There is nothing whatever preventing the arms smuggling from resuming. It has in fact resumed. The word coming from soldiers is that the tunnels are operating at full capacity as if nothing had happened. The entrances to some of the tunnels may have been damaged but the tunnels themselves survived quite intact and the entrances were quickly repaired. I find it hard to believe that Ehud Barak really believes that Egypt will become Israel's first line of defense by stopping the weapons smuggling through the tunnels or that European observers will do anything more than observe the smuggling. He solemnly says he does and so do Olmert and Livni and clearly they want the voters to believe it. In fact, however, not many people are that stupid. If there is anyone who believes that either Egypt or Europe will take casualties to reduce a threat to Israel, I want some of they've been smoking. Furthermore, the top leadership of Hamas is still in the saddle and Hamas leadership in general seems to be intact, as also the ranks. I question how much of their arsenal the IDF was able to destroy. In sum, it appears that a lot of buildings have been destroyed, which will be quickly rebuilt with international assistance. Damage to Israeli buildings will also be repaired but with Israeli money only, just like after the Hezballah War. The Minister of De Fence is crowing about how Hamas has been sobered and will be deterred from attacking us again (as if he knows). I also want some of what he's been smoking. And the Foreign Minister is clamoring for her share of the credit for what the war accomplished, whatever that might be.
It has also occurred to us at Hashkem that a deal was made to keep things quiet until after the elections. Why would Hamas agree to such a deal? There are rivalries between clans in Gaza and Haniya might have wanted some of the rival clans put down. There were a number of large, expensive private mansions bombed and we are cynical enough to wonder if they weren't part of such a deal. Just speculation. Similarly, why was it important to complete the withdrawal before Obama's inauguration? Did Israel's leaders get a promise of a quid pro quo in the form of Obama smiling at them and saying nice things and making them look good for the Israeli voters? Again, it's just speculation. But is it inherently credible? If it is, then that, in and of itself, says a great deal. If someone had suggested such a thing about Shamir or Begin or Be-Gurion, it would have been laughable.
Same Old Ehud Barak
That has been the rallying cry against Ehud
Barach oops! Barak ever since he ran for cover instead of helping the wounded at the training accident at Tzehelim Bet and how he ordered our troops to flee Southern Lebanon, which enabled Hizbullah to arm against Israel.
The vast majority of Israelis are disgusted and disappointed by Israel's early withdrawal from Gaza and the pre-mature cessation of Operation Cast Lead, aka the Election Campaign War.
Ironically, Tzachi Hanegbi, whose mantra used to be "Barak Barach," now sounds just like him in his announcement:
"Hamas militants face a simple equation," Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzachi Hanegbi told Army Radio. "If the [rocket] fire resumes, we will respond with force so strong and overpowering, they will miss the day the Israel Air Force's offensive began." (hat tip IMRA)
Barak's reign as Prime Minister was full of threats like that, but he never followed through, and we ended up with the worst bout of Arab terrorism ever. The media calls it "The Second Intifada," not that I remember any announcemt by the terrorists that they had ended the sic "first" one. There were periodic lulls, like when ocean water recedes between waves.
Ehud Barak was elected during such a lull, and then he so mishandled the subsequent terrorism, emboldening the terrorists by his unilateral campaign promise withdrawal from Southern Lebanon, that most of the country felt under siege. We were forced to get bullet-proof vehicles or travel dressed in heavy bullet-proof vests. My sons were serving in the army at the time, and I was more nervous about their walking in Jerusalem than when they were doing their actual military tasks.
Today, what frightens me is the national amnesia, which has allowed that same Ehud Barak to return to politics as head of the Labor Party and subsequently become Defense Minister. As IDF Chief of Staff, he was instrumental in downgrading the army which caused the many mistakes in Olmert's Lebanese War fiasco of two and a half years ago.
And now, Ehud Barak is willing to accept continued smuggling of arms by Hamas into Gaza. All I can think of is that a deal was made via the Egyptians to keep things "quiet" until after Israeli elections.
Please don't forget that one of the new U.S. President Obama's highest priority Foreign Policy aims is to establish a new Arab country in the very heart of Israel.
My husband and I just spent close to a week on vacation in Eilat, sans internet. That's why I haven't posted recently. We were dependent on TV news, which gave very little real information. Now we're back.
Most Israelis, Jews and concerned people all over the world are shocked that Israel ended Operation Cast Lead without the freeing of Gilad Shalit. What was the real point of that "war?" "War," "operation," "campaign," it doesn't matter what it's called. The important thing is to have a clear goal, and Israel doesn't. Our soldiers are motivated and want to to the job professionally. When we returned to Jerusalem from Eilat, we saw signs all over proclaiming that "the people have the fortitude to support the soldiers on the frontline." Our problem is that we're ruled by weak tired, selfishly ambitious and shortsighted politicians.
G-d is angry with them, and that's why there's no rain. But G-d loves the people, and that's why with all of the rockets and missiles launched at southern Israel, there were so few casualties.
With elections coming up, we have the opportunity to vote for true leaders. I'm voting for Ichud Le'umi, the only party which is uncompromising in its support for the People and Land and State and Security of Israel.
me-ander The Eye of the Storm