Sorry about the lack of posts. I have been attending O-Week for my university (which I start this Monday). Anyway, first things first, RIP William F. Buckley, Jr. If you don’t know who that is, then check out the FrontPage article here.
In other doings:
9 Katyusha style Grad missiles rocked the center of Ashkelon on Thursday afternoon, one home suffered a direct hit, other missiles fell near the city’s central bus station and elsewhere in the city. Magen David Adom reported that two people were lightly wounded in the attack and 24 others were treated for shock. All in all MADA have treated a total of 55 people in Ashkelon and Sderot since the morning. On Thursday evening Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the authorities to activate the Red Color alert early warning system in Ashkelon which will be operational on Friday. Close to 80 Kassam rockets and missiles have been fired at southern Israel in the past 24 hours and nearly 1000 since the beginning of the year.
In any other part of the world, that would be considered an act of war. Instead with Israel, a lot of the world including the EU still sympathise with the Palestinians.
On Thursday, the air force launched 21 air strikes targeting terorr operatives, headquarters and Kassam rocket launchers in the Gaza Strip, and since Wednesday evening, 27 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip. Government ministers demanded to convene a security cabinet meeting to discuss the situation. Earlier in the day several ministers demanded to retaliate harshly, flattening neighborhoods in Gaza in response to the escalation.
Interior Minister MK Sheetrit has stated on Infolive.tv that “A large scale ground operation in Gaza would not be enough to stop Hamas from firing rockets.” Instead “Israel should kill any member of Hamas it can, anyone involved in launching rockets is responsible and should be taken out.”
Strangely enough I remember arguing from this perspective a few months ago to someone at a party. I was told that I was an advocate of genocide. I said thank you, yes I am in favour of a deliberate and systematic destruction of an entire people who belong to a certain political/religious group that yearns for my destruction. Somehow I don’t think that was what he was getting at… Furthermore, an IDF Army General has stated that “…any action in Gaza is long overdue and that Israel should have taken care of this situation months ago.” (Statement from Infolive.tv – link above)
Of course its no surprise to anyone that Israel has been planning such an offensive into the Gaza Strip; it makes sense both politically and morally. The Jerusalem Post has more:
Barak, during a series of meetings at the Defense Ministry, said, “We should be prepared for an upswing in hostilities in Gaza. The big ground operation is a reality and it is tangible. We are not eager to embark upon such an operation, but we are not put off by it either.”
According to defense sources, the goals of such an operation – reportedly in the planning stages for weeks if not months – would not “merely” be to reduce the threat of rocket fire and rocket manufacturing in the Gaza Strip, but would also likely entail paralyzing the Hamas government’s ability to operate, and even include “regime change.”
The important part of that paragraph is at the end. Let me make this point clear, for me, the only thing that can definitely stop these rocket attacks from Gaza would be a regime change. A change to a government far more liberal then anything like Fatah. A government which is not guided by terror but instead by a will for peace. Fine words you might be saying, tell us how. To me, the only way to do it, would be for educators, either Israeli or neutral to go there and educate Palestinian children and adults on ‘acceptable’ (I leave it to your imagination what that means because I am not sure) behavior and attitudes. For example things like it is wrong to call Jews the sons of pigs and apes and other such rhetoric. Modifications to behavior for examples things like, it is not ok to go and blow yourself up inside a mall or a disco filled with people. You may not agree with what I say, but I firmly believe that is the only way we might see peace between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Of course, such an action would probably take generations.
Barak also offered hints as to his plans, telling local community leaders gathered at Sapir Academic College outside Sderot that “the solution to Kassams will be a lot quicker than many people think.” And the Foreign Ministry, in talking points sent to its representatives abroad, instructed them to say that when Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005 it did so without the intention of ever returning, but that the continuation of terrorist attacks was likely to place the country in a position where it may have no other choice.
The ministry also instructed its representatives to reveal that the Grad missiles that were fired at Ashkelon on Thursday were smuggled through Sinai from Iran.
According to one diplomatic source, stressing the Iranian origin of the missiles showed the importance of aggressive action to stop the smuggling and isolate Hamas from Syria and Iran, which “directs the organization’s terrorist actions.”
“We have warned for a while about the arming of Hamas, and what is happening now is proof of this,” the official said.