Interior Minister Eli Yishai, in a moment of disturbing candor, revealed what is for many in Netanyahu’s government the ultimate goal of its escalating military campaign on Gaza:
“The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.”
Now, part of Yishai’s bombast comes from the fact that, as a known racist and head of the ultra-orthodox Shas party, he’d feel much more comfortable in the Middle Ages himself.
However, his statement reveals an essential truth few Israeli leaders dare to articulate. And that truth is this: the current military throttling of Gaza has less to do with security and more to do with destabilizing Gaza as much as possible.
Put another way, the military campaign is less about destroying Hamas’s weaponry and more about creating a situation in which Hamas remains both militant and strong.
As I explained in a previous piece:
Israel has engaged in its current, escalating military campaign not to protect Israelis from a militant Hamas, but in order to ensure that Hamas in Gaza remains militant.
Why? The answer is simple and twofold: a) Netanyahu’s government wants a militant Hamas in Gaza; it wants a situation in which Gaza becomes isolated from the West Bank, hoping eventually Greater Israel will be obtained with Gaza becoming a separate entity, and b) with Israeli elections set for January, electoral motivations are undeniably in play with regard to this sudden military barrage.
Now, nobody is questioning whether Israel should be able to defend itself from rocket attacks on its citizens. But the tactics of bombing hundreds of Hamas strongholds and assassinating Hamas leaders is part of a larger strategy meant to maintain the status quo, not make Israelis safer in the long run.
As Janine Zacharia wisely wrote in Slate:
To be sure, Israel will once again achieve many of its short-term tactical goals, assassinating a handful of Hamas leaders, leveling militant safe houses, and eliminating scores of Hamas military installations or weapon depots. And, in the end, Israel will be no safer, although it will surely be more alone in the world and living in a neighborhood that is less tolerant of its aggressive countermeasures.
It’s time to declare Israel’s policy toward Gaza and Hamas a failure.
This is not an anti-Israel statement. Rather, it is an honest acknowledgment of the facts, which are simply too numerous to avoid.
Which brings us back to Yishai: The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.
Translated? The goal is not to protect Israelis from rocket fire, but to make Gaza as archaic and poor a place as possible to live. A place where extremism can continue to thrive.
Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG
Another ludicrous posting, evidenced by the author’s conclusion: “The goal is not to protect Israelis from rocket fire.”
But that is EXACTLY the goal, to protect Israelis, something the author, in his left-wing animus, has no ability to understand.
if you really believe that believe that you are a very naive and silly being. You really think they care about the people . All they care about is control, power and their own positions Just like the leaders on the UK and US.
No, you don’t understand. And you better before WW3.
From Rob Prince of Colorado Progressive Jewish News:
I weep at the inhumanity, the belief in Violence as god and savior, and the failure to see the enemy as a brother or sister. I worry that our species prospects are growing dim
Does anyone have hope in the actions by the President of Egypt, etc.? And note too how destructive this is for Israel – barbarian actions with no conscience.
Martha, you’re 2 faced. You wrote i so many words that you prefer the racist Zionist state just go away.. Funny how place your hope in the Egyptian president who would relegate you as a woman to 3rd class behind the goats.
I just wrote a lengthy but careful response, and just a the end, I lost everything and I’m back here, completely omitted. It’s okay. I was just about to cancel my subscription anyway. Its arrogance is beyond where I live on this earth. Once again the whole world is going to be caught up in your sadomasochistic rhythms and obsessions. You know what? The whole world is sick of it. How many nuclear weapons does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have? Probably none. And you? You’ve had 200 of them for many years. You want to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages; how sophisticated. The Dalai Lama is Wrong to Think Meditation Will Eliminate Violence. So shoot him. That is what YOU are about.
Cancel my subscription. My efforts to write a thoughtful, careful letter would only be read by blind eyes anyway. I wasn’t fun. You are not fun. World War III with you in the middle of it, again, inevitable. You never learn, and you always find a way to get the rest of us involved, injured or dead.
Sweet Georgia Brown, not one American have died to defend Israel.
Dear sister, Georgia,
What has caused you anger is not clear to me. Be at peace. Know you are loved. May the healing of the world come to all of us.
I hope that you might find a subscription somewhere that will feed your soul, empower your kindness, and help us all to work together to bring peace.
Sending you hope vibes at this moment,
The problem with conspiracy theories is that they are thought tight. Everyone on the rational Left in Israel (i.e. the ones who actually have to come up with policies that might work in the real world) is supporting the military response to the Hamas war crimes. Are we to conclude that Shelly Yachimovich and Shaul Mofaz are also party to the secret plan? Are they also Elders of Zion?
All the polls showed Netanyahu poised for victory in the upcoming elections before the military response began. How convoluted a theory do you need to come up with to explain him hazarding that lead with a military campaign that could easily boomerang on him?
Maybe you should try wielding Occam’s razor. If you did you would realize that no elected official can ignore over a million voters being forced to live in bomb shelters by Hamas terror