Showdown in Gaza

_41928866_merkava_mk4_416x167 The Israelis are now "across the wire."

It is hard to see how they can profit from this effort against Hamas.  They have gambled "the ranch" on this roll of the iron dice.  They have never been good at long term thinking.  They are too focused on their tribal enemies for that.

As I wrote previously, the "psychological weight" of Israel hangs in the balance in this effort.  They must be perceived to have dominated this situation in order to emerge with at least as much deterrent "credit" as they entered it with.  To do that they must force Hamas to stop firing into Israel, "not for a day, not for a month, but always."  The US is peddling the IO line that the Gazans are being held prisoner by Hamas.  For that to sell, there will have to be a revolt (in some form) of the Gazans against Hamas.  Lastly, there must not be pictures of "brewed up" Israelis tanks being dragged out of Gaza.  Better to blow them in place than have pictures like that.  To achieve all this will be difficult.

We now will watch an army of reservists (the IDF) attempt to fight a war of materiel against an army of Hamas fanatics.  The quality of the men will determine the outcome.  pl

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18 Responses to Showdown in Gaza

  1. Alex says:

    Alternatively, there will be something like one of the raids into Gaza pre 2005. They’ll move armour over the border as far as they can without going into the urban mass of Gaza (Area A as was), thus fulfilling the promise of action to their own constituency while trimming their commitment.

  2. J says:

    Video Of Israel Bombing Gaza School. Israelis bomb children – Very graphic

  3. I posted this in the other comment thread but it really belongs here. IDF veteran of 82 Lebanon war says what you say, but in more detail. Very black vision of the near future:

  4. Provided with the usual caveats about “first reports” (via McClatchey):
    Residents in northern Gaza hiding in their homes said Israeli soldiers were quickly confronted by Palestinian militants that had been lying in wait. Palestinians in the area reported intense firefights taking place but there was no immediate word on fighters killed on either side. … Hamas leaders in Syria have called for Palestinians to rise up and start a third uprising targeting Israel. Soon after Israeli tanks rolled into the Gaza Strip on Saturday night, Hamas leaders vowed to fight to the “last breath.”
    While I doubt Hamas will get its wish entirely when it comes to the Palestinian diaspora in the West Bank, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, they might get their wish of “fighting to the death.” The whole tragedy has the feeling of The Great Revolt or the Warsaw Rising to it.
    No doubt by tomorrow the pressure on Arab political leaders is going to be exceptionally intense. How long can Mubarak bottle up Palestinians at the Philidelphi Corridor while disproportionate military force is used against Hamas? No doubt, he would say forever, but will his people let him?
    As for winners, I see at least one – Ahmedinejad (pressure shifts from Iran to Gaza and he gets the moral high ground). It will be interesting to see what Hizb’allah does… they’ve been quiet so far. Will they remain so? (my gut says yes).

  5. See Juan Cole on the destruction of the American International School in Gaza.
    Here’s the school’s website, showing what it looked like before it was flattened today:
    A guard was killed.

  6. jr786 says:

    “In order to save Gaza, we had to destroy it” – How long before we hear it?
    I don’t know how many Gazans are fanatics. I do hope they are brave, disciplined and sufficiently well armed to inflict a bloody beating on the invaders of what little they have, insh’all-h.
    I also hope Americans have enough sense of fair play left to see that they are funding the jewish fantasy of having their own personal Warsaw Ghetto to play act in.
    What’s the IDF version of the Horst Wessel song? Do you think they sang it when they crossed the border?

  7. McGee says:

    Are the Israeli’s shooting themselves in the foot? If so might give the Obama administration a chance to carve a new path for our policy in the MidEast. Dubious proposition at best but one can always hope…..

  8. Duncan Kinder says:

    Cyberwar is impacting the current conflict:

    DEBKAfile’s two sites in English and Hebrew have been under attack since 19:00 local time. We are doing our best to restore the service as soon as possible. Please check the site periodically.
    DEBKAfile Administration

  9. J says:

    I don’t know what else to call Israel’s actions in Gaza anything other than — Genocide against the Palestinians.
    For months, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has largely been kept out of the news as the Palestinians have honored a cease fire agreement since this past June. Irrespective of minor incidents of violence, this agreement remained in place until November 4th, when the Israelis launched their air strike into Gaza resulting in several Palestinian injuries and deaths. The Palestinians responded to the Israeli act of aggression with their crude rocket fire and mortar attacks.
    Israel’s ground force operation into Gaza has resulted in the death of hundreds of civilians including women and children. According to an eyewitness account published in the London Guardian the Israelis have destroyed homes, a police station, ambulances, a fire station and even a medicine store. With all of this in mind, it is quite clear that this operation is not about Israeli security, but instead about Israel conducting a campaign of indiscriminate death and destruction and Nazi style collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza.
    The actions of the IDF are those of thugs, not a professional military.

  10. greg0 says:

    The Israelis and their American enablers refuse any negotiations? The UN Security Council is hamstrung by the US?
    The logical result of this Gaza invasion will be war crimes trials taking place with or without a ‘final’ solution of an emptied Gaza. How will the warmakers profit if they are held accountable?

  11. Lysander says:

    I never understood how this will enhance “deterrence.”
    First, they just did the bomb everything routine in ’06. Before that, they did grapes of wrath in 1996, a similar operation in 1993, and the whole invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
    Second, who exactly are they deterring? Syria hasn’t dared raise a hand against them in ages. Egypt and Jordan are bought and paid for quislings. Hizbollah has more first hand experience with this sort of thing than anyone and probably are only afraid of being blamed for **starting** a war rather than actually fighting one.
    Besides, making an example of the weakest possible opponent you can find isn’t so much frightening as it is pathetic.
    No, I’m thinking Israel intends to topple Hamas and place quisling Abbas in power. Probably they can get away with this with no more than 100-200 dead.
    If they fail, though, they are really F*&%#D, because it will mean the resistance model is better than the groveling model.

  12. J says:

    Many misconceptions and lies being spread in the corporate controlled media about why all of this is taking place. The Palestinians are constantly demonized as bloodthirsty terrorists that specifically target civilians. This on its face needs to be taken into context the weaponry that the Palestinians have at their disposal are not very accurate and serves as their only methods of ‘defense’ that they have against Israeli attacks.
    In addition, the Israeli military has killed many more Palestinian civilians through their U.S. supplied superior military might. With this in mind, many could then say the real terrorists are the ones controlling the Israeli military by ordering bombings that have killed many more innocent Palestinians in comparison to the Israeli civilians who have been killed by the Palestinians.
    Gaza is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. The Israeli government says that they are not targeting civilians but are instead only going after military targets. This is one of the most densely populated regions in the entire world and any bombing of such areas regardless of the justification is a systematic attack on civilians. This also makes the claims that Palestinian militants are hiding behind civilians an incredibly ridiculous assertion. It is such a densely populated region that there is no way to make a distinction. All of Gaza is a ‘civilian’ enclave. Besides, the Palestinians don’t even have a real military.
    Hamas is a political organization that controls Gaza and is labeled as a terrorist organization by the West. True they have a very crude militant wing, however they are a political organization first and foremost and were actually elected by the Palestinian people. Despite the fact that they represent the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the Israelis simply label them as a terrorist organization and use it as justification to destroy infrastructure which is critical to the well-being of the Palestinian people.
    Those at the highest levels of the Israeli government should be put on trial for war crimes considering the reports of hundreds of civilian deaths in the region. It is no wonder why the Israeli forces will not allow any foreign media to enter the Gaza region. By doing this, they can assure that as little information about their war crimes is revealed to the world.
    It is disgraceful how our President Bush supports this affair as a ‘legitimate military operation’ which it isn’t. And to add insult to injury our President-Elect Obama is hiding in a resort playing golf and refusing to step up to the plate and comment on this very serious situation.
    U.S. taxpayer money used by our elected politicans to fund the Israeli miltiary to conduct these sorts of operations, is a slap at our U.S. Constitution.
    The Israelis responsible for this carnage that we’re currently witnessing need to be dressed up in orange jump suits and put on trial like the Nazis were during the Nuremberg trials.

  13. Robert Colbert says:

    As an amteur, I cannot help but think that Isreal hopes to drag others into this conflict. Specifically, Syria and/or Iran. If that occurs, then they win the lottery, because the Neocons, in full force, will drag the US into this bog.

  14. J says:

    The IDF doesn’t want their war crimes made public, so they hunt down any who defy their imperial wishes.
    Police looking for reporter who defied military censor

  15. Stormcrow says:

    I don’t see how this is going to turn out well for Israel.
    Suppose, for the sake of argument, that they manage to utterly wreck Hamas, permanently, which will not be easy. Then I think what’ll follow will probably be worse. More extreme, more nihilistic, harder to reason with.
    I really don’t see the Palestinians in Gaza meekly accepting governance by a body chosen and installed by their enemies, at gunpoint.
    The Israelis should have sacked Ehud Olmert after the failure of the South Lebanon War of 2006.
    That’s what usually happens after a head of state starts a war and loses.
    The present invasion shows why this is usually necessary.
    Oh, BTW. This also shows how wretched a prophet I am. LOL. Just following the failed 2006 war, I wrote, in several public venues, that Olmert would be looking for a new job within months. Didn’t happen.

  16. Sgt.York says:

    RE: “the Israelis have destroyed homes, a police station, ambulances, a fire station and even a medicine store.”
    Well, what the heck are they supposed to destroy? It’s not like Hamas has an actual military with 30mm AA guns and T-series Russian tanks. It’s not like the IDF tank and artillery crews have much else to destroy other than ambulances and fire stations.

  17. majii says:

    “As I wrote previously, the “psychological weight” of Israel hangs in the balance in this effort. They must be perceived to have dominated this situation in order to emerge with at least as much deterrent “credit” as they entered it with. To do that they must force Hamas to stop firing into Israel, “not for a day, not for a month, but always.”
    Thanks for saying this. In my opinion, this is part of the “solution” to Israel’s problem with Hamas. This would place Israel in a more powerful position in future negotiations.

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