UPDATES 6 pm Israel time, Wednesday, October 29 2014:
—>More missiles fired from Gaza into southern Israel in a triangular area between Ashdod-Gedera-Beersheva today. More claims by the IDF that the explosions are sonic booms. More pictures that indicate otherwise:
The problem for the IDF spokesman’s office is that every Israeli has a camera, and every time a false statement is made by the IDF, pictures immediately appear to refute what the spokesman has said. Of course, one of these missiles is going to hit a populated area in the near future at which time the IDF will be forced to report the truth.
What are we to make of this increased missile fire? Hamas is just warming up for the next war.
—>And not only warming up with missiles. This appeared in a Hamas post this morning:
Mud bricks instead of concrete blocks. And notice the post–“to repair the tunnels between Gaza and Israel”–the tunnels the IDF claimed to have “destroyed.” By the way, also note the picture of trucks from Israel bringing in “humanitarian” cement to Gaza in the lower right hand corner of the post.
—>Even if the IDF is back to not taking Hamas tunnel building seriously, Egypt is. Colonel Mahmoud Abdul Latif, commander of the Egyptian northern Sinai region, announced yesterday that the clearing of a buffer zone on the Gaza border is proceeding even more rapidly than announced.
680 homes within 300 meters of the border are already being razed and their residents have already been “evacuated”. Phase 2, which involves another 200 homes located within a 500 meter range, is already underway.
Each Egyptian resident who lived in the area of the new buffer zone will receive the equivalent of about $130.
Regular readers of israelstreet know that your humble servant often takes PM Netanyahu to task for his not having the guts to stand up to international forces that continually attempt to impose themselves into what is happening on the ground in Israel.
Nevertheless, yesterday’s blog began by saying that I almost chose to write about the continuous ratcheting up of rhetoric aimed at PM Netanyahu and Israel by the Obama Administration and the European Union.
As you all know by now, that rhetoric was escalated to an even higher level yesterday by an “unnamed” official in the White House who apparently, and disgracefully, called Netanyahu all sorts of names in a supposed interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic.
Whether one can actually believe what Goldberg writes is debatable. Goldberg’s animus against Netanyahu is always on display as is his used of “unnamed sources”. He never misses an opportunity to drive a wedge between the White House and Jerusalem.
Assuming, however, that the article is accurate, does it really come as any surprise that an official, or officials, or Obama himself despises Netanyahu? Of course not. Obama has despised Netanyahu since long before he ever took office back in 2008 at which time he began actively working to undermine Netanyahu. It must gall Obama to no end that Netanyahu and his government has survived all that the White House has thrown against it.
Many commentators have noted today the irony of an Obama official calling Netanyahu a “chickenshi*t” when it comes to Iran or the peace process. After all, that official works for a President who couldn’t muster the courage to help Iranian dissidents in Iran, who couldn’t muster the courage to act decisively in Syria, who couldn’t muster the courage to support a long-time American ally in Egypt, and who couldn’t muster the courage to attempt to save an American ambassador and American security officials in Libya.
But back to Iran because this seems to be the main point of the Goldberg article. What seems obvious is that the Obama Administration is laying the groundwork for a horrific deal it is about to strike with the ayatollahs. In one sense, the unnamed American official is partially correct: “It is too late for him [Netanyahu] to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility.”
Regular readers of this blog know that your humble servant has always doubted the efficacy of a strike against Iran, a lack of efficacy that Netanyahu to his credit seems to have realized long ago. The official goes on: “But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”
The truth is that it was always too late from the moment that Iran built its first hardened bunkers far out of the reach of Israeli bombers and spread those bunkers all over Iran. Insofar as Netanyahu’s actions because of the U.S. are concerned, the fact that Netanyahu did not attack Iran had less to do with U.S. pressure and more to do with Obama promises that the U.S. would never let Iran produce a nuclear weapon.
We now know that those promises were completely worthless.
Obama is far too big of a chickensh*t to ever attack Iran–especially an Iran that he is desperate to reach an accommodation with.
Two last thoughts today:
–all the talk about “chickensh*t” has obscured not only Obama’s failed Iranian policy but also the suggestion in the Goldberg article that the U.S. is on the verge of almost “abandoning” Israel at the United Nations in the coming year; there is no doubt that Obama will push hard for a Palestinian state during his last two years (so he can avoid being called “a lame duck”).
–can you even begin to imagine what would have happened today if Jeffrey Goldberg had written an article in which he quoted an unnamed Israeli official calling President Obama a chickensh*t?