Of course, the Gazans have been using their independent status and the umpteen million pounds that they receive in aid and is not stolen by the Hamas leadership to send hundreds of rockets into Israel for many months and, even, years. The presidential election has not made any difference to them. But has it to Israel? Did they decide that with Obama back in the White House, they have little to lose and much to gain by striking back rather neatly and killing the leader of the Hamas terrorist wing in Gaza, Ahmed Jabari, as well as eight other known terrorists? Hard to tell.
Naturally enough, there have been "reprisals" and Hamas has killed three Israeli civilians as well as fired rockets into the vicinity of Tel Aviv. At least, we think it was Hamas as "both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have claimed responsibility for the attack". The BBC reported it, too. And the reprisal for that may well be Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza. Let us hope this time they will think a little more carefully about public relations than they have done in the past. At least they have taken with gusto to the twitter war that is raging between the two sides.
They have not started badly. For the first time in I don't know how long we are getting news stories that start with the fact of those Hamas rockets that have been raining on Israel. The Foreign Secretary's statement blamed Hamas for the situation that is rapidly spinning out of control though it called on Israel to preserve stability. Fair enough.
There seems no point in this blog trying to outdo the news agencies on the subject, so let me link to one or two interesting stories, instead. Firstly, a posting by Stephen Hoffman (yes, yes, I know the lad) that tries to explain to the readers of the Young Britons' Foundation site that Israel, like other countries, has the right to defend herself. Personally, I find it odd that anyone should need to argue that. Every country has the right to defend itself and Israel has been remarkably patient with those rocket-firing Gazans. Would any other country put up with it or, more to the point, expect to put up with it? (In parenthesis, let me add that I also supported Bosnia's right to defend herself back in the nineties.)
Phyllis Chesler has an interesting round-up of reactions from various tranzis and NGOs. They are what you would expect but it is still fun to read them:
So far, the governments of the United States, Britain,Germany, and Canada have asserted that Israel has a right to defend itself. The liberal democracies in the West are speaking out.
But, Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations stated that“Israeli reactions need to be measured so as not to provoke a new cycle of bloodshed.” International groups are urging "restraint."
Amnesty is calling on "all sides must step back from the brink to protect civilians;" Physicians for Human RIghts say: "Israel's decision makers (should) refrain from an attack on Gaza which may cause many victims in Gaza and Israel;" Oxfam International calls for "immediate restraint as Gaza-Israel violence escalates."
These groups did not call for restraint when Hamas launched their 700 rockets into heavily populated Israeli cities such as Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ber Sheva.
Do Ban Ki-Moon and Amnesty and the allegedly medical groups know that Israeli civilians have been murdered and wounded in these current rockets attacks—including a pregnant Chabad representative who was visiting Israel for a memorial service for the Chabad rabbi and rebbitzen z”l who were murdered in an Islamist terrorist attack in India? Do they care?The answer to that last question is "of course not" but neither do they care about the Palestinians or they would speak up a little more loudly about the oppression imposed on them by Hamas.
The Prime Minister of Egypt is off to Gaza to support Hamas though not so long ago the Egyptian security forces had their own problems in the area. This is a particularly good time for the Egyptian government to show support for warmongering terrorists as the EU has just approved an aid package for the country's "battered economy" (though that description implies that it ever functioned satisfactorily) worth 5 billion euros ($6.4 billion or £4.02 billion). Presumably, there is just too much money floating around in the EU and we can all spare it to shore up the rickety and hostile structure called the Egyptian government.
Finally, something to make us all chuckle. Pallywood is back and the BBC happily fell for it. Do watch this interview and news story if you have not seen it yet, paying particular attention to the writhing in pain wounded man who is being carried away around 2:10 or just after and his miraculous recover around 2:42.