Sunday, December 28, 2008

Operation Over the Top

Its the sense of deja vu that so dispiriting. Israel/Hamas or Hamas/Israel exchange fire until, predictably, Israel unleashes an utterly over the top military attack to a political problem.

After two days of bombing Israel has killed over 300 people, ripped apart a fragile infrastructure, made thousands homeless and caused the injury or hundreds more.

An attack that is completely counter productive and will do nothing to achieve the goal that Israel claims it wants.

I don't think anyone would argue with what Israel won't secure with their bombing of Gaza.

1. It will not bring an end to the rocket attacks launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad on its territory.

2. It will not undermine the support base of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

3. It will not gain them any new support from the international community.

So why proceed?

Well what the bombing might achieve is the election of current foreign minister Tzipi Livni in her February showdown with opposition leader, and even bigger asshole, Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a sense the very weakness of the peace process in the Middle East is the immaturity of the Israeli electorate. An electorate who continually elect "hardline" leaders whose very actions only ensure that peace in Israel is impossible.

At this stage and having met and talked to political people on both sides of the conflict I have to say that I don't believe that deep down the Israeli state is ready for peace with the Palestinians. The state of Israel is greatly reinforced by having a weak bogeyman at its side. The Hamas attacks are no more than an irritant to the state, yet the Israelis are able to portray them domestically, and to a much lesser extent abroad, as an existential threat, which is nonsense.

Until such a time that Israel converts its current arrogance into a self-confidence it will remain at war. It is not a David, 50 years after its birth it has become the dominant super power of the Middle East and mediterranean.

It will take an ex-military strongman to lead the Israelis out of the political cesspool they are in, its just not clear if one will emerge soon.

No comments: