Monday, January 5, 2009

Praying for the Success of Israel's Military Operation

[This was written by my cousin Arnold Schlissel shortly before visiting his second grandchild for the first time. His daughter Karen gave birth three days after the school where she teaches was hit by a Grad rocket manufactured in China.--Alan Stein]

When Hamas  was elected some of us thought that it might turn it's attention to managing the Gaza Strip, and make efforts to deal with unemployment, extraordinary lack of infrastructure, health services, etc.

A few days ago I thought to myself that the objective of the current military operation should not only be a end Hama's firing of missiles into Israel, but to create a situation where a real dialog on a long term modus vivendi might begin. Over the weekend I read an article in the Hebrew press which changed my outlook entirely.

My view at this time is that as far as Hamas (and Iran) are concerned the (only) role of the Gaza Strip is to serve as the spearhead for on-going military efforts to destroy Israel. Neither Hamas (or Iran) has any interest at all in the welfare of the population of Gaza, with the exception of using normal societal institutions (houses of prayer, hospitals, schools and universities) as cover for its military activities. And of course its civilian casualties in its propoganda war. I'm not talking about the willingness to have the civilian population "make sacrifices" in the miliary confrontation, but a total and absolute lack of interest in its fate.

The article that caused me to adopt this view described the Hamas preparations for military encounter. Even with the understanding that all the weapons and munitions were provided by Iran gratis, free of charge, the enormous investment in infrastructure that Hamas made is an indication of its intent. Many socieities have underground infrastructure and facilities - Toronto has its underground malls, NYC its subways, etc. etc. But when a society has the pressing human needs that Gaza has, and so much effort is made in digging underground tunnels (throughout the Gaza Strip and not only the smuggling tunnels along what we call the Philedelphia road - the Gaza side of its southern border with Egypt) it is an indication of e its priorities and intent. (The article also described other investments in technology and training.)

So as far as I'm concerned, the Gaza Strip is nothing more than a Hamas military base with civilians and societal institutions as assets.  The bitter irony is that the democratic world is concerned about its citizens, when its elected government could care less.

We are all praying for the success of Israel's military operations.

No comments: