Gaza: As Israel Hammers Hamas

Biblically, the Jewish state of Israel is a blessed land — rich in culture, rich in heritage, in geography and in human capital. Historically speaking the Jews are a proud people, intelligent set of people doing many exploits in many fields of human endeavour around the world. The Israeli-Arabic age-long conflicts could be blamed partly on the Holocaust.

Before that horrendous time in human history, pre-1947, humanity was concentrating more on other mundane preoccupations. Late Adolf Hitler and his failed ‘final solution to the Jewish question’ horribly ambitious project provoked the exodus of the Jews in search of a homeland after losing millions of their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts to the Hitlerite 1000-year Reich political madness.

Since Israel unleashed its “Operation Cast Lead” on December 27 against Hamas in Gaza, with a week-long aerial blitz, which was followed by a ground invasion, at least 1000 people have been killed and thousands wounded. With Hamas militants defiantly firing some more rockets and mortars into Israel, ending the war soon, despite diplomatic initiatives, seems a distant scenario.

There have lately been some outpourings of social solidarity in the form of organised protests from many capital cities in the world including Dakar in Senegal and Nairobi in Kenya. Yet the crucial question remained unanswered: Did Israel just wake up one day and started pounding Gaza aggressively? What really does Hamas want? Shedding the blood of the innocent Palestinians to score cheap diplomatic points? Or legitimacy?

Surrounded, border-wise, by hostile neighbouring countries whose extremist wings ceaselessly denounce ‘Zionism’ Israel is proudly exercising her natural rights of existence, one that no human force can ever obliterate. In whichever way this expression of right of nationhood is done stands to logic. Thank God the military elements are heavily in her favour!

Today we are still witnesses to wars without end. The Arabs have never pretended about their hatred of the Jewish guts and the Israelis know this as much. But for their military ingenuity and audacity, conquering dissuasive war machinery the Arabs would have since annihilated them. It is against this background that the on-going war in Gaza involving Israel and Hamas must be situated and understood objectively better.

When Israel hammers Hamas (as is currently the case) the Palestinian civilians are used as human shields by the terrorrist group and that should be blamed for the high casualty figures on the part of the agressors (Hamas militants) and poor Palestinian civilians.

Hamas gracelessly ‘overthrew’ the Mahmoud Abass-led moderate administration in 2007 in Gaza to the consternation of the world’s political audience. Till today the Hamas leadership are regarded widely as a band of terrorists with many sovereign states withholding official recognition.

The 6-month Egypt-brokered peace truce between Hamas and Israel expired some months back leading to the Hamas flexing of weak military muscles. The Syrian and Iranian overt connection in the Hamas armament must be frontally addressed with terror links broken for good. The US role so far in the conflict is commendable: Hamas must stop firing the rockets for Israel to consider pulling back its troops.

The Israeli army is professionally doing what is strategically needful: delivering an uncompromising message that the existence of the Jewish state and her people is non-negotiable. Abandoning her nationals to the ‘enemies’ who continued threatening their lives would have amounted to leadership irresponsibility. Hizbollah in Lebanon did it few years ago and they paid dearly for their folly, and now Hamas has chosen the bloody path and they are paying heavily for it.

The timing of “Operation Cast Lead” however is getting interested analysts a bit worried. With the US President George Bush having just a week left to stay in the White House heralding the Barak Obama inauguration and the Israeli general elections slated for next month of February it is questionable if political considerations were not the chief motivations for the launching of the war by Israel. Besides Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud opposition party is well ahead in the local polls towards the poll.

Whereas Hamas and the Arabs in general are fond of playing victim each time this kind of conflict erupts by showing off terrifying images of bloodied or killed children and the elderly to the outside world with the aim of drawing sympathy to their cause it is to be questioned why they are always the ones provoking Israel and wars.

While the sum-total objectives and targets of Israel are clear enough to the outside world — stopping the Hamas rocket and mortar attacks on her citizens — the main objectives of Hamas leaders and commanders are shrouded in mystery or at best confusing. Or do you seek to destroy something fundamentally and infinitely greater than you? Does that not constitute in itself a suicidal enterprise unworthy of matrydom?

Whilst the bellicose statements emanating from the Israeli leaders and Hamas leaders in exile or underground mount the sad truth remains that the Middle East has become a veritable headache, a constant distracting flash-point for the rest of the global community. A deep-rooted crisis that has thus far defied every solution thrown at at it ought to engage the full attention of stake-holders whose intolerant disposition makes a lasting peace deal imponderable to the average cynic. The renowned peace apostles like Yasser Arafat and Yitzak Rabin had died (with the latter suffering assassination) fighting for peace yet the concrete achievement of peace has remained as elusive as ever.

The final solution to the Palestino-Israeli conflict remains in the recognition of the state of Israel by the Palestinians in particular and Arab states in general. And the creation of the state of Palestine in due course. This will enable good neighbourliness and a sense of (statehood) belonging by both parties.

Ordinarily the Gaza war between Isreal and Hamas Islamic government could have been likened to the Biblical David vs Goliath battle that saw a small David, supernaturally re-inforced and empowered, taking on the giant of a man, the mundanely haughty Goliath. But in this case the reverse seems to be the case: whereas Hamas is substantially militarily a liliputian compared to the Israeli giant Tsahal arsenal the David in this conflict (Hamas) is one devoid of divine support, or one whose divine support is questionable, so Goliath, Israel, with an awesome military might at her disposal must triumph.

Long live Jerusalem, long live the Jews!! Down with Hamas!!! Down with those seeking the destruction of the God’s own people!!!

Written by
SOC Okenwa
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