From the desk of Dr Ron Weiser .

Even at this point it is possible to assess that this time a number of things have been different to what some people expected and to what happened in the past.

Of course some things have not changed at all, such as Hamas’ determination to attempt to terrorise and destroy all of Israel whether inside or outside the Green Line; and its continuing desire to maximise Palestinian suffering and casualties for public relations benefit.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu said:

“Here’s the difference between us. We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu demonstrated what his critics have never been able to see, that rather than being an aggressive leader looking for a chance to retake Gaza or to harm Palestinians, he is as he has always been, a cautious leader very uneager to take large scale military action.

In November 2012 (Pillar of Defense) despite calling up reserves, PM Netanyahu did not send troops into Gaza unlike in Dec 2008 (Cast Lead) when Israel was led by the so called “dovish” Ehud Olmert.

The first major change this time was the ability of Hamas to launch so many rockets and with such a range so that virtually all of Israel was under attack.

 

In the first 10 days, Israel responded largely with aerial attacks and make no mistake, these attacks, as in the past, were preceded by warnings no other army on earth has hereto employed to attempt to avoid civilian casualties on the other side.

Netanyahu was aided in this of course by the really miraculous success of Iron Dome the second major change.

Iron Dome, paid for by the United States under the financial initiative of President Obama and an Israeli invention, has achieved many things including:

– the outright saving of life, of many many lives

– the strengthening of the belief that Israel can protect her citizens, with the consequent uplift in morale

– enabling Netanyahu the “luxury” of patience and caution.

Iron Dome could also have avoided the necessity for the ground incursion had Hamas agreed to a cease-fire.

It is clear now that Hamas wanted to bring Israel into Gaza itself. This was done by not accepting the Egyptian cease fire which Israel did and with Hamas’ gross violation of the 2 humanitarian truces requested by Hamas itself.

Hamas was prepared for this ground operation and perhaps surprised Israel with its ability to continue to not only fire rockets, but to infiltrate Israel repeatedly via the incredibly extensive and sophisticated tunnel system.

A tunnel system largely built with Israeli and aid organization supplied concrete and materials that should have been used for the welfare of the Palestinians in Gaza.

A tunnel system that seems to have been gearing up for a multi pronged mega terror attack not too far down the track.

Another big change of course is the leadership in Egypt which is openly hostile to Hamas and has no interest in seeing Hamas survive with its operational abilities intact.

But it is not only Egypt.

The Arab League, the Palestinian Authority, individual Arab countries, the European Union, the United States and all western governments generally placed the blame squarely on Hamas and at least until the ground incursion, mostly praised Israel.

Of course yet another big change was the unity that initially appeared at the time of the kidnapping of those 3 poor boys Naftali (16 years old), Gilad (16) and Eyal (19) the cry that was heard all over Israel that there was “no difference between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”

The symbolism of these 2 cities is generally used to describe the divisions within Israeli society, not the unity,so it’s a powerful statement.

There was great unity of feeling over that atrocity – whether they wore kippot or not and whether they were kidnapped and murdered over the Green Line or not.

And this has continued in terms of the current war.

Unity is one of a democracy’s greatest strategic assets

There is unity within Israel that this is a necessary war. That the sacrifices are necessary to avoid even great sacrifices in the future, that this is a moral war and that Israel is behaving – even with all of the ugly pictures –with maximum restraint and yes, with maximum respect for human life – no matter how willing Hamas is to sacrifice Gazans.

The Hamas leadership expressed its frustration when asking:

“where is the Goldstone Report this time?????”.

This time extremist Jewish groups in Israel are not yet crying out for international pressure on Israel and this time Jewish funded Israeli Arab advocacy organisations are almost silent as well. For how long is the question.

This time groups like J-Street and others have been completely sidelined and exposed by Hamas for the unrealistic views they hold.

It is no longer pc for such groups to undermine Israel’s actions.

And this is a direct result of the unity of Israelis and of the way in which PM Netanyahu has managed the situation, possibly the best job he has done from virtually all aspects,in his entire career.

Notwithstanding all of the above, as the civilian death toll mounts, world pressure on Israel increases.

However it is clear that ultimately it will be Hamas who will determine when a cease fire will occur.

As I said previously, Hamas seems to have wanted to lure Israel into Gaza, the question is at what point in time will Hamas feel that the damage and suffering it has brought upon Gazans will be worth the price or be able to spin that it was?

Ridiculous and one sided resolutions such as that of the UNHRC last night is an example of precisely what Hamas is waiting for in the public relations arena.

It is to be hoped that this time some well meaning but naïve Jewish groups do not play into Hamas’ hand and join the Israel bashing brigade on the premise of humanitarian concerns.

Those really concerned for the lives of the Palestinians in Gaza, rather than looking for yet another excuse to attack Israel, need to place the blame where it belongs.

Hamas is directly and deliberately responsible for the civilian deaths – rarely have events been so blindingly clear.

Hamas does not want a truce as yet because it is hoping for world pressure on Israel, because it is hoping that the West Bank will ignite if they can continue the war and because they are still hoping to succeed with an event large enough to depress and demoralise.

In these time more than ever our thoughts and prayers are with those risking their lives on behalf of Jewish survival.

Israeli journalist David Horovitz put it into perspective when he wrote:

Often, at times of conflict, Israel is preoccupied with how “the world” is reporting and understanding events. We are bitter that we are misrepresented— that the international community doesn’t realise we are defending ourselves against aggressors (rather than being the aggressors).

We’re frustrated about all that now too, but it’s not our preoccupation. For we find ourselves at war with an Islamic extremist group utterly committed to killing us, at whatever cost, delighting in the evil it wreaks upon us, indifferent to the devastation it brings down upon.

But far too much of Hamas’s capacity to do us harm remains intact. And it is relentlessly seeking to do us murderous harm. So what preoccupies us right now is one simple, essential imperative: to prevail.”

Shabbat shalom

Dr Ron Weiser AM

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6 comments

  1. There is no doubt to all impartial observers that Israel has the moral high ground and does her utmost to avoid civilian casaulties. However, most people in the Western world aren’t impartial, but have preconceived ideas about Israel and Jews being greedy, rapacious and aggressive, either as a result of Islamic propaganda or because of their inherent anti-Semitism.

    But I agree that Netanyahu has shown real leadership and that Israelis are united as never before. They should continue to ignore world opinion, and do what is right in order to defend their people against a genocidal enemy.

    As for Ron Weiser’s hope that ” well meaning but naïve Jewish groups do not play into Hamas’ hand and join the Israel bashing brigade on the premise of humanitarian concerns”, I also share that hope, but am not too optimistic..

  2. By the way, I might add that Jewish groups who side with our enemies are niether well meaning or naive, but self-serving egotists who care nothing for human rights; they are simply intent on gaining the affirmation of their Marxist and Islamist buddies.

    • Your sentiments are closer to the mark than I ever thought possible. Just this last week I have struck upon groupings of apologising Jewish people, as to shake by head in disbelief…so much so, as to now being very cautious/careful as to what I venture forth with, or volunteer. I find myself a little lost at the prospect of telling someone of Jewish extraction why they should support Israel and their fellow Jews, and in one situation…. his country men.

      • Do not have any hesitation at all it comes to the ‘enemy within’. They are scum, traitors and any other name you want to give them.
        Just because you aren’t Jewsih makes no difference. I have many non-Jewish friends who show these morons what it means to defend Israel and Jews.

  3. Otto Waldmann

    It must be established that Jewish ancestry does not preclude from degrees of deviation from what is generally regarded as “Jewish Identity”. Within our fold there can be detected a serious variety of attitudes particularly on matters political, ethical or in the sphere of the “spiritual”. Some of the ideas expressed are so centrifugal from the “core” known Judaic tenets that they no longer resemble anything belonging to the “origins”. Yet we still call them “one of us”. I must stress that those who march against what is accepted as our norms and our existential imperatives are “normal” people NO LONGER JEWISH. The notion of “self hating” is as false as the idea that someone is “happy” being against his own nature as seen by OTHERS. The shlemil marching alongside signs calling for the destruction of anything Jewish does not hate herself or himself, that moron hates Jews or Israel and the causes of this phenomenon are complex and, to be honest, do NOT concern the one who must deal with the practical issues at hand, i.e. the very existence of Eretz Zion Yerushalaim. Do we really have the time ( and the inclination ) to go into the “analysis” of some Porzsolt irritant or Slezak lost soul !!?? Our majors problems are with the much greater contingent of local anti Zionists and their collective fellow travelers, the same one blocking the traffic on our CBD.
    The other problem we have is the current Jewish communal leadership of which the author of the present article has been and still is a major figure.
    With due respect for Ron’s unquestioned passion and dedication to Zionism, the stuff he is offering here is of no measure or consequence considering who he is. ALL the data and even opinion expressed here is incredibly well known to all of us. There is nothing in it that makes him any different to ANY well informed and well intended Jew. He is HOWEVER, expected to be more, to lead, to inspire HIS lot to things which would make a difference to the current general picture of Israel’s perception and treatement in the outside world. Yet we do no see anything that would engage the ones anxious to express their views with a greater degree of public impact. If the pro-palestinian segment is taking on to the streets and manages to capture the attention and the media outlets to the extent of causing the Zionist anxiety and revolt, expressing disagrement on any website which would allow resentment of this kind WITHOUT matching and bettering the public expression, then we have no logical argument to argue that our society is unfair, that the ones who hate us do what they are ALLOWED to do.
    A pathetic letter in the AJN by some Mark Chester bloke tries to argue that demonstrations presenting our views in the same manner as our opponents are conterproductive. I can assume that in this instance Dr. Ron’s attitude, or lack of it, argues for the same cause of dolce far niente, or doing bugger all publicly.Of all people I would have expected me mate Ron to be the ONE who could conceive the RIGHT stuff to say publicly without fear of reprisal, without fear of NOT delivering the complete and most persuasive message. Yet all I have seen has been that lamentable 55 minute totally formal and expedient gig at the Central. After 5 minutes of telling the already informed and convinced the right stuff off we went for a strudel and latte at Gelato Bar or Cosmopolitan or just back home. Any media present ?? Nope !! any mention in the evening news of anything ?Nope !! Anybody outside our strict communal fold mentioning that the Yids have some leaders who have something to say ?? Nope !! And who is responsible for this incredible “impact” ?? Sorry mate, but as the LIFE ( no less ) Presidency of Zionism in Aussie is responsible to a major degree for that. Mind you this also implies that I for one would NEVER expect the other groisse machers delivering 3-4 minute favnatstic speeches at the same Central the same “occasion” to deliver ANYTHING AT ALL !!!
    Thus, we remain the losers in the whole game, mind you comfy losers, but incredibly good at writing blog stuff…….
    Now, do I expect ANYBODY at the communal top echelon, including Ron, to reply to mine comments ?? The same gurnisht applies, they would not have the guts or the brains to do it and THAT makes me feel SOOOOO comfy !!!!

  4. How right you are Otto. You know that’s why I get so worked up.
    Not one person in a leadership position has the guts to stand up and say it as it is.