Tag Archives: Gaza war


BLOG 231 December 22, 2014

“Where goest thou?” The famous quote from the first century inquired about the Apostle Peter’s awareness of his destiny. The Christmas season raises the question again. An attempt to grasp the where future is going is important –for nations, politicians, and ourselves. Where are we headed?

The ISIS terrorists have no good answer. The bravado of last summer has turned into silence. This past week the Kurds opened a major corridor without any help from the Iraq government. Since the USA entered the conflict, the Islamic militants have lost leaders, troops, and momentum. The wars is not over, but ISIS must realize it’s all going south.

And now to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must also ponder the question of where the nation is headed politically. Political rivals like Gideon Sa’ar, Yair Lapid, Isaac Herzog, Avigor Liberman, and Tzipi Livni are all breathing down his neck and ready to take his position. National elections in Israel will be held in March and the race is on.

The problem is that many believe Netanyahu is married to the status quo and will do nothing to resolve the Palestinian problem. Bibi seems to believe time is on their side and appears to have dug in his heels. The personal charge against him will be that he resolves nothing and time is not on Israel’s side. The European nations are gradually inching closer to support for recognition of a Palestinian state. The last Gaza War brought blood shed and terrorism back into Jerusalem streets. Israeli citizens worry that they are only living from one crisis to another. Doing nothing resolves none of these pressing issues.

Many analysts within Israel worry that the coming election may be a real Quo Vadis? experience for the entire nation. Israel is standing on the threshold of  making decisions that could affect the entire future of the country. Citizens are weary of constant terrorism and warfare. On the other side, Arabs aren’t making any gestures toward peace. In these blogs I have argued many times that the Palestinian world’s only interest is the entire destruction of Israel. Palestinian Authority President Abbas does not want a resolution to the conflict.

The unexpected direction this quagmire has taken is pushing Israel toward a ghetto status. Such narrowness is the exact opposite of what the country’s founders intended. Citizens must recognize their dilemma.

Israel could be facing the evolution of a religiously guided dictatorship with an oppressive nature that quashes both the Palestinians and internal Jewish opposition. Hard to say, but a Post-Netanyahu era is a genuine possibility in March. In other words, the coming election could turn into a battle for the soul of Israel.

Tolerance is being forced to the limit and in such a climate the forces of change become unpredictable. In such moments, the haunting question becomes Quo vadis.

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BLOG 220 September 26, 2014

For the 12th time in 50 days a cease-fire was brokered by Egypt and the fighting in Gaza stopped. The attack tunnels were now a pile of dust. Starting with 10,000 rockets, Hama ended up with around 2,000. The other 8,000 had done virtually no damage in Israel. The Iron Dome worked. Hamas had lost hundreds of fighters, including commanders. Of course, standing in a pile of rubble and destroyed building, Hama will claim victory. Who are they kidding?

Israel is capable of eliminating the Hamas leadership and destroying any military possibilities. They could recapture Gaza, but then they would be responsible for 1.8 million residents, having to provide them with health services, food, and education. Israel would have to continue to work with aspirations and hopes to defeat Israel –an impossible task!

Israel has a problem.

The Gazans who elected Hamas still want to replace the Palestinian Authority. Egypt, Saudi Arabis, and Jordan will link arms with Israel to oppose Hamas, but they will not work against the wishes of the people of Gaza.

Yes, Israel has a problem.

The Israelis are at a crossroads. To solve the Gaza problem, they need a settlement in the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA). A sweeping peace would certain be profitable for Israel’s standing in Europe. If Israel does not move forward, it stands the danger of becoming a fortress that closes in upon itself. Should such happen, there is a danger of becoming less democratic along with the issue of possible economic sanctions. Important decisions need to be made soon.

On the other side, what is not widely known is that Hamas is a huge business dealing with billions of dollars obtained through corrupt practices, money laundering, and an infusion of wealth from Arab states. One Jordanian source claimed that Khaled Mashaal , the head of Hamas, is worth over $3 billion dollars.

The problem is that Hamas’s income had gone through a crunch even before the Gaza war. When Egypt overthrew Morsi and the Moslem Brotherhood, Hamas experienced a severe shock with financial repercussions. Hamas in turn had supported Syrian Islamists rebels that resulted in being cut off from funding from Iran which continues to support Syrian President Bashar Assad. These losses impacted Hamas’s payroll in Gaza. PA President Abbas paid only the PA workers and left Hamas out in the cold. The employment rate among Gaza youth is above 40%.

Hamas is both naive and irresponsible. The recent war exposed Hamas’s total disregard for the lives of its own people. As that story continues to unfold and disseminate, Hamas’s hold on the citizens of Gaza may well  diminish.  Regardless of how much propaganda they distribute, Hamas is in a hard place.

This is a good moment to close the deal. Israel needs to act on the opportunity at hand and move toward a permanent settlement with the PA that will forever isolate Hamas. But will they?

That remains the jackpot question.

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