Is another Arab Israeli war about to break out?

Is another Arab Israeli war about to break out in Gaza? News reports of the last week suggest that is at least a possibility

 Sometimes global events seem to confirm the fatalistic view that as everything changes everything remains the same.  This week, [Nov 10-16  2012] the escalating bloodshed in Gaza and Israel seems too familiar to offer prospects of a meaningful peace process between Israel and its Neighbours.  

Too many war initiatives

There have been too many war initiatives followed by peace initiatives over too many years.

What the news reports are saying

The gulf between ‘maps’ of opposing views is well-illustrated in the following quotes taken from the BBC News Service and Reuters.

 Independent Jerusalem-based Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds

When Israel decided to assassinate Ahmed al-Jabari and continue its raids into Gaza, it chose to set the region ablaze militarily and politically… At a time when Hamas and the other forces expressed readiness to abide by the truce, the Israeli government made its party and electoral considerations top priority and thus decided to escalate the situation

Mordechai Kedar in the mainstream Israeli newspaper Maariv:

No doubt the liquidation of Ahmed al-Jabari is an earthquake in Gaza and around it… Israel should send clear messages to Hamas leaders: they cannot tour the world as diplomats by day and behave like terrorists by night.

Military correspondent Aluf Benn, in the Israeli broadsheet Haaretz:


The assassination of Jabari will go down in history as another showy military action initiated by an outgoing government on the eve of an election… Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is interested in neutralising every possible rival, and Defence Minister Ehud Barak is fighting for enough votes to return to the Knesset. A war against Hamas will wipe out the electoral aspirations of the ditherer Ehud Olmert… and it will kick the ‘social and economic issue’ that serves the Labour Party off the agenda.


Nidal al-Mughrabi, Reuters

 Israel is losing popular support in the ‘new’ Middle East, analysts say. In an earlier clash, the three-week winter war of 2008-2009, many Palestinian rivals blamed Hamas’s rocket-firing bravado for bringing Israel’s military might down on Gaza.

That war ended with over 1,400 Palestinians in early graves and a territory scarred by bombing, shelling and invasion. Israel lost 13 lives in the lopsided battle, and Hamas licked its wounds.

This time is different. The Arab Spring has changed the Middle East, and Hamas has more powerful weapons.

“Hundreds of civilians may be killed if the Israelis invade,” says Ali Al-Ahmed [a Gaza resident]. “But once they leave, rockets will follow them home, so they would fail.”

Leaders we deserve?

The maxim that we get the Leaders we deserve is tested daily.  Rarely is the test carried out under such tragic circumstances.

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