Monday, December 29, 2008

Gaza: it was inevitable

Others are commenting about the massacres in Gaza, for example Moryarti has photos here which give a sense of what's happening.


I'll just say that it was entirely predictable. Huge onslaughts were inevitable before the end of the most pro-Israeli US administration in memory. The Israelis know full well that world opinion led by the US will support them whatever they do. But they weren't prepared to take a chance on the same level of support from the incoming administration so they were always going to attack at this time.


I think they were wrong in that uncertainty. Given the reality of the political equation in the US regarding Israel I don't expect a much different approach from the next administration. That scepticism has been supported by President-elect Obama's postures on the subject during the election run up and by his appointment of Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff.

This is a man described by Israeli newspapers Haaretz as "Israeli Rahm Emanuel" whose father, previously a member of the Irgun terrorist group, said of the appointment; "Obama is a pro-Israeli leader and will be a friend to Israel." Maariv newspaper headlined the appointment "Our man in the White House"

Had I been American I would have voted for Obama. I believe he'll do a good job, and even has the potential to be a great president. He's the kind of inspirational leader the US needs after the disasters wrought by eight years of BushW extremism - although I'm not sure that even two terms are long enough to repair so much damage.

But I don't agree with everything he's doing, the appointment of Emanuel and Clinton being two decisions I'd prefer he hadn't made.

I think the Obama era brings much to look forward to, but a fair and equitable outcome in the Israeli/Palestinian catastrophe isn't one of them.


The Haaretz article is here.

'Our man in the White House' is here.

For reports from inside Gaza, check out Sameh Habeeb's blog Gaza Strip, the untold story.

9 comments:

Jan said...

The Israelis know full well that world opinion led by the US will support them whatever they do.

Seebee, after glancing at the headlines of many international newspapers today, I doubt the outgoing US administration's support for Israel at this time, will have any affect whatsoever on the world['s] opinion of Israel's air strikes on Gaza. Perhaps you meant that this administration is more likely than the next to provide Israel with diplomatic cover?

I think that by attacking Gaza at this time, the Israelis are aiming to punish Hamas quickly before Obama is sworn in. Once the new administration is in place, Israel will be obliged to sit on its hands for six months or so to give the new Obama foreign policy team some time to carry out whatever new Middle East peace plan it might devise (my unimaginative prediction is that Richard Holbrooke will be appointed by Obama as a special envoy of some sort and sent shuttling around the region for a few months trying to devise a new road map etc.).

But I don't agree with everything he's doing, the appointment of Emanuel and Clinton being two decisions I'd prefer he hadn't made.

What's your issue with Clinton's nomination - does it relate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

nzm said...

There is a change in government coming for both Israel and the USA in early 2009. This is the outgoing party throwing its weight around before disappearing.

What a legacy they leave for the incoming administrations.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

good post Seabee, but you know what i found ironic?

an israeli army general (can't find the article now) admitted that the military assault will not diminish Hamas's ability to fire rockets.

so following the Israeli's argument: eventually hamas will recover and stockpile more rockets and then what will we have got? hundreds of souls, most of them innocent, will have been lost in vain.

Seabee said...

Jan, What's your issue with Clinton's nomination - does it relate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

I think that overall she's the wrong choice made for the wrong reasons. I don't for one moment believe that she is the best choice for the role.

Seabee said...

NZM, What a legacy they leave for the incoming administrations. is true of more than than the US and Israel. What an awful bunch we had all on the scene at the same time - Howard in Australia, Blair in the UK, BushW in the US...

Anonymous said...

who gives a damn about this problem when the people themselves have no intent to settle anything. i would rather care for my own people in a distant country being killed in this idiotic name. wish they will all die and go away.

Seabee said...

Anon, what an intelligent contribution you've made.

Now it's time to put your toys away and go to bed before mummy gets cross.

Anonymous said...

"I'll just say that it was entirely predictable. Huge onslaughts were inevitable..."

Inevitable after Hamas started launching rockets at civilians. That is what started this. Nothing else.

You vilify Israel for the attacks and ignore the fact that Hamas started this round.

Seabee said...

Anon@7.36

I condemn the firing of rockets into Israel - but believing Israeli PR that the starting point is those rocket attacks is like starting a 100 metre race at the 90 metre mark.

Don't you think that maybe the start line might be the fact that Israel still occupies land beyond its borders? Or maybe it starts with the blockade Israel has clamped around Gaza for nearly two years? Maybe you're not aware of those facts, or that the rockets may be in retaliation for them?