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Monday, August 11, 2014

Ronen Bergman, "How Hamas Beat Israel in Gaza": Yeah, Right

Yes, The New York Times remains intent upon disparaging Israel, also as regards its current conflict with Hamas.

Last month, The New York Times published a guest op-ed by a young man named Nathan Thrall (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/07/nathan-thrall-how-west-chose-war-in.html), who would have us believe that Israel, with the help of Egypt and the West, brought the current war with Hamas upon itself. However, Thrall's risible essay failed to mention:

  • The Hamas charter, which calls for the murder of all Jews, not just Israelis.

  • Past suicide bombings in Israel perpetrated by Hamas operatives (425 terrorist attacks between September 2000 and March 2004, which killed 377 and wounded 2,076).

  • The thousands of rockets fired into Israeli population centers from Gaza by Hamas and Islamic Jihad over the course of more than a decade.

Thrall did, of course, repeat Obama's declaration that the situation in Gaza is "unsustainable."

Today, in furtherance of its agenda, The New York Times has published a guest op-ed entitled "How Hamas Beat Israel in Gaza" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/opinion/how-hamas-beat-israel-in-gaza.html) by 42-year-old Ronen Bergman, who would have us believe:

  • "Hamas was dictating the duration of the conflict by repeatedly refusing cease-fires. Furthermore, it preserved its capability of firing rockets and missiles at most of Israel’s territory, despite the immense effort the Israeli Air Force invested in knocking out launch sites."

  • "Hamas also waged an urban campaign against Israeli ground forces, inflicting at least five times as many casualties as in the last conflict and successfully used tunnels to penetrate Israeli territory and sow fear and demoralization. It made Israel pay a heavy price and the I.D.F. eventually withdrew its ground troops from Gaza without a cease-fire."

  • "Israeli leaders have now set the demilitarization of Gaza as one of their goals. But it’s difficult to picture how this could be achieved."

Hamas has dictated the duration of the conflict and has preserved its capability of firing rockets and missiles? Rubbish. In recent days, the number of rockets fired against Israel has declined, and we are no longer seeing intense rocket barrages aimed at the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Beersheva.

Moreover, Hamas has now agreed to a 72-hour-ceasefire. Hamas had previously insisted that it would agree to such a truce only if Israel first agreed to "end its eight-year siege on the Gaza Strip, release dozens of prisoners whom Israel has re-arrested that were released in 2011 as part of the Shalit exchange, [and agree to] the re-opening of a seaport and airport in Gaza, and the creation of a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip" (http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=718980). What happened to Hamas's demands?

Israel is demoralized? Spare me. Israel was demoralized during and after the War of Atonement (Bergman was a one-year-old toddler at the time), and Israel was demoralized after the Sabra and Shatila massacre (Bergman was 10 at the time). However, as recently acknowledged by none other than Barack Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine” and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza”  (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/09/opinion/president-obama-thomas-l-friedman-iraq-and-world-affairs.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0).

It's difficult to picture how demilitarization of Gaza can be achieved? Well, Bergman might first wish to acknowledge the Gaza has suffered some $6 billion in damages owing to the current round of fighting, and there is no way that Gaza will ever recover unless European donor countries urgently send funds. Will Europe again send funds to rebuild Gaza without asking that Hamas stop using the money for missiles and tunnels? Stay tuned.

Certainly, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not willing to transfer money to Hamas's account, and Hamas's rift with Iran has not been healed.

And notwithstanding Hamas's efforts to make the world believe that all the dead in Gaza consisted of civilians, we are beginning to learn that close to 1,000 of the dead were militants and Hamas officials. Needless to say, this number does not include the 160 children who died building the tunnels, or those who were executed by Hamas to prevent them from divulging their locations (see: http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-said-to-have-executed-dozens-of-tunnel-diggers/).

Mind you, I am not saying that there will be no Israeli commissions of inquiry following the conflict. Israel was not prepared for the tunnels, the IDF made the mistake of using antiquated personnel carriers, and mortar fire from Gaza exacted too many IDF casualties. But to claim that "Hamas beat Israel"? Yeah, right.

2 comments:

  1. Over the past 2 weeks, there have been several reports of Saudis donating millions to Gaza for its healthcare support. But there are different numbers as to how much. One say 26million, another 50million. Maybe it is more a publicity campaign?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Update since my last post an hour ago....Just now, I see a pledge of $500million for Gaza's healthcare system from Saudi Arabia.

    ReplyDelete