By Ami Isseroff
Ever since the Hamas triumphed in
None of these measures has been effective, and none is likely to be. Shlomo Brom explains why:
It might have been hoped that pressure would bear fruit if Hamas were simultaneously offered an acceptable alternative. In this instance, Hamas was offered two options. The first was to disappear and give up control in
As long as it exists, Hamas is not going to give up its goal of destroying
The government of Israel needs to decide whether persisting with the pressure – in the unfounded hope that that will lead to the collapse of Hamas in Gaza – is more promising than a limited deal with Hamas.
This option is nonsensical. It is not an option unless
"...any international force will be dealt with as an occupation force."
Everyone understands how Hamas treats "occupation" forces: They blow them up. Therefore, there is no chance that any country would commit its troops to such a force. Hamas is not interested in alleviating any humanitarian problems. Hamas even confiscated a shipment of humanitarian aid intended for the Palestinian Red Crescent. They don't have to work. They make a living from what they steal from blind men's cups.
Beyond the rhetoric, there is always a political goal. For the Hezbollah, the goal was control of
Israeli half-measure actions against extremist groups force domestic opponents of those groups to side with their political enemies. This is true even though, for example, it is obvious that Fatah are committing political and possible physical suicide by calling for an end to the siege of
Pressure on civilian population is certainly not going to help either. Civilians are either powerless or support the Hamas moves. Hamas' popularity increased significantly when they succeeded in opening the border to
Amir Oren andRobert Baer both note that the Hamas success in breaching the Rafah barrier makes a large scale Israeli attack in Gaza much more likely. But the options again, are not appetizing.
Hamas is a threat at many levels, not just to
Those who attack government inaction and incompetence in dealing with Hamas are correct.
But those who advocate immediate military action are blowing smoke, because anything short of total Israeli victory in this case will mean defeat, and victory is not possible if
In order to carry out such an operation, IDF needs time. It cannot be interrupted by UN imposed cease fires that leave the other side in a position to recover. It must not be forced to leave
But there is also a limited window for such an operation. We should not exaggerate the prowess of the Hamas at present. They have small arms, some anti-tank weapons and mines. They don't have artillery and air power. But they have already managed to dig in their rocket emplacements in the same way as the Hezbollah did in
On the other hand, those "peace activists" who are yelling for an "end to the siege of
Original content is Copyright by the author 2008.