The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Finish the Job

Barack Obama claims he is a supporter of Israel. His words sometimes give that impression, but as is always the case with this president, you have to observe his deeds. Under the guise of humanitarian concern, Obama and his bumbling secretary of state, John Kerry, insist that a cease fire happen immediately. The terms? Status quo. The demilitarization of Hamas (the true cause of civilian deaths)? A non-starter. No friend of Israel would ask for a cease fire that changes nothing.

But why?

It turns out that Hamas, aided and abetted by the usual Islamist backers in Turkey and Qatar, have spent the last two years building an increasingly powerful arsenal of rockets and a tunnel system that has become a strategic threat to Israel. The Israelis need time to destroy Hamas's capabilities.

Caroline Glick discusses the tunnels:
What began as the primary means of smuggling weapons, trainers and other war material from Hamas’s sponsors abroad developed rapidly into a strategic tool of offensive warfare against Israel.

As we have seen from the heavily armed Hamas commando squads that have infiltrated into Israel from tunnels since the start of the current round of warfare, the first goal of these offensive tunnels is to deploy terrorists into Israel to massacre Israelis.

But the tunnels facilitate other terror missions as well.

Israel has found tunnels with shafts rigged with bombs located directly under Israeli kindergartens.

If the bombs had gone off, the buildings above would have been destroyed, taking the children down with them.

Other exposed shafts showed Hamas’s continued intense interest in hostage taking. In 2006 the terrorists who kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Schalit entered Israel and returned to Gaza through such a tunnel.

Today the presence of sedatives and multiple sets of handcuffs for neutralizing hostages found in tunnel after tunnel indicate that Hamas intends to abduct several Israelis at once and spirit them back to Gaza.

In an interview with Channel 2 Monday evening, Minister Naftali Bennett spoke of a mother at Kibbutz Netiv Ha’asara who told him that her children wake her in the middle of the night and tell her that they hear digging beneath their beds.

As Bennett said, this state of affairs simply cannot continue. People cannot live in fear that there are terrorists burrowing beneath their homes, digging tunnels to murder or kidnap them.
Richard Goldman (Spengler) comments on the need to finish the job:
Israel has an extraordinary opportunity that may not last. It can protect its citizens from retaliation for the time being. Its right to self-defense is so obvious that Western governments usually hostile to Israeli interests must affirm its right to self-defense. Even the German Left Party (“die Linke”) is split, with some of its leaders attending pro-Israel rallies while others join the largely Muslim demonstrators chanting “Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, Komm heraus und kaempf allein” (“Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone”). It has the tacit (and sometimes not entirely tacit) support of Egypt, not to mention the Gulf states, in its war against Hamas. But it cannot afford a repeat of 2012, after which Hamas rebuilt its weapons capability. Where Hezbollah is concerned, the Chinese proverb applies: Kill the chicken while the monkey watches. The reduction of Hamas has to serve as a deterrent for Hezbollah and Syria, not to mention Iran.

Israel’s leaders know this well, and outsiders should be cautious about offering tactical advice. But Israel’s friends must be clear that a “pinpoint operation,” as Secretary of State Kerry demanded inadvertently before an open microphone last weekend, does not serve Israel’s urgent interests. Hamas must be rooted out in depth.
In virtually every defensive action against Islamist aggression in the last 20 years, Israel has been stopped by its Western "friends" before it could finish the job. And this time the job is threefold: (1) the destruction of as many Hamas rockets as possible, (2) the destruction of as many tunnels as Israel can find, and (3) the termination (killing, if you prefer) of Hamas' leadership.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration doesn't seem to want that to happen. By demanding that a cease fire happen soon, they are coming to the rescue of Hamas. I can only wonder whether they're doing that out of stupidity or out of something far more sinister.

UPDATE (7/25/14):

The Washington Post, in a shockingly anti-Hamas editorial, gets it exactly right:
Hamas’s offensive tunnels should not be confused with the burrows it has dug under Gaza’s border with Egypt to smuggle money, consumer goods and military equipment. The newly discovered structures have only one conceivable purpose: to launch attacks inside Israel. Three times in recent days, Hamas fighters emerged from the tunnels in the vicinity of Israeli civilian communities, which they clearly aimed to attack. The ­concrete-lined structures are stocked with materials, such as handcuffs and tranquilizers, that could be used on hostages. Other tunnels in northern Gaza are designed for the storage and firing of missiles at Israeli cities.

The resources devoted by Hamas to this project are staggering, particularly in view of Gaza’s extreme poverty. By one Israeli account, the typical tunnel cost $1 million to build over the course of several years, using tons of concrete desperately needed for civilian housing. By design, many of the tunnels have entrances in the heavily populated Shijaiyah district, where the Israeli offensive has been concentrated. One was found underneath al-Wafa hospital, where Hamas also located a command post and stored weapons, according to Israeli officials.

The depravity of Hamas’s strategy seems lost on much of the outside world, which — following the terrorists’ script — blames Israel for the civilian casualties it inflicts while attempting to destroy the tunnels. While children die in strikes against the military infrastructure that Hamas’s leaders deliberately placed in and among homes, those leaders remain safe in their own tunnels. There they continue to reject cease-fire proposals, instead outlining a long list of unacceptable demands.
But no worries. Barack Obama and his team of 2s just approved $47 million in "humanitarian aid" for Hamas. That should go a long way toward rebuilding the tunnels in areas where children play.

Depravity?  Providing Hamas with US dollars to rebuild its tunnels and buy rockets may actually be more depraved that Hamas itself. And that's saying something.