Monday, January 05, 2009

Why Israel Is Bombing Gaza

By Ephraim Sneh

When demands are made of Israel to halt its military activities in Gaza, a brief historical reminder is in order.

In September 2005, Israel vacated Gaza, dismantled all the settlements in the Gaza Strip and did not leave a shred of a presence there.

In January 2006, rule over Gaza passed to the Hamas government under Ismail Haniyeh. Instead of bringing investors to Gaza, the Hamas government brought the guerrilla-warfare trainers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Instead of launching economic projects, this government launched rockets every day at Israeli towns and villages across the border. They smuggled in vast amounts of explosives, weapons and rockets; they prepared themselves for battle.

In June 2007, in a brutal and bloody military coup, Hamas took control of Gaza and soon killed or chased out the leaders of President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement. Gaza became nothing less than a military base for Iran.

Up until the Hamas takeover, 750 trucks would cross the border each day with imports and exports. As Israel's deputy defense minister at the time, I was in charge of this activity and promoted this trade with Gaza, since the border crossings were being controlled by Abbas's Presidential Guard, not by terrorists. The Hamas takeover is what in effect locked the gates of Gaza and forced its residents to suffer.

The rain of rockets on the citizens of Israel intensified. The cease-fire that lasted from June until Dec. 19 was used by Hamas to increase its military strength -- mainly to smuggle in Grad-type rockets from Iran, which have a range of 20 miles. In recent days, these missiles have struck cities such as Ashdod, Israel's main port, and Beersheva, the capital of Israel's south. No sovereign state would have resigned itself to having its cities -- cities such as Houston or Atlanta -- bombarded. No sovereign state would allow itself to be hit by even a single missile. That is the reason for the military campaign that Israel launched this week in a series of aerial strikes.

But the campaign's objective is not to end the rocket fire. The true objective should be the end of Hamas rule in Gaza. Israel cannot resign itself to having a missile and terror base five miles from one of its principal cities, Ashkelon.

Gaza's Palestinians, too, in telephone and e-mail conversations, are expressing their urgent wish to end the nightmare that Hamas has imposed on them. An end to the Hamas regime in Gaza is essential for them, as well. It is not possible to govern Gaza in the absence of close cooperation with Israel on issues of trade, energy, environment, water and health. Those who reject the legitimacy of Israel can't provide a normal life for Gaza's 1.5 million residents, who on average are living on $2 a day.

Israel could bring about a collapse of the Hamas regime in Gaza by means of a lengthy, large-scale ground campaign. With a clear exit strategy lacking, this is not an appealing option for us. At the moment, unfortunately, this is the only option available.

Yet there is another way. Those demanding a cease-fire must produce a comprehensive solution, a "package" containing the following elements:

· Full dismantling of the military power of Hamas in Gaza, including destruction of all stockpiles of rockets and missiles.

· Transfer of control over border-crossings between Gaza and Egypt and between Gaza and Israel to the Palestinian Authority government of Salam Fayyad.

· Until the elections to the Palestinian parliament and the presidency in January 2010, Gaza is to be run by a civilian administration appointed by the government in Ramallah.

· Augmented Egyptian supervision of the border between Gaza and Egypt.

· The return of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Such an agreement will require international and regional support. Countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia can play an important role. Syria, if it uses its influence over the Hamas leadership that is comfortably hosted by Damascus, can win points toward any future discussions with the United States and Israel.

In the absence of such a package, the fighting in Gaza will not end. Israel has no reason to end it.

Ephraim Sneh, a former member of the Israeli cabinet and deputy defense minister from 1999 to 2001 and from 2006 to 2007, is chairman of the Strong Israel party.



Editor's Note:

To fully appreciate the personage of General Ephraim Sneh, just type his name into your favorite Search Engine! reb

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Snake Hunters. Many Happy returns.

Best wishes for the New Year.

The Loop Garoo Kid

Anonymous said...

Not Yet, Rascal!

February 11th I'll be crossin' the threashold into middle-age. May the doves of peace also flutter in your rockie-high nest! reb

Mohamed said...

To all my American friends,

I'm not here to defend Hamas. But I'm here to say just few words that may express some neutral truth.

If we want to understand some current situation, we can't separate it from its past. That's how I strongly believe.

So, if we read the history of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, we may understand the current situation. We can understand the gradation of events since and before 1920.

I won't narrate history here, it's available through many sources; history books, trusted websites, etc. But we must just understand one fact; no thing happens "just like that".

It wasn't 'aprakadabra' ... Hamas became fighters against Israel, it wasn't 'Palestinians woke up in the morning' and .... they found themselves hating Israelis.

Surf the web, read the books, try to read the history of that speck of land, try to know how many innocents have been killed over it, try to know how Israelis declared their state, try to study what 60 years negotiations did on the ground, try to know how they treated Palestinians, try to know how Israelis pushed Palestinians into the sea, watch videos on YouTube about Palestine.
(Please watch this as a start:

Doing that, depend on trusted neutral sources.

A last thing. None of you has to do that, but you should do it only if you really want to understand why Palestinians fight against Israel.

216 children, 89 women. The numbers are speaking by themselves.


Tom the Redhunter said...

Mohamed, you amaze me.

The Gazans voted Hamas into power. Hamas is a terrorist organization, something the Gazans knew when they voted for them.

When you vote terrorists into power, and they behave like terrorists by firing Qassam (and other) rockets into your neighbor, you have no right to complain when your neighbor strikes back, and hard.

So the civilians in Gaza are not totally innocent bystanders. Stop pretending that they are.

You complain about women and children being killed. Yet Hamas, Fatah, and Hezbollah would kill every last Israeli if they could.

Further, Hamas, like Hezbollah in 2006 (and all other Muslim groups), deliberately locates their military operations in civilian areas, hoping that these civilians will be killed in the crossfire. They do this because they want to use them for propaganda.

Grow up and be a man, Mohamed. Stop complaining. You Muslims fight like sissies. You hide behind women and children. You disguise yourselves as civilians and plant bombs and run away.

At least the Germans and Japanese during World War II had the decency not to whine and portray themselves a victims when we bombed their homelands.


Mohamed, wow! Many words for just a S/H 'comment section' but I'll allow it, because I do value your input. I hope we'll get some good response from a few friends.

Abricadabra, or ledgerdemaine!?!?

Where do you find this stuff in Egypt? Are you really an Imam? Tell us the truth, Mohamed.

I'll just say that there is small difference (or choice) between Hamas/Fatah; they kill each other.
Hosni Mubarack of course, chooses
Fatah over the ugly Hamas Puppets!

Palestine also, has little choice; so they are truly sad victims. reb

Anonymous said...

Check out the time! Tom and reb were typing at the same time. Two Minutes Separate These Comments!

Anonymous said...

Hamas Fires From School-yard, 30 die.
IDF released old video taken by a UAV showing terrorists firing mortar shells from just outside of
a school, using civilians as cover.

Dan Friedman

Mohamed said...

Mr. reb,

I thought for a minute that you're so extremist and fanatic after reading these words about that Palestinians aren't completely innocents that they voted for Hamas. But when I read the name I found that it's Mr. Tom not you.


So, when they aren't completely innocents because they voted for Hamas in the elections, can we call it the cost of democracy? Can we consider this a new rule that "Democracy sometimes can cost your life, Beware."?!!!!!

Those civilians that are being killed are the brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers of Hamas members. Do you think that they will allow the terrorists of Israeli entity to kill them just to use that in propaganda?!!!

A last thing. If Israelis are NOT the terrorists, so who is the terrorist?!!

Mr. reb,

What is the problem about the word 'Abricadabra'? It's an American magic word, yes?



Mohamed, It seems that we are all anxious to point the finger of guilt at someone; we all need the symbol of a "devil" to continue the madness of War. It's Leadership!

Without a 'devil', Hamas, Fatah, and all of those that "Protest", and make signs to 'Demonstrate' and get their faces on the TV screen... for "Peace"... would quickly find more productive ideas to occupy their minds!

Hamas & Fatah would be forced to radically "Change"...into better governors! Palestinians would see their Israeli neighbors as normal family people, and even FRIENDS!

The blood-bath would end! What next? Inter-marriage? Goodwill? Peace on Earth? Hmmm.

I'll never live to see it.


Abricadabra? I haven't heard that one in fifty years. It's a magical
incantation, when the guy on-stage
pulls a live, white rabbit out of his tall top-hat. It's magic!

Your friend, reb

Mohamed said...

Now I understood why you were amazed!! I just hear it in an American series, Prison Break. :P

Mr, reb, You said; It seems that we are all anxious to point the finger of guilt at someone.

I'll try to answer this soon on my blog, I'll inform you.

You said also; Are you really an Imam? Tell us the truth, Mohamed.

I didn't understand what you exactly mean. I didn't graduate yet. Please explain.




Mohamed. I am not a lawyer, but it is my understanding that to practice law, civil or criminal, a student must study for years, pass rigid exams, then a Final Exam, then before a board for judicial review. If successful, he "passes the bar", is certified, and becomes a Lawyer!

Must an Imam also be a lawyer? Is it your ambition to become an Imam, a Lawyer, a Politician, or an Ambassador? Your Command of the English Language is improving quite remarkably since you first came on S/H blogsite. It's Not



To become pastor of a church here, the 'rules of acceptance' are as diverse as there are denominations!

The great benefits of our sweet "multiplicity" should be obvious to all; no single church may ever seek to dominate other faiths, or either political party, or collect taxes, impose civil penalties, or publicly CLAIM to have magically received a "Devine Revelation", and then Declare War!

No Popes, or Grand Ayatollahs Here
Mohamed, to Lead Their Obedient Sheep Into VIOLENCE or SUICIDE, or Demand Attendance At Any Church, Mosque, Synagogue or Temple; No Way! Not Ever! Not Here!

NO PIETY POLICE! NO FEARED SAUDI MUTAHWAH, No Beating Men and Women in Public...For Improper Dress. No All-Black Burkha With A Little Peek-Window...No Chopping Of Heads or Hands...No Family "Honor Killings" Allowed, not here, not yet, not as long as there is a drop of blood in our veins. Never.

Europe May Fall Into Dhimminitude, Slowly Accepting of Sharia Law. IN the U.S.A.? No, My Friend.

That's Why We Value Separation of Church & State, and Freedom Of (and from) All Religions!


"Moderation in the Pursuit of Justice Is Not A Virtue...and
Extremism, in the Defense of Liberty Is No Vice!"

12:33 AM, Eastern

Mohamed said...

To Mr. Tom,

Please don't bother yourself trying to find some thing to justify the bloodshed in Palestine - Gaza. Israel is just defending itself. They are achieving success against the source of terrorism. They are working for 'peace'.

216 children >> No, they will grow up to be 'TERRORISTS'
89 women >> Not at all, they are wives, sisters or mothers of 'TERRORISTS'. They will bear children who will grow up to be 'TERRORISTS'
Few medical crew members >> They are giving help to the 'TERRORISTS'
Tens of destroyed homes >> They are where 'TERRORISTS' live.

Congratulations for you Mr. Tom.


To All Free Men and Women of This World,

Another failure for International organizations, another evidence of how policy can affect humanity. Council of Security is incapable of stopping the killing of hundreds of civilians, obvious violation of international resolutions and conventions, using of banned weapons that cause severe injuries and KILLING OF PEACE. The killer is equaled to the killed and the occupier is equaled to the resistant.

216 child is killed, 89 woman are killed, more than 1500 of children are injured and more. All that is not enough yet for International organizations to move, to condemn the killer, the killer keeps equal to the killed.

We must ask now; WHAT IS TERRORISM?

Is it killing children? Is it using banned weapons? Is it bombing homes of civilians? Is it using weapons causing cutting of arms and legs of civilians? Is it cutting life principles from thousands of civilians? Is it, is it, is it?!!!!!!!!!!

No body is brave enough to answer. But I'm brave, YES. That's exactly terrorism. If individuals practice that, then it's individual terrorism, if groups practice that then it's group terrorism and if states practice that THEN IT'S STATE'S TERRORISM.

Terrorism is not resisting to live, but terrorism is killing life. Terrorism is not protecting children, but terrorism is killing them. Terrorism is not fighting to protect your land, terrorism instead is occupying lands. Terrorism is not trying to share life with others, instead terrorism is trying to live alone.

In 14 days there are;
-776 Muslim Palestinian are killed (half are civilians, 216 child, 89 woman)
-3150 Palestinian are injured (half are children, with severe injuries; cutting of arms or legs, skull breaking, etc)
-12 ambulances were targeted by Israeli air fighters missiles
-6 of medical crew members were killed
-2 schools were targeted
-14 mosques were targeted by Israeli air fighters missiles
-Israel strike today after the prayer of Friday (All Muslims pray today in the mosques, which means more victims)
-Olmert declared that they won't apply the 1860 UN resolution

All that, and Israel is claiming that they are; "Defending themselves", "Not targeting civilians"!!!!!

I wonder; if they do target civilians, would the number of children that have been killed would be different?!!!


Mohamed said...

Please check the same post on my blog; Understanding Islam




Mohamed, thank you.
I will always defend 'Freedom of Religions' (plural), freedom of speech & press, etc and...

Oppose Any Grand Theocracy, Roman, Hindu or Islam, that Attempts to Force its Ancient Notions on the rest of humanity!
You have decided to use many words to accurately describe the grim horrors of One Mini-War, on One Tiny Speck of Land...that might provide the spark to a much larger disaster!

Do you understand that?

Neither my friend Tom, nor I, will ever attempt to "Justify" the Suffering & the Carnage that is Always A Part of Brutal Warfare.

So, we have an ages-old dilemma.

Winston Churchill said, "An Appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile in the hope of being eaten last." reb


Friend Mohamed...with these few words, Thomas Jefferson set this nation's course, to become the greatest, most prosperous and inventive country in world history.
"Congress shall make no Law, respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

First Amendment, U.S. Constitution.


Any world leader that will embed those brave words into his memory bank, and display them near the computer monitors, will hasten the day when there will be a lasting peace on planet earth. (print) reb

Tom the Redhunter said...


The United States killed tens of thousands of German and Japanese Children in World War II as part of our bombing campaigns. Were those war crimes?

Even since Israel pulled out, the Gazans have not done one thing to oppose Hamas. Instead, they voted Hamas into office. They support Hamas. They have done nothing to oppose Hamas.

When you vote terrorists into office and do nothing to oppose them, you are not an innocent civilian. You are complicit in their crimes.

Mohamed wrote

"-2 schools were targeted
-14 mosques were targeted by Israeli air fighters missiles"

Israel attacked them because Hamas launched rockets from the schools and stored weapons in the Mosques. What is galling is that you Muslims have temerity do do these things and they try and play the victim.

You are a typical Muslim hypocrite.


Tom, in fairness to Mohamed and others over there with similar views...

I see the Israeli & Palestinian both caught on the horns of a dilemma. When thousands of rockets fly from Gaza, Israeli must react.

When Palestinians have ONLY Two Choices - Hamas or Fatah -

That's A NO WIN ~ NO WIN situation.

Again, Muslim Leadership Wants It To Stay This Way, 'til Ahmadinejad gets his nukes.

Netanyahoo is correct! reb

Tom the Redhunter said...

I get your point, Reb. Fair enough.

I say that the Palestinians should not get a state until they learn to behave like civilized people.

Anonymous said...

greybeard says:

IF you can maintain your dignity, when all about you others are loudly losing theirs, then you will
gain some respect...whether you've earned it or not!

- gbAl -

Ron Russell said...

Don't recall exactly, what I said in last comment other than I enjoyed and welcomed your comments as mine is a new blog and I only get a few visitors--the number are, however increasing. I did notice that you seem to have a keen interest in the middle east and in the state of Israel in particular. I comment on one Israeli Blog that has it was originally from the states, but has been in Israel for many years and participated in the government there under Begin. He seems to always respond to any comments--personally I like his blog.

Noticed that you are a WWII vet. I'm not quite your age, but not too far behind, won't say how much, just that I was born in the same year that Hitler invaded Poland---sure that tells you something. I'm also a vet (my time in service was between Korea and Nam), Navy stationed in Kingsville, TX and on the USS Yorktown. Good years in my life. I'm a Mississippi native and recall vividly the Occupation by federal airborne troops of the town of Oxford, MS. I'm a arch conservative and think that Lincoln and Kennedy were terrible presidents. One brought us the civil war and the other almost got the world blown-up with the weakness he showed during the Bay-of-Pigs incident, by failing to support the Cuba freedom fighters. Then turing around several years later and sending 18,000 federal troops into a small sleepy Mississippi town. That kind of leadership is deplorable to say the least. Guess you can tell I from Mississippi.

Don't know what to call you--which is right, Ralph, Reb or Snake Hunter? Ron is good for me. I'm a retired school teacher, who often lies about his age--I really shouldn't do that, but......