Monday, March 3, 2008
Ignoring its own people's wishes in attacking Gaza, Israel leaves Hamas no choice but to fight back
By Azzam Tamimi
(Dr Azzam Tamimi, the director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought, is the author of Hamas: Unwritten Chapters)
The Guardian, Monday March 3 2008
Contributed by Lucia in Spain
".....Once again Olmert is taking a gamble. He might have been encouraged by the fact that, unlike Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas has no immediate regional backers and is less capable of confronting his troops. The rockets fired from Gaza are nothing compared with the missiles Hizbullah used in July 2006.
This is perhaps what encourages senior Israelis officials to threaten the Palestinians with a "shoah" if they continue to defy Israel. It is not clear whether the Israeli deputy defence minister meant to use the Hebrew word for Holocaust when he warned the Palestinians of Gaza. What really matters is that the message has been delivered; this Israeli administration, which has failed to force capitulation on the Palestinians, is willing to use its war machine to burn them alive.
The Israeli establishment is incapable of learning a single lesson from past experience. Hamas, like Hizbullah, and the Palestinians, like the Lebanese, have no choice but to fight back until the Israelis are forced to retreat. Few people thought that Hizbullah could defeat Israel in 2006. Fewer people may think today that Hamas is capable of something similar. They might be surprised. The number of casualties among the Palestinians will, undoubtedly be much higher, but Israelis will die and suffer too. The only way to avoid a bloodbath is for the Israeli army to withdraw immediately from Gaza and negotiate a truce before it is too late."