Why is Israel bombing Gaza?
Why? The upcoming Israeli elections? Because they can?
One and a half days after Israel attacks Gaza killing hundreds and still no email news alerts from the NY Times and when it isn't being deliberately down-played the coverage on this from America is biased to the max:
Slate says Israel "strikes back" - against what? a few days of skyrockets which had killed no-one up to that point. Taking Israel's side explicitly is what they are doing, using Ehud Barak's quote as the headline:A pledge to stop smuggling weapons... while Israel has nuclear weapons that America encourages... while the US sends, lends and finances Israel with its top of the range military equipment. The hypocrisy of their media is on display everywhere.
Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper has less biased coverage than what is coming out of America. They report:
By the end of Monday, the third day of Operation Cast Lead, Israel will be close to exhausting its target bank for aerial bombing. At that point, it will have to either launch a ground operation or bring the campaign to a speedy conclusion. Thus far, however, Israel has been sending conflicting messages about where the operation is headed.
On the one hand, despite its stated goal of a limited operation ending in a new and improved cease-fire, Israel has so far not sent Washington its outline of an acceptable formulation and asked it to begin mustering the requisite international support. And since that process is likely to take several days, if the goal were to end the fighting quickly, Israel's diplomatic initiative should have been ready to go at the same time as its military initiative.
This is especially the case because, unlike in the Lebanon war, it does not have the excuse of having been caught by surprise.
On the other hand, the military mobilization so far is not nearly enough for a major ground operation - and even if the requisite several divisions were called up, they would need a few days of training before they were ready to enter Gaza.
At the moment, therefore, neither a full-scale invasion of Gaza nor a quick diplomatic solution seems in sight.
So why has the Israeli government done this? Why now?
The upcoming election may account for the timing - Barak and Livni know that in Israeli politics as in American politics as in all politics anywhere for that matter, War plays well to the electorate, it forces the opposition and the public into backing any attack against the enemy - regardless of how punitive, stupid or counter-productive - and rewards the leaders prepared to terrorise the other side. The Israelis are very quick to use terrorism - it is their preferred form of warfare. Only they use an organised and technologically superior American military machine to do the terrorism for them.
The continuing Palestinian persecution and subjugation and containment inside a besieged refugee ghetto is one thing - shooting Palestinian fish in an Israeli barrel, but as Olmert proved when he invaded Lebanon (on another similarly flimsy pretext) if it goes wrong and the opponent makes a credible defence (in Olmert's case it was Hezbollah, in this case Hamas) then it plays very poorly with the Israeli electorate. Olmert's haste and mishandling crucified (if I can use that term) his popularity. That is why the IDF targeted the rockets in Gaza. The fact that so few have been fired back in response would indicate that they were taken out (or that their were not that many). Given they are of little tactical value in a military sense a lot of the considerations in this attack are political. Israel wants "regime change" in Gaza as well as a firmer stranglehold over the ethnic enclave and they are prepared to terrorise and bomb the Gaza government - and the Gaza people - into oblivion to do it.
America just says try to avoid civilian casualties while you bomb and destroy the human and physical infrastructure of the democratically elected government of Palestine (in Gaza). But, don't let the odd dozen or so civillian casualties here and there stop you. Don't let that stop you. That was the American official message yesterday. Meh, just so many dead Arabs, what's another thousand or so?
America is in favour of it. In favour of terrorism and aggression. If 300 Jews got killed in 48 hours by Hamas we know how the US would have reacted. 300 rag-heads? Fuck'em. They don't exist. Those lives are about 100-1 less valuable than Jewish lives. That's if you believe the American media. Look at the NY Times website column [at right]. This is their sickening "News Analysis":
With Strikes, Israel Reminds Foes It Has Teeth
Israel’s military operation in Gaza aims to expunge the ghost of its flawed 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon and re-establish Israeli deterrence.
Now the aggression is called "deterence" and Israel, according to the sub-editor's heading, has "foes". Well what about: "With Strikes, Islamists Remind Foes It Has Teeth" for the September 11 2001 attacks? No, because it's supportive isn't it. So the stories in the NY Times: First: it's a campaign against "Palestinian militants" - it's far wider than that. Second story Israel has teeth, third Obama and Middle East policy, and the last story: "Israeli Foreign Minister Says Hamas Is to Blame". So it's all those awful Gazan's fault and Israel is tops. That's the word from New York City.
Washington Post reporting:
The goal is to break Hamas's military capacity. "We will continue to attack as long as they fire," said a senior Israeli military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Israel's military, he said, intends to pressure Hamas to the point where the Islamist movement either "runs out of will or runs out of capability to launch more attacks."
Well what the fuck does that mean? Runs out of will to do what? Be the government? Like maybe they will all resign as a democratically elected government and let the corrupt collaborateur Fatah party take over the government - on behalf of and at the insistence of the Israelis!? That will never happen. "Capability to launch more attacks"? - a small rocket (range maximum of 40km) can be "smuggled" in and then stored and then used at any location, and can be manufactured in many locations. They can't do that.
They cannot achieve either of those stated military objectives by military action. It isn't possible. So then it's not true, or the Israelis are delusional. I would put money an a bit of both. It is a short-term political gimmick at the expense of hundreds of Palestinian lives. The way that thick Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, was going on yesterday he was saying the attack was to correct Hamas' behaviour. Like it was a lesson, not just revenge, or an ancient ethnic/religious antipathy played out under America's guidance, but an educational opportunity for the Arabs to learn about how the Jews play in the sandpit. And above all else for them to respect the Zionist Authority and swallow some more bitter containment medicine that Israel has cooked up and now wishes to force feed the unwilling, but shackled, victim.
NZ should have a naval vessel off the Gaza coast.