Israel’s security apparatus at this point is calling the single missile drop that damaged a road outside Ashkelon “a local event,” but makes clear that the IDF will respond forcefully if more launches happen, the Walla website reports. Which means that the other side gets one freebee. If the reader is in tremendous hurry, we should reveal that the above bit of information is the most crucial, outshining anything else we could possibly report next. Because in societies where maintaining law and order is considered the most elementary part of a government’s duty to its citizens the criminals don’t get a freebee.
You see, on the eve of the “disengagement,” as the transfer buses and the bulk of Israel’s internal security forces were moving in on the Jews of Gaza, then prime minister Ariel Sharon swore an oath, that should a single rocket be fired out of Gaza following the disengagement, “we will react with greater force than ever before.”
Since that promise, Israel has stood twice with its boot on the neck of Hamas and its minions, and twice it let go, each time bragging that walking away from the festering wound that Ariel Sharon had cut open was, somehow, the mature, responsible, even brave thing to do.
Well, here we go again. Eager to show that they’re just as angry as their brethren in the PA over the death in jail of an Arab youngster arrested for stone throwing, Hamas ordered its subordinate gang of thugs, the Islamic Jihad (which is just another name for Hamas, in the end) to shoot a trial missile over the line. A shot across the bow.
Israel is determined to react only to the second one. Which means we should alter Sharon’s famous threat to “should two rockets be fired out of Gaza.” Must keep up with the changing realities.
And IDF sources are saying today that they’re not surprised, that they’d been expecting something like that, it only makes sense, what with all the clashes between a smattering of Arab youths (the PLO is only able to raise a couple dozen rock throwers in each location because its funds have been dwindling—but now, that Israel has renewed the flow of money, they’ll be financing much larger groups).
Here’s a question: If the IDF was well aware that this was coming, how come the sirens didn’t go off in Ashkelon? And how come that glorious expression of the Jewish genius, the Iron Dome, didn’t stop the rocket?
American slang uses the metaphor of a male bovine’s droppings to suggest that a particular statement is entirely unrelated to the truth. In the case of the following disclosure from our brave spokespersons in uniform, the heaps of bovine refuse are high enough to bury the entire bovine:
“This is an isolated incident and not a system-wide decision to return to rocket firing against Israel. It’s merely a few rogue activists who decided on their own to express solidarity with what is happening in Judea and Samaria regarding mostly the issue of the prisoners, which is sensitive not only in Judea and Samaria. We must not forget that there are security prisoners released into Gaza in the Gilad Shalit deal, instead of to their Judea and Samaria homes, and they are engaged in terrorism from morning to night.”
Now here’s something a bit closer to reality, another statement, same IDF sources, this time with facts:
A senior security official told Walla this morning that “It doesn’t make sense that while Hamas is negotiating with Israel through the Egyptian, it would be trying to bend Israel’s arm. The launch this morning is against its own strategy. And so, the new reality will be examined over time. If there are additional launches, the IDF will respond with force. There is no intention to allow a return to the time of missile trickles.”
Now the picture is clearer: Hamas, which looks to open up the border passages and increase the flow of incoming goods, including cement (to fortify new rocket launchers replacing the ones destroyed last November), orders its subordinate organization, the Islamic Jihad, to shoot one. The message has nothing to do with prisoners. The message is: we’ll keep the rockets quiet as long as you adhere to our demands. We are in complete control of the rocket fire, no one shoots anything unless we say so – now, do you want quiet or a new war on your border?
The head of the IDF Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Nimrod Sheffer, who’s been negotiating indirectly with Hamas, through the Egyptians, knows all that, and he will sweeten and hasten the deal as required. Israel does not want more war.
Since November, the IDF has avoided conducting a major ground maneuver in the south, so as not to provoke Hamas into launching new rockets.
As we’ve seen back at the conclusion of the November clashes, Israel will go a very long way to keep Hamas happy. Which is fine, as long as we all understand that, sooner or later, we’ll have to go in and kill those folks before they kill us.Yori Yanover
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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