Roy Tov — roytov.com July 25, 2014
The smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers—Joshua 8:20
On Friday, July 25, 2014, Netanyahu called for an emergency meeting of the National Security Cabinet. Israeli government meetings take place on Sunday; a meeting on Friday that will diffuse into the Jewish Shabbat is a clear sign of an emergency. The topic on the table is the ceasefire agreement proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Golani Command Wiped Out
A secondary issue in Operation Strong Cliff* is important for understanding the Israeli people position on the issue of ceasefire.
Golani is the best infantry brigade of the IDF. It was defeated by a Hamas regional battalion in the Battle of Shuja’iyya. I reviewed the battle in Hamas Battalion Held Ground against IDF Golani Brigade.
Golani was removed and replaced by reserve forces (Israel Transforms Tunnels into Gas Chambers).
The commander of the unit was wounded (Wounded Druze Colonel Runs to Gaza), three officers were killed, another ten soldiers were wounded.
Information on details of military operations is slow to reach civilian media. Today it was disclosed that Hamas also hit two battalion commanders, Shai Siman-Tov of Golani Battalion 12 and the commander of Golani Egoz; the name of the latter is classified.+.
In other words, with a much smaller force, Hamas wiped the command of an elite brigade of the IDF, forcing it to leave the battlefield. Israel took offence.
In recent days, Prime Minister Netanyahu became the most prominent pacifist in Israel. If it depended on the people, the experimental gas chamber disclosed yesterday by Israel would be enlarged to contain the entire Gaza Strip.
Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, who is the most leftwing member of Netanyahu’s government, published a reaction to the decision of the UN to investigate Israeli war crimes during the ongoing attack on Gaza. “I have two words of reaction to the decision of the UN Human Rights Council-Search me!…”
I translated the first row, which makes little sense in English. “Search me” is an idiom meaning “You will not find me. I reject your position. I will not speak with you.”
I skip detailed reactions of other ministers invited to the extraordinary government meeting. The main point is that all the ministers that spoke with the media oppose a ceasefire.
Naftali Bennett is the leader of the extremist The Jewish Home and a key member in the current government. He represents mainly West Bank settlers, and is demanding to intensify the attack on Gaza.
Netanyahu’s Likud party is asking to continue the attack.
Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ya’alon support a ceasefire only after the tunnels will be destroyed. Minister Peri, former head of the Shin Beth secret police, was invited as observer. He supports a ceasefire under very restrictive conditions.
Settler Channel 7 claims that a ceasefire now will be “a calamity for generations to come.”
SMS messages disclosing the private phone numbers of ministers are being sent by Israeli citizens including requests to bomb the addressees with requests to say “no” to the ceasefire.
In the Israeli reality, the opposing voices have a strong point. In 2012, Operation Pillar of Cloud was stopped unfinished, without achieving its main goals due to international pressure.
Israelis claim that if the current attack is stopped, a new one will be needed soon.
A strong sign that Israel is doing its best to sabotage a truce is that it has leaked to the media the proposal of US Secretary of State John Kerry.
According to Haaretz, the unofficial Voice of the Shin Beth secret police, the main points of the proposal are:
* A one-week truce starting on Sunday. The IDF will not leave Gaza and will continue the destruction of the tunnels. This is a strange definition for a truce, of the type that only Israelis and Americans can understand. Will Hamas be allowed to act against the Israeli attacks on the tunnels?
* Negotiations between Hamas and Israel will start with the arbitration of Egypt and the participation of the Palestinian Authority. Since Egypt is openly hostile towards Hamas, why should Hamas consider it a fair arbitrator?
* The USA, the UN Secretary General, and the EU will provide guarantees to both sides.
One must admire the tenacity and efforts of Kerry in recent months; yet, the USA’s absolute support of Israel had placed America in a position that its proposal cannot be accepted as fair.
In the fringes of the Hebrew media, a comment was published. Heavy in slang, it explained why Kerry may fail: “The heart-humming of most Israelis opposes a truce and wills to continue beating Hamas. The people demand a clear outcome. Not a separation like equals, not even if done in a dignified way, not even a victory by points. After thirty-two killed soldiers, after two days in which the Ben Gurion International Airport was partially closed, after thousands of missiles hitting Israel from the south to Haifa, after a crumbling tourism industry, and general ba’asa (Arabic, roughly “bad-feeling”), to end the operation now, without a good reason, as if nothing had happened, it is not an option.”
Israel started an attack on Gaza. It has transformed the tunnels assuring the economic survival of Gaza under an Israeli siege of years into gas chambers. Is Israel using Zyklon B? Why should Hamas stop its defensive actions while Israel continues to destroy Gaza? Is this another fine example of Western logic?
Operation Strong Cliff a.k.a. Protective Edge