Sunday, December 16, 2007

200,000 Dead Terrorists

Photo: Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the AP photo above of 200,000 Gazans at a rally to mark Hamas's 20th anniversary was "why the hell didn't we bomb that rally?!?". That's just a gut reaction. Doing such a thing would have terrible consequences. While thousands of dead Hamasniks is never a bad thing in and of itself, it would bring about a new intifada and a bombardment of international condemnations for attacking a civilian rally (though, in reality, it's a terrorist rally).

This little fantasy of mine about 200,000 dead terrorists in Gaza brings me to something less fantastical and closer to reality. It seems we are preparing for a big military operation in Gaza, to be carried out in case anyone in Sderot or the nearby area gets killed by Kassam rockets. The reason for such an operation? You would expect the goal to be stopping the Kassams, or at least drastically reducing their numbers, but that isn't it. The army isn't sure going into Gaza would actually be very effective in stopping the rockets from firing at Israeli towns in the Western Negev. The real goal is to raise Israeli public morale. Minister of Defense Ehud Barak wants citizens to feel that something is being done.

If the Gaza incursion won't be effective, it should not take place. Why risk the lives of our soldiers and of Palestinian civilians if the number of Kassam rockets hitting our people will be the same before, during and after the operation?

The job of the government and the army is not to create a false sense of security. Their duty is to create a reality of security. If the latter is impossible, they should not turn their attention to the former.

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