22 days of fear and terror
With most of the Western world gnashing its teeth at Israel due to the destruction and casualties in Gaza, which the Hamas initiated war has produced, Israel is currently disregarding calls from the UN, US, EU, and Turkey for a further ceasefire. Israel has observed five humanitarian ceasefires since the outbreak of hostilities, but Hamas either disregarded those ceasefires entirely or broke them by firing rockets into Israeli population centers during the ceasefires.
The Arab world is in a frenzy; however, that is nothing new, the mere mention of Israel usually sends it into a frenzy at the best of times. Iran, which is not Arab, but is the world’s number one sponsor of terror, is threatening to send its Republican Guard troops to go house to house in Israel to seek out and kill every active member of the Israel Defense Forces. The Obama administration is “fuming” over Israel’s criticism of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to effect a sustainable ceasefire. In unusually harsh language Obama’s cadres say the criticizing of Kerry crosses a line and can jeopardize US-Israel relations.
Israel, however, was perfectly justified in criticizing Kerry because his ceasefire proposal was tantamount to accepting all of Hamas’s demands while completely disregarding Israel’s imperative needs. Kerry did not even bother to consult with either Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA), or Egypt over his ceasefire proposal, instead he flew to Paris where he spoke with emissaries from Qatar and Turkey, both of whom are champions of Hamas and are belligerent toward Israel. Israeli security cabinet ministers, who unanimously rejected Kerry’s ceasefire proposal on July 25, reportedly described him as “negligent, incapable of handling the most basic matters.” Israeli government officials reacted with “horror” to Kerry’s proposal and accused him of “completely capitulating” to the demands of Hamas and its financial underwriter Qatar. The proposal did not even allow for Israel to demolish the terror tunnels from which Hamas gunmen infiltrate Israel and kill Israelis. Five more Israeli soldiers were killed by Hamas gunmen yesterday (July 28), bringing to 11 the number of soldiers killed by Hamas gunmen in the past four days; they appear like moles out of the ground inside Israel’s border communities. And the world expects Israel to allow Hamas to retain these tunnels? Who is kidding whom?
President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu late on July 27 and demanded that he agree to an immediate ceasefire. We do not know exactly what Netanyahu said to Obama, but we can take it as a given that it was pretty much the same as what he said to UN chief Ban Ki-moon the following day, which was that a ceasefire answers the needs of the “murderous terror group” Hamas. An Israeli television commentator said, regarding Obama’s call to Netanyahu, “The last time we listened to the Americans we got Hamas and then we got rockets.” Netanyahu’s rejection of the UN Security Council’s call for a ceasefire was a polite way of saying “No” to Obama without a confrontation. Many are aware of the animosity between Obama and Netanyahu; Obama has proven himself to be the most anti-Israel of any US president.
Israel made it very clear from the outset that calm would be met with calm; rocket fire would be met with a forceful response. Israel’s latest appeal for quiet being met with quiet was on Sunday July 27; however, instead of quiet Hamas increased its number of rocket salvos and also its infiltration attempts into Israel; Israel has responded with ramped-up air and artillery strikes. Prime Minister Netanyahu has told the nation that this conflict could be a long, drawn out affair and that there would be more casualties. Israel is prepared to buck international opinion and possible sanctions in order to crush Hamas. Operation Protective Edge has morphed from being an operation into a full-scale war.
This is the third Hamas-initiated war Israel has had to fight; each confrontation sees Hamas better prepared and better equipped. Israel is today battling a well equipped and highly motivated jihadist army; it cannot be allowed to regroup and rearm and terrorize Israelis 24/7 again. It has to be pummeled so hard and far into the ground that it can never clamber out again. For the second time in as many days Hamas is calling for a ceasefire, which can only mean that it has been mortally wounded and is desperate for breathing space.
In a nation-wide poll two days ago 86 percent of Israelis were against a ceasefire; the poll indicated that the great majority of Israelis want the IDF to put a complete halt to the rocket fire and to not only destroy all the tunnels, but also to prevent them from ever being rebuilt. Gaza must be demilitarized, but for this to happen the international community has to stop appeasing its Arab and Muslim populations at the expense of its Jewish communities and get involved with demilitarizing Gaza by disarming the terror groups. The question is: does it have the stomach for this?