Many Red Lines Crossed on Road to Gaza War

Analysis

Long Road: Israel and Hamas both took steps that escalated a seemingly minor conflict into a possible devastating ground war.
getty images
Long Road: Israel and Hamas both took steps that escalated a seemingly minor conflict into a possible devastating ground war.

By Reuters

Published November 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

For Israel, a security situation that had been contained and politically tolerable – zero or very infrequent rocket attacks on the south by groups other than Hamas – tilted with Hamas’ decision to start shooting again, and with new weapons.

Israel says the aim of Operation Pillar of Defence is not to re-occupy Gaza, or root out Islamists. It is to destroy long-range rockets such as the Fajr 5 from Iran that Hamas has acquired since 2009 and to disable Gaza’s rocket capacity “for a very long time”, said foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Could there be ancillary motives? Alastair Newton at Nomura Global Markets writes in a note to clients that “militants in Gaza have been building up stocks of missiles…and there does appear to have been an up-tick in missile attacks”.

“However,” he adds, “an Israeli general election is now just two months away … Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has historically benefited from pre-election security concerns, which this latest conflict is likely to exacerbate.”

Although a vast majority of Israelis supports the operation, a high body count could reduce popular backing.

Another vote is also looming – one that the secular government of President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank wants to bring in the United Nations General Assembly by the end of November to give the Palestinians a diplomatic upgrade.

Israel says this drive for U.N. recognition of a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem is “diplomatic terrorism”. It has threatened to topple Abbas, who is regularly derided by Hamas for not supporting their armed resistance.

Abbas himself is convinced the Gaza campaign is designed to sink his initiative, but has vowed to plough on. “Everything that is happening is in order to block our endeavours to reach the United Nations,” he said on Friday.

Israeli columnist Uri Dromi says Israel should remember that its Palestinian neighbours in the West Bank “are still committed to a two-state solution, namely, sharing the neighbourhood”.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.