What Is Olmert Thinking?

Israeli troops ‘move into Gaza’

Another great success, like in Lebanon, where his actions greatly strengthened Hezbollah? An election pitch that he is the toughest opponent of terrorist rockets? Or both?

Who are the winners from this tsunami of violence?

10 Responses to “What Is Olmert Thinking?”

  1. Brian Garst

    Hopefully, the Israeli’s who are tired of rockets being launched into their homes by hateful people who think they are apes and pigs, rather than humans, will be the winners. But that’s probably wishful thinking on my part.

  2. I have difficulty deciding on the biggest reason I support Israel. It’s mixture of ancient history coupled with contemporary liberal society, or the way that these events breath life into “end times” fervor among evangelicals here in the states.

  3. It is not only a question about supporting Israel or not. It is not clear that the activities of the Israeli gov’t are in the interests of Israelis, themselves. The imbalance in the actions — Qassam rockets that are intended to murder, but are not very effective, on one hand, and an all out bombing campaign, on the other. The Israelis are trying to avoid civilians, it is true, but they are still hitting a lot of them. I do not see this as having a good outcome.

  4. Alan Gura

    So far it does appear to be a great success. A lot of dead terrorists, and a lot of grad, katyusha, and qassam capabilities taken off line. That’s an improvement.

    The Qassam rockets are intended not merely to murder, but to make life impossible. With hundreds of thousands of Israelis unable to go to work, school, or live any sort of normal life, the Qassams are obviously very effective. The idea was pioneered by the Germans’ V2 rockets at the end of WW2. If you had to live in constant fear of getting a ten-second warning to hit a secure room or bomb shelter, you’d want your government to do something about it. Since Hamas are suicide bomber fanatic types, there is nothing that can be offered to appease them even if appeasement were a good strategy in dealing with rational actors.

    Civilians inevitably get hit in a just war. That’s a good reason to hate war, not to find it unnecessary. And nobody is under any illusions that this campaign will solve all the problems. But killing enough terrorists and taking their territory until some law and order can be imposed solves the immediate problem of Israelis being shelled by a genocidal terrorist organization.

  5. It’s a great shame. What do they think will be the result? More hate! A family which lost a member in this “war” will not start loving Israel.

    There is only one solution: Two states.

  6. Alan Gura

    How can Hamas hate any more? they already express their hate by unceasingly sending rockets, mortars, and suicide bombers over to Israel.

    But Israel is supposed to just sit there and take it for another how many years from these guys, in the hopes that they’ll suddenly become zionists? And which other country, exactly, supplies food, fuel, power, and medical care to a terrorist enclave committed to its destruction? Have you missed the irony over the past few months of Hamas attacking the fuel and electrical stations in Israel that supply Gaza? When Israel shut the power down in protest, it was accused of violating some sort of alleged human right. How do you think an ARAB government would have reacted?

    And it is Hamas, not Israel, which has rejected the two-state solution. Israel has committed itself to the establishment of a Palestinian state through diplomacy. The Hamas charter says something else.

  7. Tom G. Palmer

    Alan makes good points, but the question is not whether Hamas might change its views, but what impact the current military actions will have on the rest of the Palestinians, as well as on the surrounding Arab world. The fact that the Israeli government makes the effort to avoid civilian deaths, unlike Hamas, which seeks deliberately to inflict them, does not eliminate the fact that many civilians are being killed and many more wounded.

    The Olmert government’s previous incursion into Lebanon did not turn out well for the Israelis and did not advance any broader move toward peace. It did not defeat Hezbollah, which emerged stronger from the conflict and able to dictate terms to the Lebanese government. The Olmert government seems neither to have gained nor to have learned from that war. Will this one be any different?

  8. Alan Gura

    Tom is correct that the 2006 Hezbollah war did not turn out well for Israel. but not because it was unjustified. Rather the problem was poor management of the war.

    The failure had consequences: the chief of staff and defense secretary were sacked, as were many other poor performers, and the army embarked on a crash course of learning. Looking at what’s apparently going on now, with Hamas being routed, Israel did the better job of learning from Hizbullah.

    also the relationship between gaza and israel did not start with the rise of Hamas. Pre-intifada, the Palestinians had a political grudge; some of them also had jobs in Israel and there was a great deal of trade. What happened to the Gazan standard of living since they started bombing their only trading partner… predictable.

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