Sunday, 11 November 2012

Waves of rockets from Gaza, mortars on the Golan, the worst is yet to come

 It is no coincidence that the re-election of Obama has seen a rise in attacks by Hamas and its cohorts on the Israeli south. So far in the last 24 hours getting on for a hundred assorted missiles have been fired at Israel and there are a number of injured. Israel has warned its citizens to be no more than 15 seconds away from a bomb shelter. Civilian life in southern Israel has come to a halt. And this is exactly what the terrorists want.

In the 1930's arabs launched waves or terror attacks on jews throughout Mandatory Palestine and the response was for the Haganah to defend its villages and roads as best it could. The initiative was however always with the attackers and the toll in jewish lives grew. It was only when the feeling grew that the Yishuv was being strangled, and British authorities themselves came under attack from those arabs such as Haj Amin El Husseini that something was done. British army officers had encouraged the arabs in their attacks on jews as far back as the 1920 and 1921 attacks on the jews of Jerusalem.

Only with the setting up of the Palmah, its unorthodox leader Yitzchak Sadeh and a similarly unorthodox Brit, that rarerst of officers who was in sympathy with the jews did things change. Wingate's ideas involved taking the war to the enemy. He did not believe in waiting in a trench or a guardpost but lying in wait for the arab bands at the entrances to their villages.  When the bands came out at night to terrorize the kibbutzim they would be shot up as they left their village.
And the British army faced with arab terror warned villages that those which shielded arab bands of murderers would be obliterated. When the warnings were not taken, the villages were blown up.  The methods were cruel but effective. The British crushed the arab revolt so much that when the arabs tried their terror again in 1947-8 the Yishuv managed to suppress the terror within 6 months even in the face of British obstruction, of arms confiscations and arrests of Haganah members.

That was 1948. The Haganah had learned the lessons of 1936, and had gone over to the offensive as soon as was possible when the British would evacuate an area prior to leaving the country (in disarray) in May 1948.

Nowadays the aim is not to clear the way for the invasion of other arab armies but have a constant low level attrition against Israel, to stifle its economic and civil life. The intention is to attack Israel, cause mayhem for a few days and then before any Israeli response can get going, have arab allies such as Egypt call a ceasefire to which Hamas will 'reluctantly' agree.

This is intended to be an almost cost free exercise in attrition against the State of Israel. A near constant disruption of life for over a million israelis for which a few expendable jihadists will be gladly sacrificed. It is no sacrifice, except for paralysed Israel. Israel is like a rabbit caught in the headlights unable to respond to the almost daily attacks against it apart from vague threats that a larger operation might have to be undertaken against Hamas at some future date.

Israel as seen above has been here before but the old lessons are well and truly forgotten. Moshe Dayan knew them and so did Ariel Sharon, but Barak does not understand them and neither it seems does Netanyahu. Whilst Obama was uncertain in the last year of his re-election Israel might have acted with relative impunity against Gaza for its missile attacks on Israel. Israel might even have got away with an attack to divest Iran of its nuclear weapons program. That window has now passed and Israel must reckon with an enemy in the White House, of a US administration that when it can not prevent Israel from retaliating against those who attack it will seek to inflict pain on Israel.

Rather than concentrate on the real enemies of peace, of palestinian arab intransigance, of arabs not agreeing to sit down and talk to Israel at the  negotiating table, Obama will continue in the same vein of painting Israel as the agressor, of appeasing the islamist extremists (whose very existance he denies, only admitting to a 'defeated' al qaida) and of pointing to Israel's settlements in Judea and Samaria and of the conflict with a spurious palestinian arab people as being the source of all middle east problems. This has always been a ludicrous argument, now more than ever, but it is always repeated as a mantra in various mutant forms.

Israel might have been able to respond before Obama was re-elected, but now everything is different. The time for smashing Hamas and its capabilities has passed. In the next four years the might of the USA will be devoted to preventing Israel from responding properly either to Iranian threats to annihilate Israel or of Israel's enemies attacks from Gaza, Lebanon and elsewhere in the middle east. Israel has an enemy in the White House who will make sure that Israeli attempts to defend itself will be frustrated.

The most that will be allowed is small 'proportionate' responses  whereby the odd low level terror operative (usually identified as a 'civilian') is killed whilst launching a missile. The solution to Gazan terror, of uprooting its terror infrastructure root and branch is now off the cards. Hence the massive upsurge lately in attacks on Israel.

Olmert had the chance in 2008 during the 'Cast Lead' war and fluffed it, as he did in 2006 in Lebanon when Israeli soldiers were attacked and kidnapped. Netanyahu has had years to deal with Iran and Gaza himself but has not done so.  For the next 4 years even were there a wish to do so, Israel is going to be unable to deal with Iran thus forcing it to rely on sanctions and covert operations to delay their nuclear program.

Similarly Israel has another four years in which it will suffer the consequences of Netanyahu's inaction in the face of nearly constants islamist attacks from Gaza's territory. Obama will not allow the needed IDF invasion to resolve the problem.

One day Israelis will understand that in the face of an implaccable foe who will only be satisfied when the caliphate is established over the whole of Israel and as far as Spain (in the first instance), the only method to defeat his intentions is to utterly uproot Israel's enemies from Gaza.

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