Today’s post brings you up to date with some serious (and possibly not so serious) reflections on Operation Pillar of Defense. Most of this is material you will NOT read in our mainstream media who prefer shallow sloganeering and wild allegations to factual, reality-grounded analysis.
Never underestimate the harm done by a partisan media intent on manipulating news and analysis to support a covert agenda or pre-existing bias. It breeds enormous distrust and cynicism and worse, it degrades the level and ethics of political debate across the board, not only perrtaining to the Middle East.
I tend to believe that Israel has come out of the recent Gazan operation considerably strengthened despite the shrill chorus from unreconstructed activists in the West and “sympathetic” media and, of course, bluster from Hamas trying to put a brave face on the humiliating hiding meted out by a technolgically sophisticated adversary.
The facts are straightforward. To quote frm a article by Alex Joffe in “Jewish Ideas Daily” at http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/5456/features/israels-friends-in-gaza/:
‘There were strikes on 1,500 sites, including 19 command centers, 140 tunnels, and 26 weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, as well as what an IDF spokesman laconically called “hundreds of underground rocket launchers” and “dozens of rocket launchers and launch sites.”’ Besides this, much of the top Hamas military leadership were eliminated by targeted strikes with the loss of less civilian lives than caused by one of the major suicide bombs going off at regular intervals in Iraq and elsewhere.
Also as pointed out by Joffe, this level of timing and precision implied considerable collaboration by Gazans themselves in providing Israel with important information despite murderous intimidation by Hamas thugs. The Western leaders were mainly behind the Israeli response to incessant Gazan rocket fire.
Iran must be looking with acute alarm at the failure of its proxies (Hamas, Syria and Hizbollah) to pose any kind of deterrence to either USA or Israeli threats to their militarised nuclear programme. The prospect of a rightwing Likud victory and, I suspect and hope, a newfound realism from Obama regarding what is actually at stake, must fill them with considerable trepidation.
In discussion with a left-leaning Zionist supporter, the point was made that a decisive USA/Israel military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would signal to the Arab-Muslim world just where they stand in the power hierarchy in the Middle East, and could also be used to pressure recalcitrants within Israel to move decisively towards a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians – with adequate security measures of course.
Is this excessively optimistic? One hopes that it is not, but Hamas and its like in the Middle East/North Africa region plus radical Muslim groups in the West remain adamantly wedded to their dead-end, nihilistic fantasies; see for example the short video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UT6grrx8do&feature=youtube_gdata_player. That elements within our mainstream conventional media continue to turn a blind eye to such murderous fanaticism brings me back to the recurrent theme in this and other of my recent posts – namely, the deep moral and intellectual malaise afflicting our fourth estate.
What this means is, in my view, that it is vital for Israel to maintain its overwhelming military superiority to be used only with the adept backing of diplomacy and public relations and with the utmost restraint in achieving realistic and legitimate objectives.
Following below are some useful and provocative links.
- http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/gaza-postmortem?utm_source=World+Affairs+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e7cd9d04dc-Blog_Mor_Brinkley_11_28_2012&utm_medium=email – A sober analysis of the effect of the Gazan operation on the strategic interests and strengths of various regional players in the ME.
- http://www.jidaily.com/6b53c?utm_source=Jewish+Ideas+Daily+Insider&utm_campaign=30aa6c5f02-Insider&utm_medium=email – Contrary to my approach a call on Israel (and the West) to once and for all achieve a conclusive victory over Hamas and similar extremist and totalitarian entities.
- http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/5456/features/israels-friends-in-gaza/ – Evidence that Israel has many supporters within Gaza who wish to see the end of Hamas as much as does Israel.
- http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/hamas%E2%80%99s-gaza-win?utm_source=World+Affairs+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e7cd9d04dc-Blog_Mor_Brinkley_11_28_2012&utm_medium=email – In my view an excessively pessimistic assesment of the outcome of the recent conflict.
- http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/kristin-deasy/new-media-israel-gaza-information-war – A brief look at the failure of the MSM to provide trusted and reliable news about the Gazan conflct and the rise of the Internet in supplying consumers with better fare.
- http://www.jidaily.com/276b8?utm_source=Jewish+Ideas+Daily+Insider&utm_campaign=9221595cf2-Insider&utm_medium=email – A fascinating look at the development of the radical gamechanger, the Iron Dome Missile Defense System, against the forces of apathy and doubt.
- http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12505#.ULezNKxtio8 – A look at the history of the 2-state solution in the cotext of current demands and cries of outrage over the “oocupation”. Ironically it suggests that had the Arabs held onto the pre 1967 West Bank and Gaza Strip there would be no hope of a Palestinian state. It is only Israel’s victory which makes an independent Palestinian state a possibility; assuming of course they and their supporters do not scuttle their own chances.