Sunday, 18 November 2012

Is Israel morally entitled to wage its current war in Gaza?

On the face of it, this should be an easy one. After all, Hamas who control the Gaza strip have been bombarding Israel with rockets and missiles for a long time. Hundreds of rockets emanating from Gaza have been making life miserable for the residents of many southern Israeli towns.

On the pragmatic level, the question should be asked what is achieved by such wars?  Will they bring down Hamas or will they convert it to recognise Israel’s right to exist? Going by past experience, this will not happen. 

This, however, assumes that the Israeli regime wants a two-state solution. If – despite its rhetoric - its purpose is to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and to continue with its colonisation of the West Bank, then such attacks on Gaza make sense. To that end, the Israeli government has systematically weakened the moderate leader Mahmoud Abbas and thereby proven to the Palestinians that moderation does not get them anywhere. The result is the strengthening of the alternative body - Hamas.

The misery of its own population shot at from Gaza is the price Israel seems to be willing to pay in order to entrench in the West Bank.

Israel may have the legal and even moral right of self-defence vis-à-vis the Hamas – However, as this seems to be part of a bigger picture, the morality of Israel’s war in Gaza is questionable. 


  1. Israel has every such right.

    Hamas is an acknowledged terroist organisation that has one firm aim - the destruction of the Jewish state.

    Israel did not weaken Abbas - Hamas did. You will recall that only a few years ago,they staged a coup d'etat in Gaza and eliminated the PLO (Abbas's organisation)from Gaza and killed many of Abbas's supporters in the process - some by chucking them of the roofs of high buildings. They despise Abbas and the PLO.

    Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza some years ago and hoped for a quiet peace with its neighbour. No such luck. Soon after the coup d'etat, the rockets started and have kept coming since - with the exception of a short period after the previous Israel ground incursion into Gaza.

    The stated reason for the rockets is to loosen the strangle hold of the Israel "siege" on Gaza. But these rockets are not fired at Israeli miltary positions or personnel - but at Israeli civilians. To make the war crime worse, the rockets are fired from amongst their homes, hospitals and schools - so as to make the Israeli task of eliminating the rockets that much harder.

    The siege? Isarel supplies and allows thru most food, electricity and other merchandise. It restricts items that could be used for a military purpose and also the freedom of movement of Gazans into Israel or the West Bank.

    The siege? Hamas is able to bring into Gaza weapons and rockets supplied by Iran by the truck load. They come thru the tunnels they have dug under the border with Egypt. Why weapons and rockets and not food, and other items they claim are restricted by Israel? Some siege.

    Hamas is prepared coldly to suffer the inevitable civilian losses as it seeks to pull Israel on top of it and win the court of world public opinion. Arafat had much the similar policy (remember Jenin?).

    Hamas is not interested in peace with Israel or the Jews. It is a proxy organisation representing Iran and arguably has started the latest round of violence at the behest of the Mullahs in Teheran - the hope being to destabilise the mid east further, put some type of pressure onto Israel in the court of world opinion and to divert attention away from the REAL issue here - the securing of the nuclear weapon in Teheran.

    In the meantime, Iran continues also to pour weapons and support to Assad in Syria where the REAL massacre is taking place.

    Abbas and indeed Arafat before him could have stopped the Israel settlement policy long ago, by not setting any preconditions to a peace settlement with Israel. But they chose to insist that Israel stop building settlements in the West Bank before they would start to talk peace. With that strategy in place, the West Bank is slowly disappearing in front of them - much like the Greater Partitoned Palestine that they were offered by the UN in 1947 and which they rejected then as well. That was the original "two state solution".

    History would appear to show that from Day 1, the Arabs have had little or no peaceful intentions to the Jews or Israel. Not much has changed it seems from Day 1.

    As a result, the Israel government has no option but to defend itself with a firm arm. Anything less, and the neighbourhood will be overun. This is not a "walk in the park" part of world. The realities are tough. One mistake and Israel could pay a heavy price.

    The Israel government is correct in the action it is taking.


  2. Hi,

    I agree with Michael, but what I'd like to know is why even in this clear case where you acknowledge the morality Israel's actions (which is kind of rare) you chose to diminish this morality by some external argument/judgment irrelevant for the cause. Not one word about the war crimes of Hamas, not one word on the extra caution and suprim morality of the IDF causing unprecedentedly low civilian causalities.


  3. Your excellent point about the weakening of Abbas strengthening Hamas is key.

  4. Ich finde (mit moderatem Wissen und großer Israelfreundlichkeit)es sehr schwierig, dass die politischen Behörden im Gazastreifen von den Israelis unter Beschuss genommen werden, und auch die Zivilbevölkerung.

    Nichts wäre besser geeignet, die radikalen und auch die moderaten Kräfte zu vereinigen. Ist diese Reaktion nur durch die vorgezogenen Wahlen zuerklären?

  5. Jews "colonizing" Jerusalem - an odd notion, that.

    I don`t think there is a need to fog the issue by looking at bigger pictures, be they distorted or not. The rockets need to be stopped. Rockets and rocket launchers need to be destroyed - as far as possible.

    That is - quite simply - the task at hand.