A ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers took hold on Wednesday, 21 November, after eight days of conflict, although deep mistrust on both sides cast doubt on how long the Egyptian-sponsored deal can last.
The IRON DOME defence system fires to interecpt incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod, 15 November 2012.
Despite the ceasefire, it is inevitable that there will be similar confrontations between Israel and its enemies in the future. Israel needs learn the lessons of the recent conflict and act on the diplomatic front before the situation deteriorates even further, Hamas needs to learn not to mess with Israel.
Even though Israel has administered a significant blow to Hamas’ military capabilities, Hamas has remained intact organisationally and has strengthened its hold over Gaza as a result of Arab solidarity, and the ceasefire deal is a "political victory" for Palestinian factions. In Egypt, the ceasefire is seen as Israel couldn't meet its threat target (destroying Gaza's armed infrastructure), due to regional and international pressure. Furthermore news sources from Egypt see that there is no military equality between Israel and Gaza…
The exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal
, said his movement would respect the truce if Israel did, but would respond to any violations. “If Israel complies, we are compliant. If it does not comply, our hands are on the trigger
,” he told a news conference in Cairo.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
said he had agreed to “exhaust this opportunity for an extended truce
,” but told his people a tougher approach might be required in the future. He said was willing to give the truce a chance but held open the possibility of reopening the conflict. “I know there are citizens expecting a more severe military action, and perhaps we shall need to do so
Israel can take comfort from the fact it dealt painful blows to its enemy, which will take many months to recover, and showed that it can defend itself from a barrage of missiles, thanks to IRON DOME, which is said to have intercepted over 85% of rockets fired at Israel. IRON DOME provided decision space for Israel to achieve its strategic goals without forcing further military actions.
For Israel, Operation “Pillar of Defense”
had two strategic goals - one, to reinstate the Gaza cease-fire with Hamas, which had unravelled in recent months amid increasing hostilities, and two, to stabilise the peace with Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, who sadly have a very close relationship with Hamas.
Let’s not forget that Hamas are a terrorist organisation (even though this is disputed by Arab nations, Russia, and Turkey).
Hamas, in Arabic meaning enthusiasm and an Arabic acronym of Islamic Resistance Movement, is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic political party that governs the Gaza Strip, with a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Based on the principles of Islamic fundamentalism gaining momentum throughout the Arab world in the 1980s, Hamas was founded in 1987 (during the First Intifada) as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (!!). Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin
stated in 1987, and the Hamas Charter affirmed in 1988, that Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip
(!!). In July 2009, Khaled Meshal, Hamas's Damascus-based political bureau chief
, said the organisation was willing to cooperate with "a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which included a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders
," provided that Palestinian refugees hold the right to return to Israel and that East Jerusalem be the new nation's capital.
Nevertheless, in the last 20 years, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades’ tactics included rocket attacks and suicide bombings against Israel (to keep it objective, they also did target Egyptian outposts and border crossings and rival Palestinian militias in the occupied territories).
And to make things even clearer, "Hamas blesses the attack in Tel Aviv and sees it as a natural response to the Israeli massacres...in Gaza
," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri
told Reuters after the bus bombing. "Palestinian factions will resort to all means in order to protect our Palestinian civilians in the absence of a world effort to stop the Israeli aggression
." On Twitter, Hamas's armed wing posted: "We told you #IDF that our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are, 'You opened the Gates of Hell on Yourselves
The spiral of hate is ever-spinning.
Just look at recent events, 24 October Gaza militants fired over 50 rockets into Israel in 24 hours; 5 November border incident with Israeli soldiers shooting a Palestinian; 8 November crossfire incident of a gun battle between the IDF and Palestinian militants; 10 November injury of two IDF soldiers hit by an anti-tank missile as they patrolled outside the Strip (Israel responded with shelling and air strikes); 14 November assassination of the Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari; a day earlier, Hamas was touting a truce offer, but only after two days of fighting which saw over a hundred missiles launched into Israel and Gaza; and so on… you get the picture.
Further escalation was virtually unavoidable. The only way out is for Hamas to lay down its arms and comply to Israel. It might be a hard and rocky path, but in the end only will help the Palestinian people and especially the region.
But the hate will continue as long as statistics like the one below are being publicised (I’m putting this here to make the point of what I have stated earlier, Hamas needs to learn not to mess with Israel),
and a specific country will keep on fanning the flames of anti-Israeli sentiment in the region. Said country is now claiming that it has armed Hamas with anti-aircraft missiles and that the militants have hit and damaged several sophisticated Israeli warplanes (Israeli fighter jets are among the most technologically advanced with electronic systems guarding against anti-aircraft missiles)…
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic regime ruling Iran
, in a fiery speech on 21 November lashed out at France, the UK, and obviously at the US for supporting Israel. He called Israelis savages who commit the most heinous crimes and in the face of the power of the resistance “are begging for truce from the Gaza force
.” The Islamic regime ruling Iran has long armed and trained militias in the Palestinian territory for terrorist attacks against Israel. Khamenei previously stated that, “We will support and help any nation, any group fighting against the Zionist regime across the world, and we are not afraid of declaring this
Now one could ask, is this how the Israel-Iran war begins?
The Iranian leadership is coming very close to forcing Israel’s hand. If Hezbollah seeks to open a second front against Israel, then Israel could find itself in a two-front war with terrorist entities, despite the recent ceasefire. Make no mistake, Israel would achieve its objective of destroying the majority of the longest-range and most lethal missiles supplied to Hamas and Hezbollah by Iran, Syria, and perhaps even North Korea. And with Hamas and Hezbollah temporarily neutered, the Israeli government could conclude that if the Iranian nuclear arsenal would pose an existential threat, then Israel may decide that their window of opportunity would never be so favourable as the present. After all, Iran’s air defence is only going to get more sophisticated with time, and its missile programme is advancing steadily.
The problem of this hate lies deeper than we think
It is astonishing to any rational person – or it should be – that any functioning adult would waste time hating Jews in general. We pay lip service to the notion that anti-semitism is unacceptable; we decry the Holocaust; we acknowledge the suffering of the Jewish people historically. Where Israel is concerned, however, a pervasive and unctuous attitude of disdain, of contempt, of open hatred and vilification, festers in every corner of Western society. It can crop up where you least expect it. It can make itself known when and with whom you are most comfortable. It will slap you in the face with its naked Jew-hate at the most inopportune time and in the most mixed of company.
Simply put, people on Twitter, Facebook etc, hate Jews and want them to die. If this sounds like an exaggeration, you’re not thinking it through. Anyone claiming that Israel is the villain in the ongoing conflict with its enemies is either wilfully ignorant or openly anti-Semitic
This is obvious in the way news of Israel’s conflicts is reported in our media. Hamas and whatever other affiliated terrorist groups, loosely defined (erroneously) as “Palestinian
,” lob explosives at Israel for weeks dragging into months and this is never news in the West. The moment Israel takes military action to end the attacks, our news reports, “Israel attacked Gaza today …
” or something similarly dishonest. We are treated to fraudulent photos of the supposed victims of Israeli “aggression
,” photos whose lies are only rarely and quietly corrected. We are told that big, bad, mean Israel is using its superior power to bully its neighbours, always forgetting that these “neighbours
,” these “oppressed
” victims, are terrorists who repeatedly target civilians and who use innocent people and journalists as human shields.
It’s the whole tanks against rocks attitude, the “Palestinian
” inaccurate and crudely made rockets that aren’t terribly accurate…
Israel’s enemies are irrational death cultists who will never accept Israel’s right to exist. They live and breathe hate and murder. They sadly soak their children in this bloodthirsty worldview. The evidence of these facts is the repeated terrorist attacks against Israel, which target civilians indiscriminately. Israel, historically and now, has shown almost inhuman patience when it comes to responding to acts of military violence against its people and its borders. Given this, can any rational person believe that Israelis wake up each day and say to themselves, “Today I will needlessly oppress ‘Palestinians’ because I hate simply living my life in peace
If aggression against Israel stopped today, the Israelis would happily go about their business and continue living productive lives. If, on the other hand, the Israelis laid down their arms and announced that, henceforth, they would take no military action against those who hate them, Israel’s cities would be burning within a week.
Remember this the next time you post on social media. Criticism of your support for Israel will come disguised as “concern” for Israel’s “bullying” of its neighbours. That feigned concern will never be extended to the Israelis killed by random rocket and mortar attacks. It will never encompass Israel’s right to exist.
I can only hope that my friends, family, and colleagues in Israel are safe and sound.