Monday, January 05, 2009

Israel launches ground attack into Gaza

The widely-predicted ground attack by Israel into Gaza occurred on Sunday.  The response of the media and mealy-mouthed politicians has been predictable.  On the one hand a section of the media, backed up by supporters of terrorism around the world, has been to attack the immorality of the Israeli attack often without mention of the past and continuing bombardment of Israel by missiles from Hamas.  This is one-eyed hypocrisy given the avowed intent of Hamas to wipe-out Israel.  A milder version of this critique is to assert that the Israeli punishment (in terms of military attack or casualties inflicted) exceeds the crimes of Hamas so that Israel is 'overreacting'.  But Israel is not merely trying to inflict reciprocal damage on Gaza as a payback but trying to prevent the missile attacks. It can only do this by seriously damaging Hamas.

Mealy-mouthed politicians (including our own Julia Gillard and the toothless UN - this is particularly disgraceful) have participated widely in these forms of hypocrisy as well as by launching the standard response that both sides should stop the conflict, kiss and go home. This is unhelpful.

The more serious complaint about Israel's ground actions are that it might experience substantial losses in terms of casualties as it did in its conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Hamas terrorists it is claimed have greater knowledge of the local geography and will, in their usual cowardly fashion, conceal themselves in heavily populated areas - not difficult in densely populated Gaza. The body bags created by the Hamas cowardice will weaken public resolve in Israel to continue to prosecute it.

While this is a serious problem it is difficult to come up with alternative viable responses from Israel.  Hamas is employing the standard technique of terrorists by holding a civilian population to ransom and then provoking an attack. The Palestinian casualties are due to Hamas (and its backers in Syria and Iran) not to Israel.  The Palestinian deaths are a human input to the military objectives of Hamas and provide a further radicalisation of the local surviving population in its resentment of Israel. The predicted Israeli deaths are a problem because Israel's government - like most other civilised governments - is concerned with deaths of its citizens.  Hopefully Israel's retrained and better-equipped army will do a better job than it dis against Hezbollah.

But despite the real probability of substantial Israeli costs I do not believe it is possible to deal in a reasoned way with Hamas.  Israel needs to make it clear to the Palestinians that electing terrorists and prosecuting an ongoing conflict with Israel is a costly strategy for Israel's enemies.  Above all Israel needs to establish its military credibility and not be black-mailed by the terrorists.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry Harry,

The ONLY way to stop the attacks is to wipe out all Palestinians.

given how vague the Israeli's have been about their objectives I am wondering if this is not the case.

hc said...

Doesn't sound right Anon:

'Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said the operation would end

"when Israel understands that the civilian population in the south of the country will no longer be on the receiving end of Hamas rockets. We have not articulated a wider aim."

That sounds clear to me.

By the way read the ground rules for discussion. Describing yourself as 'anonymous' brteaks these rules.

Zindadil said...

How many are you going to wipe out. there are simply many. Words of wisdom will make peace than war. You may wipe out a nation but there are many. They come in all forms and these are Muslims. They are divided and have no leadership. It's being tortured from all sides. What you really need here is dialogue and keeping your word. You go back on your words then you have disgruntled Muslims. Give them what they want and you will live in harmony.

Zindadil said...

you will have to learn History

jc said...

No, that's wrong. You give Hamas nothing except death and destruction.

The gaza population voted these barbarians into power so they will have to live with the consequences.

How many are the Israelis going to wipe out?

that depends on how Hamas conducts themselves. I hope it's none, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. The Israelis first priority is protecting its population from rocket attacks which means Hamas has to be wiped up.... hopefully is a pianful way as possible.

Slim said...

I’m always amazed at how polarised people’s opinions are when it comes to Israel -how generally reasoned and moderate commentators like your good self, can be so single-mindedly supportive of Israel, despite and the appalling anti-humanitarian conditions it imposes on the Palestinians and the numerous flouting of conditions imposed by the UN – as though Israel can do no wrong.

“The Palestinian casualties are due to Hamas (and its backers in Syria and Iran) not to Israel. “ Funny that, I thought it had something to do with the massive and disproportionate Israeli military air and land attacks, made possible only by enormous military subsidy from the US. Apparently not. It’s OK for me to kill you because you made me do it, it seems.

Does this unflinching Israeli support come from our collective guilt about the Holocaust, or from our refusal to acknowledge the botched way in which the state of Israel was created without consideration for a viable Palestinian state? It seems our support for Israel is emotive rather than rational

There is wrong on both sides, and both sides need to be brought to task and obliged to negotiate a lasting peace. And this I suspect is behind the latest ambit actions by Israel. Israel’s leaders know that a peace settlement will be high on the foreign policy agenda of the new Obama Administration. These latest military horrors are a way of pre-emptively establishing Israel’s opening bargaining position with the forth-coming peace process. The present atrocious situation gives Israel a lot to bargain with, and any softening will leave them looking like the good guys.

Anonymous said...

Hary,

That isn't an objective that is vague as hel.

Pray tell us what it means.

I think it means what JC says

jc said...

Slim

That's the intellectualluy appalling , dishonest comment I've seen for a while.

Israel is defending its people against daily rockets attacks, you pathetic fool.

Hamas has declared it will not stop until Israel no longer exists and through its actions and comments wants to see evfery last jew dead.

you're perfectly happy to over look that.

Slim said...

jc - glad to see you are as full of the milk of human kindness as ever, and thanks for proving my point - some people are incapable of seeing the situation other than in Israeli terms. Israel all good, Palestine all bad. Israel has been blockading the Gaza strip as effectively as any concentration camp. Can't see any reason at all why the Palestinians might get upset. Nup, no shades of grey there at all.

conrad said...

"You give Hamas nothing except death and destruction. The gaza population voted these barbarians into power so they will have to live with the consequences."

THere's a good quote in the movie "The Downfall" where Adolf Hitler says almost exactly the same thing (except about Germans).

Personally, I don't see any reason to attack Hamas in the way that Israel is doing unless you get some benefit out of it. I'm sure killing civilians will just make them more popular at the cost of innocent lives on both sides, or are you saying Hamas will come back depleted and weaker after this?

Anonymous said...

jewish and christian are the same , their religion never understand what the peace means. They read bible but never know what most important meaning of peace. when muslim become minority where injustice, oppression happened to muslim.
mada

hc said...

I have no desire to cause pain to the unfortunate Palestinians and appreciate their miserable situation.

But they made a big mistake with Hamas. This is a path to further misery.

Anonymous said...

Just like with the IRA the political wing and the military wings of Hamas have different agendas.

When Hamas was voted in Israel could have tried to get the 'realists' to introduce political reforms and so destroy the Military wing's agenda from under its feet.

Instead they championed the idea of ignoring the democratic vote and only negotiate with the discredited Fatah organisation.

We then come to the truce again negotiated with the political wing.

Israel was supposed to allow trucks etc through to Gaza.

This was never allowed.

Given the Hizbollah debacle is Israel so inept at diagnosing politics in 'Palestine' or do they actually want continual military action?

Anonymous said...

Mr harry, as you know why hamas or palestines people fight for their own land that robbed by Israel/ Jewish. they fight for dead forever, as it's different when British take over australia from aborigine, or america from Indian, no fight till today. They have pride when die for independence. History tells western countries ( most jewish and christian ) colonilize countries around the world for his ambition to to rob other countries right for independence.

jc said...

Good one, harry. Now you seem to have a real live AQ sympthizer on your back.


Let's call him Achmed.

Slim, Conrad.... so would you two geniuses accept to live under daily attacks from rockets and RPGs.

Achmed says:
jewish and christian are the same , their religion never understand what the peace means. They read bible but never know what most important meaning of peace. when muslim become minority where injustice, oppression happened to muslim.
mada


this sounds very close to bi-polar induced delusion to me. Are you being medicated, Achmed?






Muslims don't have to live in places that are predominently culturally judeo christian, Achmed
They can always go back to where they come from if they feel unwelcome. no one is putting a knife to their neck.

Slim said...

jc - would you choose (actually you don't get a choice) to live blockaded in a narrow strip of land, some of which is illegally occupied by your neighbour, effectively a concentration camp, with inadequate access to basic essential resources because you participated in a democratic election?

Bombing the crap out of each other is no solution. Wiping out Hamas, as painfully as possible, as you so charmingly put it, will work about as well as invading Iraq did to quell terrorism.

War is not the answer. It's not even the question.

You see, both sides are to be criticised and both have a lot to answer for - except in the narrow world of moral clarity occupied by jc - kill all the bad guys.

jc said...

Slim

Would your expect you government to protect you from 80 rocket attacks per day or not?

Would you expect your government to protect you from Hamas, which has declared it will not stop until every single last Jew is dead. Would you, Slim, or would you get a little “dusty” on your government?


Here’s what you aspiring intellectual lefties don’t seem to understand. It’s all well and good picking on the Israelis and treating barbarians as the victims. But lets say the black man here decided that he’d had enough of whitey stealing his land and treating him like a medical basket case. Let’s say he’d had enough and started to get ideas like running suicide bombers in inner city leftie coffee hangouts and suddenly we’d find there were a lot of lefty torsos separated from their limbs and heads. Let’s say it was so bad that the authorities found it really difficult putting the pieces back together without DNA checks.

I’d bet that over a short period of time the Slim’s and the Conrad’s of this world would begin to see Israel in an entirely new light. Hell they would even possibly become sympathetic about them.

You see Slim, we took an entire continent from the black man. The Americans took their continent from the yellow man and the New Zealanders to their coupla Islands from the Maoris. There is a lot of injustice in the world, which makes me think, Slim that aspiring intellectuals like you have a soft spot for Nazi like thugs that want to kill Jews.

If you were really honest about your views, Slim and not just another hypocritical lefty you would be on the fist plane out of here heading back to the land of your racial origins, leaving all your worldly possessions to the black man. See what I mean, Slim?

conrad said...

"Slim, Conrad.... so would you two geniuses accept to live under daily attacks from rockets and RPGs."

Of course not JC, but are you saying this invasion is going to stop them? I don't think so unless Israel sits there forever (and just look how successful far greater powers in similar situations haven't been at that). Alternatively, if someone (Iran, Egypt, Lebanon...) decides to give Hamas some nastier longer range weapons because of it, it wouldn't surprise me (in fact I'd expect it -- I'm sure some of those powers don't mind playing war with other people's populace).

So if you don't think it will do anything, then it's just war mongering. That of course doesn't excuse Hamas, but you need to put up with the reality of your situation sometimes (just ask some of the civilians caught in the cross fire). Just getting angry and violent doesn't necessarily solve problems.

jc said...

Oh... and Slim, Conrad and achmed.

Nest time you get all sentimental about the palestinians losing their land spare a thought about all the mid eastern jews thrown out of their houses and losing all their possessions over the course of the 20th century by arab governments.

jc said...

So if you don't think it will do anything, then it's just war mongering.

Sure it does. Wars work a treat when you are out to destroy thugs if doen right. Just ask Hitler.


That of course doesn't excuse Hamas, but you need to put up with the reality of your situation sometimes (just ask some of the civilians caught in the cross fire).


Doesn't excuse Hamas? Hamas needs to be destroyed to the very last man standing. No ifs no buts. NAyting less and the Israeli government is criminally negligent.


Just getting angry and violent doesn't necessarily solve problems.

Sure it does. See above about Hitler and his merry band of thugs.

Slim said...

jc - my views are honest - just because I don't see the world in the same simplistic black and white manner you do does not make me hypocritical simply at your say so. And no, your hypothetical does not convince me of the correctness of your opinion, rather it suggests a lack of rationality.

So when are you joining up with the Israeli army? Or are you just an armchair warrior?

conrad said...

JC,

you remind me of the type of fool that thought Iraq and the three trillion dollars spent there was a good idea. You therefore must think the Taliban's stated objective of bankrupting the US (and you can apply Hamas here mutatis mutandis), was a good idea -- it was, at least to them -- and it worked. This is the problem of fighting people with essentially nothing to lose, and I'm sure the Palestinians have even less to lose than the Iraqis.

civitas said...

Since none of us (hopefully) are in either Gaza or Israel, it seems almost unreasonable to say what either side should do.

I can tell you though if terrorists in Canada or Mexico were firing rockets into the US, I would expect the US goverment to enter Canada or Mexico and eliminate the threat. Any country would do the same.

I can also tell you that if terrorists in the US were bombing Canada or Mexico, I would not happily live in the same building with them since I would fully expect Canada or Mexico to defend itself by removing the terrorists. I would think it likely that I would be killed or injured during that process.

None of this seems to be rocket-science (pardon the pun). It's common sense.

jc said...

Slim

I'm not joining any army. I'm simply responding to your idiotic discourse about how rocket launching thugs ought to be treated kindly. You suggested it was a grey area, right? Let's see how you would live under those circumstances.

Some things are simple, Slim. They're simple to people that have an IQ higher than a retarded mongoose. In your case simple things look complex as they have done.

I hate most forms of government, however if there is one primary responsibility of government it is to security of the population. The Israeli government would be and indeed has been neglignent in allowing this shit to go on for too long.

You're just taking the side of Hamas, that's all. Either that or you really are freaking stupid.

Conrad.
Shorter Conrad... It's Bush's fault. LOL.

Get the Tourettes looked at.

You therefore must think the Taliban's stated objective of bankrupting the US (and you can apply Hamas here mutatis mutandis), was a good idea -- it was, at least to them -- and it worked.

Conrad, stop being an idiot. The taliban has NOT bankrupted the US and the Iraq war has not cost 3 trillion dollars... (that's just another example of unnumerate lefties).

This is the problem of fighting people with essentially nothing to lose, and I'm sure the Palestinians have even less to lose than the Iraqis.

Yea, right, like the Nazis had nothing to lose once the allies crossed the main rivers into Germany.

The more Hamas dead the better it is for the Israeli population. Here's hoping the IDF succeeds in taking a rotary hoe to these nazi like thugs.

If the Gazans continue to give sanctuary to these nazi wannabe's the IDF should raze the fucking place until no brick is standing on another.

If they continue to harbor haters like that, the Israeli government ought to consider nuking the place.

Anonymous said...

Israel can make halloucaust in palestines... but never win , that's a mistery beyond man's mind. that's GOD 'authority' all things happens is become GOD's deision. look back to Vietnam War... US giant troops could not win the war with Vietnam as small country. GOD knows the bad thing can not win the world. USA and his allies ( Israel, Australia, Europe ) never learn about this. They never win the war even in small war in Afgahanistan, Iraq . This is mystery... between GOD and humans. Remember, history tells jewish killed their own prophets... if Jewish kill palestines people ..that's their long hobbies to kill civilian people , right or not ...

jc said...

anon

You're an idiot. If there was a god he most certainly wouldn't be Muslim.

The only reason you're siding with the Palis is because they're Muslim.

So stop giving us nonsense about who god favors or doesn't favor.

Jonah said...

Jews stop complaining about the Holocoast because they're causing another one. Iraq invaded Kuwait and killed a few dozens of people and in 4 months you found 30 countries allied to get it to pull out. Israel has occuiped Palesinian lands since 1967 and not a single country stood with the Palestinians to get Israel out. This hypocricy is very troubling to me. Hamas did not exist at the time when all these Israeli crimes took place, so stop blaming them for what's happening now.

Anonymous said...

"If there was a god he most certainly wouldn't be Muslim"
what do you mean this JC super idiot ?
Stop supporting Israel killing civilian palestines ! do not kill civilians... kill the army hamas.. that's proporsional. but hamas never afraid of dead .. different with paranoid israeli... granat, rocket... a simple arms.. responsed with heavy armourd, jet , rudal... ha... ha.. you are chicken .. man...

jc said...

Anon.

you are exhibit A for what gives Islam a bad name.

"Proportional" would be Israelis targeting civilians in the same way the Palestinians are targeting Israelis.

And please learn English you're a dreadful writer.

jc said...

Jonah now thinks that wars should be a popularity contest.

why don't we just incorporate it into the Miss world contest, Jonah?

Anonymous said...

JC, you,re right.. i'm a dreadful writer, that comes out naturally, when I watch on TV about Israel attacks. How children, woman cried for dead, all house, building, school.. are ruined, there is no hope as Israel troops shot dead and blockade all food supply. does the war have no rules for children and woman the right to live ? how many lives have to be sacrified for the reason protecting israel citizen from hamas rocket or human suicide bombing or other reasons ? That's what I would say that " the Big " should protect the small. Which all religion teaching about it. Israel is "the big" one , palestine is the small one. Why Israel do not do something to live in peace and harmony with their brothers , Palestines..?
Remember, as history says, Abraham is the father both jewish and muslim. Abraham has son named Ishaq that give generation for Yakub ( jewis ) , and he had a son named Ismail that give generation for muslim . In fact we are brothers, but why we have to kill each other ... what we are looking for..??

jc said...

sorry anon, by Israelis are not trying to kill anyone. they're actions are purely defensive in trying to prevent murderous rabid lunatics trying to kill Israelis with rocket attacks.

sahara said...

war is not the solution... live in peace and harmony... is .. all minkind hope

observa said...

I liked the idea that Israel should offer Hamas an ultimatum to placate those 'concerned peaceniks' everywhere, that Israel's response to terrorists who want to wipe them off the face of the map, is somehow a disproportionate one. For every random rocket, shell or shot these fifth century, paedophile brigand worshipping lovers of sel detonation fire at decent 21st century folk, they respond with one carefully targetted missile of their own. Welcome to modern democracy Gazans and you decide who you want to run your version of Paradise at the next election, putsch, coup or whatever you call them nowadays