UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Sunday, January 19 2014:
*Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Israel today.
Harper’s unwavering support for Israel cannot be overstated. In welcoming Harper, PM Netanyahu said: “Prime Minister Harper articulates a clear, courageous and moral stance in relation to the truth and the standards needed by the international community regarding Israel and the conflict here. I think he has taken a moral stand worthy of admiration.”
Worthy of admiration? What about worthy of emulation? In your humble servant’s opinion, PM Netanyahu could take a few lessons on moral courage from PM Harper.
The situation on Israel’s southern border continues to degrade with more missiles being fired into the Chof Ashkelon and Eshkol regions and more terrorist infiltrations being attempted along the Gaza Border. Hardly a 12-hour period passes that a missile doesn’t explode in southern Israel and/or IDF troops don’t shoot terrorists trying to enter Israel.
The last 24 hours have been no different with a rocket attack on the Eshkol region this morning and a similar attack on the Chof Ashkelon region last night. Two terrorists were shot along the border this morning.
In response to the rocket attacks, the IAF launched a strike against the Islamic Jihad terrorist responsible for the launches as he was riding his motorcycle in Gaza, blowing it up and critically wounding him.
For his part, PM Netanyahu was quick to bluster that no rocket attacks will be tolerated–though as you can see from the column on the right, Israel has pathetically tolerated its southern citizens being continuously targeted since the end of the November 2012 war with Hamas.
But aside from this tolerance which would not take place in any other country in the world, what your humble servant finds utterly flabbergasting is how the IDF General Command continues to describe the conflict.
This afternoon the IDF spokesman said that the missile attacks against southern Israel were actually “unrest against the Hamas government in Gaza” because of “the economic distress caused by the Egyptian army elimination of tunnels between Sinai and Gaza.”
Excuse me? What in the world is the IDF spokesman talking about? By what crackpot view are missile launches out of Hamas-controlled Gaza being interpreted by the IDF General Command as “unrest against Hamas”?
Are we now supposed to believe that the smuggling tunnels into Gaza–through which an estimated 10,000 missiles and other weapons made their way to Hamas–were actually a source of stability? Does the IDF really want us to blame Egypt for Israel’s rocket problem?
What about the 2500+ missiles that were fired in the 2012 November war with Hamas–when the tunnels were wide open? What about the decade of missile firings before that? The IDF Command’s desperate search for excuses for Hamas have made it a laughing stock in southern Israel.
There is much talk in Israel today that another war with Gaza is now on the horizon–another war that is necessary because Israel never finishes the job. Part of the problem is Israel’s growing dependence on technological, defensive weapons which was emphasized yet again this afternoon.
The IDF has announced that by next year, a new defensive weapon will be deployed on the Gaza border. The Iron Beam, a laser interceptor, will be used to target low-trajectory Qassam rockets and mortars. Hopefully, the Iron Beam will shoot down projectiles before they reach Israeli territory. Perhaps if the missiles fall on Gaza, the terrorists will think twice about shooting them. Or at least that is what the IDF General Command thinks.
But we all know differently. Hamas is not shooting rockets into southern Israel because the tunnels are closed or because of economic distress. Hamas is shooting missiles into southern Israel because it wants to kill us.