Israel’s Gaza Dilemmas


Tuesday night was a “quiet one” in southern Israel—just two rockets fired from Gaza, no injuries or damage reported.

Monday night was “louder,” with 20 rockets and mortars fired. As the Jerusalem Post described it:

Air raid sirens sent residents fleeing for cover in the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev and Ashkelon coastal regions.

Overnight on Monday, the Israel Air Force launched multiple air strikes in Gaza, targeting an area used to fire rockets in northern Gaza and multiple terrorist targets in the south of the Strip, the army said.

And on Sunday here in my city of Beersheva, 25 miles from Gaza, we were woken up by the rocket alarm at 5:25 a.m.; two Grads landed in open areas near the city and schools were closed for the day.

None of this, of course, compares (so far) with last week, when the hostilities included the firing of 80 rockets and mortars from Gaza in one 24-hour period.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, up for reelection in January, recently claimed the relative security quiet as one of the achievements of his four-year term.

True, Israel has been in no wars in that period and suffered little terrorism of the fatal kind. It is also true that the frequency of fire from Gaza is lower than in the previous term of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, when it reached about 3000 projectiles in 2008 before Olmert finally launched the Gaza War (December 2008-January 2009).

Since then, though, the frequency has been down to hundreds per year—not too consoling to southern Israelis and especially those in the “Gaza belt” (immediate vicinity of Gaza) who get the mortars as well as the rockets.

It was in a tour of that beleaguered area last week that Netanyahu pledged to beef up defenses, and on Sunday the cabinet approved a 270-million-shekel (about $70 million) plan to build 1700 bomb shelters in the area.

Clearly the timing had something to do with the elections. There is also something depressing about the move, since it seems to acknowledge that Israel is essentially on defense and expects the projectiles to keep coming.

No doubt, going on offense is fraught with difficulties too.

In the aforementioned Gaza War, the Israeli army inflicted heavy damage on Hamas infrastructure and killed hundreds of Hamas terrorists—and also, as collateral damage, hundreds of Gazan civilians, whom Hamas systematically uses as human shields to this day.

Israel, of course, got the blame with the Goldstone Report, and also lost ten Israeli lives in the war. But by now, with Gaza rebuilt and rockets again falling on southern Israel in large quantities, a cost-benefit analysis is irrelevant: the war gained Israel a breathing spell but did not solve the problem.

And since that time, while Hamas’s relations with its main patron Iran are now somewhat frayed, its stock has been rising in the Sunni world. Last week the emir of Qatar visited the Strip and pledged $400 million in aid, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly chipping in generously as well.

To that equation must be added, of course, the new Egypt now governed by a radical movement—the Muslim Brotherhood—of which Hamas is an offshoot. In Hamas, in other words, Israel now faces an enemy that—while small in itself—has powerful and varied backing, making a military offensive risky and problematic.

No doubt, dooming the residents of southern Israel to rocket fire and late-night sprints to bomb shelters is no solution either. The answer could lie in a reoccupation of some militarily important parts of the Strip, with a very strict carrot-and-stick approach to withdrawing again.

As Hamas amasses both weapons and backing, time is not on Israel’s side. The next Israeli government—which may be more hawkish than the current one—will need to take that into account if it wants to avoid essentially surrendering southern Israel to the forces of destruction.

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  • Eva Smagacz

    In 2008 the Israel worked out that to prevent Gaza starving they need to allow 2290 calories per person per day, which by their own calculation was 170 Trucks of food a day. Since then, they were allowing average of 67 Trucks a day in (Israeli own figures) which is 902 calories per each person, bearing in mind that over 50 percent of Gaza residents are children.

    Try this trick on New York and see if they will take it lying down.

    • Larry

      Try New York shelling, rocketing, and mortaring New Jersey and see how much food comes over.

      Get your order of events right.

    • lillith

      I think I hear your Oberkommando calling, he needs you to shove some unruly Jewish children into an oven.

    • lillith

      Are those 902 calorie trucks, low fat trucks or low sugar trucks.

    • Mary Sue

      where did you get that tasty purple koolaid you are drinking, ma'am?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Try this trick on New York and see if they will take it lying down."

      You're joking, right?

    • Kuffar

      Dear Eva Bruan
      Nazis like you LOST

      Go crawl back under your rock.

      • Drakken

        This useful idiot is not a nazi, she is a die hard kool aid drinking leftist of the Rachel Corrie(may she rot in hell) mode. She actually believes the fakestinian narrative that has been fed to her by her fellow leftists/marxist. Obviously critical thinking skills are completely absent from her thought process. As the old saying goes, you just can't fix stupid, not even with duct tape.

    • Stern

      Gee, it hasn't occurred to you, has it, that if the Gazans had never begun firing rockets, there would be no problem?

      Clearly, it has also never occurred to you that the reason Israel calculated the caloric needs of Gazans was to ensure that NOBODY STARVES! No, you have to put that in the most negative light possible. Consider, instead, what other country anywhere in the world, ever in history, has worried about whether or not its enemies get enough to eat. And if you can find one, I challenge you to name it.

    • BS77

      Eva, yeah, it's all about the calories…you are an IDIOT. Let's see, by your logic, even though the Hamas thugs repeatedly fire rockets and mortar shells into Israel, Israel should send them more ice cream, more cheeze, more bread, more meat and vegetables???? Listen, you brainwashed fool, Gaza gets BILLIONS in aid from many sources, including the UN…..most of the Gaza residents have plenty of food, and do not have to work…..they just blubber and cry until another Billion is sent their way.

    • Zionista

      eva – stick to scrubbing those toilets – that's about all a Jew hater like you is good for

    • Choi

      Eva Smagacz is just another ANTI-SEMITIC POLE.
      WHAT did your grandfather DO in WWII POLAND,Eva?
      How manyJewsdid your grandmother turn over to the Nazis,Eva?
      How much Jewish property was STOLEN by your ancestors Eva?

    • Mary Sue

      BTW that second calorie count? It's more than a Michelle Obama engineered school lunch for an American child.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        If Michelle finds out, she'l accuse the Israelis of trying to kill the Faux-lestinians through obesity.

        • Mary Sue

          I know right!

    • LibertyLover

      Perhaps the Islamist scum in Gaza should start importing food instead of munitions? Their supply lines seem to function just fine.

    • Parenthetical Phrase

      If everything you say is true then why is OBESITY the single greatest health problem in Gaza?

    • Parenthetical Phrase

      Why is it incumbent upon the Israelis to supply food and medical supplies to the people who have vowed to destroy it and who are attempting to do so each and every day? The Nazis required the Jews to pay for the train ride which took them to Auschwitz. In the Warsaw Ghetto Jews were forced to work in factories for the German war effort. Jews feeding their murderers and tormentors is the same thing. They shouldn't let ANY trucks in and they should be cutting off the electricity. That might give the Gazans an incentive to stop shelling Israeli children.

    • ziontruth

      "In 2008 the Israel worked out that to prevent Gaza starving they need to…"

      Too bad my government didn't spend the time working out that in order to prevent rockets falling on Jewish towns near Gaza they needed to boot all the Arab colonists out of Gaza and repopulate it with Jews.

  • Dr. John

    Some accurate information on what Israel–incredibly, despite the shelling–actually supplies to Gaza, namely tons and tons of food, medicine, and other supplies.
    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Feeding their enemies who are religiously obligated to kill them. No wonder so many people criticize Israel.

      This is amazing stuff you retards (like Eva) come up with to demonize our best ally.

  • Bamaguje

    Reannex Gaza now!!

    This would dislodge Hamas and help secure Israel’s southern flank in the event of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    There are no rockets or missles fired from the West Bank because of Israeli presence there.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "There are no rockets or missles fired from the West Bank because of Israeli presence there."

      Exactly. Even with Gaza as proof, these idi0ts spout the same lies time after time.

    • Larry

      Don't just reannex it, flush it all the way across the Sinai and over the Canal. Repeat in Judea and Samaria.

      That will give Israel defensible borders and is within the bounds of International Law, not matter what the bought and paid for in the UN General Assembly may witter on about.

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    A passing note to Eva Smagacz,
    Please explain why it is my obligation to send even 67 trucks, electricity, water, provide urgent medical care, etc, to a mortal enemy who rockets all along my people? They have farms set up by us and that were left intact to them. They can import trough Egypt whatever the need, except weapons, they can import for everywhere else using transfer ports in Israel. Weapons shipments to them via sea have been interdicted several times.
    I have NO OBLIGATION to keep my mortal enemy, in fact we are sick and tired of having to carry those murderous monsters on our backs.

    Please remind us why I owe that ghastly murdering hamulas anything?

    • JoJoJams

      Well said, SHmuel. And yet, Israel still does help them…. It almost reminds me of the books of old, where YHWH told Joshua and the Israelites, to completely destroy the enemies around them, or else they would have future problems. They didn't fully listen to him then, either… :-) I mean this lightly, and not as a stab – It really says a lot for the morality of the Jewish people, when one thinks deeply about it.

      • mlcblog

        Morality? if you wish. I call it disobedience to a wiser God who wants to preserve them. Weakness is what I call it. Trying to be wiser and smarter than God. Rebellious. Read it for yourselves. A stiff-necked people. Yet we love them/us.

        • JoJoJams

          Yes, I've read it. Now how do you feel about those same God given doctrines of stoning adulterers, killing disobedient teenagers, woman to be kept away and from the holy places during their menstrual cycles etc. Should we also kill the homosexuals among us? Yes, the Jews are a "stiff necked" stubborn people – to the point that they even dfy their own God. Facinating, really. Weakness? No. It would seem it would take a lot of guts to defy a God, if you truly believe he exists. Especially when their own books give examples of all the things that will happen to them when they do defy their God. Call it what you will….It still is what it interestingly is – and still they excel, even through pograms through the millenia. Every aspect of their holy books has been and are argued about – questioning every aspect of the stories and edicts of God. Again, would you expect them to reinstiture stonings? And that is one of the laws God gave them. I'm kind of glad we no longer do that one.

  • Schlomotion

    "Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, up for reelection in January, recently claimed the relative security quiet as one of the achievements of his four-year term."

    This is becoming one of the hallmarks of pro-Israel administrations all over the world. Everything falls apart at the end, right during the self-congratulation ceremony.

    • reader

      The one administration about to fall apart in a few days is definitely not pro-Israel, schlo. Sorry.

      • Schlomotion

        Sure he is. He helped install Rahm Israel Emanuel, IDF volunteer, as mayor of Chicago. Also, he gives lots of our tax money to Israel:
        http://www.njdc.org/blog/post/israelaid021412/

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Lots of our AFTER TAX dollars go to Islamofascist regimes that dominate OPEC.

          Every time one fills the gas tank with $4+ per gallon gas, think of OPEC.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      Well, the suicide bombers have been silent lately.

      Schlo, can't you think of new talking points? Why not show that the brave people of the West Bank and Gaza are better and provide more for their people, that they care more and deserve respect instead of just 'hate israel so much we don't pay attention to anything else' rants?

    • Ghostwriter

      I'm sorry to tell you this,Schlomind,but the Obama administration has NOT been pro-Israel. In fact,I don't think he really cares about the Israelis. In the meantime,why don't read more anti-semitic books? That's good way to shrink your brain even more than it already has.

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    Some other details worthy of mentioning.
    Israel Customs provides free services to Arab importers from Yehuda, Shomron and Aza and the Custom levies money collected is every month transferred to Ramallah. In fact last month we ADVANCED 150 million Shekels to Abbas so they could pay salaries. Incidentally, they use Israeli currency in most of their daily life work. The Bank of Israel has to assure for them the paper money integrity as well.
    Tunnels: The Azans use them to bring in war material and to bypass paying their own government Customs levies. The black market in Aza is huge and it goes on because of the time honored practice of bribery to their officials.

  • rjkatz

    I love the sarcasm of the responses. The solution to the calorie problem is for the Egyptians to open the Rafa gate and allow food from their side to enter Gaza. The Egyptians hate the Palestinians more the the Israelis. The Gazan's are lucky that Israel doesn't cut them off completely.

  • Drakken

    What dilema? Israel faces a hostile genocidal muslim population that wants you dead. There is nothing more to fret over, ponder, wonder or discuss, line up your artillery and MLRS systems and have at it, and give your IDF Air Force napalm for it works wonders in urban areas, and give them a taste of Carthage. So quit screwing around with them savages and get it done.

  • Choi

    Eva Smagacz is just another ANTI-SEMITIC POLE.
    WHAT did your grandfather DO in WWII POLAND,Eva?
    How many Jewsdid your grandmother turn over to the Nazis,Eva?
    How much Jewish property was STOLEN by your ancestors Eva

  • KKKK

    tcalm down! Israel is in a very difficult situation here. if Israel does NOT do anything moratsr and rockets will contineu to fall on southern Israelis but if they DO something then the world will go mad! either way civilians are at risk. i can sense why Israel is sensitive. ideally ,there wont be a conflict but i think i can see one coming.

    • ziontruth

      "…but if they DO something then the world will go mad!"

      It isn't already?

  • jacob

    What a peon like me and I believe, PhD's either, will never be able to understand, is the kind of game
    the Israeli "leaderships" have been playing with HAMAS…
    Fortunately, their rockets and mortars have been falling on sparse populated areas of the south and,
    save for a rocket falling on Ashkelon or Ashdod sometime ago who killed a construction worker,
    have been limited to some property damages and not that significant to people besides mental
    trauma…
    But rest assured they get lucky and one of their rockets hits Tel Aviv or Jerusalem and watch all hell
    breaking loose on Gaza…
    Recently some 80 rockets were fired and Israel responded with pinpoint liquidation via air force of
    terrorists (er….insurgents as per Israel's "friend" OBAMA), instead of repaying it tit for tat for reasons
    nobody so far but the Israeli leaders has been able to fathom so far…

  • UCSPanther

    Hamas needs to suffer the same fate as Nazi Germany, and Hezbollah along with it. The IDF showed it is quite attainable, since the two were running scared after the thrashings that they got. Their braying that they "won" was just simply to hide their sighs of relief that they did not get consigned to history during those two military operation.

  • riverboatbill

    Bulldoze Gaza flat.

    • Lan Astaslem

      flatten it like a rachel corrie pancake!!

      • objectivefactsmatter

        I feel guilty laughing at that…a little guilty.

      • Mary Sue

        I don't know what's sadder, that Rachel Corrie was such a Useful Idiot./braindead retard, or that the people she was with made no effort to pull her back from the bulldozer when it was clear the thing wasn't stopping (or why she herself didn't back off instead). One more martyr for the cause, eh?

        • Drakken

          I call her a Darwin Award winner and thank God she didn't breed.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "I don't know what's sadder, that Rachel Corrie was such a Useful Idiot./braindead retard, or that the people she was with made no effort to pull her back from the bulldozer when it was clear the thing wasn't stopping"

          It's not at all clear that they are not the ones who actually killed her. The scene was staged for photos. If the tractor had killed her clearly, the photos would have been priceless do those terrorist dirtbags, but what they came up with is almost nothing to point to Israeli guilt.

          Think about it: They were trying to provoke this precise scenario; a "martyr" death. They had cameras ready to go and used them very, very selectively. We'll never know, but I don't pretend to know either, and the scope of possibilities is greater than what we usually hear. Think about al Durrah and the many documented cases of forged "news" reports.

          Edit: The tractor did run over her as far as I know, but it's not clear how badly she was injured. There are conflicting reports about what happened and her getting run over is about the only thing not in dispute.

  • Ghostwriter

    Basically,we have rockets flying into Israeli towns and guess who those like Schlomotion want us to feel sorry for,the people LAUNCHING the rocket in the first place.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Treat Gaza like Dresden in 1945.

    • Mary Sue

      Might have to treat it like Hiroshima if it gets really out of hand.

  • dennis metz

    coming to America soon, rockets launched form home, the more muslims that come here and the more blacks turning to muslim the more violence we will see
    and obummer and his revs would love to see the fall of America