Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Re-Invading Gaza -Good Idea?

Gush Katif greenhouses before....when Jews lived there

And now, used for missile launching and arms smuggling tunnels
Israel may have no choice but to reoccupy the Gaza Strip, especially the Philadelphi Corridor.

Olmert's hand may be forced after yesterdays' barrage against Sderot's schools, and the discovery today by Egyptian forces of a major arms cache in el-Gefgafa, about thirty odd miles north of the Sinai town of El Arish.

The Egyptians found 2.7 tons of explosives en route to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza,including a few dozen 240 mm Katyusha rockets of the type used by Hezbollah on northern Israel last year. From Gaza, these lethal toys can reach Beersheba, as well as easily hitting Ashkelon and Netivot.

And the Palestinians also now have on hand dozens of Iranian Republican Guard and Hezbollah missile advisers and experts who are training the Palestinians on using their existing gear and and advising them on how to develop upgraded missiles with improved range and accuracy.

The IDF has been advocating taking out the missile sites for some time and ending the open passage of heavy weapons into Gaza..but Olmert has been holding off because he doesn't want to effect his current negotiations with Arafat II Abbas or cause any waves en route to the November peace conference with US Secretary of State Condi Rice.

Olmert actually asked the UN for help in stopping the rocket attacks on Israeli children. I'm sure that got a good chuckle in certain quarters.

Now, with the schoolchildren of Sderot and their parents camped out in front of the Knesset protesting, and Knesset members calling for action he may have to do something.

He's reluctantly called a cabinet session tomorrow to deal the situation and come up with some ideas to deal with the ongoing attacks on Israel.

So, what are the options?

Olmert could order a full scale IDF incursion into Gaza. That would stop the missile attacks, but it basically entails a re-occupation...which would stop the rocket attacks but it stretches the IDF at a time when they need to be more focussed on rebuilding themselves and countering threats from the north rather than babysitting a bunch of murderous and dysfunctional `Palestinians'.

It's not a good idea in my opinion unless it involves completely destroying Hamas and Islamic Jihad permanently in the most complete way possible and annexing the entire Strip to Israel..which would need to involve a large number of expulsions of `Palestinians' and the reintroduction of the Jews who were kicked out of their home in Gaza in order to be successful.

That's unlikely to happen, because of the paranoia in Israel about bad press by people who by and large hate them already anyway just for existing, and because it would force Olmert and Co. to admit that they made a huge mistake by expelling the Jews from Gaza in the first place...and we can't have that, even if it makes sense to simply admit an error and move on.

Option two would be more futile air strikes or a limited incursion into the Strip...been there, done that. Solves nothing.

Option three would be the old policy of targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and facilities. That worked well while Sharon was running the show, but I doubt Olmert is able or willing to pull it off.

Option four is the one I would choose. First of all, I would tell the Americans that the status quo isn't acceptable anymore, that I am breaking off all talks until the attacks cease, and that if the importation of rockets and forein `advisers' into Gaza doesn't cease, Israel would be forced to take all steps necessary to see that it does...up to and including reoccupying Gaza, expelling a fair amount of the locals and annexing the strip to Israel. That would likely cause the administration to put pressure on Egypt to actually police its borders with Gaza.

Second, I would inform Hamas and Islamic Jihad publicly that the next attack on Israel, no matter who was responsible would be met with deadly force and a protracted strike directed against the Hamas and Islamic Jihad facilities, infrastructure and leadership, without regard for civilian casualties. Making that announcement publicly would put not only Hamas and Islamic Jihad ( and the Palestinian apologists and groupies in the West) on notice, but the civilian population of Gaza as well....so that there would be no question as to whom was responsible for the ensuing violence.

And I would follow through on it, the next time a rocket was launched at Israel.

One can't negotiate with Amalek, but it is possible to create a deterrent that makes it more painful than it's worth to attack.That's exactly what's been missing in Israel's relationship with the `Palestinians'.

Jabotinsky was right.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't Israel depend on America for its armaments? If Israel becomes as heavy-handed as you wish, then how do you know that America won't cut it off completely?

And what if the other countries of the world with whom Israel trades decide to boycott?

Of all the four options you stated, taking out the leaders and facilities of the terrorist groups sounds like the most sensible and the least risky.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Nazar,how are you?

You raise, as always, some interesting points.

First off, I find it interesting that warning both the US, as an ally and the `Palestinians' as the perpetrators that Israel will no longer accept attacks on its civilians and will respond forcefully to any future attacks would be considered `heavy handed'.

If Mexico were launching missiles at Brownsville or El Cajon would you likewise consider it `heavy handed' if the US were to warn the Mexican government to cease and desist or face a retaliation in force?

What if the Brits were getting hit by missiles from Ireland, or the French from Belgium?

Why the double standard?

Second, while your point about US arms is well taken, I doubt that the US would cut off arms to Israel because the US Congress is substantially pro-Israel, (as is the US Armaments industry, where most of Israel's aid is spent) the US benefits substantially from Israeli high tech and theUS understands that Israel is an important strategic ally to the US..and the `Palestinians' are not.
An arms embargo and a cutting of ties to Israel would hurt the US...although of course we'd survive.

In any event, Israel survived until 1967 without US arms of any kind, and now has a pretty decent armaments industry of its own, who's products are sought after world wide.They'd likewise survive.

As far as the option you mention about targeting terrorist leaders, the main problem (and I said so in the article) is Olmert being able to pull it off. He's not Sharon.

In essence, my course of action would do the same thing anyway, after putting the Palestinians on public notice.

As for other countries, in case you haven't noticed, pretty much anything Israel does gets a fair amount of criticism,no matter how restrained they try be. And that restraint has only emboldened Israel's enemies.

I think they're better off doing the job right and finishing the problem once and for all and taking the three day hit in the media...especially as the `Palestinians' can't say they weren't duly warned to cease and desist.

Thanks, as always for dropping by, bro.


Anonymous said...

Hey FF, just wanted to clear something up. When I mentioned that the "heavy-handed" part I meant when you advocated for Israel to deport (some would call it ethnic cleansing) the Palestinians from Gaza if Israel invaded Gaza. That would be like if Mexico bombed the USA, and we not only bombed them back, but invaded a part of their country and deported all the Mexicans out of that part. I would call that heavy-handed, but we may disagree.

So you see, I wasn't using a double standard at all.

I didn't know all that stuff about Israel's arms industry, and I'll admit that I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of Israeli history, but didn't Israel get its weapons from the Soviets, and the Europeans until 1967?

Just wondering...

Anonymous said...

Hi Nazar,
The situation is slightly different than given in your analogy.

Since the Arabs never accepted Israel's existence and the UN partition attempt was rejected in 1948, all of the Palestine Mandate was essentially up for grabs,(unlike Mexican sovereign territory, finalized by the treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo) and the Israeli claim to Gaza, Judea and Samaria(AKA the West Bank) is just as legitimate as anyone else's.Had the Arabs conquered Israel, do you think they would have ever given it up?

The `Palestinians'(who did not exist as a nationality until after 1967) title to the areas they now hold is based on Oslo, where the Israelis became the only country to give the Palestinians so much as a square dunam of land to call their own.Needless to say, it wasn't appreciated.

The Israelis essentially did a real estate deal with the `Palestinians' based on certain conditions, which the Palestinians notoriously never met...I therefore consider this real estate deal null and void.

If the Israelis were to invade Gaza and not remove the present squatters, they would be faced with the same old garbage of babysitting a fairly psychotic Arab population. Same with Judea and Samaria...no sense in that, although if they ARE going to invade Gaza, or the West Bank better to do the job right this time.

I prefer the idea of massive retaliation against the Palestinian infrastructure and targetting the leadership with a particularly harsh reprisal in the event if the Arabs are unwilling to end their hostile attacks on Israel...after a proper warning.

That's the mindset of most of the Arabs in the Middle East, Nazar.At your throats or at your feet. Waffling or temporizing is only seen as weakness, and the US had exactly the same experience during the 1990's.

Israeli arms..during the 1948 War of Independence, the US maintained an arms embargo on both sides, which naturally worked to Israel's disadvantage, as Britain had supplied the Arabs ( especially the Egyptans and Jordanians) wth modern arms. In the case of Jordan, the Arab Legion was officered by British officers, led by the notorious Jew hater Colonel John Glubb.

You also should know that all through their mandate, the British made a practice of confiscating Jewish arms even if it left the Jews defenseless against Arab marauders...who the British did nothing about,by and large, until the Arab Revolt of the 1930's when the Arabs turned on the British.

The Brits also made sure to turn over arsenals and strategic locations like the Taggart Forts to the Arabs when they left..and remember this was only 2 years after the Holocaust, and the Arabs made no secret of their intentions to kill every Jew in Israel.

The US and the UN did absolutely nothing to stop the Arabs.

Israel was defended with what arms the Haganah and the Irgun had managed to secrete from the British, along with a number of innovations (like the home made Davidka mortars)and ironically, captured Nazi arms stockpiles smuggled in from places like Czecholslovakia and Austria.

The biggest advantage the Jews had was not being able to afford to lose.It's an amazing story, and one that can only be understood by me in the context of divine providence intervening.

Before 1967, the Israelis mainly used a lot of French arms and jets (the Mysteres)and an odd mixture of captured Soviet arms taken from the Arabs, some American WWII surplus items bought from private sources and a handful of what arms the Brits would sell them. It wasn't at all uncommon to find a Brit Centurion tank chassis coupled with a Soviet cannon or US Sherman electronics.

That's what they won the Six Day War with. The US didn't sell much in the way of arms to Israel until Nixon became president.

The modern Israeli arms industry esentially stems from De Gaulle's cutting off all arms to Israel from France on the eve of the `67 war.

They decided they weren't going to be left vulnerable again.With armaments, the biggest need is things like spare parts - tires, motors, screws, the proper nuts and bolts...

Among the world renowned products Israel produces is the Merkava battle tank (which Jane's calls one of the best in the world)the Galil assault rifle,the world famous Uzi and the Kfir fighter jet.

Israel also manufactures a number of items in joint ventures with American defense contractors, like the Arrow and Patriot missiles and the brand spankin' new Green Pine radar system, which the Bush Administration will be using in its planned missile defense shield in Europe and in America.

If you think about it, Israel is one of the handful of allies the US has with a significant military component.

Hope this was helpful..