UPDATES 9:30 am Israel time, Monday, August 19 2013:
*The Egyptian quagmire continues to deepen with more Army assaults on members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Yesterday, 34 members were killed in an Egyptian prison as they choked to death on tear gas. The Army simply explained that they “died while trying to escape.” General Al-Sisi declared last night that the Army will not stand idly by while the Brotherhood terrorizes the country.
*Try to imagine what would have been the world’s reaction yesterday if Israel had accused the Palestinians of “war crimes, anti-human racist acts, and violations of international laws”? Can’t you hear the chorus now: “Israel is undermining the peace process”. . . “How can the poor Palestinians be expected to sit down and carry out peace negotiations in such a destructive atmosphere?”
Of course those accusations were actually hurled at Israel yesterday at a meeting of the PLO leadership in Ramallah chaired by PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. And what has actually been the world’s response? Absolutely nothing but deafening silence.
Doc Holliday [on his death bed]: What did you ever want?
Wyatt Earp: Just to live a normal life.
Doc Holliday: There is no normal life, Wyatt, there’s just life.
From the movie “Tombstone”.
Your humble servant had to smile while reading a report in Maariv (click here) this morning about yesterday’s meeting of the Golan Regional Council to discuss the Syrian mortar fire which struck the Golan Heights on Saturday. In every aspect, this report confirms what this blog has been stating for years about the IDF response toward what goes on here in southern Israel.
As you may know, the IDF has been claiming for months now that the mortar shells falling along Israel’s northern border are merely the result of “spillage” or “leakage”. To believe the IDF spokesman, the mortars that have been hitting near Israeli moshavs, kibbutzes, and towns in the area are “accidental” strikes produced by errant shooting when the Syrian rebels and Syrian Army misfire at each other.
Almost since the inception of this mortar fire, this explanation has been disputed by Israelis living on the Golan. Saturday’s numerous volleys underscored their contention because the mortar fire was simply too numerous in number to be explained away as “accidental errant fire.”
At the meeting yesterday of the Golan Regional Council (attended by representatives of the IDF), a number of interesting facts emerged, not the least of which was the “non-alarm” warning of incoming projectiles. It seems that the local security officer wanted to manually sound a siren to warn residents to enter protected places such as bomb shelters, but he was overruled by the IDF.
Why you may ask was he overruled by the IDF? Because the IDF officers in charge wanted to “preserve the status quo” and not put “unnecessary stress” on “residents and travelers” in the area. These officers, who are part of Israel’s Northern Command explained that the warning time is just seconds “due to the area’s proximity to the Syrian border”. What is more, the IDF said that it was calculated that the mortars would fall “in an open area” so there was no need to disrupt “normal life.”
Picture this. Here you are sitting in your home on the Golan Heights with loud explosions booming all around and your house shaking, and the IDF thinks that your “normal” life is not being disrupted?
Back to your humble servant having to smile. Of course, having our fellow Israelis on the Golan Heights getting mortared is no laughing matter, but this IDF non-response is exactly what we have been enduring in the South for the last decade.
This non-response has been especially true for residents living in close “proximity” to the Gaza border. “Errant” missiles that supposedly hit in Gaza; missiles that explode all around when no alarms are heard; incoming missile alarms that are supposedly “false alarms” (the rocket impact points are usually found shortly thereafter): there is no end to the dissembling done by the IDF–all in the supposed name of not disrupting the “normal life” of people here in the South.
Of course what has happened down here is that all of these dissemblances have become excuses to do nothing. As was written in this blog several days ago, if there are no missiles or mortars, then there is no need to respond.
The fact is that there has been no normal life for people in southern Israel for years–and the same can now be said for those Israelis living in the Golan Heights in northern Israel. There is just life–a life of continuous mortars, rockets, sirens, bomb shelters, and explosions.