Tag Archives: IDF

Is Hamas Losing its Protective Edge?

Most media outlets across the world without any particular axe to grind, peg Hamas as the instigator for this latest round of violence in the Middle East.

It continues to hurl rockets at nearby Israeli civilian centres with the express purpose of causing solely civilian Jewish casualties. But why is it doing this? And is Hamas losing its ‘protective edge’ in the battle for the hearts and minds of the “Palestinian” street?

It is increasingly clear to many observers here in Australia, that Hamas has been stung by the Israeli operation in Judea and Samaria in the wake of the kidnapping of the three Jewish teenagers.

Their 5-year long wait for release of arab prisoners in the Shalit deal has come to naught because Israel has used the west bank initiative to re-imprison most of the top Hamas west bank-based operatives who were released back in 2011.

In the psychology of perceptions in mid-east politics, Hamas lost face.

Not only face, but Hamas is financially strapped now that Shia Iran has withdrawn its financial backing of the terror group because of its support of the rebel Sunni militias in Syria. Needless to add, Assad to has revoked backing the group.

Add to this PA refusal to pay Hamas salaries, the lukewarm support from PA chief Abu Mazen across the country and his reticence to further foment a second front there, and the near hermetically sealing off of the land/tunnel access to Egypt and the Sinai by al-Sisi, has meant that Hamas needed an event to justify its existence.

That leaves only the sea access, but Israel has recently reduced the perimeter blockade to its original distance of three nautical miles, further negating gains made by Hamas in the international arena.

Thus, the round-up of top Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria provided just such an excuse for Hamas to try and restore its flagging fortunes and relevance in the “Palestinian” street.

Until the two Hamas members who murdered Gilad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Ifrach are located and brought back to Israel, it is not entirely clear or proven beyond reasonable doubt that Hamas itself was actually involved in the kidnap and murder.

This would have added to Hamas’ sense of “injustice” at the hand of the Israelis, and would have been a blow to their image as the only arabs taking the physical fight to the ‘Zionist entity’. In this regard, they might yet turn out to be entirely vindicated!….

For his part in the discomfiture of Hamas at the hands of the Israelis, Abu Mazen in Ramallah must be privately delighted that political rival Hamas is bleeding men, materiel and prestige in the current ill-advised debacle. He has further turned the screws by refusing a recent Hamas demand that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah take employees of the disbanded Gaza government onto its payroll.

This dispute over money is symptomatic of the wider malaise and schism afflicting a ‘unity’ government recently sworn in in a bid to end seven years of rival administrations in Gaza and Ramallah. Politically too the two groups are on different trajectories, and Hamas is incensed at the ongoing international recognition of Ramallah as representative of the “Palestinian” struggle at the expense of its violent sibling in Gaza.

Militarily, it is in a bind. Now that Egypt has closed off tunnel access to smuggled medium and long-range rockets from Iran, its need to replenish its stock will grow stronger the longer this conflagration drags on.

In addition, the longer the successful Israeli aerial assault continues on Arab rocket infrastructure in Gaza without any reciprocal success in taking Jewish lives, the more likely it is that a focused ground offensive by the Israeli army would destroy Hamas’ military capabilities and morale even further. This is because hitting the rocket launching system can be done in a far more systematic manner, in places where the rockets and their production facilities are hidden deep in the heart of their non-combatant population. And finally, an IDF ground assault would effectively signal a psychological blow to Hamas who may well believe that Israel is reluctant to initiate a ground operation. However, a ground assault could be exactly what Hamas wants so that anti-tank weapons can take out slow-moving Israeli tanks and army jeeps and other large slow-moving objects in the confines of Gaza’s warrens of streets.

On balance, this writer couldn’t care less what Hamas may or may not believeabout Israeli valour: sanctity of Israeli life in such an operation is paramount and though I hope that Israeli brass will eschew such an option, I will understand why it had to happen.

In the short to medium term then, with Hezbollah and Syria tied up in the north, with Egypt barricading them from the south, with Jordan increasingly turning to military cooperation with Israel against an ISIS threat in the east, Hamas is inexorably running out of options. Unquestionably, it will be dismayed by the heavy physical and strategic damage it has so far sustained. It now appears that al-Sisi’s ouster of the Brotherhood in Egypt was more than just an omen of what was in store for the Gaza-based affiliate……

And that is quite OK by Israel.

In the end, Operation ‘Protective Edge’ will have succeeded in its stated mandate of stopping the rockets.

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Nakba as National Narcotic

Nakba as National Narcotic

“From 1948 to 1967, there is no historical record whatsoever of any effort to create a separate “Palestinian” state. The PLO’s purpose during that time, was not to create a “Palestinian” state, but rather to exterminate a Jewish one. That effort continues today.”

Speak to any supporter of “Palestinian” Arab ‘rights’ to a ‘national’ home in Judea and Samaria today, and you will quickly come to the nub of the conflict as they see it: the loss of “Palestinian” land must be avenged and the rights of the “Palestinian” nation restored….. Most would have you believe that the Nakba of 1948 was the central incident which defines the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict today.

Nothing could be further from the truth/facts.

The movement of Arab Muslims out of the territory of the new state of Israel was as unnecessary as it was a strategic mistake by the Muslim Arab leadership of the time.
They have spent the past 66 years trying to correct it at the expense of other….

Hiding behind a narrative of Jewish depravity and barbarity as they would like to portray it, Muslim Arabs use the narrative of the Nakba as a way to assuage shame and guilt at leaving lands which they were quite welcome to in the first place. In international law.

Over the years, the “Nakba” became a catch-cry which acted as an ideological narcotic on the political will of Muslims Arabs in Judea and Samaria and their backers, irrespective of facts codified in international law.

In other words, using the “Nakba” to press claims of a “Palestinian” homeland for a “Palestinian” people and “nation” merely highlights the fact that the very concept of a stateless Palestinian people is a fabrication.

The “Nakba” is essentially an error of the Arabs own making and it galls the Arab psyche that they cannot turn the clock back on a tiny non-muslim Jewish state amidst a sea of Islamic countries.

In international law, the legally binding Mandate for Palestine document, was conferred on April 24 1920, at the San Remo Conference and its terms outlined in the Treaty of Sevres on August 10 1920. The Mandate’s terms were finalized on July 24 1922, and became operational in 1923.

While Arabs accepted the international community’s creation of the Muslim entities of Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq as legal creations of the League of Nations and the Mandated Powers, they refused to accept that same body’s co-decision to create a Jewish state for a people who had been there some 1,700 years before the birth of Islam.

In fact, made clear through Jamal Husseini, the Arab Higher Committee’s spokesman that they would go to war to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state.

After the UN adopted the partition resolution on November 29, 1947, the Arabs declared a protest strike and instigated riots that claimed the lives of 62 Jews and 32 Arabs.
From November 29, 1947, until April 1, 1948, the Palestinian Arabs took the offensive, with help from volunteers from neighbouring countries of Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. The Arabs inflicted severe casualties on the Jews, in breach of international law and UN rulings.

The UN blamed the Arabs for the violence.

The UN Palestine Commission, which was never permitted by the Arabs or British to go to Palestine to implement the resolution, reported to the Security Council on February 16, 1948, that “powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein.

The Arabs were blunt in taking responsibility for the aggression and the breach of international law. Jamal Husseini told the Security Council on April 16, 1948:
“The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”

Even the British commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion, John Bagot Glubb admitted: “Early in January, the first detachments of the Arab Liberation Army began to infiltrate into Palestine from Syria. Some came through Jordan and even through Amman . . . They were in reality to strike the first blow in the ruin of the Arabs of Palestine.”

It is this pain and shame that the Nakba as narcotic is meant to deaden: Arab responsibility for their own failures to accept international law and the consequences of trying to take land through a strategy of aggression in direct violation of the 1907 Hague Convention and the draft of the Geneva Convention which was finally published in 1949……

Again, in international law, the partition resolution was never suspended or rescinded.

Thus, Israel, the Jewish State in Palestine, was born on May 14, as the British finally left the country.

Five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq) immediately invaded Israel.

Their intentions were declared by Abd Al-Rahman Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League: “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Nakba as narcotic is a deadly attraction to those who have a propensity to addiction; flawed intellects who need props to cope.

The rest of us who are able to resist political addictions and its consequences will know that the United States urged a resolution charging the Arabs with breach of the peace.

Joining the USA, the Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko famously told the Security Council on May 29, 1948, 15 days after the creation of the State of Israel:
“This is not the first time that the Arab states, which organized the invasion of Palestine, have ignored a decision of the Security Council or of the General Assembly. The USSR delegation deems it essential that the council should state its opinion more clearly and more firmly with regard to this attitude of the Arab states toward decisions of the Security Council.

In fact, on July 15, the Security Council threatened to cite the Arab governments for aggression under the UN Charter!!

By this time, however, the Israeli Defense Force had succeeded in stopping the Arab offensive and the initial phase of the fighting ended.

What a difference a few decades of “doublethink” make!

Not for nothing are George Orwell’s words as sinister today as when he first wrote them: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

The continued use of “Nakba” as narcotic inures those who continue to wage war as destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour (Orwell).

And, like all addictions, it is ultimately fruitless.