The number of dead Israelis is mounting, and the war has not even officially begun.
It commenced with a combined attack near Eilat, in Israel’s south, and quickly crept up moving in two directions, one along the seashore in a north-north-westerly direction, the other in a north-north-easterly direction crossing the vast expanse of the Negev.
The Gazans realized that firing multiple missiles at once renders Israel’s Iron Dome system less effective. It is able to stop some, but not all the missiles. So a barrage of Grad missiles hit Israeli towns and cities, like the Negev capital, Beer Sheva.
The escalation has been fast and calculated. Israel has been as swift in eliminating the perpetrators of the attack and their direct commanders, but alas there is a never-ending stream of volunteers-to-the-cause behind them. One is destroyed; ten stand to fill his place.
Thirty missiles launched, thousands ready to be launched behind them. No shortage here either.
And this is from one source: Gaza.
The Middle East in 2011 has proven that the impossible and unthinkable happens and keeps surprising us with its appearance, intensity and grandeur. Mubarak, Qaddafi, Assad, Turkey’s ascent, Egypt’s cancellation of the Peace Treaty with Israel. Some are still in the works, but then there is a whole third of the year still ahead of us.
Thus, one must always look at the bigger picture and other players in the region. Those who call themselves “Palestinians” (residents and citizens of Israel, namely Israeli Arabs) have not joined the uprising of their brethren in Gaza yet. Hezbollah has not reared its ugly head, and is extremely coordinated with Hamas in Gaza. Then there are multiple others in this neighborhood, all hostile to Israel and seeking its destruction.
Israelis in the south are feeling the discomfort of living under missile fires, but the rest of Israel, for the moment, is quiet. Not for long.
So what does Israel do? The reaction does not extend beyond those directly responsible. Alas, Israel is mistaken again. Those responsible are not only the launchers and their cohort of bandits. Instead, it is the system as a whole and Hamas, from the snake’s head to the last “freedom fighters”-terrorists. It is the Palestinian Authority. It is Hezbollah and its system of caves and underground bunkers, from its head-rat to the last “Warrior.” It is Syria who has been supplying the military might to Hezbollah, and it is Iran who has been masterminding, supplying, training and orchestrating the events.
What is Israel to do? Should it choose collective punishment or wait, licking its wounds, burying its dead and lamenting some illusion of an elusive peace? Maybe ignore all that is happening against it and focus instead on members of its middle-class losing their standing and becoming destitute?
Luckily at this point in time, Israel will be left with no choice but to retaliate. Israel would not be able to ignore the mounting dead, day after day, and the dozens injured. The disruption of daily life would become unbearable and would creep toward the Center, where all the “beautiful souls” who want peace and think Israel needs to surrender now bask in the joys of life. Life in oblivion will continue until the missiles get to their doorsteps, or actually until they start falling from the skies on their rooftops and gardens, parks and shopping centers, cafes and restaurants.
There will be only one course of action, one that has conveniently been avoided repeatedly. Israel’s air superiority has proven insufficient. Ground action is necessary, as was evident both in the Second War in Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and during the land excursion into Gaza in late December 2008 – beginning January 2009.
Israel will have to conquer Gaza, kilometer by kilometer, until the region once again is under full Israeli control. Israel will have to disengage the Gazans from Gaza in a unilateral action to reverse the Disengagement of the summer of 2005.
For those who may mistake Gaza for anything other than what it is, it is an area of approximately 150 square miles (25 x 6). Its residents have vowed to do everything to bring on Israel’s destruction and are acting against civilian centers in Israel. They initiate death and mayhem, the classic definition of inflicting terror.
For them, all courses of action are beneficial: Kill Israelis, it helps. Wound them, not bad. Be killed? It is OK since you are going to heaven for an eternal-life of sex with virgins and enslavement of women. Anyone killed fighting is fine, since it will help hasten Israel’s downfall. They create scenes that the most famous theatrical productions in the world would not be ashamed to host. Israel is then accused of “collective punishment” and “committing atrocities.”
Not enough dead? Inflate the numbers or exhume bodies from graves. That will do just fine.
Whatever they do, there is a carte blanche justification, whereas whatever happens as a result is Israel’s fault. At the end of the day, Israel will be blamed according to the double standard now in effect. The world deliberately ignores the facts and fabricates Goldstone Reports of its own.
Israel’s action must be swift and painful. It must overtake Gaza, destroying everything in its wake if there is even the slightest sign of resistance. Shoot from a mosque, school or hospital, or even from the most revered “UN buildings,” these should be destroyed within moments. Imagine the sights and sounds of the ensuing explosions, with all those missiles and explosives stored there. Guilty of war crimes? The party that uses civilian centers to warehouse elements of war?
There must be refugee camps erected elsewhere, and the population transferred to these camps far away from Gaza. Gaza must no longer exist.
Why? Clearly because Gaza contains the largest stockpile of missiles and other means of warfare in the entire region. Also because Gaza has another side, hidden from above, of underground tunnels creating a city below a city. Lastly, because there are supposedly real refugees who keep squandering the billions they receive from Europe, the UN and elsewhere. Let them be at a real refugee camp and let Israel take care of them.
Israel may have to foot the bill in the short term, but it can keep a tab and present it to all those concerned. Besides, treating the “refugee” problem once and for all will be much cheaper than perpetuating the idea of “eternal refugees.”
Gaza must be no more. It wants war, not peace, so it must be prepared for the fulfillment of its craving. If it wants to die, Israel must ensure that terror dies with it. All the “innocent” Gazans can be transferred. They never wanted to be in Gaza in the first place. They want Jaffe and Acre, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
In fact, as a first step, they should be moved to Judea and Samaria. In newly erected tent cities there will be schools where math and foreign languages, literature and science are taught, not how to become a martyr or a terrorist. Schools where childhood blossoms rather than destroyed. Schools where hatred is eradicated and love and respect taught.
At one point there will be peace, but for peace to exist, there must be no Gaza. Gaza at the moment is the power base of evil, the embodiment of Israel’s failure to deal with a situation and the clear upper hand of Hamas.
Hamas calls things by name. It is time that it is fed some of its own medicine.
Some may say that this will lead to Israel loosing its support base with American Jews and others throughout the world. To them I say, American Jewry long ago deserted the Jewish State, and the world will condemn Israel no matter what she does. So she must act. It is better to be alive and accused than dead and maligned.