Monday, April 4, 2011
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 April 2011
"....Whether Israel is deliberately laying the ground for a new assault on Gaza, or stumbles into one -- if the current escalation does not stop -- any such attack must be understood in political terms. It would be an effort to finish the unfinished business of destroying Hamas and any other island of Palestinian resistance. The commitment of any significant Palestinian group to resistance -- political or military -- remains a major obstacle to the full legitimation of the warm embrace between Israel and the Abbas-led PA, whose extent was recently laid bare in the Palestine Papers. Indeed the relationship is so friendly that last October the top echelons of the PA in Bethlehem received then Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi -- who commanded Operation Cast Lead -- as their honored guest, even providing him with a guided tour of the Church of the Nativity ("Israeli army chief visits Bethlehem," Ma'an News Agency, 3 October 2010).....
Without exaggerating the risks, the constraints on Israel may be loosening. In the wake of the revolution in Egypt and amid the political upheaval in the Arab world, some Israelis may think they have a "last chance" to act in the interregnum before a new and less friendly government is seated in Cairo. Western and Saudi military interventions in Libya and Bahrain respectively have also provided new respectability to using military force for political ends. International complicity also continues to send Israel a clear message that its impunity is guaranteed. The Obama administration's recent veto of a UN Security Council resolution that merely restated US policy on Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank was one sure sign that Israel still has a blank check from the United States. Tragically, the biggest contributor to renewed confidence in Israel that it could once again get away with murder in Gaza, may be Judge Richard Goldstone himself......"