SHAMBLES ON THE STRIP
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Not much to be thankful for in the Middle East, sadly. Like turkeys voting for Christmas the Israeli Government have let southern Israel in for further rocket bombardment from Gaza Strip, a lot less fun place than the Vegas Strip. Before the trolls start commenting, I know the Israelis don’t do Christmas and generally don’t do turkey either!
Bibi Netanyahu is a fine politician and the folk I know who have dealt with him generally speak highly. He is a major player, but he is no statesman, with respect. A statesman would have ignored the polls on committing ground troops and sent them in anyway. The short series of surgical air strikes have dealt Hamas a blow, but nothing like the knockout blow a ground assault would have done. Foreign Minister Liberman, with respect, has grasped this. He is definitely Prime Ministerial material.
All that has been agreed is a hudna. You can always get an Arab who is losing a fight to agree to a hudna. It’s an Arabic tradition, like smoking the hookah pipe. In this case the Arabs have blown a lot of smoke up the Israelis, hence the wild celebrations in Gaza when the ‘ceasefire’ was announced. The Egyptians, who are clearly in bed with Hamas, will not enforce any agreement about controlling the flow of weapons across the Egypt/Gaza frontier, itself an unhappy consequence of the ludicrous Camp David Accords. Gaza will remain an Iranian client state, with the Egyptians being towed along by the more powerful Iranians.
After a short break for presentational and resupply reasons the rocket attacks on Israel will resume. Only a ground offensive would have stopped them, assuming the Israelis didn’t repeat their previous mistake and withdraw from Gaza. There is absolutely no point expending blood and treasure in capturing territory from your enemy and then handing it back. Sadly Jerusalem keeps doing this, usually under State Department and White House pressure. I love the Israelis to bits – they are the Good Guys after all, as I keep saying. The trouble with them, however, is that they are far too nice, and far too soft on terrorists, with respect. In fairness they are only repeating the mistakes we made with the IRA and the gross errors of the fatuous Clinton Administration, whose weakness encouraged the DVD, Iraq and al Qaeda to attack America on 9-11.
Terrorism is a state-sponsored phenomenon. Germany is usually deep in the background, indiscriminate attacks on civilians being a peculiarly German method of waging war, as we saw in World Wars I & II and with the IRA. As I reveal in Spyhunter the Moslem Brotherhood was set up by a German agent, al-Banna, in the late 20’s. All Islamic terrorist organisations can trace their DNA to this German-sponsored outfit. Whatever she says in public Germany, like Hamas, is committed to the destruction of Israel. Have a look at the amounts controlled offshore by Hamas, the PLO and Hezbollah, boosted by offshore, German-controlled high yield trading. It is no surprise to find the Franco-German controlled EU showing sympathy to an Islamic terrorist organization like Hamas.
The same goes for the equally disgraceful UN, whose charter was largely drawn up by the German agent John Foster Dulles, and which once had a German war criminal for its Secretary-General. It would be rare to find a war criminal or terrorist organization these days which had not been helped, overtly or covertly, by the UN, whose abolition is long overdue.
This is one reason you don’t negotiate with terrorists. There is no point talking to the monkeys when you can talk to the organ-grinder. When it comes to grinding organs nobody does it better than the ‘Jerries.’
The second reason it is a mistake for a dignified, sovereign state like Israel to sit down with terrorists is that it is legitimizes Johnny Terrorist. He likes nothing more than being in the same room with the elected representatives of a sovereign state. The State of Israel is precisely that – a state. Its ethics and morality are way above those of the terrorist, as shown by the low collateral casualties in Gaza, the highest-profile of which were caused by Hamas themselves, or ‘more extreme’ groups controlled by them at arms’ length, for deniability reasons.
That’s the third reason. You never know with whom you are negotiating. Was Israel negotiating with Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Terrorist organizations are like a Lernaean Hydra – cut off one head and two grow back. The ceasefire won’t be broken by Hamas under its own name, but by an offshoot, with a green light from what’s left of Hamas’s HQ after that very well-targeted air strike.
The fourth reason is that it’s pointless. Terrorists are not men of honor (you don’t get many women terrorists in the Middle East, except low down the food chain, as suicide bombers). Like Chancellor Hitler and the German Government at Munich there’s not a lot of point reaching an agreement, doing a Neville Chamberlain or a Hillary Clinton and waving a piece of paper. The ‘ceasefire agreement’ isn’t worth the press releases pushed out by Cairo.
Hopefully Bibi’s nerve will hold next time, with respect, and we’ll see the ground troops going in. I agree with Gordon by the way – their best quality armor seems to have stayed up near the Golan and it’s far from clear how serious the plan for a ground assault was. It was a tragedy for Israel that the planned electoral reforms were stalled. Israel has never enjoyed stable government, thanks to the idiotic proportional representation system, an idiocy by no means confined to Israel (we use it in Britain for less important elections). Sadly, there are more religious crackpots in the Knesset than there are in the General Synod of the Church of England – no offense intended. The result has been a succession of weak governments. Weakness just invites your enemies to attack you.
Having allies like Obama, Hillary Clinton and William Hague is not much help either. It might be an idea if before the next mini-war the phone lines between Jerusalem, London and Washington could be ‘blown down in a storm.’ They could blame it on ‘global warming.’ One answer would be to have a serious, i.e. Conservative, government in London, which could actually stand by Israel and not just offer dodgy advice and criticism. More critics Israel doesn’t need (apologies guys if this article is overly critical!). A few RAF squadrons on Cyprus and a couple of Royal Navy Daring class destroyers off Gaza lobbing in the odd shell would be far more use. I know the Foreign Office would disappear up its own exhaust pipe in a huff, but we’ve been trying to find a way of upsetting the Foreign Office for years. Knocking over a few Hamas terrorists seem as good a way as any.
If we do decide to support Israel (meaningfully that is, i.e. in combat, as in ’56, when we jointly gave Johnny ‘Jippo’ six of the best) we shall do extremely well if we even get close to the accuracy of their targeting. Operation Pillar of Defense has been an object lesson in professionalism. I respectfully congratulate the IDF on achieving such a high percentage of its initial military objectives with such a low ratio of collateral casualties. Outstanding work, boys and girls.
Sorry to disappoint the trolls, but there is a glitch on the site and I cannot at the moment upload comments. At least there shouldn’t be any complaints about not putting the date the American way!
Thanksgiving Day 2012.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence, and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.