Israeli sources: Hamas’s capabilities have hardly been dented

posted at 6:42 pm on December 29, 2008 by Allahpundit

So says Time magazine. I want to believe it’s disinformation, aimed maybe at buying Israel more time to do the job before the inevitable UN demands for ceasefire begin, but would they really choose a line of spin that echoes their chief failure in the 2006 war with Hezbollah — that they’ve acted to disarm the jihadist menace, but haven’t?

Though the rocket count was down from previous days (and well short of the 200 that Israeli officials believe Hamas is able to fire), Israeli military sources tell TIME that they believe Hamas’ military capabilities have hardly been dented. And while Israeli strikes killed a senior Hamas police official on the first morning of the assault and an Islamic Jihad military commander in Khan Younis on the third day, those same Israeli military officials believe that Hamas’ military commanders have mostly survived the first 60 hours or so and are in hiding.

Indeed, while Israelis support the military offensive by an overwhelming majority of 81%, according to a poll by Israel’s Channel 10 television station, only 6% believe it will end Hamas’ rocket attacks. Palestinians, meantime, have been buoyed by an outpouring of support and sympathy across the Arab world.

If ending the rocket attacks isn’t feasible, I’m not sure what the military objective of the operation is aside from a general reminder to Iran et al. that this is what happens when you get on the IAF’s bad side. Yossi Klein Halevi at TNR sees two objectives potentially: A limited operation designed to force Hamas into conceding greater Israeli supervision of the weapons tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, or an all-out war to dislodge Hamas, which is both unlikely and opens up the knotty question of who would take over. Roggio counters that air power alone won’t work and that the only way realistically to end the attacks is to reoccupy Gaza, which no one wants; as such, the only option is for Olmert to “act decisively” with a ground assault designed to accomplish … what, I’m not sure. Presumably it would involve all senior Hamas leaders being captured or killed, although as Roggio himself acknowledges, Hezbollah “won” the 2006 war simply by surviving intact. If Hamas is still in control of the strip after the IDF ground operation ends, I assume that’ll be received as a prestige-enhancing “victory” too. As Goldfarb says elsewhere at the Standard:

The problem with this, however, is that if Israel doesn’t finish the job, Hamas may accrue some benefit from the additional suffering of the Palestinian people. Hamas doesn’t care whether the residents of Gaza live or die, whether they prosper or starve, it cares only that the Arab world and Iran support the organization with money and weapons, that the Palestinian people are united in their hatred of Israel, and that a moderate Palestinian faction is unable to pursue peace. If Hamas is left as the dominant force in Gaza, then their tactical defeat may also be a strategic victory — as was the case for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The only way Hamas wouldn’t still exist as the dominant force is if, as mentioned, Israel reoccupies or if Gazans themselves essentially sided with Israel by overthrowing Hamas (assuming they’re capable of doing so). Anyone see either of those as likely, especially after a punishing ground operation?

I don’t mean to be too eeyore-ish. I’m just wondering what a win will look like here. To boost the spirits, a shot of Gillermania from Hot Air’s favorite (ex-)ambassador.


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YOu destroy them until their public grows weary. Good wins out in the end.

tomas on December 29, 2008 at 6:45 PM

This isn’t surprising seeing how the entire Palestinian population is ready to die for Hamas. They’d go after the IDF with sticks and rocks if they had to.

KillerKane on December 29, 2008 at 6:46 PM

Roggio counters that air power alone won’t work and that the only way realistically to end the attacks is to reoccupy Gaza, which no one wants; as such, the only option is for Olmert to “act decisively” with a ground assault designed to accomplish … what, I’m not sure.

This is why the Israeli’s are in such a crappy position. Even the U.S. will get grouchy if they move in ground forces to do what should be done.

BadgerHawk on December 29, 2008 at 6:47 PM

A few hundred of them have already been disarmed … and dislegged … and disheaded. Keep up the good work.

Ronnie on December 29, 2008 at 6:48 PM

What a bunch of horse shit! First off do not believe anything coming out of Time Magazine concerning Israel. Secondly Israel has already killed hundreds of terrorists, may she show some fortitude and kill hundreds more. When you hear frantic calls for a ceasefire then you know that Israel is winning.

Hilts on December 29, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Gillerman is Israel’s best spokesman IMO.

ebrawer on December 29, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Kiss more butt Israel!

upinak on December 29, 2008 at 6:56 PM

opps kick* not kiss.

lack of sleop is starting to kick in.

upinak on December 29, 2008 at 6:56 PM

“I’m just wondering what a win will look like here.”

Every dead terrorist is a win.

And liberals should rejoice as well. Think of the carbon reduction!!!

notagool on December 29, 2008 at 6:57 PM

That’s the problem with overwhelming force. It does not work against organic grass root organizations like Hamas or Hezbollah. I suspect it will bring Gaza residents closer to Hamas if it carries on like this. If the rockets continue then Hamas is handed three victories… they get to show defiance in the face of massive air raids, the raids unify the people of Gaza behind Hamas, and the world forgets its sympathy for Israeli security in the South in the face of massive casualties among Gaza’s already hard pressed and harassed population. Hamas actually has very little to lose and could do well in next years election with this fresh in electors minds. Hamas can return to the cease fire at a future date with its repuation enhanced in the eyes of its people and neighbors. It is not a good prospect. Let’s hope something else happens and that Israel has learned some lessons from the earlier war in Lebanon but this seems to be going the same way sadly.

lexhamfox on December 29, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Some think Israel feels the need to re-establish it’s reputation for deterrence capability after the draw in Lebanon.
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2008/12/gaza-goal-to-re-establish-israeli.html#links

a capella on December 29, 2008 at 6:59 PM

The IDF can never win using surgical strikes. There are 100,000 Hamas members, and a million active supporters. How many have they killed? 350?

The only way to win against people who cherish death is with Humburg and Drezden tactics, not Shock and Awe tactics.

Aristotle on December 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM

I’ll know Israel is serious when they cordon off Gaza, divide it into sections and begin expelling the terrorists and their supporters section by section. I don’t pay any attention to these skirmishes because the outcome is predictable and obvious.

FloatingRock on December 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM

They’ll dent it when they hit Iran.

bridgetown on December 29, 2008 at 7:02 PM

And in other news:

Israel takes out Hamas Key Targets.

upinak on December 29, 2008 at 7:04 PM

Haaretz is not a legitimate “Israeli source”. Every dead Hamas terrorist is a victory. They want death then give them death. Also cut off water, power, and electricty.

Go Netanyu – a man who understands that you fight to win.

lexhamfox on December 29, 2008 at 6:59 PM by that same logic we should nto fight al Qaeda.

Hilts on December 29, 2008 at 7:06 PM

In 2006 Israel made the mistake of thinking that a lot could be accomplished by air alone. I don’t think they will make that mistake again so soon.

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 7:06 PM

they need to go into Gaza and kill every living thing that stands in their way.

GarandFan on December 29, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Hamas has admitted to 182 dead terrorists – probably more actually. Keep killing them Israel.

Hilts on December 29, 2008 at 7:10 PM

They’ll dent it when they hit Iran.

bridgetown on December 29, 2008 at 7:02 PM

Amen. Hey maybe this is just a start.

johnnyU on December 29, 2008 at 7:16 PM

The rockets and manpower of Hamas are not self perpetuating . . . just keep blowing their s–t away until it is completely destroyed and gone. And this time, don’t stop in the middle of the fight.

rplat on December 29, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, on Monday announced that it was recruiting an additional 1,000 militiamen ahead of a possible IDF ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

The group said that thousands of volunteers from the Gaza Strip had also asked to be recruited to the movement in the past 48 hours so that they could fight against IDF soldiers.

The Hamas militiamen have now been entrusted with the task of repelling an IDF ground attack. Spokesmen for the group said on Monday that their men are determined to fight to the end.
- Jpost

May Allah grant them their wish.

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 7:17 PM

…and the world forgets its sympathy for Israeli security in the South…

lexhamfox on December 29, 2008 at 6:59 PM

um……huh?

Depends on how you are defining “the world”, I suppose.

hillbillyjim on December 29, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Read this and wisen up:
http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2008/12/gaza-picture-show.html#links

Aristotle on December 29, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Spokesmen for the group said on Monday that their men are determined to fight to the end.
- Jpost

May Allah grant them their wish.

Excellent, and I’m sure the Israeli military will be happy to accommodate them in their quest for the “end”.

rplat on December 29, 2008 at 7:24 PM

Unless the Israelis force the issue, I suspect that the rocket barrages won’t end until the Mad Mullahs in Iran decide it’s in their best interest.

Hamas leadership is less interested in what is good for the people than in currying favor with those that are enriching them.

hillbillyjim on December 29, 2008 at 7:26 PM

Perhaps we should loan Israel a dozen or so MOAB’s and drop them where they think these arms tunnels are. And after we get some confirmed hits loan them 100 more to keep in a warehouse with the intention of them being used on Gaza if those tunnels are redug.

Israel pulled out too soon against Hezbollah, they need to iradicate Hamas and eventually they need to give notice they are going to level a city to send a message and anyone left behind, their blood is on Hamas.

cadams on December 29, 2008 at 7:29 PM

YOu destroy them until their public grows weary. Good wins out in the end.

tomas on December 29, 2008 at 6:45 PM

Nope. Won’t work. The Romans tried the same thing. Look what happened.

unclesmrgol on December 29, 2008 at 7:30 PM

Hamas is firing rockets at Israel today. Killed four civilians. I hope that Israel moves their ground troops in. They said they were moving toward the border. I am glad that Israel has had enough. They need to take care of business. Hamas won’t stop firing their missiles. They have been doing this for a few months. Do what you have to do Israel.

sheebe on December 29, 2008 at 7:32 PM

The muzzies will NEVER accept a two state solution, they won’t quit until Israel is gone. This war will start and stop, start and stop FOREVER unless Israel says phuq the world and goes all out. Total victory is the only way to have total peace.

Tony737 on December 29, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Israeli sources: Hamas’s capabilities have hardly been dented

Meaning, we are going in and kicking down some doors…right now the Hamas leaders are scrambling to get outta town…they will leave orders to fight to the death.

right2bright on December 29, 2008 at 7:46 PM

I’m not sure any goal other than liberating all Hamas members and supporters to their Allah in the sky is worthy of consideration at this point.

That’s all I want. Anything else is just a bonus.

Summer on December 29, 2008 at 7:49 PM

The goal of this operation is clear. Hamas have been stockpiling upgraded weapons and organizing themselves into a professional and organized army. They should not reach the point where they are so powerful that they can be used as a leverage by Iran. Israel is knocking out their capabilities.

There will be no “victory” here, just as there was no victory after operation Defensive Shield 6 years ago. HAMAS’ capabilities will be hurt, but they’ll replenish just as they did dozens of times before.

AlexB on December 29, 2008 at 7:50 PM

The “Slap on the Wrist” approach hasn’t worked; maybe an all-out effort will….

DL13 on December 29, 2008 at 7:58 PM

The Arabs are going to hate the Jews no matter what they do. The Israelis had better just go for it and achieve a military victory. Forget having a “moral” victory with people who wouldn’t know morality from a hole in their head.

Mojave Mark on December 29, 2008 at 7:58 PM

Didn’t Ehud Barak say that Israel was engaging in an all out war against Hamas? Also the Israeli deputy prime minister Haim Ramon said that “The goal of the operation is to topple Hamas”.

Either way the Israelis sound pissed and may have decided to deal with Hamas once and for all. Then again maybe they just decided that the incoming Obama administration is going to be totally useless and figured that Hamas and Palestinian problem would just get worse over the next four years and that they may as well just deal with it now and get it over and done with.

Dreadnought223 on December 29, 2008 at 8:01 PM

The Arabs are going to hate the Jews no matter what they do. The Israelis had better just go for it and achieve a military victory. Forget having a “moral” victory with people who wouldn’t know morality from a hole in their head.

Mojave Mark on December 29, 2008 at 7:58 PM

From this arises an argument: whether it is better to be loved than feared. I reply that one should like to be both one and the other; but since it is difficult to join them together, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.
- Niccolo Machiavelli

You must, therefore know that there are two means of fighting: one according to the laws, the other with force; the first way is proper to man, the second to beasts; but because the first, in many cases, is not sufficient, it becomes necessary to have recourse to the second.
- Niccolo Machiavelli

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 8:04 PM

Wonder if Bush took the handcuffs off Israel in order to help set up Barry to spend a little political capital publicly taking Israel’s side and slamming Hamas. Hey, they said the transition team and the WH were working together.

Do you really believe that Barry wasn’t “in the know” about it not long after Israel told Bush to expect it? Not the kind of thing I can see W. keeping to himself.

outOfElement on December 29, 2008 at 8:10 PM

CNN International’s coverage of Saturday’s fighting in Gaza concluded at midnight with a rush of images: mangled civilians writhing in the rubble, primitive hospitals overflowing with the wounded, fireballs mushrooming between apartment complexes, the funeral of a Palestinian child. Missing from the montage, however, was even a fleeting glimpse of the tens of thousands of Israelis who spent last night and much of last week in bomb shelters; of the house in Netivot, where a man was killed by a Grad missile; or indeed any of the hundreds of rockets, mortar shells, and other projectiles fired by Hamas since the breakdown of the so-called ceasefire. This was CNN at its unprincipled worst, grossly skewering its coverage of a complex event and deceiving its viewers. Yet Israel should not have been surprised.
- Michael B. Oren

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 8:12 PM

I’m just wondering what a win will look like here.

A lot of dead Hamas goons and the broken spirit of the Gazans.

Seriously. The people of Gaza elected Hamas. They chose the “path of resistance” and all that implies.They wanted a fight with Israel; now they’ve got it. Israel should pound them until it finally gets through to their sharia-poisoned brains that they made the wrong choice and cannot win.

As with Germany and Japan in the 1940s, the jihadists and their supporters have to know in their souls that they’re beaten, if there’s to be any real peace.

irishspy on December 29, 2008 at 8:14 PM

Hardly a dent?

Me thinks they need a bigger bomb!

And since Hamas loves tunnels,maybe they’ve built
an Iwo Jima or Okinawa style fortress under Gaza!

canopfor on December 29, 2008 at 8:18 PM

Hamas was elected as the government!

And Hamas’s style of government,is

Politics of Force and Terror!
————–

And Israel is only responding to

Hamas Politics!

canopfor on December 29, 2008 at 8:23 PM

Then don’t just sit there, get off your asses and start denting!

TheSitRep on December 29, 2008 at 8:37 PM

Have to say that I am watching the events a bit anxiously, Egypt has called out Iran (not quite by name):

You want to create chaos in this region as a service to interests that are not for the good of this region

Hamas seemed to be itching for a fight, and Iran’s Ayatollah Khameini has issued a fatwa directing Muslims to defend Palestine.

Strange times indeed for Egypt to be siding with Isreal–however cautiously. Direct involvement by Iran could blow open this incident to include many other countries. Though on the bright side of things, it was a world war that ended the last world wide financial meltdown, so at least we have that to look forward to.

BryanS on December 29, 2008 at 8:43 PM

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 8:12 PM

CNN–All the news that’s fit to print spin.

hillbillyjim on December 29, 2008 at 8:47 PM

Some think Israel feels the need to re-establish it’s reputation for deterrence capability after the draw in Lebanon.
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2008/12/gaza-goal-to-re-establish-israeli.html#links

a capella on December 29, 2008 at 6:59 PM

We should all be very afraid. a capella hit on a really important point that needs to be emphasized; waging wars not to win but to a “draw” to satisfy PC politicians. These Hamas A-holes need to be killed. The Israelis used to be good at this. I remember listening to the 1967 reports while on duty and cheering at the radio reports I was able to hear in Ubon. Warriors and politicians have come to close. Touchy-feelies have to understand if we don’t cut their heads off it will happen to us.

PaCadle on December 29, 2008 at 8:50 PM

Pfft,..I say bomb the crap outta Hamas.
we’ll leave the light on for ya.
nuff said.
Have a good day.
: o )

christene on December 29, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Israel needs a General Sherman. Total War is the only end.

redshirt on December 29, 2008 at 8:56 PM

Hmmm. where’s those anti-semites “abobo” and “lodge”? Did they turn chicken?

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 29, 2008 at 9:14 PM

Hmmm. where’s those anti-semites “abobo” and “lodge”? Did they turn chicken?

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 29, 2008 at 9:14 PM

Let’s not forget the oh-so-holy SaintOaf

hillbillyjim on December 29, 2008 at 9:16 PM

Gaza’s inhabitants need to be swept into the sea, a novel idea coming out of Iran. Plow the crap off the topsoil and Israel will make gaza a blossoming garden like the rest of their land they got back in 1948.

wepeople on December 29, 2008 at 9:49 PM

the only way realistically to end the attacks is to reoccupy Gaza, which no one wants

Except maybe those silly old nobodies who lived there for almost 40 years, and were forced to abandon it by their own government. I think they might be ok with taking it back.

And can we have sneer quotes for “occupied,” please? Israel “occupied” Gaza in the same sense that the Phillies “occupy” the world series title. Which is to say, they won it fair and square, whether you like it or not.

Tanya on December 29, 2008 at 9:56 PM

Hey guys, another anti-Semitic Kos Kid has the audacity to compare Zionism to Al-Qaeda. Let’s go to the site and vote the correct way in this evil poll.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/12/29/202527/30

Lance Murdock on December 29, 2008 at 10:10 PM

1. Occupy a strip of land between Egypt and Gaza, say 2kms wide, and not a single bullet comes in from this side.

2. Naval blockade: food only (from infidel, what an irony) goes in.

3. After one year: take a look. If changes positive, open one or two crossings. Wait another year.

4. No sign of positive changes? Continue 1-2. Then 3. Then 4. Ad infinitum, if necessary.

Tough, I know.

albertpale on December 29, 2008 at 10:12 PM

lexhamfox on December 29, 2008 at 6:59 PM by that same logic we should nto fight al Qaeda.

Hilts on December 29, 2008 at 7:06 PM

No, if we applied the logic being used in Gaza against AQ we would start bombing Karachi and Medina after blockading the Pakistanis and Saudis. The choice isn’t large scale bombardment or surrender.

lexhamfox on December 29, 2008 at 10:14 PM

Lance Murdock on December 29, 2008 at 10:10 PM

Don’t give them your IP number. They’ll spam you till you cry uncle. Headache. & forgive them for they know not….

albertpale on December 29, 2008 at 10:20 PM

opps kick* not kiss.
lack of sleop is starting to kick in.

upinak on December 29, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Classic, upinak. You need a nice pinot.

Jaibones on December 29, 2008 at 10:23 PM

The IDF can never win using surgical strikes. There are 100,000 Hamas members, and a million active supporters. How many have they killed? 350?

The only way to win against people who cherish death is with Humburg and Drezden tactics, not Shock and Awe tactics.

Aristotle on December 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM

Agreed. And to Eeyore’s question – victory looks like armageddon. I said in this space yesterday that success in Gaza looks like this:

The pressure needed to effect real change there will have to come
a) externally,
b) with great clarity, and
c) with enormous suffering.

I don’t think Israel has the political capital or cover to effect enormous suffering in Gaza, and apparently they don’t, either, as demonstrated by their continued shipments of food and medicine, even while they bomb the living sh*t out of the Gaza police/terrorist infrastructure.

Shutting off not just their own aid, but the flow of all other aid into Gaza, while entering with the Full Monty Ground Force Assault is what it will take to control the territory again.

But this marketing campaign of “we are your real friends, here is some food and bandaids” is never going to change anyone’s mind among the verminous Palestinians. They are mindless terrorist breeding factories, with Middle Ages brains.

Jaibones on December 29, 2008 at 10:38 PM

Israel needs a General Sherman. Total War is the only end.

redshirt on December 29, 2008 at 8:56 PM

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.
- William Tecumseh Sherman

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 10:43 PM

They are mindless terrorist breeding factories, with Middle Ages brains.

Jaibones on December 29, 2008 at 10:38 PM

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
- Winston Churchill

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 10:48 PM

The key to ending the mayhem which results when a terrorist culture is allowed to live within your borders is to disallow the terrorist culture from staying within your borders. The Palestinians should simply be pounded into submission to the extent necessary for them to be expelled to surrounding nations, whether they want them or not. They can deal with them any way they please, as far as I’m concerned. The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.

FloatingRock on December 29, 2008 at 10:50 PM

War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.
- William Tecumseh Sherman

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 10:53 PM

The Palestinians should simply be pounded into submission to the extent necessary for them to be expelled to surrounding nations, whether they want them or not.

FloatingRock on December 29, 2008 at 10:50 PM

My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.
- William Tecumseh Sherman

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 10:57 PM

Today’s FRONT PAGE headline in the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Israeli Assault on Gaza Widens

Terrorist Sympathizer newspapers make me sick.

fossten on December 29, 2008 at 11:04 PM

The failure of Israel to finally expel the terrorists from Israel and be done with them hasn’t gained them one advantage that I can see and has only allowed the cancer to metastasize over time. As the decades have passed, Israel’s chance for long-term survival has only been diminished. By allowing the terrorists to remain while they continue to kill Israelis, the cause of their enemies has been bolstered by its very longevity. If they were expelled their cause wouldn’t disappear altogether but it would be so hopeless and far removed from reality on the ground that it’s existence would consist primarily of bumper stickers on the cars of effeminate European and American leftists.

FloatingRock on December 29, 2008 at 11:10 PM

Terrorist Sympathizer newspapers make me sick.

fossten on December 29, 2008 at 11:04 PM

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.
- William Tecumseh Sherman

MB4 on December 29, 2008 at 11:18 PM

it would be so hopeless and far removed from reality on the ground that it’s existence would consist primarily of bumper stickers on the cars of effeminate European and American leftists.

And after ten years or so, once these cars have all been piled up in junk yards, the cause will have breathed it’s last breath in the West, whereupon it will be relegated to still another chapter in the history of Islam and terrorism.

FloatingRock on December 29, 2008 at 11:21 PM

The Front Page of Toronto newspaper,in Canada
has a picture of a crying women,child and her
husband(probably Hamas),and it says,

Palestinens fleeing!

Again,the bias towards Israel is sickening!

canopfor on December 29, 2008 at 11:46 PM

Conquer and hold the territory. See your enemy driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women.

indythinker on December 30, 2008 at 12:02 AM

Israel needs a “Sherman’s march to the see, burning every Palestinian building to the ground. Raze it all. Don’t let the people back in. Ever. I guess next time the Muslims will think twice before shooting a rocket at civilians.

indythinker on December 30, 2008 at 12:04 AM

When ships arrive to resupply Gaza, sink them. Let the enemy know that they are losing.

indythinker on December 30, 2008 at 12:06 AM

DEBKAfile Special Analysis

December 30, 2008, 12:06 AM (GMT+02:00)

Volleys of Palestinian rockets and missiles Monday night, Dec. 29, Day 3 of the Israeli offensive against Gaza, left three Israelis dead, as hundreds of Israel tank, armored cars and artillery piled up outside the gates of Gaza.

The first was killed at an Ashkelon building site; the second two Monday night by intensified Grad rocket and Qassam missile volleys – one outside Nahal Oz and a women driver, Irit Sheetrit, 39, who took shelter in the Ashdod bus terminus, 30 km from Gaza, which was struck by a Grad Katyusha rocket. Altogether 15 people were injured in the late-night barrage, two seriously at Kibbutz Shear Hanegev.

The planners of the Israeli air offensive turned Monday to “second-tier” targets, such as Hamas’ political offices and wings of the Islamic University in Gaza City, after its high-profile leaders went into hiding in the underground bunker network designed by an Iranian general deep under the surface of the Gaza Strip.

They can only be dug out by special forces and armored units on the ground.

The crucial battle of Gaza is therefore still to come, as indicated by Israel’s deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Israel Harel, when he warned Monday that the hardest part of the campaign is still ahead.

Prime minister Ehud Olmert, defense minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni conferred in Tel Aviv Monday night to determine the next phase of the Gaza offensives.

Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah told a mass rally in Beirut Monday that Hamas’ most effective weapon is time; by holding out, it can wear Israel down and prevail.

He was using the 2006 Lebanon war as an analogy for the Gaza campaign. Then, a massive Israeli offensive in the first days of the war failed to break Hizballah. By sustaining the blasting of its cities, the Lebanese terrorists ultimately cancelled out Israel’s gains.

He may not have realized that Israel’s defense minister and chief of staff were both appointed after that debacle. Their most important guideline was to learn from its lessons.

MB4 on December 30, 2008 at 12:18 AM

This is what I said to do the day IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped 3 years ago:

Flatten everything standing in the upper northern 3rd of Gaza. Israel moves in and declares this area sovereign state territory forever.

Simultaneously, Israeli demands are issued to the Gazans that if they do not unconditionally surrender and return Shalit without a scratch within 2 hours, the same thing is going to happpen to the middle 3rd of Gaza.

Repeat, if necessary, for the last southern 3rd of the Strip. Its populace can drink the waters of Gaza for all I care, or they can become outstanding Egyptian citizens, they and their descendants, for eternity.

Anything less will not work.

Shy Guy on December 30, 2008 at 12:18 AM

Shy Guy on December 30, 2008 at 12:18 AM

Unfortunately, Menachem Begin is not now nor never will be again Prime Minister of Israel.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 30, 2008 at 12:23 AM

Hamas’s capabilities have hardly been dented

Then it shouldn’t be such a big whoop-de-doo if the IDF keeps pounding the crap out of Hamas.

I think a win here would look like a Hamas weakened to the point that they and Fatah fight and kill each other to the point that a real moderate party develops that actually gets a clue.

Barring that just forcing the bastards back under a rock could be the only real temporary solution.

Speakup on December 30, 2008 at 1:54 AM

Unfortunately, Menachem Begin is not now nor never will be again Prime Minister of Israel.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 30, 2008 at 12:23 AM

The Begin who gave away the entire Sinai Peninsula to a country whose massive military buildup and drills to this day are about wiping out the Jewish State?

The Begin whose plans for Arab autonomy was the precursor which directly led to the Oslo fiasco?

The Begin whose orders could have blown Yasir Arafat and so many others to shreds in Beirut in 1982 and for whose lack of will and courage we are still severely suffering from to this very hour?

That Begin? The idea of him or someone similar never entered my mind.

Shy Guy on December 30, 2008 at 1:59 AM

What’s the point…..what’s the point? If they can’t kill it why bother?

When it all really gets to SHTF then Israel can unleash whatever they have. Until SHTF they have to do whatever they can while they can.

It’s like punching a boxer’s swollen left eye. Sure you could neuter the SOB with a good right foot but the ref will throw you out of the ring. You have to wait for the ref to be looking at the camera and not your right foot.

Limerick on December 30, 2008 at 2:08 AM

lack of sleop is starting to kick in.

upinak on December 29, 2008 at 6:56 PM

You mean, lack of sleep is staring to kiss in?
:)

SuperManGreenLantern on December 30, 2008 at 2:12 AM

A win will look like this:
#1 NO MORE HAMAS
#2. DONE BEFORE OBAMA

HotAirJosef on December 30, 2008 at 2:12 AM

Nope. Won’t work. The Romans tried the same thing. Look what happened.

unclesmrgol on December 29, 2008 at 7:30 PM

It certainly worked against the Germans and the Japanese.

Johan Klaus on December 30, 2008 at 2:28 AM

“Kant’s first formulation of the CI [Categorical Imperative] states that you are to

“act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.” (G 4:421)

“O’Neill (1975, 1989) and Rawls (1989, 1999), among others, take this formulation in effect to summarize a decision procedure for moral reasoning, and I will follow them:

(1) “First, formulate a maxim that enshrines your reason for acting as you propose.

(2) “Second, recast that maxim as a universal law of nature governing all rational agents, and so as holding that all must, by natural law, act as you yourself propose to act in these circumstances.

(3) “Third, consider whether your maxim is even conceivable in a world governed by this law of nature. If it is, then,

(4) “Fourth, ask yourself whether you would, or could, rationally will to act on your maxim in such a world. If you could, then your action is morally permissible.”

[Full article here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/#CatHypImp

Now:

Ad #1. To save my life/brethren/culture from the assault of Islamic barbarism.
Ad #2. All barbarism must be stopped.
Ad #3. Yes, it is conceivable.
Ad #4. Positively, YES.

Israel has the higher ground, even if some paint the current blitz as “barbaric.” The world will be better if Israel wins. Worse if the barbarians win.

albertpale on December 30, 2008 at 2:35 AM

No, if we applied the logic being used in Gaza against AQ we would start bombing Karachi and Medina after blockading the Pakistanis and Saudis. The choice isn’t large scale bombardment or surrender.

lexhamfox on December 29, 2008 at 10:14 PM

The reason the war on terror has taken so long, is because it has not been fought like WW2.

Johan Klaus on December 30, 2008 at 2:42 AM

Johan Klaus on December 30, 2008 at 2:42 AM

You mean holding people responsible for their own government? How barbaric! That might mean we would win.

Limerick on December 30, 2008 at 2:49 AM

Errata:

Ad #1. I have a duty/right to defend myself from assaults of barbarism.
——————

Rather late, Jove! Sleep now.

albertpale on December 30, 2008 at 2:50 AM

they voted for it. remember?

albertpale on December 30, 2008 at 2:51 AM

You mean holding people responsible for their own government? How barbaric! That might mean we would win.

Limerick on December 30, 2008 at 2:49 AM

Especially when we are fighting an enemy that does not wear uniforms.

Johan Klaus on December 30, 2008 at 2:53 AM

Two words: Saturation. Bombing.

Worked beautifully in WW2 and it would still work if anyone’s got the guts to do it.

SuperCool on December 30, 2008 at 2:56 AM

Israel has the higher ground, even if some paint the current blitz as “barbaric.” The world will be better if Israel wins. Worse if the barbarians win.

albertpale on December 30, 2008 at 2:35 AM

Unfortunately, if recent history is any indication, neither will win. The conflict will continue indefinitely without resolution until Israel takes appropriate steps or is destroyed or abandoned. Meanwhile, by allowing these circumstances to persist, Israel is playing with a fire which, for the good of the world, should be extinguished before it burns out of control.

FloatingRock on December 30, 2008 at 3:15 AM

You mean holding people responsible for their own government? How barbaric! That might mean we would win.

Limerick on December 30, 2008 at 2:49 AM

Win? That’s crazy talk. We can’t win because… um… well, it just wouldn’t be right for some reason or another… much better to wait and see what happens. Maybe when terrorist nukes start going off and the US is in chaos the Chinese will invade. Then we’ll jump into action and deal with both problems at once, you’ll see…

FloatingRock on December 30, 2008 at 3:19 AM

We can’t allow ourselves to win because… um… well, it just wouldn’t be right for some reason or another

updated

FloatingRock on December 30, 2008 at 3:21 AM

Maybe when terrorist nukes start going off and the US is in chaos the Chinese will take advantage of the opportunity to invade. Then we’ll jump into action and deal with both problems at once, you’ll see…

Procrastination on matters of life and death never hurt anybody, has it? It’s not like these problems ever add up. No, we have all the time in the world. Everybody else will follow our schedule to the letter. :)

FloatingRock on December 30, 2008 at 3:26 AM

Two words: Saturation. Bombing.

SuperCool on December 30, 2008 at 2:56 AM

A conflict of that magnitude would have a massive carbon footprint!

Oh, and somebody might get hurt.

FloatingRock on December 30, 2008 at 3:34 AM

Seems that the Israeli goal is simply stopping the ongoing rocket attacks. However it happens.

Time will be very quick to define Israel as ‘somehow losing’ if they do not meet Time’s specified objectives. Expect the Time objectives to change if their current version is met.

As Time readership dwindles, it will be amusing to see how long such a pathetic propaganda machine can continue to exist.

Oddly, it seems to me that the Israeli objectives in Lebanon were actually met. While various media outlets have created some sort of ‘victory thru our own cities destruction’ narative for hezbolla, they are clearly leaving Israel alone. It seems that no further conflict will be comming Israels way from Lebanon in the near future.

Freddy on December 30, 2008 at 3:42 AM

A conflict of that magnitude would have a massive carbon footprint!

Oh, and somebody might get hurt.

FloatingRock on December 30, 2008 at 3:34 AM

As long as it wipes out jihadi footprints, I’ll support measures to pay for all the carbon offsets it takes.

SuperCool on December 30, 2008 at 4:30 AM

lexhamfox on December 29, 2008 at 6:59 PM

What alternatives do you suggest?

kanda on December 30, 2008 at 6:30 AM

Never Fear another useful idiot reports for duty with Hamas….or trys to ha ha

The yacht carrying former US Congresscritter and Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney tried to outmaneuver an Israeli navy gunboat off Gaza Tuesday morning. The yacht rammed into the Israeli gunboat, which then turned it around and sent it back to Cyprus

kanda on December 30, 2008 at 7:23 AM

Let the ground war begin Hamas never learns. It’s time to pay for their stupidity.

kanda on December 30, 2008 at 7:34 AM

If they’ve hardly been dented, then use more bombs.

rbj on December 30, 2008 at 8:13 AM

After the takeout of the Syrian nuke site , i think Israel is fully back in the game.

the_nile on December 30, 2008 at 8:26 AM

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