In my comment on my “blood libel” post I noted that the chances are that Bibi won’t decide to do anything, both in regards to the murder of Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali, and regarding the huge barrage of rockets and missiles currently being launched at southern Israel. The violence has only increased after the still-unsolved murder of the Arab teenager in Shuafat. Here is what I wrote:
the cabinet still hasn’t decided on an appropriate response to the kidnapping and murder of the 3 teens, let alone an effective response to Hamas about the rockets besides “we’re giving you 48 hours and then we’re going in”. What the HELL kind of reaction is that?? They should be hammered at every single rocket, and no quarter given to them. They are not children who are warned “I’m going to smack you in 3, 2, 1½, 1¼, 1…”. They are vicious terrorists who should be wiped off the face of this earth.
But Bibi has no backbone and is an impossible ditherer. The only good thing I could say about Olmert was that he made decisions, even if they were wrong ones. Bibi can’t even do that. He just wants a quiet life and to be able to stay in power. He paralysed himself with his stupid coalition, so that instead of neither side being able to bring him down, BOTH sides can bring him down. So he just doesn’t make any decisions at all.
He talks great rhetoric, is a brilliant speaker, and is excellent in defined jobs, e.g. ambassador to the UN, Foreign Minister, Finance Minister. But as a ruler? He’s useless.
Even his rhetoric gets us in trouble when he talks about building settlements – he backtracks from that, thereby angering the right, but meanwhile has inflamed the UN, US and EU and of course the Arabs.
If he can’t make a decision he should not be Prime Minister. Appoint Feiglin or Bennett in his place.
His dithering was seen clearly in Operation Pillar of Defence. The whole world was agog and salivating at the thought of another Gaza war with which they could then castigate Israel. Bibi ordered a massive call-up of reserves, moved armoured columns down to the border, issued warning after warning to Hamas…. and …
Nothing. It was a complete waste of time and huge amounts of money. The ceasefire, in which Israel ceased firing but Hamas did not, simply enabled Hamas to build up its arsenal of weapons and rockets even further. This is the “dowry” that they have now brought to the Palestinian “unity government”.
As of this moment my prediction of Bibi’s dithering have been proven right this time too.
Bibi is hoping for a ceasefire with Hamas, which the Egyptians are helping to broker. I’m sorry. We’re going to let them try and kill us for 48 hours and then if they don’t lay down their arms – THEN we’ll go in?” Is he mad? How about going after the leaders, the launchers, the rocketers, the weapons depots.. Bibi should resign if he can’t find a way to defend the south. This is not what we elected him for. This is not what any elected leader should be doing to defend his country’s citizens.
From the link above:
According to the sources, the understanding that the Egyptians reached with Israel and Hamas is that “quiet will be met with quiet.”
“Neither side is interested in an escalation,” the sources told The Times of Israel.
Commentators in Gaza attributed the escalation in rocket fire over the past 48 hours to the feeling in Hamas that Israel is looking to avoid a fight, and that a cease-fire is impending.
According to the commentators, Hamas is trying to achieve a public relations victory in the eyes of the Gaza public, to be seen as unafraid of an escalation. But, they said, Hamas is itself uninterested in a deterioration into a larger conflict.
The report came as five more rockets from Gaza were fired at Israel early Friday morning. One landed in Palestinian territory. The Iron Dome rocket-defense system intercepted another.
No injuries or damage were reported as the projectiles struck open areas.
The new salvo Friday came after over 15 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip Thursday evening, leaving one soldier lightly injured. As the southern border continued to heat up Thursday, with intermittent rocket fire striking southern Israel, residents were advised to stay within 15 seconds of bomb shelters.
If that’s what’s called “uninterested in escalation”, I’d hate to see what an escalation looks like. Here’s a hint from Hamas:
An hour before the evening rocket barrage, Hamas said that in the event of an escalation, Israel would “be surprised” by its rocket arsenal and range.
“We promise that one stupid move your leaders make will constitute sufficient ground to turn all of your towns, even those you wouldn’t expect, into targets and burning cinders,” said Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing. Israel may initiate the escalation, “but it doesn’t know how it will continue and how it will end,” he said.
Both Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman are against this purported ceasefire:
“The strategy of ‘quiet for quiet’ is hurting Israeli deterrence and is enabling Hamas to gain power,” Bennett said in a statement Saturday night, several hours after three rockets were launched at the city of Beersheba for the first time since November 2012.
“Restraint in the face of attacks on women and children is not strength. Restraint in the face of the execution of three children is weakness,” the minister said, referencing the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank on June 12.
“The residents of the south are not second grade citizens, and we must respond to the rocket-fire at Beersheba just as we would respond to an attack on Tel Aviv, and not wait for an attack on Tel Aviv,” he said.
Bennett’s comments Saturday mirrored those made Friday by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who said during a visit to Sderot that “the idea that ‘quiet will be answered with quiet’ is a serious mistake.”
“It cannot be that after the kidnapping and murder of three teenagers and two consecutive weeks of rockets fall, the approach of Israel will be ‘quiet is answered with quiet,’” he said. “There can not be an agreement with Hamas. Ignoring the problem or being afraid to deal with it will lead us to a situation in which thousands of missiles are fired at us, not hundreds.
Over 20 rockets were fired into Israel on Saturday, with three targeting Beersheba. Several of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, while others fell in open areas and did not cause damage, though a soldier was lightly wounded by mortar fire.
Israeli aircraft targeted three Hamas terror targets in the southern Gaza Strip early Saturday evening, as well as a militant the army said was preparing to fire a rocket.
The previous IDF strikes had taken place on Friday evening, also restricted to three Hamas targets with no casualties. The seemingly limited Israeli response to the continuing rocket salvos appeared to indicate that Jerusalem was still waiting to see whether Hamas would curb the rocket-fire as part of a possible ceasefire agreement.
Let’s see how that attempted ceasefire is working out so far. Via The Muqata’s facebook post:
News Roundup for Friday Night 4/July:
9:36pm Rocket launched at Eshkol region. Landed in open area.
9:51pm 4 mortars fired at Eshkol. Landed in open areas.
9:56pm 4 mortars fired at Eshkol. Landed in open areas.
10:42pm Rocket launched at Eshkol…landed in open area.
11:27pm Multiple launches at Sederot at Shaar HaNegev region. Landed in open areas.
More updates from midnight onwards coming soon.
Follow the Muqata’s facebook page for constant updates on the situation. Here are more “rocket roundups” to help us appreciate Hamas’ wish for a Gaza “ceasefire”:
News roundup 5/July…from midnight. ..part 1.
12:25am Two Israelis wounded by Arab rock throwers near Taibe in the Triangle area of Central Israel…taken to hospital for treatment.
1:20am Rockets shot at Sederot and Shaar HaNegev region. Landed in open areas.
3:09am Rocket shot at Shaar HaNegev region…landed in open area.
2:57pm 2 rockets landed in the Eshkol region…open areas.
3:01pm Rocket at Ashkelon….open area.
6:32pm Rockets at Ofakim and Merchavim region. Mortars fired at Kissufim.
Rocket roundup part 2…Shabbat 5/July
7:18pm Sirens in Be’er Sheva…Omer…Iron Dome intercepts Gaza Rocket.
First rocket attack on Beer Sheva since Operation Pillar of Cloud/Amud Anan.
7:54pm Color red alerts in Hof Sheklon….sedot negev region. Rocket hit on house. 5 barrages of rockets….3 reported Iron Dome intercepts. ..1 person lightly wounded from injury running to bomb shelter.
8:20pm Rockets fired at Eshkol region. Landed in open areas.
The Muqata’s page is full of plenty of other incidents that occurred over the weekend, particularly Palestinian rock-throwing, arson and riots throughout Israel.
In a rather amusing incident but which could have had horrifying results, the Diaspora Yeshiva on Mt. Zion was attacked by a crowd of stone-throwing Arabs. The Yeshiva students defended themselves with boiling water and … pots of cholent! (Hebrew link only). Surely that would classify as chemical warfare? 🙂 I await an immediate denunciation of the cholent attack at the UN Security Council in 3…2….1…
In a far less entertaining attack, you can watch a video of a bus being stoned in Jerusalem. Here’s a picture too:
In the north of Israel Israelis were attacked and their car set on fire in Kalansawa:
During riots overnight Friday-Saturday in the central Arab-Israeli town of Kalanswa, masked men attacked a number of cars belonging to Jewish Israelis, setting one on fire.
On Friday night and into Saturday morning, Arab Israelis burned tires and clashed with security forces in Kalanswa, and other central and northern towns including Taibe, Tira and Baqa al-Gharbiya, in protest of the death of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16. Police made 31 arrests and said more were expected.
In Kalanswa, after road 5614 was blocked in both directions due to burning tires, masked men began asking drivers their religion. Two of the drivers who answered back in Hebrew were dragged from their cars and beaten. One of the drivers managed to get back in his car and escape while the other escaped on foot. His car was set on fire.
The clashes came after a day of violent demonstrations in East Jerusalem on the heels of the funeral of Abu Khdeir whose body was found in a Jerusalem forest on Wednesday in what is believed to be a revenge killing for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens on June 12.
In Shuafat, Abu Khdeir’s home neighborhood, several men reportedly attempted to cut down an electric pole powering Jerusalem’s light rail with a circular saw, and posted a photo of the act to Facebook, before being chased off by police.
Dozens of people threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police forces in East Jerusalem, who responded with non-lethal weapons to quell the unrest.
Near the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, some 40 Palestinians also hurled rocks and rolled burning tires at police forces, Channel 10 reported.
Interestingly, Arab residents of Kalansawa are furious at the rioting youngsters (Hebrew only) and want them to apologize to the Jewish victims of their violence. There is yet hope…
Here’s a Price Tag attack you’ll never hear about outside of Israel:
Dozens of swastikas were spray-painted alongside the road to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in the past few days.
On Friday, swastikas and hate graffiti calling for “Death to the Jews” were also found outside the southern town of Rahat, the Ynet news website reported.
Police are investigating the incident.
Right-wing Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked posted images of the Jerusalem graffiti.
She added a sarcastic refrain, on the lack of widespread condemnation, on her Facebook page.
“Surely you’ve seen these pictures all over the media,” she wrote. “Tzipi Livni has surely denounced it. Surely President Peres already went on a visit there. Surely the internal security minister called it terror. Oh, sorry, it’s only a swastika. No biggie.”
In other completely unsurprising news, clashes broke out on the Temple Mount on Friday.
It is gratifying to note that I am not alone in my frustration. Even a Ynet columnist, Shaul Rosenfeld, is of a similar opinion about Israel’s “restraint“, particularly Netanyahu’s and the cabinet’s. I apologise that the link is in Hebrew only.
However there is one person who is worried about Israel’s reaction – Mahmoud Abbas has run to the world asking its leaders to help restrain Israel.
He needn’t have bothered. We’re doing a good job all by ourselves.