Rockets being fired from the Gaza strip into Israel
Israeli police remove part of a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards the city of Tel Aviv
A Palestinian child shouts at al-Shifa hospital after Israeli forces shelled her house
I must commend Richard Fernandez for his elucidation of the conflict between Israel and the militant Islamist Hamas terror group and Palestinian militants.
He brings into crystal clarity evidence that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist militias and Fatah have zero interest in a peaceful coexistence with Israel. They are committed to the extermination of Israel and its Jews.
There are estimates that Hamas’ military is still only using less than 20% of its military weapons capacity, according to an expert in Hamas affairs. This suggests that there may be more months of rocket firepower. Those closely watching events on the ground contend that the number of rockets being launched from Gaza into Israel is neither increasing nor decreasing.
After 12 days of fighting, Israel’s military said that Palestinian terrorists have fired at least 1,705 rockets out of an estimated stockpile of 10,000.
Their arsenal includes Qassam rockets with a range of 17km (10miles) that can reach into Ashkelon and Sderot, Grad rockets with a range of 20km (12 miles) that can hit Beersheba and Grad WS-Es 40km (24 miles) than can attack Tel Aviv, Dimona and Jerusalem. The destructive power of their long-range Farj-5/M-75 missiles 75km (46 miles) can reach Haifa, Zikron Yaacov and Hadera and their Khaibar-1 missiles 160km (99 miles) are capable of reaching into the neighboring country of Jordan.
Mr. Fernandez explains:
“Nihilism isn’t the absence of a belief. It is something subtly different: it is the belief in nothing. The most powerful weapon of terrorism is therefore the unyielding No. “No, I will not give up. No, I will not tell the truth. No, I will not play fair. No, I will not spare children. No, I will not stop even if you surrender to me; I will not cease even if you give me everything you have, up to and including your children’s lives. Nothing short of destroying me absolutely can make me stop. And therefore I will defeat you even if you kill me. Because I will make you pay the price in guilt for annihilating me.”
“It’s an extremely powerful weapon. The Absolute No is a devastating attack on the self-image and esteem of civilization. Hamas will demonstrate the No, the Nothing. It will show that deep down inside Israelis—and Americans—are animals like them. This can be called the Seven Gambit, from a 1995 film which explores this exact theme. It depicts two detectives versus the devil in the shape of nameless man, who kills people not by attacking them directly, but by creating situations where they kill themselves by yielding to one of the seven deadly sins: sloth, gluttony, vanity—and finally vengeance and wrath.”
Sara Roy, in a warped diatribe at The Boston Globe, penned the following:
“Gaza’s present anguish did not emerge in a vacuum nor in response to a single terrible event as the Israeli government would have us believe. Instead, it emanates from a context of ongoing occupation and repression that has transformed Gaza—the center of Palestinian nationalism and resistance to Israeli occupation—into one of the most impoverished, imprisoned areas of the world.”
Spittle-laced voices here and abroad share Ms. Roy’s perverted view. One such example was CNN’s Diane Magnay who called a group of Israelis “scum” and today in London and Paris tens of thousands of protesters holding placards and banners chanted pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel slogans.
"Saturday’s demonstration in London came on the heels of numerous protests Thursday and Friday worldwide, including Cairo, Istanbul, Cape Town, Berlin, New York and Washington. Many of the protests have turned violent."
"In Istanbul, police warded off hundreds of rioters who attempted on Thursday to storm the Israeli embassy building. Demonstrators in Ankara and Istanbul also hurled stones at several compounds where Israeli officials reside. Calls for the destruction of the Jewish state were heard in both Turkish cities. Police responded by firing tear gas canisters and water cannons at the crowds. Israel decided Friday to pull some of its diplomatic staff out of Turkey in the wake of the protests."
Less than ten years ago, Israel uprooted 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip withdrawing its entire military and thereby relinquishing it to the Palestinians. The Israelis gave the Palestinians 3,000 greenhouses worth $14 million that had produced fruits and flowers for export in an effort to promote the economy in Gaza. Palestinians looted them walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.
It has been 47 years since the 1967 Six Day War and throughout Israel’s existence efforts to bring peace to the region have largely failed. In 1967, UN Security Council Resolution 242 called for the exchange of land for peace. Jimmy Carter brought together Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at Camp David for the Camp David Accords in 1978 that resulted in two agreements. Then followed the Madrid Conference in 1991 and the Oslo Agreement two years later that tried to build on UN Resolution 242 and 338.
The purpose of the 2000 Camp David peace talks was to offer the Gaza Strip and part of the Negev desert to the Palestinians and the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees.
The 2001 Taba talks were held amid an election campaign for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak said that "nothing is agreed upon until everything is agreed upon". He said that he could not commit a subsequent government to what he called the "ideas" coming out of the talks. With the election of Ariel Sharon in February 2001, time ran out.
In 2002, the Arab Peace Initiative introduced a two-state solution. Efforts to have the parties agree have failed at every turn. The Roadmap talks in 2003 attempted to hammer out how a settlement could be reached. This eventually led to the 2003 Geneva Accord in which the Palestinians would give up their “right of return” in exchange for almost the whole of the West Bank.
Hamas, in 2007, had just won parliamentary elections and taken control of the Gaza Strip. The Annapolis Peace Talks that year failed because Hamas was not represented and declared it would not be bound by anything declared at the talks.
In Washington in 2010, Mahmoud Abbas wanted a guarantee of a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines.
It is impossible to understand the uncontrollable hatred of Jews. So demented is Hamas’ insanity that they wantonly use women and children as human shields. (Please go to this link and this link to view Hamas’ confessions about the use of human shields.)
Benjamin Netanyahu said, “It must be understood that our enemy hides in mosques, puts weapons stores under hospitals and situates command posts next to kindergartens. The enemy uses the residents of Gaza as a human shield and inflicts disaster on them. The responsibility for harm to the citizens of Gaza lies on the shoulders of Hamas and Israel regrets any harm to them. The difference between Israel and Hamas is that we use missiles to defend the citizens of Israel while they use the civilian population to defend the stores of their missiles.”
Charles Krauthammer, the American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, shares his thoughts on the moral depravity of the terrorist group known as Hamas:
"To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel, fuelled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense."
"In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, Hamas’ depravity begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera—both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the UN ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years which nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields."
"It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear."