21 January 2009

Israel's unpleasant surprise

With ceasefires now declared by both sides, Abun Hentag offers his views on the recent Israeli bombardment of and incursion into the Gaza strip. Guest essay.


Anonymous said...

Abun, you state in your conclusion that the Obama administration will take a tougher stance against Israel.

I doubt that will be the case. Democrat or Republican, any American president will have to contend with the Israel lobby in Washington.

To go further, I highly doubt that any prospective American president will be foolish enough to take the Israel lobby on if indeed he or she desires to be President.

In short, even Obama will be constrained by the political realities of the day. The politics of hope and change will only go so far.

abhtg said...

Of course what I said about a tougher line on Israel stands in the context of the "political realities" you mention. But this was already true before Obama took over—on the 8th, the US took the remarkable step of abstaining on a unanimously passed UN resolution calling for a Israel-Gaza ceasefire.

Charles said...

Abstaining from calling for a ceasefire equals to tougher line on Israel? I think it is laughable because the abstention means US will look the other way, not adopting a tougher stance.

I agree with anonymous that the US administration, including the current Obama 'we can change' administration will toe the line.

In his presidential campaign, Mr Obama has never EVER spoken about alleviating the plight of Palestinians, including those in Gaza, except stating his unanimous support for Israel. When Israel started its bombing, Obama was steadfastedly silent. Compare this to his response on the Mumbai attacks.

I think what is remarkable are commentaries like yours that seem to be written based on apologising for the war crimes that the state of Israel has committed flagrantly over the past 61 years.

Unlike Israeli's kids, the children in Gaza do not have the luxury of bomb shelters or warnings. They do not even have the luxury of proper schooling nor food or medical supplies.

I find your commentary lacking in substantial evidence.

Your major point on the 'unpleasant surprise' does not make sense. If as you have argued, can you explain the using of American weapons by the state of Israel in Gaza?

What is truly surprising for the government of Israel is the kind of backlash that it has received from common and decent folks who can discern for themselves the kind of injustice that has been perpetuated against Palestinians.

While most states around the world continue to insist on Israel's right to exist and urge for ceasefire, global wide-spread protests are organised and held in major cities from London to Hong Kong. Clearly, it is not just the Muslim nor Arab world that is angry. Governments around the world need to listen to their own citizens and do the right thing.

As for whether the military campaign was a success, I find it insulting that the writer would comment that it was Hamas rockets that broke the ceasefire when it was the Israeli government that hatched the plan months before.

Many expert commentaries have been written to debunk this myth. You can read John Mearsheimer's (who is no bleeding heart liberal) analysis on this military campaign which is published none other than The American Conservative (google it).