Katherine Butler. “Why Did Israel Attack Gaza?”. The Independent. December 29th, 2008 – Can Israel achieve its security aims by attacking Hamas so forcefully?
It is difficult to see Israel’s action as being anything other than counterproductive, particularly if it escalates and widens the assault. Unless a fresh truce can be negotiated quickly, the hopes raised by the election of Barack Obama to the US Presidency and the possibility of a more engaged US policy seem to have dimmed again.
Nicholas Kristoff. “The Gaza Boomerang”. New York Times. January 7, 2009 – “the excessive Israeli ground assault in Gaza is likely to create more terrorists in the long run.”
“Israel Strikes”. Washington Post. 28 Dec. 2008 – “Over time […] a fight in Gaza could be costly for Israel. Military commanders have repeatedly warned that it could lead to punishing attacks on Israeli cities, spread to the West Bank or Lebanon, or force a ground invasion that would cause thousands of casualties and leave Israeli troops stranded without an exit strategy.”
“Israel, Gaza and Huntington”. The Sydney Morning Herald. December 30, 2008 – Israel’s response has the potential to further radicalise Palestinian youth, and while Hamas’s military capability will be retarded for some time, retaliation could come in other forms, including a possible new wave of suicide bombings in Israel’s cities. Ultimately, there is no military solution.
The moderate Palestinian wing, Fatah, began its life like Hamas, denying Israel’s right to exist and threatening force to destroy it, but later saw the futility of violence and embarked on negotiations. The sooner Hamas reaches the same conclusion, the better it will be for the Palestinian people. But lack of progress towards a two-state solution that recognises the legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians continues to fuel militancy, and provides regional rivals like Syria and Iran with opportunities to meddle.
Jay Bookman. “Israel cannot ‘free’ Gaza of Hamas with war.” AJC. January 08, 2009 – whether Israel had the right to respond militarily is a very different question than whether it was wise to do so in such all-out fashion, moving from a quite effective air campaign to outright ground invasion.
As powerful as it is, Israel’s military cannot impose peace. Any victory it achieves will be temporary; any cessation in missile launches will be fleeting. The idea that the Israeli military can “free” Gaza from the grip of Hamas over the long term is implausible.
And that’s the core of Israel’s predicament. In the short term, it has every advantage. It has the military might, the economic strength, the backing of the world’s sole superpower. In the short term, it has the ability to crush Hamas and is doing so.
But in the long term, the balance of power changes. The missiles acquired by its Arab enemies get longer in range and heavier in payload with every passing year. The Palestinians are producing many more babies than the Jews, threatening to change geography by demography, and international support for Israel, particularly outside the United States, is waning. According to our own analysts in the CIA and elsewhere, America’s power and influence will decline in the years to come, at least in relative terms, and so will its ability to protect Israel.
Conversely, while the policy of Hamas and the Palestinians may seem extremely self-destructive and foolish — exposing their own people to death and destruction on a massive scale — there is a perverted wisdom to it in the long term. By provoking attacks such as the bombing of the school at Jabaliya, which killed an estimated 40 civilians, including 10 children, Palestinian extremists ensure a simmering wrath against Israel that will nurture their cause for generations.
Somehow, Israel has to break that cycle. Somehow, it has to stop sacrificing its long-term survival hopes for short-term returns. But it will not do so without outside pressure, and that help can come from only one place — the United States.
Dr. Charles Kennedy. “Israel and Palestine: The Case for Non-intervention”. United Liberty. January 8, 2009 – Many staunch (i.e., blind) supporters of the state of Israel somehow believe that the latest military strategy will somehow work in staving off the threats of rockets being fired by members and supporters of Hamas. Sadly, this strategy is only likely to beget more violence and to further radicalize Palestinians in Gaza who are understandably outraged over continued military occupation by Israel under conditions that some have likened to concentration camps (as Ron Paul put it in his recent video statement).