The latest book on Hilary Clinton proves yet again, why she is about as predictable as pro-war pundits and Republican voters are switching off (not, mind you, because the war is immoral or pointless, but because the US isn’t “winning”). It’s difficult to get inspired by the US presidential race, but then, just look at the Labor Party contest in Israel:
The proximity of the Winograd crisis and the Labor Party primaries helps explain the hysteria surrounding the wave of Qassams on the Western Negev, which started especially early this time. It could explain why the convoys of politicians visiting Sderot have been longer, and why the polishing of swords has been noisier than ever. The huge uproar already began in the first week, when the number of Qassams that fell in the area had not yet reached 100, about half the number that were identified last November and about 50 rockets less than the number that fell last June.
The government’s reactions and the military’s reprisal actions were also far more aggressive this time. Both were aided by the media uproar surrounding the scandal involving the lack of fortified secure rooms and the expectation of seeing a Gaza-version of Operation Defensive Shield. The restraint the government and the army are supposedly evincing in the Gaza Strip is serving as a smokescreen for the renewed fire in the West Bank.
This “restraint” is distracting attention from the mass arrests in the West Bank and from Olmert’s refusal even to discuss the proposal put forth by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to enforce the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, on condition that Israel agree to extend it to the West Bank. The “restraint” leaves no room for reports of new decrees affecting the inhabitants of the West Bank, such as the prohibition on bathing in the Dead Sea.
Once again, Israel’s political elite know that a few stray Qassams aren’t capable of doing much damage. Their actions are not about saving Israeli lives nor protecting the motherhood. This is about attempting to destroy the democratically elected government of Hamas, and convincing the world that not doing so threatens the country’s existence. It’s bollocks, of course, and only convinces the yes-men in Washington (and obedient Zionists in the Diaspora.)
If yet another Palestinian authority is ruined, further extremism is guaranteed, something that suits Israel’s military and political elite just fine. It’s also much easier for Zionists in the West to raise funds for more trees in the blooming desert.