31 October 2007

Gaza switch-off and armchair generals

Seth Freedman has, in his endearingly provocative manner, slapped together another piece for CiF.

As in most of his other articles, the recipe was simple: take one side of the Israeli/Palestinian strife, ignore all that is not black and white and presto - you have a perfect stick to stir some unrest in the CiF cesspool.

This time, however, Seth has outdone even himself, starting with a glaringly wrong premise:

That Israel doesn't know how to stop the barrage of Kassam rockets from Gaza is a given - defence officials have been wracking their brains for years over the issue, to no avail whatsoever.
Bullshit - and everyone knows this. We all know very well that there are several possible solutions to the barrage (now it is my turn to become an armchair general and be outrageous on purpose):
  1. Answer every rocket by ten (or a hundred) rockets directed as Hamas/Jihad will - into the centers of Gaza's civilian population
  2. Reoccupy the whole Gaza strip - not for a brief operation - for keeps, and bring the settlers back
  3. Transfer the whole 1.5 million of Gazans elsewhere
  4. Kill the whole 1.5 million
Now, no matter how outrageous these four options are, they are a) technically possible and b) have been already carried out by other people at other times. Of course, some armchair general could ask why the most obvious option is omitted: making peace. Well, Seth himself offers a (partial) answer:
Rightly or wrongly, many see the rocket attacks on Israel as entirely legitimate and worthy actions...
Unfortunately, this is how Sharon's idea of transforming the troubled Gaza strip into a model of exemplary neighborhood for future coexistence turned out. "Making Sderot a ghost town", incessantly attacking the border crossings (which are supposed to provide the vital foodstuffs, medicaments, fuel etc.), conducting a vicious brainwashing of their people - in short, the current rulers of Gaza strip are intentionally causing hardships to the civilian population on their side of the border and doing their best to our side to provoke us into one of the four responses outlined above (you guess which one).

It doesn't take a very bright armchair general to notice that Seth does not have a slightest idea of what to do in the situation, aside of the lame "No one is saying it's going to be easy to halt the Kassams...". And his referrals to the international law are pure crap. Just look again at the four options above and answer a simple question: which one is preferable to the occasional electricity switch-off?

Now regarding this "understanding":
Israel, understandably, doesn't want to risk its soldiers' lives by sending them back into Gaza to tackle the terror cells head-on...
Of all the crappy journalism... Doesn't Seth realize that there is another compelling concern - about the number of civilian "bystanders" that are inevitably going to die in their thousands in case of full-scale IDF invasion of Gaza? Which invasion will be carried out according to the international law, by the way.

I can understand and share Seth's frustration by the unending enmity and the lack of progress on the way to peace. Inane articles assigning blame to one side and not offering a glimmer of a solution are quite another matter.

P.S. From BBC, of all sources:
As usual in the Middle East, it is not international law that determines policy. The firing of Qassam rockets at Israeli towns itself is internationally regarded as violating the Geneva Convention prohibition on attacks aimed solely at civilians. That does not stop the rockets.
Cross-posted on Yourish.com.



Anonymous said...

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