Netanyahu banked on the fact that Hamas would not use its advanced rockets as the group is out on the sidelines trying to calm things down
Israel believes that using the chaos of the Arab Spring and the divisions in Palestinian ranks besides attacking Gaza would prevent the formation of a unity government in Palestine. A new government would have put more pressure on Israel to initiate concrete measures towards reviving ‘the peace process’. Netanyahu is also taking advantage of the weakness of the Palestinian National Authority, which has reached a dead end in negotiations
The new slaughter in Gaza by the present right-wing Israeli government is seen by many observers (including Israelis) as an attempt to win a cheap and heinous victory at regional and international levels. It is also seen as a purposeful attempt to cover up the extreme shortcomings of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who failed to extract an American commitment from President Barack Obama to militarily deal with and put an end to the nuclear programme of Iran.
A majority of the Israeli public (58 per cent) opposes a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran without the full backing of the American government. Yet 48 per cent of Israelis support Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Ehud Barak who both advocate a pre-emptive Israeli strike against Iran. With the backdrop of Netanyahu’s failure in his talks on the issue with Obama, the right-wing Israeli government instigated the current slaughter in Gaza in the hope first to attain a cheap victory that would bring back the Israeli public’s trust in the invincibility of the Israeli military establishment.
Such a victory may have been planned by installing the Iron Dome batteries to destroy incoming rockets, this time inferior homemade ones fired by small Palestinian groups who do not have “advanced” rockets like Hamas. The Iron Dome was declared successful in this current crisis, yet it is a self-defeating scheme that will never succeed in facing the advance of Iranian rockets estimated to be in the tens of thousands.
Observers also noticed that Netanyahu’s attempt to win a cheap victory also stems from the fact that Hamas has decided that this is not the right time to retaliate with its superior rockets. Netanyahu knows that, thus he took advantage of the situation with Hamas being out on the sidelines trying to calm things down. The right-wing Israeli government does not want the Israeli public to start contemplating the dire effects of an Islamist iron fence being established around Israel. Therefore, a mini-crisis in Gaza could take attention away from this issue. Another reason behind the current strikes is that Israel believes that using the chaos of the Arab Spring and the divisions among Palestinian ranks on top of attacking Gaza would prevent the formation of a unity government in Palestine which would have instigated more pressure on Israel to come out with concrete steps towards reviving ‘the peace process’.
Netanyahu is also taking advantage of the extreme weakness of the Palestinian National Authority which reached a dead end in ‘the peace process’ without having a valid alternative in hand to keep the trust of the Palestinian public. Stalling for sometime to complete the Judaisation process of historical Palestine is the only Israeli policy available today. Gaining from the complete paralysis of the Arab world to pursue the Judaisation of Palestine without having to face the wrath of the Arab and Islamic worlds is the basic strategy of the Israeli government under Netanyahu’s leadership.
The slaughter in Gaza is giving the Israeli colonial/apartheid regime the military power to systematically assassinate Palestinian activists without facing legal action for its crimes. Meanwhile, Netanyahu seems to be preparing himself and his right-wing party to face the possible “wrath of Obama” — as some American journalists put it — in case he wins a second term. The alliance reached by Netanyahu with the Republican Party to prevent the American president from attaining a second term is going to haunt the Israeli prime minister and his Likud party after a Democratic win next November.
Therefore, only a big victory for Netanyahu in the next Israeli elections may shield him from such ‘wrath’. The Israeli prime minister is trying to portray himself in this Gaza crisis as a leader with an iron fist “who would never compromise the safety and security of the state of Israel under any circumstances”. By launching a military strike against Gaza without the full participation of Hamas and its ‘advanced’ rockets against the raids gives Netanyahu the high stature he seeks to win a big victory against his opponents in Israel. Finally, many Israeli military experts foresee a major operation against Israel coming from the Sinai Peninsula by fighters who are not even Palestinians. While the current killings in Gaza are designed to increase the popularity of Netanyahu, they are also going to increase the chances of such an operation recurring, according to the same Israeli experts. They expect a number of Israeli casualties as a result of these operations and some in Israel want it to happen in order to put the full blame upon Netanyahu’s head who is playing with the blood of innocent souls in Gaza and in Israel.
Playing with the blood of Palestinians does not gain anyone anything, except heinous criminality of the meanest kind. Creating a crisis in which many innocent souls perish does not always fulfil the planned scenario of its instigators.
Many a time a fabricated crisis aimed to shed blood took its instigators to where they dreaded to go, especially in this current slaughter in Gaza. After all, “the law of reciprocity” was revealed in the first place to Prophet Moses who declared: “Who lives by the sword, shall perish by sword”. And “the law of reciprocity” is an absolute law, a divine law that can never be stopped from being invoked.
Professor As’ad Abdul Rahman is the Chairman of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia.
(gulfnews.com / 17.03.2012)