Palestinians Break Ceasefire


Last week’s “under-the-radar” rocket attack on Ashkelon, Israel was the inevitable outcome of cumulative, distressing circumstances, foremost of which was the recent joint call by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal for a “peaceful Intifada.” Their promotion of a “popular resistance” manifested, initially, in mass protests in the West Bank, ostensibly against the detention of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israel, but quickly devolved into a series of clashes between IDF soldiers and Molotov cocktail- and rock-throwing Palestinians.

This “non-violence” intensified significantly after Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian arrested during one of the demonstrations, died in Israeli custody. That Jaradat’s autopsy determined heart failure as the cause of death—and concluded that injuries to his torso resulted from attempts to resuscitate him—did not prevent the Palestinian leadership from disseminating conspiratorial claims that Jaradat had been tortured. This, in turn, stoked further unrest which, like all “peaceful” Palestinian initiatives, culminated with the firing of a rocket from Gaza into Israel, thus shattering the brief truce that ended Operation Pillar of Defense.

That the armed wing of Abbas’s Fatah party, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack is unsurprising, given the terror group admitted to firing 516 rockets at Israeli civilian centers, in addition to perpetrating the Tel Aviv bus bombing, during November’s eight-day conflict. It is also unabashedly convenient, providing Hamas with plausible deniability even though rocket attacks from the Strip, if not perpetrated directly by Gaza’s rulers, must generally receive their pre-approval.

Accordingly, Israel could not be faulted for responding to the breach of the ceasefire either militarily, with airstrikes on the Strip, or diplomatically, by scaling back the concessions delineated in the agreement, which included easing a multitude of restrictions ranging from the flow of goods into Gaza to freedom of movement and even fishing. The Israeli government could also suspend the indirect negotiations with Hamas that have taken place intermittently in Cairo over the past few months.

Yet Israel will probably do nothing, effectively acquiescing to the terrorists’ strategy of extracting tangible concessions in exchange for ephemeral promises that are never kept. This distorted paradigm—whereby Israel gives and the Palestinians take—has defined the so-called peace process for two decades, and accounts for how the minimalist parameters of the pseudo-Palestinian state, originally envisioned in the Oslo Accords, have, over time, become so engorged as to now encompass all of the territories legally acquired by Israel in a defensive war in 1967, including half of Jerusalem. The perpetuation of this dysfunctional dynamic—spearheaded by the Arab-Islamic world and shamefully facilitated by the West—also explains the gradual acceptance as gospel of illusory Palestinian prerequisites for peace, such as the “right of return” and the “release of Palestinian prisoners,” which constitute the foremost obstacles to any negotiated settlement and which currently render the pursuit of any comprehensive peace deal futile.

The willful blindness of the international community to this patent reality is the by-product of its seemingly unconditional support of the allegedly oppressed Palestinians, and explains why Abbas conspired with Hamas to escalate tensions ahead of Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Israel. As the Jerusalem Post’s editors pointed out, “Scenes of rioting in Palestinian towns across the West Bank on the eve of the US president’s arrival might push the Palestinian issue back on the top of the White House’s agenda for the region.” Specifically, from Abbas’s perspective, chaos in the West Bank provides Obama, who has adopted the Palestinian narrative laying claim to the territory, with the impetus, as well as greater leverage, to push for a resumption of negotiations by pressuring Israel into complying with the PA’s demands.

Indeed, Abbas has every reason to believe his strategy will work, given Obama’s one-sided handling of the peace process during his first term in office, and considering the US administration continues to draw a moral equivalence between Palestinian-initiated violence and Israelis attempting to quell the mayhem. In this respect, the US State Department responded in typical fashion to the “peaceful Intifada” by calling on both sides to “exercise maximum restraint,” which, in diplomatic-speak, constitutes a warning to Israel not to over-reach in defending itself. Notably absent was any US condemnation of the Gaza terror attack, which has contributed to the overall whitewashing of the event and thus its proper analysis.

Most conspicuously, the missile attack occurred exactly one day after Egypt, which mediated the ceasefire agreement on behalf of its Hamas offshoot, publicly condemned the Jewish state’s “inhuman practices.” Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr went so far as to warn, seemingly prophetically, that Israel’s policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians would cause an explosion in the region; which, given the next day’s events, might, in hindsight, be regarded as an allusion to, or perhaps even a veiled call for, renewed rocket fire from Gaza.

Equally noteworthy is that the rocket attack transpired on the very same day that the P5+1 renewed nuclear negotiations with Iran, which just happens to be the largest supplier of missiles to Gaza-based terrorists. While it is impossible to determine with certainty whether Iran had advanced knowledge of, encouraged, or perhaps even had a direct hand in the attack, it is not unreasonable to postulate that the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, which has a strong foothold in Gaza, might have been sending a message of defiance to the international community. Lending further credence to Iran’s possible involvement are comments made last week by Abbas to Al-Arabiya television, in which he curiously invoked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s support for the Palestinians’ Intifada, as well as Israeli media reports claiming the Iranian Revolutionary Guards had dispatched expert rocket makers to Gaza mere days before the attack.

Yet perhaps the most troubling potential contributory factor to the rocket attack remains the growing dysfunction of Israel’s political system, which for nearly six months has left the country without a sitting government to combat effectively threats of the forgoing nature. This situation, typified by the cynical political wrangling that has endured for more than five weeks since the January 22 election, has left the country fractured, thus weakened and vulnerable, at a time the region is teetering on the brink of a meltdown. The prevailing disunity, and resulting political inertia, amounts to nothing less than an open invitation for Israel’s enemies to attack.

In the end, however, the root cause of last week’s terror attack is of secondary import. Whether attributable to the world’s toleration of Palestinian intransigence, which invariably manifests in violence; the Islamization of Egypt, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s support for its terror proxy in Gaza; an emboldened Iran, striving virtually unimpeded towards nuclearization; or internal Israeli political bickering—or any combination of the above— what matters most is the inevitability of ongoing terrorism given the overarching regional circumstances; which, together, create a toxic environment conducive to such attacks.

Accordingly, Israel must, first and foremost, get its house in order promptly in order, thereby, to refocus, in a unified manner, on neutralizing enemy threats; failing which, it will not be long before missiles are striking not only Ashkelon but, once again, the heart of the country.

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  • UCSPanther

    The IDF should burn Hamas' hive cluster in the Gaza strip right out of there.

    • Drakken

      Bring back napalm, it scares the bejesus outa muzzys. It is very excellent at clearing out built up urban areas.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    There never was a real "ceasefire", at least for those who understood its essence from the get go – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/16/pm-netanyahus

    Alas, the above refers to the hotter than hot southern border, however, the northern border is ready to explode http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/03/04/pm-netanyahu-

    The open question isn't, what are the terrorists up to, rather, what is Netanyahu going to do about it? The jury is out.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • EarlyBird

      Don't worry, Adina. The $3 billion + dollars a year we give to Israel is exempt from the sequester cuts. Israel first, you know.

      • Drakken

        Shouldn't you be in Gaza with your COEXIST sign protesting those mean Israelis for fighting back?

      • NAHALKIDES

        I generally don't bother responding to anti-Semites, but I wanted everyone to know your score should be "two thumbs down" now – I accidentally hit the wrong button and we're not allowed to undo it. And try to get this through your head – the Paletinian Arabs are the aggressor here. Anything Israel does to them no in retaliation for this latest round of rocket attacks is fully justified.

        • EarlyBird

          Nothing in my post stated that the Palestinians are NOT the aggressors. I just don't like subsidizing Israel's security when they are perfectly fine on their own. I don't like them dictating US foreign policy either.

          • Gee

            Maybe we should end our subsidizing of the US intelligence to the tune of $5 billion a year. Far more than you aid us. Oh by the by the entire US Air Force and Navy fly with 100% ISRAELI avionics that you had nothing to do with.

      • Mary Sue

        How come you're not in Israel emulating St. Pancake?

        • Drakken

          Bravo MS, priceless!!!

  • Brujo Blanco

    The Palestinians have proven that they do not negotiate. They tell lies and kill. They kill Jews and Christians. Obama is truly on the side of the Jew killers as he said he would be.

    • EarlyBird

      You're insane.

      • Drakken

        Your utterly stupid on steroids.

      • NAHALKIDES

        Stand in front of a mirror when you say that.

      • Mary Sue

        He's not insane but you surely don't know what you're talking about.

      • Choi

        The only one INSANE is YOU,birdbrain,for thinking you can come here and "convince" people to "switch" from GOOD > EVIL.

        • EarlyBird

          This kind of slander is what is evil: "Obama is truly on the side of the Jew killers as he said he would be."

          Not to mention its stupid. If you don't like his Israel policy, fine, explain it. Being so over the top is ridiculous and makes the guy look like a fool. He undermines any credibility.

  • stern

    Why should the Palestinians negotiate? In today's JPost, we read that Obama is about to demand a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. Hold on a minute, Mr. President. Weren't the two sides supposed to reach an agreement before one side fulfilled its obligations? I guess that's just Jewish wishful thinking. Again.

  • Asher

    Well we all knew there was only a temporary peace by Abbas and Hamas, who do not have any character or stand by their word…its just idle words given in the peace process, to allow them to regroup and rearm and plot again! Sickening!

  • Lan Astaslem

    the invented paleostinians fired off rockets at Jews – what do you expect from knuckledragging savages?

  • JacksonPearson

    “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage,
    Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

    –Pamela Geller

    Israel Vs. Hamas is Civilization Vs. Savagery

  • Flowerknife_us

    If rockets fly when Obama is there, would the press notice?

    • AnOrdinaryMan

      Only if Obama got hit. If one exploded close to him, but didn't hit him, it would be called "workplace violence."

  • Christian West

    Thomas_h,

    I hope you are reading this thread because I know you always read material concerning Israel.

    Anyway, did you see what I saw?
    The administration restores your, previously removed, last reply to JscksonPearson. However it doesn't put back preceding it comment where he "proves" Obama's "homosexuality".
    I am copying your very entertaining response to his sensational finding lest the administration decides to remove it again.

    Christian

    here is the link – in case you forgot where to find the thread
    frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/obama-begins-push-for-mandatory-nationwide-gay-marriage/#idc-container

    • thomas_h

      hi Christian,
      Yes, I saw what you saw just a few minutes ago. Thanks.
      I am glad to see the administrators would not tolerate the utterly ludicrous and absurd proof of Obama's homosexuality which Jacksonpaerson had retrieved from the bilge of the Internet and swiftly removed his entry. Incidentally, or accidentally, they have also removed my comment in reaction to his outrageous claim. I am quite pleased to see my comment is now back in its place, which must mean they don't find it at odds with the spirit and objectives of the site.
      I am glad you found my dealing with JacksonP. entertaining. Well, I admit I had some fun too, although
      I'd preferred if my adversary were much smarter and gave me a real challenge so I could derive some satisfaction from the exchange. Unfortunately (and to put it gently) my adversary Mr. JacksonPearson represents the absolutely lightest side of the lightweight…
      Cheers
      Thomas.

  • Drakken

    Muzzys firing rockets at Israel? Say it isn't so! Why those peace loving muzzys would never do that. Why not just give the muzzys everything they want so they will be nice to us. SARC !