“Cast Lead” failed.

Simulated_Napalm_Airstrike "Gaza militants launched rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel on Sunday, wounding three Israelis, drawing a threat of "disproportionate" retaliation from the prime minister and further straining a cease-fire that ended Israel's Gaza offensive.

The flare-up in violence came just over a week before Israel's parliamentary vote, pitting Israeli Foreign Minister Livni — one of the architects of the offensive — against the more hawkish Bemnjamon Natanyahu. Continued fighting could influence the outcome by raising questions about the effectiveness of Israel's actions in Gaza.

Three people — two soldiers and a civilian — were wounded in a late afternoon mortar barrage on an Israeli village next to Gaza, police and the military said. Earlier, a rocket landed near a kindergarten in a community near Gaza, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Warning sirens sent residents scrambling for shelter."


What part of this was hard to foresee?  As we stated here during the "offensive," any continuation of rocket fire into Israel from Gaza after a cease fire would signal to the world that the Israeli display of firepower had failed miserably to move the wall of flesh with which Hamas opposes the Jewish state.

Having failed in this latest attempt to intimidate the Palestinians, what is left for the Israelis to try?  More firepower?  More dead kids for the world to contemplate?  Maybe napalm this time?  How about mass expulsions?  Creating new "facts on the ground?"

Ground penetrating radar?  The Israelis are not as technology obsessed as we Americans.  I doubt if they really think that gadgets like this will prevent Hamas shooting into Israel.  The Israelis have run out of ideas and are now grasping at straws.  Some US military officer attached to the State Department probably dreamt this up for Condi Baby on her way out of town.

A truce?  Did I see that magic word in the article?  Could it be?

If not, then an escalation?  There really is not much to differentiate Natanyahu from Livni on major issues like Gaza.  The next Israeli prime minister (whoever it is) will have to "fish or cut bait" on this problem.

What'll it be, mass expulsions, extermination, or a truce?  pl

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29 Responses to “Cast Lead” failed.

  1. Lysander says:

    Thank You, Col.
    I was never convinced that stopping the mini-rockets was ever Israel’s purpose. The purpose was to demonstrate to the Palestinians, not Israel’s brutality, but the fact that nobody who matters in the world cares much. Sure, there were protests, but the governments of Europe seemed in lockstep behind Israel. Even Egypt didn’t bother to hide its complicity anymore.
    Also, the world becomes accustomed to Israel’s brutality. Next time they can do even worse, and the time after that…
    Until they reach a point where ethnic cleansing or some other form of final solution becomes not unthinkable.
    They key is to do it gradually. Kill them off by inches rather than butchering them all at once.
    The world will hardly notice.
    Sorry if I seem grim. Maybe they wont succeed, but I believe that’s the plan.

  2. J says:

    Sadly, I see the Zionist Israeli government committing ‘mass extermination’ against the Palestinians at every given opportunity, and with dead silence from the greater Arab world. Why the Arab world doesn’t collectively stand up for the Palestinians against the Israeli bully, boggles the mind. Especially while it’s the Palestinians today, it could the Jordanians or Syrians or Saudis tomorrow. Could it be their collective fear of Israel’s Samson Option combined with Israel’s over 400 nuke weapons inventory?
    Remember than anybody who dares to criticize the Zionist Israeli government for the cruel bully that they are, is either labeled as an anti-Semite (non-Jews), or for those Jews who stand up are being labeled as self-hating Jews.
    Israel’s ‘greater Israel’ land/minerals expansion conquest goals on the Middle East terrain continues unabated, while the Arab world looks on silence.

  3. doug says:

    What’ll it be, mass expulsions, extermination, or a truce?
    None of the above until the big issue is resolved. Iran as Hamas’ indispensible ally is a meme gathering strength. A threatening Gaza, supplied by Iran, provides additional argument for the existential threat Iran’s presumed nukes represent. That threat will remain pending Iran resolution.
    Perhaps operation Cast Lead accomplished exactly what it set out to accomplish.

  4. somebody says:

    no they just have this one strategy – carve out their state to suit them demographically and geographically and bully the Palestinians to accept it. if that fails, they have no plan B. as soon as international law is applied, that’s it – that means not only the 1967 borders but also the right of return.

  5. Dick Durata says:

    I don’t see how mass expulsions could work. Expulsions to where? Egypt? Mubarak has problems of his own. Jordan, likewise.
    If real estate price continue to decline, perhaps a villa island in Dubai?

  6. jr786 says:

    I don’t agree with the comments about the ‘Arab World”. While its true that Arab political leaders are hopelessly dependent on American/zionist largesse and protection for their real and figurative survival, the Arab World, as understood to be the great mass of Arab/Muslim people, despise the zionists for the murderous gangsters that they are.
    I saw a good example of this at the American University in Cairo just recently, where there was uniform revulsion amongst faculty and students at the zionists and their American enablers.
    Is that enough to make changes throughout the region? I think it is, if for no other reason than the enormous amounts of energy necessary to maintain zionist power simply cannot last forever against real outrage and the desire for permanent change, both of which have been fomented beyond the norm. I hear the damndest things from the most unlikely sources. That’s the kind of thing that helped bring down the Shah.
    Arabs have their ways. One lesson has been that there really is no hope or help that can come from anywhere other than from the Arabs/Muslims. That alone is a massive change for the better.

  7. WP says:

    So, what is more ethical, a final end to the presence of Palestinians in Gaza by evacuation to the West Bank or continued killing of kids with bombs and phosphorous? It seems clear that as long as the Gaza ghetto exists, so will the violence there and neither side will ever see any stability. More killing will only beget more killing.
    The only two things the latest Gaza incursion really produced was proof of Israel’s impotence and more Palestinian hate.
    Perhaps mass evacuation is the only way to move toward a solution, with the Gazans moved to the West Bank, and, most importantly, all Israelis and Israeli settlements evacuated from the West Bank.
    Sad, but without something like this, the war will result in the ultimate obliteration of Israel by the inexorable march of the demographics of the region. If Israel continues its present path, it will ultimately be exterminated. Over the long run, without a radical movement to establish a viable West Bank Palestinian State, Israel is finished–soon. Its neighbors, with the support of most of the rest of the world will just get so fed up with Israel’s war crimes that its neighbors will finish it off.
    Israel’s only long-term option is to find a peace and that can never accomplished by killing and retribution.

  8. Mad Dogs says:

    One fact resulting from Israel’s new strategy of neverending disproportionate war on the Gaza Palestinians and Hamas, is that it reduces the the arm-twisting ability of the Obama Administration to change Israeli minds, and of course, Israeli strategy.
    By continually beating the Gaza Palestinians and Hamas bloody about the head and neck, the victims become more “intractable” with regard to any peace process.
    The Israelis then point to this “intractability” as sufficient reason alone to avoid coming to grips with their own future reality of settlement abandonment and contiguous Palestinian state borders.
    “Cast Lead” had a number of goals to achieve. The only one that I can see the Israelis met was to further tie the hands of the Obama Administration in any peace process pursuit.
    Shorter Israelis to the US on the peace process:
    “I don’t want to and you can’t make me.”

  9. somebody says:

    no, they are whistling in the dark. they are in no position to attack Iran and they know it. they were not able to get rid of Hamas fighters – and that is what really counts strategically, not how many civilians they can kill – and they have not been able to get rid of Hezbollah. the rockets by Hamas, by Hezbollah are hell for normal life – would you buy a house or invest in an area like that? Israel can get more and more criminal bombing population centers but they cannot get to the fighters underground, and as they will not let people flee from Gaza, Egypt will not take them, Israel won’t let them across the border, there will always be “human shields”, there will be mobile phones that can take pictures and videos, there will be the international outcry …

  10. JohnH says:

    Dick Durata–AIPAC supporters I know express the fear of being driven into the sea. This could just as well reflect their projection of what a mass expulsion of Palestinians might look like.
    I agree that the choices for Israel are stark. Any resolution requires a fundamental shift in the Israeli mindset. A truce and peace require a rejection of Jabotinsky’s century-old canon (you can never negotiate with people whose land you have stolen). The alternative is to perpetrate a Palestinian holocaust, which seems the direction we’re headed in…unless adult supervision suddenly appears from nowhere. Of course, it took years before Hitler got restrained, and I’ve always suspected that “saving the Jews” had little to do with US entry into WWII, save for some convenient PR. WWII had more to do with US desires to deal with a threat to US’ position in the world.

  11. MRW. says:

    If you haven’t already heard this, I recommend the recent 56 min. audio interview of Dr. James Petras by George Kenny on US interests in Israel and the immorality of the Gaza invasion. It’s fair, balanced, and direct. Dr. Petras holds your attention with facts and trenchant observations.

  12. greg0 says:

    Too bad nobody wants direct and meaningful negotiations. Maybe peace is not profitable or possible. A temporary truce is the best that can be hoped for?
    What about the idea of Eqypt taking back control of Gaza? Too difficult for Eqypt and too awkward for Israel?

  13. Cloned Poster says:

    I think Israel are looking at the red-indian playbook that was succesful for the settlers in US of A for a slow genocidal programme.

  14. The whole game was to preempt options for Obama Administration! Sort of a “Fated” accompli!
    Thus, the Administration reaction not rest of the world is crucial to find out whether there will be a next time, which there will be if a passive US this time sends message to Likud Party they have free hand. Time is ticking away!

  15. castellio says:

    “We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare slander and malign them, to besmirch their name; instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did, and trying to undo some of the evil we committed, we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them”
    That’s Nathan Chofshi in the Jewish Newsletter of February 9th, 1959, almost exactly 50 years ago. (In Quo Vadis Zionist Israel? by Moshe Menuhin, 1969)
    So what has changed, really? Not the nature of the acts, nor the international indifference.
    In fact, we have to acknowledge that US support for overt Israeli racism and expansionism has never been more emphatic.
    Palestine ground down, Iraq and Afghanistan invaded, Pakistan being bombed at will, Egypt and Saudi Arabia controlled through quislings… how can a reasonable person not see Iran as next, accompanied by mass expulsions in the occupied territories?

  16. Jose says:

    The US should be careful and restrain the Israeli, because this situation can get worse.
    Always remember Operation Ajax.

  17. J says:

    From Gaza to Tehran – Israel Asserting Middle East Supremacy

  18. scandinavian says:

    A truce renewed once every year may no be a bad thing from an Israeli view. The water resources of Gaza are dwindling. How long before people are forced to move due to lack of water?
    Prevent the construction of desalination plants and Gaza could be a desert in a couple of decades.

  19. Mark says:

    Where are the people who sensibly point out that maybe the Palestinians ought to stop shooting at Israel? Or are there people here who actually believe the Palestinians are trying to get “their” land back?

  20. EL says:

    When “Cast Lead” began, a commentator, whose name I wish I could remember, said that Israel’s intentions were eventually to reduce the people of Gaza to total toxic waste with no basic services or civil society (“… no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short…”) and then dump them on the Arabs and the international aid communities to clean up. And then say: “Who wants to be next?” For the time being, this explanation seems to be as good as any.

  21. MRW. says:

    Phil Weiss has this story on his blog:
    Hamas ‘would recognise’ pre-1967 Israel
    January 29, 2009
    Hamas would recognise Israel if it withdraws to its pre-1967 borders, a French Jewish writer said this week after meeting the exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Khaled Meshaal.
    “He told me that Hamas was prepared to recognise Israel on the lines of June 4, 1967. He told me so several times,” Marek Halter told AFP on Monday.
    The date refers to Palestinian demands for an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, captured in the 1967 war.
    Halter’s meeting with Meshaal took place in Damascus last month, on the eve of Israel’s 22-day offensive, which left more than 1,330 Palestinians dead, according to Gaza medics, and vast swathes of the territory in ruins.
    The writer said he informed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of Meshaal’s comments at the start of the Gaza conflict, which ended on January 18 as Israel and Hamas declared unilateral ceasefires. […]

  22. Ingolf says:

    For some in Israel too, the sense of despair and disillusionment seems to run deep. Avraham Burg, scion of an establishment Israeli political family and himself former Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, has written and spoken widely about his fears. In the course of a long interview in 2007 with Ari Shavit (an old colleague from the “small group of reserve soldiers and officers who came out against the First Lebanon War”), they delved deeply into the question of whether the Zionist project had failed. This brief excerpt reveals the intensity of the discussion (Shavit in italics):
    “What you are saying is that the problem is not just the occupation. In your eyes, Israel as a whole is some sort of horrible mutation.
    “The occupation is a very small part of it. Israel is a frightened society. To look for the source of the obsession with force and to uproot it, you have to deal with the fears. And the meta-fear, the primal fear is the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.”
    That is the book’s thesis [the book is “Defeating Hitler”, written by Burg]. You are not the first to propose it, but you formulate it very acutely. We are psychic cripples, you claim. We are gripped by dread and fear and make use of force because Hitler caused us deep psychic damage.
    Well, I will counter by saying that your description is distorted. It’s not as though we are living in Iceland and imagining that we are surrounded by Nazis who actually disappeared 60 years ago. We are surrounded by genuine threats. We are one of the most threatened countries in the world.
    “The true Israeli rift today is between those who believe and those who are afraid. The great victory of the Israeli right in the struggle for the Israeli political soul lies in the way it has imbued it almost totally with absolute paranoia. I accept that there are difficulties. But are they absolute? Is every enemy Auschwitz? Is Hamas a scourge?”
    You are patronizing and supercilious, Avrum. You have no empathy for Israelis. You treat the Israeli Jew as a paranoid. But as the cliche goes, some paranoids really are persecuted. On the day we are speaking, Ahmadinejad is saying that our days are numbered. He promises to eradicate us. No, he is not Hitler. But he is also not a mirage. He is a true threat. He is the real world – a world you ignore.
    “I say that as of this moment, Israel is a state of trauma in nearly every one of its dimensions. And it’s not just a theoretical question. Would our ability to cope with Iran not be much better if we renewed in Israel the ability to trust the world? Would it not be more right if we didn’t deal with the problem on our own, but rather as part of a world alignment beginning with the Christian churches, going on to the governments and finally the armies?
    “Instead, we say we do not trust the world, they will abandon us, and here’s Chamberlain returning from Munich with the black umbrella and we will bomb them alone.”
    Unsurprisingly, Burg is now an intensely controversial figure, much reviled, viewed by many (perhaps most) as a traitor to Israel and his own history. As Ari Shavit put it in his introduction to the interview:
    “I was outraged by the book [Defeating Hitler]. I saw it as a turning away of an Israeli colleague from our shared Israeliness. I saw it as a one-dimensional and unempathetic attack on the Israeli experience. Still, the dialogue with Avrum was riveting. We got angry at each other and raised our voices at each other and circled each other warily like two wounded gladiators in the arena. You can’t take away from Avrum what he has. You can’t take away the education or the articulateness or the ability to touch truly painful places. Maybe that’s why he is so infuriating. Friend and predator; brother and deserter.”
    Does someone with personal experience of Israel have a sense of whether there are meaningful divisions within?

  23. castellio says:

    I suggest to Ingolf that one read Israel Shahak, in particular his book of 1994, recently reprinted (2008) with a foreward by Ilan Pappe. It is prescient in its understanding of the treatment of Palestinians.
    Until one gets a feel for the “religious imperative” in Israeli politics, and the growing clout of Israeli religious fundamentalism, the political policies seem incoherent… but they aren’t.
    This is what Uri Avnery is also trying to communicate in his article in Counterpunch today, where he critiques the role of the army rabbis in the war crimes in Gaza.
    So, yes, there are real and painful divisions within, but the momentum is towards Orthodoxy, and Pappe and the like have left or are leaving Israel.

  24. Matthew says:

    Here are some pictures of historic Jaffae. Good evidence to use when faced with the “Palestine was a deserted wateland” argument. (That is Sen. Inhofe’s specialty.)
    See http://www.palestineremembered.com/Jaffa/Jaffa/index.html

  25. barrisj says:

    And here is more evidence of where Israeli politics are now heading:
    National Union candidate: Kahane was right
    Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, No. 4 on rightist party’s Knesset list, offers to expel Israel’s Arabs to countries such as Venezuela and Turkey, seeks to banish ‘leftists’ from High Court, and believes in rebuilding Temple in Jerusalem
    Eight days ahead of the general elections, and with polls predicting four Knesset seats for the National Union, Dr. Michael Ben-Ari – number four on the party’s list and a man who defines himself “Kahane’s student and follower” – is very likely to find himself in the Israeli parliament.
    In a conversation with Ynet, Ben-Ari presented his proposed solution to the “problem” of Israeli Arabs, declared he would not be part of a Knesset that engages in negotiations with the Palestinians and explained his support for soldiers disobeying orders.
    “I’m not the only one who represents (late Rabbi Meir) Kahane. He’s represented by a great many people today, within the Knesset and outside it,” Ben-Ari stated. “(Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor) Lieberman masquerades as Kahane to win more mandates, (Likud MK) Limor Livnat also sounds like Kahane, and everybody realizes the need for a solution to the problem of Israeli Arabs – a subject which was once taboo.
    “The saying, ‘Kahane was right,’ has already been used up. You can practically see how what Rabbi Kahane brought up 24 years ago has now become the central issue of this election campaign,” he added.
    Ben-Ari explained that his plan was to open a “humanitarian corridor” for Arabs to places like Turkey or Venezuela, and raise money worldwide that would go towards providing them with an “acclimatization grant” in their new countries.

    Ah, yes, what to do about “the Arab Problem”?? Is that anything like “the Jewish Problem” in Hitler’s Germany? No? Why not? How about a resurrection of the “ship them to Madagascar” idea? Simply put, there is no longer any constituency for a “two-state solution” amongst the Israeli people and politicians that can in any way satisfy even minimal Palestinian requirements, and the very best of luck to George Mitchell in sussing out “moderates” in Israel to whom he can talk “peace process”.

  26. johnf says:

    Thanks Ingolf for that fascinating, complex and paradoxical interview.

  27. johnf says:

    Dennis Ross Chairmanship of Israeli Government Funded Think Tank Could Torpedo Iran Envoy Job

  28. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    A truce would be the best option for both sides but the Zionist entity does not seem so inclined preferring ritual murder of children and women as we have seen, continue to see, and will see.
    Castellio, All,
    Given the current hysterical political scene in “Israel”, I would recommend an additional excellent book by the late Israel Shahak and a friend of mine:
    Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (London: Pluto Press, 2004 New Edition).
    Haven’t heard much about the Gaza issue out of the Obama Administration yet.
    1. Does the Obama Administration take the position that HAMAS is a resistance organization with a right to (armed) resistance under international law?
    Perhaps former Senator Mitchell, a lawyer, might enlighten us or perhaps the Secretary of State, also a lawyer, could clarify the Obama Administration’s position with respect to international law on this issue.
    2. And what is the Obama Administration’s position on the Palestinian right of return to all the territory within “historic Palestine”?
    3. And what PRECISELY is the Obama Administration’s position on Jerusalem?

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