How dumb can we be?
Government should stop telling us that impotence vis-a-vis Hamas is an advantage
Alex Fishman YNET Published: 12.08.08, 11:39 / Israel Opinion
The letter calling on residents of Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, and Kiryat Malachi to prepare for rocket attacks hides a secret. This secret is well known to the ministers who are currently debating the Israeli response to attacks from the Gaza Strip.
They are keeping this secret to themselves and in meanwhile they are building an alibi for the day it will be exposed. Because once the Israeli public discovers that Gaza groups may possess rockets with a range of dozens of kilometers, these ministers will have to explain why they didn't do a thing about it.
Dozens of kilometers means that Beersheba and Yavne are in range, not to mention the Ashdod Port. If our leaders have no intention to do something about Gaza before the elections, they would do well to send, now already, letters to residents of the abovementioned cities. It would also be wise to start fortifying strategic sites such as the Ashdod Port for the possibility of a rocket hit.
The Navy, by the way, already treats its military port in Ashdod just as it treats the Haifa Port, which is in range of Hizbullah rockets.
So take a map, mark the regions under threat nationwide, and start to prepare - mentally at least. Meanwhile, our politicians should stop explaining to us that our impotence vis-à-vis Hamas is an advantage and not a drawback. Internal debates recently held in the Defense Ministry concluded with a document that outlines no less than 15 convincing arguments for why the lull must continue and why we must not spoil the nation's mood.
It starts with the argument that we must not irritate the new US Administration, and ends with the fact that we neglected the issue fortification in Gaza-region communities.
Thankfully, someone in the defense establishment took the initiative last week and prevented a Libyan ship from reaching Gaza, while later also preventing a ship on behalf of the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch from sailing to the Strip. The moment the global Islamic movement discovered that ships can be sent from Cyprus to Gaza without being stopped, the wave got underway.
The Jews are dumb, so why shouldn't we exploit it?
Indeed, at this time already, seven ships packed with goods from various Muslim countries such as Yemen, Turkey, Qatar, and Jordan are already preparing to sail.
Hamas identifies Israeli weaknessIn the past week, Hamas fired about 100 rockets. A month ago, when the IDF operated against a Gaza Strip tunnel, Hamas fired 30 industrial Grad rockets in order to signal to Israel that it intends to dictate a different kind of lull. If Hamas can afford to fire 30 Grads just to signal, it means its weapons warehouses must be full.According to Israeli estimates, Hamas has an emergency supply of fuels and food that would enable it to withstand a month-long Israeli assault. Instead of preparing for war, perhaps it would be better if the group handed out all those goods in the warehouses to hungry Gaza residents.
At this time, Hamas maintains eight brigades in Gaza, deployed in three rings: On the border, in a security zone, and deep inside the Strip. This Hamas army comprises almost 17,000 people, including police officers. All of them receive their salaries from the Hamas government. Why does Israel need to transfer NIS 200 million (roughly $50 million) to Gaza, so that local banks can keep paying the salaries of Hamas soldiers? How dumb can we be?
Throughout the year we have been sitting and watching foreign instructors and advisors coming in and out of the Gaza Strip and building Hamas' defense plan against a future Israeli operation. The plan includes, among other things, the establishment of a 50-kilometer long underground network that would enable Hamas' leadership and its best combat units to go underground and be protected from surgical strikes or aerial assaults.
Hamas is firing rockets at this time because it identified an Israeli weakness. This weakness is an opportunity to create new rules for the lull. Hamas is also taking pleasure in the face of Egyptian anxiety and requests to hold the fire. The group just keeps on making more demands of the Egyptians.And what will happen if Hamas and the other groups decide that they are no longer interested in a lull? What will all our experts say then? Will they draft a new document that outlines 15 arguments for why we must not maintain the lull in its current format?