Sirens screamed in Tel Aviv as people fled for their lives. Rockets fired from Gaza, ripped through the sky making their way into the Israeli cultural capital for the first time in history. The US, UK and Canada unanimously condemned the attacks as the precipitating factor in the conflict with Hamas bearing the principle responsibility . Our Prime Minister, united with world leaders, also condemned Hamas – confirming Israel’s right to defend herself from such indiscriminate attacks. Who could deny Israel peace?
Less than seven decades from the birth of the modern state of Israel it has experienced seven wars with the region departing farther from a resolution in what has now become one the oldest conflicts in modern history. With Israel surrounded by a sea of Arab nations, who would deny Israel the sovereign right to defend herself? Who would deny Israel peace?
Perhaps those who would kill any remaining possibility of peace. The distinguished Israeli newspaper Haaretz indicated that the Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari was considering a permanent ceasefire with Israel hours before his assassination on the 14th of November. Gershon Baskin famous for his role in negotiating the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and columnist for The Jerusalem post says that he learned first hand that, “Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fires”. IDF spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai reported that Israel could expect rocket attacks and a continued conflict following the assassination.
Logic would suggest that not killing the cease fire hope (Jabari) would be a more effective means of defending against rocket fire and establishing peace not to mention saving human life (assuming that’s a consideration). If prevention is better than cure, then provocation would suggest the intent is to neither prevent nor cure. So who is denying Israel peace?
Perhaps those with one sided condemnations and selective memories only registering rocket attacks before and after. Has anyone heard of Hamid Younis? The 13 year old boy who on the 8th of November put on his Real Madrid shirt to play soccer outside the house, the boy who was dressed to deflect soccer balls not IDF machine gun fire which pierced his chest and stole his life. According to many including Emily L. Hauser, an American-Israeli writer, that was the start of the current conflict. So who would deny Israel peace?
As academics and lawyers debate whether targeted killings are a legitimate and sophisticated method of self defense or just a sophisticated name for terrorism, history suggests they strengthen resistance rather than crippling it. IDF targeted assassinations have killed 233 civilians including 71 children from September 2000 to June 2008 alone .The latest targeted assassination has managed to cripple a golden chance for peace, whilst strengthening Hamas’s will to launch rockets into Israel.
Deadly rocket attacks have become the central focus of newspaper headlines and world leader condemnations. Millions of Israelis live under this indiscriminate threat. Thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel since the inception of the conflict claiming 26 lives, as of November 17, 2012 , including non civilians and non Jews. Targeted killing have killed 233 civilians including 71 children. Simple maths would suggests the deaths from targeted killings are at least nine times more indiscriminate than the indiscriminate rocket attacks. Traffic fatalities have claimed 15 times more Israeli lives just in the last year than rocket and mortar attacks have in the entire history of the conflict. No wonder the Israeli defense ministry considers the rockets as “more of a psychological than a physical threat”. With an early Israeli election looming is it worth considering who are the real perpetrators of psychological warfare and manipulation of the Israeli people? Who is denying Israel peace?
Following Netanyahu’s widely recognized, failed campaign to rally US support for bombing Iran, an unprecedented low in US Israeli relations, Obama’s election win was described as a greater loss the Prime Minister. Voters began to question whether he was the right person to maintain Israel’s special relationship with United States. Are wars not the ultimate test of a relationship? Well this war is no exception. Following an initial silence, the Zionist Organization of America urged president Obama to personally condemn the attacks and some days later he did.
Netanyahu who assassinated the previous cease fire attempt, raised Gaza to the ground, proved the Iron Dome Defense System and backed Obama into a corner to snatch solidarity has emerged as the conqueror of militants, defender of Israel and friend of America, recovering any lost ground before the election – Who is denying Israel peace?