The bomb raids, thought to be the most intense since the 1967 six-day war, will go on “as long as necessary”, Israel said. A response to the rocket attacks had been widely expected, although few could have guessed at the scale or the precise timing.
We appear to be back at square one. It is 18 months since Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza with the aim of isolating Hamas and preventing its supporters launching rocket attacks. The six-month ceasefire, although often breached, at least suggested the possibility of dialogue. Now, as so often in the region, we are back to bloodshed and loss of life.
The immediate requirement is to secure a ceasefire on both sides. The bigger question is how to get out of this bloody stalemate. Israel’s response will seem disproportionate to many but it was made in response to extreme provocation, compounded by Hamas’s refusal to recognise Israel’s right to exist. Israel’s blockade is, in turn, inflicting misery on thousands of people without corresponding diplomatic or strategic gain.
Fox News headline: Obama Monitors Mideast Fighting From Hawaii. Oh good.
I’ve been going through my archives. Daniel Pipes, August, 2005:
If Israel’s critics are right, the Gaza withdrawal will improve Palestinian attitudes toward Israel, leading to an end of incitement and a steep drop in attempted violence, followed by a renewal of negotiations and a full settlement. Logic requires, after all, that if “occupation” is the problem, ending it, even partially, will lead to a solution.
But I forecast a very different outcome. Given that about 80% of Palestinian Arabs continue to reject Israel’s very existence, signs of Israeli weakness, such as the forthcoming Gaza withdrawal, will instead inspire heightened Palestinian irredentism. Absorbing their new gift without gratitude, Palestinian Arabs will focus on those territories Israelis have not evacuated. (This is what happened after Israeli forces fled Lebanon.) The retreat will inspire not comity but a new rejectionist exhilaration, a greater frenzy of anti-Zionist anger, and a surge in anti-Israel violence.
LGF, September, 2005:
And the high-tech greenhouses built by settlers, that provided employment and food for many Palestinians, are also being looted and destroyed.
The greenhouses, left behind by Israel as part of a deal brokered by international mediators, are a centerpiece of Palestinian plans for rebuilding Gaza after 38 years of Israeli occupation. The Palestinian Authority hopes the high-tech greenhouses will provide jobs and export income for Gaza’s shattered economy.
And Emanuele Ottolenghi, January, 2006:
If they bomb Israel from Gaza — not under occupation anymore, and is therefore, technically, part of the Palestinian state the PLO proclaimed in Algiers in 1988, but never bothered to take responsibility for — that is an act of war, which can be responded to in kind, under the full cover of the internationally recognized right of self-defense. No more excuses that the Palestinians live under occupation, that the PA is too weak to disarm Hamas, that violence is not the policy of the PA.
Apparently I skipped linking to all the American and various western European lefties writing that Israel’s heartbreaking withdrawal from Gaza surely meant that the Palestinians would be happy, and that surely any further aggressive acts from the Palestinians would be rightly and justly seen as unendurable acts of terrorism, and that the entire world community, having witnessed this heartbreaking act of goodwill on the part of the Israelis, would surely support them in whatever responsive measures they might choose, but that really it wouldn’t happen anyway. Probably because I knew it was all a load of crap.
Hamas could have prevented the “massacre” in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday in Cairo.
PA President Abbas said Hamas could’ve prevented current escalation in violence if it did not end truce
“We spoke to them and told them ‘Please, we ask you not to end the cease-fire. Let it continue,’” Abbas said during a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. “We want to protect the Gaza Strip. We don’t want it to be destroyed.”…
Asked who was to blame for the dire situation in Gaza, the foreign minister replied: “Ask the party that controls Gaza.”
Veddy veddy interesting.
The fauxtography begins again?
Curtsy to Brett McS, who writes in the comments, “the World, except for two:” US, Australia back Gaza strike; rest of the world doesn’t
Maybe that should be “US, Australia, and Mahmoud Abbas”? Nahhh.