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Israel squanders initiative waiting for Obama

Israel squanders initiative waiting for Obama

Israel caught Hamas off guard.  While Hamas reasonably could have expected retaliation for stepped-up missile fire, it did not anticipate the nature of the retaliation — the assassination of the head of Hamas’ military wing and the bombing of numerous long-range missile depots.

The lesson of Lebanon and the prior Gaza conflict is that air power alone cannot stop missiles from being fired by people who hide among civilians.  The international community of thugs and anti-Israeli journalists will scream about Israeli retaliation, so Israel always has only a very short window to inflict decisive damage on the ground.

That short window is gone.  This analysis at DEBKAfile is spot on, For Israel, a truce is the worst of all worlds: Tied hands, Hamas unbowed:

Jerusalem, Cairo and Gaza were all waiting for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to arrive Tuesday night, Nov. 20, for tying up the ends of a Gaza ceasefire accord. Until then, Israel held back from its approval and the Palestinians were hurling as many deadly missiles as they could.

DEBKAfile’s analysts say that by giving in to international pressure for a ceasefire, Israel’s leaders Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would show they have failed to learn from their predecessors’ mistakes in ending the last two wars against terrorists inconclusively and prematurely.

After those wars, Israeli civilians were again thrust into the front line against missiles. In 2006, it was the population of northern Israel; in 2012, a million people living in southern Israel are in this intolerable predicament. And after Hamas’s rockets reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for this first time in this round of Palestinian missile aggression, the next round will no doubt spill over into the central Israeli heartland as well.

Tens of thousands of soldiers and reservists were meanwhile held on the Gaza border in suspense for a ground incursion. They stood there and watched as the missiles flew over their heads to explode in their towns and villages and in Cairo, the politicians wrangled over an early ceasefire….

 They had gone along with Obama’s devolution of the ceasefire brokerage effort on three avowed foes of the Jewish state: Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood; Erdogan who keeps on slamming Israel as “a terrorist state;” and the Qatari ruler, who is bankrolling Hamas’s purchases of sophisticated weapons smuggled out of Libya.


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Yep. And I am profoundly impressed by the stiff, clear response to Turkey from SmartPower(tm)…


Bibi & IDF: Drop multi-thousands of leaflets on Gaza stating that many(pig-like)”virgins” will soon be greeting multi-thousands of Gazaites. Subsequently–say 12 hrs–BOMB, Rocket and Blow them to dust & rubble.


I completely agree. A ceasefire would be a disaster. I actually just wrote a post about this myself. Here are the key points:

1. It would allow Hamas and Islamic Jihad to rearm and regroup. After all those targeted assassinations and attacks on communications networks, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are probably in relative disarray. That would quickly go away as any terrorist can always be replaced and communications networks can be rebuilt.

2. It would further improve Hamas’ standing relative to Fatah. Now, I’m no lover of Fatah but they are fat, corrupt and lazy terrorists, who I find preferable to the more crazy and radical Hamas. The fact that Fatah has been almost completely silent while Hamas has faced the brunt of Israeli military power will not be lost on the Palestinian populace. Neither will the fact that, once again, Hamas will have survived such an encounter while taking shots at both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

3. It will erode Israeli deterrence further. Hamas has launched hundreds of rockets, including some at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and all that happens are some airstrikes? And then the international community shuts it down before Israel actually does anything meaningful? Seems like a process that would incentivize Hamas to do this again, over and over in fact. Haven’t the million Israelis who have had to run into bunkers for much of this year, suffered enough? Don’t they deserve a definitive solution? Or are they supposed to continue being 15 seconds from a shelter as the status quo is reinforced? This entire operation could be a relatively huge waste of time. It started out nice, a bit of shock and awe that erased a key Hamas military figure from human existence. That would have been a great time for some blitzkreig tactics, while Hamas was organizationally in disarray. But instead, there was a lot of waiting around. And the rockets keep coming. If the ceasefire is agreed to, what exactly will have been achieved? Nothing. Millions of lives affected, an economy disrupted and absolutely nothing achieved.

4. I seem to remember an IDF that played to win, now they seem to play to tie. Or are just going through the motions. If I am thinking that, other people are too. That would be disastrous for Israel longer term. A ceasefire will only make the IDF look unserious, at least in comparison to its former self. IDF of the Six Day War, of Entebbe, of the Suez Crossing in 1973. Not the Israeli army that was sitting in the shade in the 2nd Lebanon war waiting for orders that never came.

More here:

    A negative side-effect of civilization is that it is disarming. You can’t blame the Israelis. It is difficult, if not impossible, to maintain an active posture over the long-term. Which, incidentally, is the principal reason why criminals always have the advantage. They choose the time and place to depart normality and exploit their victims.

Seems that nobody in the Western World fights wars to crush the enemy and win an undisputed victory.

Not even Israel. The barbarians are at the gate. Soon they’ll be in, while Western so-called leaders (really, spineless patsy appeasers) pat themselves on the back for being kinder and gentler.

Israel gets about $3B in US aid annually; I’m sure Obozo holds that over Bibi’s head. There will be a full-blown confrontation between Israel and her enemies at some point; might as well get it over with sooner rather than later.

I’m still perplexed how the American Jew can vote like he does.

    Also holding it over Israel’s head: Eisenhower.

      Eisenhower held American aid over Israel’s head?! What aid? What was America giving Israel, that it could use as a weapon? Eisenhower was probably the worst US president for Israel ever, but it’s news to me that he used aid as a weapon. Not that he wouldn’t have if he could. He was a bastard.

The longer that this whole Mideast situation is not addressed, the costlier will be the solution.

NO country should have to accept indiscriminate attacks and not have the option to retaliate. Yet the MSM and their cohorts appear to be on the side of the attackers rather than the victim.

Nothing would have given me more pleasure than seeing Gaza cleared, scraped with all survivors carted to the West Bank.

Garza has no place in the modern scheme of things…

“The international community of thugs and anti-Israeli journalists will scream about Israeli retaliation, so Israel always has only a very short window to inflict decisive damage on the ground.”

The anti-Israel press and assorted unsavory leftists and “we are the world opinion people” all jumped Fonzie jumping the shark long ago when it comes to Israel.

Israel should do what it determines it needs to do and just let Pallywood turn out some epic blockbusters.

Dah Joos.

Did it to themselves. Again.

Moses had to go up on the mountain twice. In the meantime they partied with images of Baal like it was -2000. Then they missed the Messiah. Then they hung around Nazi Germany, hoping it would pass. Then they gave the Palestinians Gaza and the West Bank and the Syrians the Golan Heights. Now they’re eating missiles like grapes.

They just don’t seem to get it. Again.

    Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel ,
    “Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead
    you to the Promised Land.”

    Nearly 75 years ago, (when Welfare was introduced) FDR said,
    “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a Camel, this
    is the Promised Land.”

    Today, Congress has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the
    price of Camels and mortgaged the Promised Land!

    I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans, the
    economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement
    funds, etc …. I called a Suicide Hotline.

    I had to press 1 for English.

    I was connected to a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal.

    They got excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

    Folks, we’re screwed.

And I say all that as a FOI. Sigh.

They always do this, and it always bites them in the bum, and they keep doing it again. This was the story of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Operation Galillee Peace. The mission could have been achieved in about a fortnight, and it would have been a resounding success, if only they hadn’t kept stopping every day or two for a ceasefire, giving the enemy time to rest and rearm and prepare, and ultimately letting the PLO escape to Tunisia. It was frustrating watching them make the same foolish mistake over and over and over. If I recall correctly they never did invade Tyre, where they knew the enemy was hiding; they just went around it. And then they got stuck there for 20 years bleeding men and money, when they should have gone in, done the job, and got right out again.

Wretchard over at BC has a pretty good handle on the current Middle East situation.

Look at the map. It will tell you the truth. The truth isn’t “little Gaza”. The truth is Little Israel. It is that very littleness which is eating away at the region’s psyche: the humiliation of 1948 had to be avenged in 1956; that catastrophe had to be avenged in 1967 and 1967 by 1973; and 1973 is still unavenged. It is vengeance eating away at the very minds that crave it.

And now we have the humiliation of 2012, where an entire region must resort to the Western Left, Twitter and Facebook to defend Gaza from Israel because the truth is that all of the Arab Armies put together can’t do squat. Can’t do squat because they are all too busy killing each other.

How the mighty have fallen.

Perhaps its not fair to say that Israel is winning so much as the Muslim world is losing. Losing by tearing itself apart, frittering away the oil resource and paralyzing itself with Jew-hatred. Israel is winning simply by sending its children to school, going to work every day, making scientific discoveries in the lab on a quotidian basis, by paying its bills and sweeping the streets. It is simple, but deadly. A whole lot better at least than jumping up and down in the street firing AK-47s into the air.

Rather than lacking “strategic sense” Israel seems to have hit upon the winning formula. Keep Israel intact, even expanding it — though not by too much in the West Bank — and counter-punching along the borders to prevent incursions or threats. And then let the Muslim world’s dysfunction and Jew-hatred do the rest.

Hamas and Fatah are “Palestine’s” worst enemies and the Western Left’s continued support for these gangs of murderers only guarantees the poverty and destitution of their population. They are reinforcing failure. And the more it fails the more they reinforce. Similarly the Obama administration’s partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood, while in the short term a nuisance to everyone, including Israel represents in the long run a death sentence for Egypt. Soon America will have to feed Egypt; prop it up and provide snacks to the very same people who will storm its embassy walls.

That country along the Nile used to be the granary of civilization. Now it is the world’s biggest importer of wheat and is rapidly running out of everything except delusions of regional destiny.

[…] Jacobson has an update on the results, and an analysis of the American stance: Israel squanders initiative waiting for Obama Israel caught Hamas off guard. While Hamas reasonably could have expected retaliation for […]

BannedbytheGuardian | November 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Hamas is the one that has failed. hey were testing the waters for Egypt to come in.

However Egypt is not anymore powerful under the MB.

There is that pesky Sinai Treaty that Egypt cannot.break.

    I think they can break the treaty, but lose their biggest sponsor in the process, and not pick up any other.

    I agree that Hamas was trying to push Egypt into supporting them in brotherhood against Israel, but Egypt has way, way too much chaos to get its own house in order. They simply can’t afford to try to take on Israel with Syria, Lebanon, and even Jordan preoccupied with their own internal chaos. Erdagon and Morsi will posture for home consumption, but neither will lift a finger for Hamas, and I believe you are right that Hamas was trying to lure them in.

    So much for Muslim brotherhood.

You lost me on this one, Prof. Jacobson. Hamas hides its weapons among civilians so that Israel has to hit civilians if Israel tries to take them out. They haven’t changed that, and won’t change that with the arrival of Clinton, a cease fire, or an invasion from Israel. How is that being caught off guard? They stepped up the rocket attacks and Israel retaliated, right? Or are you saying Israel was about to surprise them with a sneak attack? I just don’t see this.

Israel called up, what, I’ve read 37,000 reservists, I’ve also read 48,000, and I’ve read that another 35,000 have received notice that they may be called up in short order. Not only did air attacks not work in Lebanon, they bungled rolling tanks, and Hezbollah was ready in a way I’d be surprised Hamas could possibly be, with anti-tank brigades with Iran hardware, and they were monitoring communication, which hadn’t been digitized, and irresponsible cell phone communication that Israelis were using throughout the operation.

That meant that President Bush hadn’t shared digital scrambling we’d been using already for years all over Iraq. I can’t believe Israel would still be not be using analogue communications equipment, that Hamas has trained anti-tank brigades with the hardware, or that their jihadists have learned how to take a stand without it being behind civilians. Israel can enter at will, and Hamas doesn’t have the hills to hide in.

It would still be a bloody slog, and I trust Prime Minister Netanyahu to make at least as responsible decisions for Israeli defense as anyone before him.

Hamas puts all of its bets on killing civilians, Israeli and Palestinian. If Netanyahu goes in, that’s part of the calculation. If Netanyahu decides not to go in now, then he’ll be deciding not to play Hamas’s game. And while the press always savages Israel for disproportionate response, responsible governments (NOT the Arab League, and now, not Turkey, who are doing the same thing protecting themselves from the PKK) are behind Israel so far. Their lack of fortitude if Israel goes into Gaza is also likely to be at least part of Netanyahu’s calculations.