Israel-Gaza: why is it happening now?

This is one of a series of posts on the recent violence in Gaza, and more widely on the Israel-Palestine conflict and on religious and nationalist extremism in general.

Why is the Israeli attack on Gaza happening now? Lee Sze Yong of opswarfare suggests:

The fact that the Israeli elections are approaching is very likely the reason for the Israeli offensive

The other factor is Obama. The Israelis want to pacify the situation (and hopefully be in a better bargaining position) before President Obama “forces” both sides to sit down and talk

Since we’re in the run-up to an election in Israel (due on 10 February 2009), electoral considerations cannot be far from the minds of the Israeli government. They evidently think that killing lots of palestinians will be a vote winner. They are probably right; if they didn’t have a reasonably good idea of what public opinion wants, they wouldn’t be the government.

As it happens it appears many Israelis welcome the slaughter, for example:

Yoel Marcus, writing in Haaretz, says: “I will not conceal my enjoyment of the flames and smoke rising from Gaza that have poured from our television screens.”

Israel’s biggest selling paper, Yediot Aharonot, gleefully announced that: “the element of surprise increased the number of people who were killed”

Mechi Fendel, who lives in Sderot, says: “Finally, a month and a half before the elections, Israel takes some action. I definitely see this as linked, but it’s OK, better late than never. What’s been happening in Gaza is fantastic.”

And Ofer Schmerling’s response is: “I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing.”

It’s interesting to contrast this with how the British public would respond if british military action killed hundreds of civilians. It certainly wouldn’t be a vote winner. But then again, the British are mostly decent civilised people not bloodythirsty religious fanatics. Nor can one say that the difference is because terrorism is unknown to Britain — the 2005 London bombings killed more people (56) than Israelis that died from terrorism in that year, and in subsequent years fewer Israelis have died from the Israel-Palestine conflict (and many of them were military personal on duty oppressing the palestinians) than died in 2005.

In fact it’s just as well for Israel that the British are so soft on terrorism, because if we took the same approach as Israel does, then Israel would never have been born.

This entry was posted in Britain, Israel, Palestine, warfare and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Israel-Gaza: why is it happening now?

  1. Pingback: Israel, Gaza and Proportionality « Amused Cynicism

  2. Pingback: Top Stories and Blog Review - 2nd Jan – Politics Unlimited | UK politics news

  3. scarf says:

    cabalamat, you know nothing about Israel/palestine, and are scribbling sophomoric bs on the subject. As to the Brits being’decent civilized people’, much, if not most, of the world would disagree, based on hundreds of years of hard experience. In fact, the Brits are no better, nor worse, than other peoples, and neither are the Israelis, or the Palestinians.
    Hamas kept firing rockets at the Israelis and achieved their victory, Israeli retaliation. Well done Hamas; at the cost of only a few hundred Palestinians, the great majority of them Hamas soldiers and police, you can once again writhe in victimhood on the world stage.
    Sick stuff.

  4. Guy says:

    Timing: Forget the Israeli elections, the American ones are more relevant. We’re at the end of a lame-duck session in the US – note how Obama has kept his head down – also we are in a period that is for most Western countries a long holiday. There will be criticism from countries that matter and might want to stop it, but it won’t be coherent or organized till well after the IDF’s objectives are achieved.

  5. Jack says:

    In fact it’s just as well for Israel that the British are so soft on terrorism, because if we took the same approach as Israel does, then Israel would never have been born.

    In fact most of the problems in the ME have their origins in the way in which the British dealt with things. Lying bastards who used divide and conquer to try and maintain their supremacy.

    Had the Brits kept their nose out of the region things would be very different and probably better.

  6. cabalamat says:

    Jack: In fact most of the problems in the ME have their origins in the way in which the British dealt with things.

    That’s partly true; although people in the ME were killing each other before the British arrived (and indeed before Britain existed as a country)

    Lying bastards who used divide and conquer to try and maintain their supremacy.

    That’s also true. But neither of your points negate what I said.

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