QUOTE OF THE WEEK
DECEMBER 29, 2008 – “Israel will need to balance a desire to disable Hamas with an awareness that an often hostile world media will be printing images of people killed in the attacks to use against it.
It is an indication of the ruthlessness of Hamas that those who fire missiles at Israel deliberately operate from within dense civilian housing in the knowledge that any reprisals will cause civilian casualties which can be used in propaganda against Israel. Hamas’s response to the air strikes is already in motion. It quickly resumed the missile attacks, launching 110 which killed a single Israeli in Netivot. The group’s Damascus-based leader, Khaled Meshal, called for a third Palestinian uprising, similar to those in 1987 and 2000.
Another loser will be Mahmoud Abbas, the comparatively moderate president of Palestine, still clinging to power in the West Bank after Hamas drove his Fatah organisation out of Gaza by force. Since armed conflict polarises emotions, it is likely that Palestinians will rally around Hamas.
That will be unfortunate for the Palestinians since the Hamas regime in Gaza is a vicious little tyranny which brutally suppresses journalists and anyone who protests against the politicisation of sermons in mosques. It cares so little for the residents of Gaza that it has continued to fire rockets at the price of an Israeli blockade on urgently-needed supplies, and now won’t even let the injured get medical treatment in Egypt.
Since Hamas is pathologically anti-Semitic, rather than anti- Israel, and dedicated to creating an Islamist state in Gaza, there are no prospects of it entering into a lasting peace settlement with Israel. Negotiating with it is as impossible as us seeking to reason with Al Qaeda.
In coming weeks some sort of uneasy ceasefire will be patched up, enabling Hamas to regroup. The single largest impediment to a durable Arab-Israeli peace settlement will live to fight another day.
Israel can expect more of those rockets – and so can more little Palestinian girls when they go astray.”
-Michael Burleigh, The Daily Mail (UK)