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Iran and its friends are probably also unhappy about Hamas’s drift toward Egypt and the boost to its popularity from securing the release of so many Palestinian murderers (Palestinian culture again) in the Shalit deal. Solution: tell Islamic Jihad to start shooting at Israel and recoup lost points.
Where does all this leave Israel?
Clearly, whether Iran throws its weight behind Hamas as it did formerly, or Islamic Jihad as it is doing at present, the barrages from Gaza stem ultimately from an Iranian strategy aimed at weakening and eventually destroying the Jewish state. The Netanyahu government’s reluctance to deal decisively with Gaza terror—more and more reminiscent of the preceding Olmert government, which tolerated almost three years of bombardment before launching the inconclusive Operation Cast Lead—presumably reflects, in part, the need to look at the larger strategic picture.
Speculation—and, reportedly, American apprehension—about a possible Israeli strike on Iran has reached an unprecedented level. It would make sense to go for the root instead of getting tangled up in one of the branches. Or, if such speculation again proves baseless, it is hard to see what excuse remains not to cut off the branch.
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