Friday, December 26, 2008

War Clouds Over Gaza

Why Must Israeli Electioneering Always Require Spilling of Palestinian Blood?


".....Olmert, for one, has decidedly not forgotten the Lebanon fiasco. In fact, he remembers it all too well. And this is the second reason for a possible Gaza attack: a tarnished reputation that must be salvaged. He will seize on an opportunity to correct the missteps of 2006 and restore the standing of Israel’s armed forces—and himself—inside and outside the country.

Olmert believes the circumstances this time are different. First, Hamas is far less organized, disciplined, and militarily capable than Hezbollah. Second, Gaza has been sufficiently ‘softened up’ after months under siege and its population deprived of food, medicine and fuel. As an added bonus, he is ensured of the full support of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Livni was recently in Cairo for talks with Mubarak under the pretense of discussing renewal of the ceasefire agreement. After Mubarak’s half-hearted call for one was rebuffed, he politely asked Israel to show “restraint” in dealing with Gaza. Normally an Arab leader would be loathe to meet with such a high-level representative of the Israeli government due to the criminal embargo imposed on the tiny territory, let alone be so deferential in language. But Egypt has not only been complicit in the siege by keeping its Rafah border crossing with Gaza closed, they apparently also have given Israel the green light to invade.

As reported on Dec. 24 in the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman met last week with the head of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Bureau of Diplomatic- Security, Amos Gilad. Suleiman told Gilad that Egypt would not be opposed to a limited Israeli incursion into Gaza with the aim of toppling Hamas.

So the stage is set.

Leadership credentials will be built on spilling Palestinian blood. The image of the mighty Israel Defense Forces will be rehabilitated, albeit against a besieged and starving population. Egypt, along with the Arab monarchies, will watch approvingly from the sidelines. And the remarkable ability of the human spirit to resist foreign invasion and occupation will again, in the end, triumph."

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