Beyond the Cusp

February 11, 2019

The Gaza Conundrum

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:05 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Israel faces threats on virtually every border. From the north in Lebanon, Israel faces the Iranian proxy terrorist group Hezballah. Over the past decades, Hezballah has gained in power to the point where they are on the cusp of ruling Lebanon exclusively. Additionally, Hezballah has been armed by Iran with more than one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets, missiles and other indirect fire heavy weapons. Hezballah also potentially could take control of the Lebanese army which would provide them with heavy Abrams Battle Tanks provided by the United States and numerous other heavy weapons as discussed here. To the northeast on the other side of the Golan Heights the threats to Israel are Iran, their Quds Force and the IRGC armed with Iranian provided rockets and missiles all while Iran is attempting to place within what remains of Syria their own forces to control Syria just as they control Iraq. To the south is the Sinai Peninsula which is a training base and regions where numerous terror groups take refuge safe in the fact that no Western nation is going to enter and fight them within any region belonging to Egypt. Some of the groups taking refuge in the Sinai include the Muslim Brotherhood backed Hamas, Islamic State, al-Qaeda and numerous other lesser-known terror groups. These groups are a threat to both Israel and Egypt, more-so Egypt, and have attempted to strike across the Israeli border and have killed numerous Egyptian troops guarding the border with Gaza and in other locations including terror attacks of Sharm El Sheikh. To the west is largely the Mediterranean Sea which initially may appear harmless but too has been the route for infiltration of terrorists which the murder of Jews is their only thought as happened in the 1979 Nahariya attack, a truly horrific example of the hate against Israel. Additionally, to the southwest is Gaza, the region which Israel disengaged from completely in August and September of 2005 leaving it for Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. They soon after lost it in a coup to Hamas and Islamic Jihad who are currently aided by Iran. You probably noted the one thread which connects almost all of these threats, Iran. This is all part of the Iranian intent to destroy Israel, something they repeat regularly including holding huge rallies where the throngs chant, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” in a manner reminiscent of the two minutes of hate from George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Some have adopted the idea as their view of President Trump, possibly the only person who might be more reviled than Israel, just not in Israel.

 

President Trump and Intersectionality’s Two More Years of Hate

President Trump and Intersectionality’s Two More Years of Hate

 

We decided to use Gaza as the example for a means of ending these terror threats against Israel. The difficulty is any Israeli leader who would take this advice would be denigrated, reviled and eviscerated by much of the Israeli media and virtually all of the world’s media, especially those under government control. This might be part of what tears at Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s mind preventing him from implementing the principles from his book Fighting Terrorism where he advised the use of overwhelming force to utterly crush any terrorist threat making even thinking of making use of terrorism seem suicidal. This was also his basic message in his speech to the United States Congress on September 12, 2002, a year and a day after the 9/11/2001 terror attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon with another attack thwarted aboard flight 93 by the passengers who brought down the plane within which they flew. What is the strangest thing and also puzzling is how to reconcile the Bibi Netanyahu who wrote the book and the Bibi Netanyahu as Prime Minister of Israel over the last decade, and expected to win another term potentially overwhelmingly. Completely contrary to his writings, the tactic he has permitted, possibly encouraged, is often referred to as “mowing the grass,” by which it is meant fighting a limited engagement against Hamas in order to cripple their ability to continue their attacks against Israel every few years as required. This is supposed to be walking the tightrope between world condemnation for overt use of force and unacceptable levels of attacks continuing against Israel. The actual losers to this use of minimal force necessary for temporary quiet are the citizens of southern Israel who are on the receiving end of the initial attacks continuing through until Israel acts and ends the attacks, but often for less than a year and sometimes just a few months. Then the attacks begin again with the Israeli citizens in the south being the first struck suffering near continuous attacks with only minimal respite.

 

We have spoken about the methodology by which targets appear to be selected when engaging Hamas. Israel limits their strikes solely to the rocket launchers, control centers, bunkers, and other Hamas and Islamic Jihad centers used for attacks. This leaves the central control complex untouched as it sits in the sub-basement of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City (see picture below). For the record, we would never believe that striking the Al-Shifa Hospital or similar structure to be permissible, but that would not rule out taking over the hospital or similar structure and eliminating the central control center including the top personnel of the terror forces ensconced within, which has them feeling invulnerable and completely protected from Israeli attack. This form of using return fire to decide most of the targets leads to condemnation from all quarters of the world despite the restraint used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The very unfortunate result from this targeting is that the apartment blocks and residential areas where most of the poverty stricken Gazans reside is the destruction of their homes, businesses and complete disruption of their lives. Yes, the United Nations, European Union and a plethora of other entities have provided the necessary building supplies for the reconstruction of these buildings. This accomplished little to relieve the suffering of these Gazans but did provide Hamas with great quantities of construction equipment and provisions with which they build up their terror infrastructure, extended their tunnels throughout Gaza such that they almost never need move above ground from emplacement to emplacement, and provided ample provisions for their infiltration tunnels under the border into Israel through which they had planned for kidnappings of civilians and using them to infiltrate and attack on IDF positions from all directions including from behind their lines. Fortunately, Israel has detected and destroyed most, hopefully all, of these tunnels. Just for the record, many nations including quite a few from Europe, are once again screaming that Israel must permit for the supply of building materials in order for the Gazan’s homes and neighborhoods to be rebuilt. Perhaps those making these demands should first try and figure out why those buildings destroyed in the first Gaza war have yet to be rebuilt, and then perhaps they might be less willing to demand that more building supplies be allowed to enter Gaza, unless their intent is actually to try and assist in the destruction of Israel.

 

Gaza Al-Shifa Hospital

Gaza Al-Shifa Hospital

 

The other ramification from this method of targeting is that the houses and recreational areas of the wealthy and the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as those who have made much of their wealth through smuggling weapons and other provisions which Hamas taxes heavily providing them with more revenue which they invest in their personal wealth as well as building more rockets and launchers and other tools of the terror trade. The result is there become two Gazas and two sets of Gazan society, those who stand protected residing near the leadership away from the rocket launchers and those who provide protection for the rocket launchers paying the price of the actual fighting (see image below). Hamas refuses to repair any of the destroyed buildings for a number of reasons. First is that they need all of the building provisions for their terror infrastructure, terror tunnels and bunkers. Second is that after each war they pretend that the destruction from the first is new and thus it makes it appear that Israel has done far more damage then actually resulting from the latest conflict. Third is it provides excellent propaganda footage in claiming that Israel is refusing to permit rebuilding and has stolen the building supplied rather than permitting them into Gaza. Fourth is it provides disgruntled people who are told repeatedly how it is the fault of the Israelis that their homes were destroyed and their hate should be focused on the Jews, something that many are prone to believe after years of propaganda rivaling that of the Nazis in form. Fifth and lastly is it provides them with malleable youth with a chip on their shoulders, anger in their heart, a predisposed hatred of Jews and Israel and a readiness to join Hamas or Islamic Jihad and extract vengeance against the people who ruined their lives and are refusing to allow a world lining up to help to have the opportunity to do so. Much of the propaganda fed the people in Gaza is done through the education system which gets full backing from UNRWA who mostly hires Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists as their teachers and administrators of the schools and cooperates fully with the programs provided by the terrorist leadership. If this were a perfect world, those whose homes have been destroyed by the wars provoked by Hamas and Islamic Jihad would rise up and take their vengeance on those who are actually impoverishing them and not vent their roiling hatred at Israel who is not denying the rebuilding of their homes as they have permitted building provisions in innumerable times. Here are some articles on Israel permitting or preventing construction materials into Gaza for your reference, some friendly and some adversarial towards Israel. Gisha, Jerusalem Post, Israel Foreign Ministry, Human Rights Watch, Mission of Israel to the UN in Geneva, B’Tselem, and Morocco World News 

 

The Two Gazas with One Pristine and the Other Ravaged

The Two Gazas with One Pristine and the Other Ravaged

 

There would be another means of addressing the Gaza situation which would have extremely different results, and the results might prove most favorable for the impoverished Gazans and Israel. The advantages, and we feel we better list them first before we upset people, would be the permitting of Gazans to elect their own governance and choose what form of governance they prefer. This was allowed once back when Hamas was assured that they overwhelmingly would vote for Hamas, as they hated the incompetence and corruption of the Palestinian Authority. Since that election, there has not been another despite Hamas changing the leadership twice. The initial leadership of Gaza under Hamas left and went to live in Qatar where they were welcomed along with the billions of dollars they had “earned” off of terrorism and foreign bankrolling their occupation. The leadership of Hamas, along with the wealthy people who mostly have made their wealth by providing for the terrorist entities to smuggle in weapons, rocket motors, ammunition, explosives and the other required elements including people, live separately from the areas they cause to be destroyed. Egypt, back in 2014 (image below), decided to put an end for the time being to the smuggling operations by demolishing homes along their border with Gaza on the Gaza side and numerous tunnels which were revealed. Surprisingly, the world sat in silence to the Egyptian demolitions, the same world which almost blew a gasket when Israel performed a similar operation on a far smaller scale previously. The areas where these leaders reside are never utilized for launching of rockets, as they do not desire for their homes to become targets for Israel. This is a large part of the reason that they do not fear waging war against Israel. Their safety is all but guaranteed as the European Union, United Nations, numerous human rights groups and others who simply despise Israel have combined to demand that Israel not employ targeted assassinations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders including those directly responsible for planning terrorism against Israel. Responding to these demands and attempting to minimize world uproar demanding the prosecution of Israeli civilian and military leadership if such policies were to be reinstituted. This unfortunate situation is partially responsible for the regular and incessant attacks from Gaza simply because those who make such decisions are never made to pay a price and those whose lives are made to pay the price provide the fertile ground producing those willing to die if they can kill some Israelis in the process. This is also what needs to change if the terrorism originating in Gaza is ever to be prevented and the Gazans ever to realize normalcy.

 

Egyptian Forces Destroy Rafah Homes on Border with Gaza October 2014 (photo credit: REUTERS)

Egyptian Forces Destroy Rafah Homes on Border with Gaza October 2014
(photo credit: REUTERS)

 

The answer to the threats from Gaza, potentially Lebanon, and even from Iran, is to make those who initiate the terrorism and other attacks upon Israel, as Hezballah has become a complete military force organized and trained like any national military, is to actually destroy their ability for making war and the leadership which decides to make war. When, as it is not a case of if, another round of violence out of Gaza, which is guaranteed by the mow the grass tactic, Israel needs to change their entire policy and psychology of how to conduct the war to receive the desired end to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and any other, terrorism and attacks. The targets need not be the regions from which the rockets are fired, though when striking the rocket and other attack positions this can be done with smaller explosives, but instead strike the areas which are important to the leadership. Israel knows where they reside, where they shop, where they go for entertainment and everything which provides for them an easy life which the wealthy of Gaza enjoy. The malls, fine restaurants and their homes can be targeted making them also share in the price of war. Wars are never ended by negotiations; they are simply postponed. Wars are won when one side no longer has the desire or ability to fight effectively. Israel should dispatch one of their elite forces to take the Al-Shifa Hospital and detain or kill, depending on the level of their resistance, the elites and upper echelons of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who hide under the beds of hospitalized Gazans. Israel could simply use demolition crews to destroy the homes of those responsible for the violence after assuring that their families are removed from the structures. That would be in keeping with not needlessly killing those considered to be innocents, though these are people who are living the good life in the funds garnered through terrorism. Mowing the grass needs to be replaced with mowing the leadership, and it does not to be targeted assassinations; it could be the direct result of fighting the conflict and targeting the people at the top. In any normative war, each side targets those most valuable from the other side. For Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and most of the other groups fighting Israel, they target what we hold precious, the innocent civilians. Our enemies claim that every Israeli is a military target because their existence in Israel is an affront and form of violence against Islam and the Palestinian Arabs. Of course this is simply their way of excusing their targeting civilians while Israel attempts to target only military targets which too often results in desperation for the Gazans. Israeli leaders and many politicians from the left, and even the right, claim that if Israel were to actually fight Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or our other enemies, as if it was an all-out war the world would protest and really be angry and upset with Israel and we could face ramifications.

 

We are not sure if they have noticed, but the BDS Movement and numerous other groups and NGO’s as well as nations as well as the numerous organizations such as the United Nations, Group of 77 and European Union amongst others already despise Israel and condemn Israel at every opportunity. The United Nations Human Right Council opens every meeting issuing a condemnation of Israel; the United Nations every November 29th issues a condemnation of Israel as well as at numerous other opportunities throughout the year; UNESCO is slowly claiming that Israel has no connection with the Jews or our history as why allow facts to get in the way; UNICEF condemned Israel for the state of children in the area under Arab rule; the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women condemned Israel over honor killings in the Palestinian Authority ruled region and Gaza which is ruled by Hamas and we could continue this list for another page or two; so how can anybody claim that the world is not already doing almost all it can to destroy Israel. If we are going to face condemnation, at least make it over providing for the safety and continued existence of our tiny little nation. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezballah, Iran and all the rest of the world which is directly involved in the attempts to destroy Israel are only getting stronger every time Israel acts timidly and with restraint. Restraint does not project strength, final and total warfare projects strength. Yes, we realize this makes us sound hardhearted, but were we to destroy Hamas and Islamic Jihad and retake Gaza, the buildings would be rebuilt, the Gazans would have a normal economy and not one where the vast majority of financial power is diverted to terrorism, and in the end the Middle East would not be any the worse off. Israel is not the center of the violence in the Middle East. Israel is not responsible for the war in Syria, the violence where Turkey is slaughtering the Kurds, the violence in Iraq where Kurds and Sunnis are being hunted, the violence in Yemen, the wars across North Africa, the instability in Libya, the ongoing warfare between the Sudan and South Sudan or any of the rest of the violence being waged throughout the Middle East. Much of the violence is of direct or indirect result of Iranian attempts to establish their hegemony over the Middle East and potentially beyond.

 

Perhaps the world would be better served if they took off their everything is the fault of the Jews and their state of Israel and addressed the real problems which would stare them in their faces were they to stop pretending it is all Israel and broadened their vision from their current tunnel vision which is laser focused in the lands surrounding Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Israel is the one bright and productive spot of the Middle East, not the cesspool of violence and hate they pretend it is. Israel could provide the brightest of futures for the Arabs currently trapped under the corrupt, terror prone leadership provided by Hamas in Gaza and Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestinian Authority rules. The Arabs who are citizens of Israel enjoy all the privileges, economic independence and the good life which is available to all Israelis no matter their ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, disability or sexual orientation. Were Israel to extend rule over the entirety of the lands promised her by treaties west of the Jordan River, she could grant all of the Arabs resident alien status which would permit their voting in their local elections but just not in Israeli national elections as was granted to the Arabs of Eastern Jerusalem. That might just be the best solution which could only be enacted once the terrorist infrastructure was defeated and removed, then life could begin anew for the Arabs facing deprivations imposed by the terrorist leaders.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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