, their greatest ability was to launch rockets almost reaching five to ten kilometers into Israel threatening the closest towns, cities, villages and kibbutzim. This range and the corresponding size of the warheads has grown more deadly between every confrontation to the point where today they can strike as far as Jerusalem and Haifa which includes all of the Tel Aviv metropolitan region and the vast majority of the heart of Israeli production, power generation and residential regions. Their threat is only exceeded by Hezballah and Iran, while Hamas will continue to build and extend their threats which may soon be capable to strike anywhere in Israel. Just as Hezballah in the north can strike Eilat at the southernmost tip of Israel, Hamas will soon be capable of striking the furthest point from Gaza, the Golan Heights. The average Israeli realizes that the threat from out of Gaza has become a threat to every person in Israel, yet the political class is refusing to face the threat and be rid of it, once and for all. Instead, they brag about having brought quiet while Israelis know that they appear to the rest of the Middle East to have whimpered away from confronting Hamas and the people in Gaza are dancing and celebrating their cowing of their nemesis. Israelis are, in all too many cases, picking up from the attack, mourning their losses, recovering from wounds while some have lost everything. The Gazans are dancing in the streets, passing out sweets, lighting bonfires and whooping it up in glorious celebration of their great victory. It does not take a genius to figure out which side feels like victors and which feel closer to the vanquished.


In Israel, we witnessed the limitation of a political class more interested in avoiding any severe conflicts and preventing any larger loss of life. Their aim is not so much to win, but to not suffer any losses which can be brought up in the coming elections and having to answer probing questions. What they were considering in their seven-hour plus Security Cabinet debates was how they could survive the onslaught by Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets, mortars and attempts at border infiltrations without using the IDF and ending it as quickly as they were able no matter the price in pride and projecting power which might prevent the next attack. By ending the rocket attacks by any means necessary and relying upon the Iron Dome to prevent most of the attacks from striking within populated regions minimizing loss of life, property damage and the things which can be utilized against them in the coming elections. Any attack from Meretz or the Zionist Union claiming that a Likud government was far too timid in their response is easily countered by claiming that the threat of IDF incursion was used behind the scenes to end the attacks as fast as possible thus projecting competence relying on short memories by the average voters. We all understand that the vast majority of people vote for the same party election after election, even those who make a show of their considering other parties seeming to be honestly pained in their considerations before voting for the same party as always. This has kept much of the power structure intact for approaching a decade with all the appearances of continuing. The announcement that the Security Cabinet reached their decision by a unanimous vote was another part of Israeli politics where by putting out that the entirety of the Security Cabinet agreed to the actions, or lack of actions, places the blame or credit evenly amongst all the parties in the coalition such that none can claim of their being holdouts who demanded a different action than the one taken.


After the Security Cabinet broke their confab and announced their ‘unanimous’ decision to agree to the demands to end, the protestations came by select members of the Security Cabinet claiming that the decision was anything but unanimous. Their party membership is left to decide for themselves whether their leadership weathered the insistence from those pressing for compromise and conflict avoidance very likely backing the meeting chair, Bibi Netanyahu, and the members of Likud who were chosen for their ability to add gravitas to their party chair so as to impose his will on the other members. We can be fairly sure that the length of the meeting was primarily due to two competing reasons. The first and most obvious is it takes time to repeat the same arguments over and over ad-nauseum until the outliers finally caved and settled to agree rather than continue a fruitless fight. The second is that while the meeting drags on, those pressing for not acting militarily know that the United Nations and Egypt, along with whomever else feels like piling on, are waging their negotiating tools to end the Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket assault. We are still in the dark as to exactly what Egypt and possibly Qatar may have offered to Hamas and Islamic Jihad or potentially Iran in order to end the rocket barrages. There is a very good chance that this will never be known by the general public and we are going to have to simply hope that nothing was demanded from Israel in concessions.


What the Israeli people hopefully learned is that their leadership is not necessarily the most effective leadership. What they still do not know is whether the temerity is on the part of their political class, their military leadership or both. The one thing they do know is that they cannot do very much about the military without first shaping their political choices in the manner they wish their military leadership to assume. This is due to the reality that the political leadership often decides who becomes the leaders in the military though the military does make the offers for who they believe are up for promotion. One of the difficulties in Israel for change is that both the politics and the military leadership are much like the Supreme Court, self-replicating in the choice of who can be offered to assume leadership. The Supreme Court has a large influence in the choices made for new Justices; the Military controls the promotions and often prevent any who are not supportive of the current command in reaching the rank of general, and with Israeli politics moribund by the limitations of their form of parliamentary governance, until the election of Prime Minister is taken from the President choosing which party forms the coalition and allows for the popular election of the Prime Minister, then Israel can expect politics as usual. Israelis main choice is between leftists, who propose the Two-State Solution as the miracle cure which by granting the Palestinian Arabs a state of their own their desire to murder Jews will miraculously come to an abrupt halt, or the right, where they claim they will prevent the establishment of any Palestinian terror state specifically on the heights overlooking Tel Aviv along the Green Line and through strength prevent rocket attacks such as what just transpired. In any coming elections, the left will run on their ability to pacify the Palestinian Arabs by granting them a state of their own completely free of any Israeli interventions and international recognition, something Abbas has been establishing rather well on his own except he is unable to establish borders, for now. On the other side is the right which will claim they lead through strength and will actually point to this recent rocket assault and claim their working through strength was why the attacks did not linger on for a week or longer. They will also largely run on their opposition to the Two-State Solution and their protecting Israel from the founding of a terror state within which there could be no intelligence gathering by the IDF and any intervention would become an invasion of an actual nation which could then bring condemnation through not merely the United Nations, the media and numerous European governments and others but could include imposition of sanctions imposed by the World Courts which would condemn Israel as an aggressive government refusing to recognize the legitimate borders of another country.


We learned yesterday that Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, resigned from his position of Defense Minister, removed the party from the coalition and is demanding new elections. His demand is mostly posturing unless he can get another party to leave the coalition as he joined the coalition late after it was in existence and thus had the necessary sixty-one plus Knesset Ministers, thus the coalition is simply returning to their original slim majority. Whether his announcement will do anything beyond possibly bring his party additional support whenever elections do come is yet to be seen. There will be no rush to elections at this time with the memory of the rockets so fresh in Israelis minds and their having some trepidation of being under threat still fresh. Lieberman is resigning in order to place a huge exclamation point on his claims that he disagreed with the Security Cabinet and that the decision was at the very least one Minister short of unanimous. Lieberman has been talking up ending the border riots by invading Gaza and sweeping all of the terror production, rocket stores and other weapons while also collapsing the entirety of the tunnel and bunker systems which interconnect much of Gaza underground while arresting the leadership of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other related terror supporters. Lieberman’s protestations fell upon deaf ears, specifically the closed ears of Prime Minister Netanyahu who appears determined not to alter the threat conditions which have made him able to appear to be the only leader capable of addressing these threats. Netanyahu has spent quite some effort in appearing to be unafraid of using the IDF should any of the threats along the Israeli borders attack. That is currently in doubt within the Israeli public, and not just because Lieberman claimed he did not agree with doing nothing and called for an intervention to punish Hamas and Islamic Jihad and possibly even retaking Gaza completely placing it under Israeli rule. It is also not because Lieberman left the coalition punctuating his denial but because we also had denial of agreement over the choice by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, both from Jewish Home. This begs the question of who was the individual who released the statement that the Security Cabinet had reached a unanimous agreement on accepting the Hamas and Islamic Demands that they be permitted to continue launching rockets to around 3:30 or possibly a little past, they claimed they would stop when they could on or around 3:30 which resulted in closer to somewhat after 4:00, while Israel was to stand down immediately and if not, then Hamas and Islamic Jihad would end their barrages somewhat later, or not, or, well, they would let us know. The end of the rocket barrages turned out to be relatively soon after the promised time and Israel remained in their reserved stand-down posture. That was the great deal after a seven-hour debate which was imposed by the United Nations and Egypt, and we are told that this was our government keeping us safe. Why are we not so much comforted?


Dead Falcon Found in Tree with Twine and Incendiary Device Attached

Dead Falcon Found in Tree with Twine and Incendiary Device Attached


The good news is that once the rockets stopped we have had relative quiet. Why do we say relative quiet? Well, because there is still the difficulty, the challenge, the peaceful protests according to the European Union and other places which are not exactly friends of Israel, what we call the violent rioting which has launched thousands of kites and balloons with incendiary devices attached which has laid waste to great swaths of southern lands which border Gaza in Israel. Farms have lost their entire crop for this year to the flames. Entire areas of our forests have been turned to charred remains. Wildlife reserves have been equally ruined by infernos which killed unknown numbers of wildlife. The image above was one of the attempts to fly incendiary devices even further into Israel by attaching them to birds; in this case, the unfortunate victim was a falcon. Realize what this actually bespeaks, that these terrorists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have absolutely no respect for life, human life, wildlife, any life which is in any way different than themselves. Their main speciality is destruction over construction. The main efforts that are manifest in Gaza is their rockets and the launchers as well as their tunnels under the border into Israel which, if Israel misses in detecting one, are to be utilized for kidnapping Israelis to hold hostage or for insertion of terrorist teams to maraud across parts of Israel destroying everything they are capable and murdering whomever they run across during their infiltration. The most frustrating reality about this situation is that the community of nations insists that Israel must continually live with terrorists perched on her borders with one idea in their heads, the complete destruction of Israel murdering the entire population in the process. These are terrorists which every other nation murders freely because terrorism is an aberration which is against civil society and thus must be eradicated for normalcy to exist in any society. Despite that being the rule of the world, Israel is denied their right to self-defense, even against terrorists. This will continue to exist for only as long as the Israeli government continues to have what we Jews refer to as the ‘ghetto mentality’ where we care more for what even our enemies and those who desire us dead care and say that doing what any normative people, person, nations would do in the exact same situation. What is required in Israel is political leadership which has a normal fighter attitude where they will do what is necessary to produce an atmosphere of normalcy and where threats are opposed with absolute resoluteness and the certainty that such will result in military responses forcing an end to all threats through strength and deterrent. Unfortunately, the leaders we have today are not all that different from the ones Moses had to march around the wastelands of the desert for forty years until a new generation had been raised which know not slavery, or in our case, the ghettos where Jews walked in fear, and had the resolution to do what needed be done. May this day arrive in our lifetime such that we can see our blossoming into a normative nation and these terrorist entities will be vanquished should they so much as look at us askance.


Beyond the Cusp


1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


    Comment by OyiaBrown — November 21, 2018 @ 9:41 AM | Reply

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