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Thread: Gaza, Israel & Rockets (merged thread)

  1. #21
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    Let me add my 2 cents.

    Palestinians are appealing to Arab/Muslim public opinion, not American public opinion. No matter how powerful the US is today, it won't be always around the Middle-east. It has to leave one day.

    The Muslim World isn't going anywhere.

    I live in Nigeria, far away from Israel. The 80 million strong Muslim community in Nigeria is passionate about Palestinians - can US/Israel keep up the cycle of Apache helicopter attacks over the next generation?

    How many more years can Israel be at "perpetual war" with it's neighbours? 50, 100? At some point Israelis will tire & their Arab Muslim neighbours aren't going anywhere.

    Israel needs peace more than the Palestinians do. It is that simple.
    What you say is true but to me the human cost is so very high. Yes, the US one day will no longer mindlessly back Israel and then Israel will have a perhaps insoluble problem.

    But in the meantime it is the Palestinians who are suffering. They may get a lot of lip service and 'keep up the good work"s from Muslims all over the world but they don't get much else that helps them get more than 2297 calories a day. Feeling good about having the Muslim world think you are plucky fellows doesn't put food in the kid's mouth and won't for a very, very long time.

    So if they want to be used by other Muslims who don't have to face Israel as sort of a favorite team to root for that will lead to a tremendous amount of human suffering over several generations. More than we may be able to imagine because if Israel is faced with destruction the nukes will fly and the 5 or 6 Palestinians who are left may not get much satisfaction from knowing that they won.

    All this can be alleviated by playing to American public opinion which if changed, can actually get something done in the near term and would also avoid much suffering and death.

    Like I said, the Palestinians are strategically the dumbest people in the world followed closely by the Israelis. The Palestinians are because they allow themselves to be used by other Muslims and the Israelis for not seeing that they are economically and militarily an American colony and that ain't a good thing to be.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  2. #22
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    Carl,

    I'm not sure this is "politically correct" to say, but I don't think Islam has a tradition of peaceful resistance so I don't expect Palestinians to reflect that - let's get that clear straight away.

    This crisis started in the 1940's - that's 70 years, could easily go on for another 70 - after all, how many times did Europeans kill each other between Napoleon & World War 1?

  3. #23
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    Carl,

    I'm not sure this is "politically correct" to say, but I don't think Islam has a tradition of peaceful resistance so I don't expect Palestinians to reflect that - let's get that clear straight away.

    This crisis started in the 1940's - that's 70 years, could easily go on for another 70 - after all, how many times did Europeans kill each other between Napoleon & World War 1?
    To hell with PC! Say what you feel to be true. Nobody can ask anymore of you than that.

    Your comment is interesting. I never looked at that way though it may be obvious. I always thought it was because the Palestinians didn't want to give up the idea of a mostly male dominated society, which they would have to do if they were to go non-violent with women and children in the lead.

    So sad, because they could get most of what they wanted if they only played to the critical audience.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  4. #24
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    So sad, because they could get most of what they wanted if they only played to the critical audience.
    If the Palestinians had come up with a Gandhi instead of an Arafat, they'd have had most of what they wanted a long time ago. It's probably true that they are playing to Muslim audiences rather than the West, but the West has some degree of leverage over Israel, and the Muslim world doesn't.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  5. #25
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    As I said before I had no time to follow this tragic, bloody conflict, however I have taken a look at a 'novelty' - the attack tunnels of Hamas.*

    Increasingly physically isolated by Israel and Egypt the laws of the market gave huge incentives for smuggling. With the sea and the land borders watched ever more closely tunnels to Egypt became it's main mean. Besides civilian goods weapons traveled also underground. While Israel and to a lesser degree Egypt tried to curb this route the strong incentives kept the tunneling going. This competitive environoment and possible remote knowledge caused an increasing degree of tunnel sophistication.

    Recently the tunnel skill acquired and supported by no small ressources has been used by Hamas in completely different direction: To attack Isreali territory.

    'Uncovering Gazan tunnel routes is critical, says prominent geologist and defense expert' reveals that some in Israel have been long aware of that potential threat.

    For 10 years I’ve been crying and screaming to the highest possible levels – to the Defense Ministry, the chief of staff, the commanding officers of southern and northern command – that although the tunnels are a low-tech option, they might be a strategic threat to our security,” Langotsky told the Post.

    Langotsky said he continually “bombarded” defense officials with warnings, but little effort was made to correct this strategic liability for many years. He also criticized the officials for failing to involve the Geophysical Institute of Israel in researching the tunnels problem.

    The defense system began heeding his advice about two or three years ago, Langotsky explained.

    “This is a change and a very good one, but unfortunately seven years were lost,” he said.

    Many tunnels have already reached Israeli land, and systems that could have been deployed to detect the digging of tunnels into Israel are no longer helpful.

    “It’s like closing the gates of the stable after the horses were stolen,” he said.
    Of course the military ressources of Israel, even if quite large, are limited and every decision comes with opportunity costs. However now it is no longer so easy to efficiently detect those 'hundreds' of existing tunnels for two main reasons:

    a) There is no longer a 'clean' or tunnel-free state of which to create benchmark survey by various geophysical methods. In this case natural caves would have been mapped as - well - natural caves. Regular checks would have been a relative efficient way to show likely man-made changes.

    b) The creation of the tunnels causes the emission of various signals, with a chain/network of for example seismic sensors which should also have a realtive good chance to detect work in progress.

    A finished tunnel is far harder to detect, but there is of course little tactical choice in that regard for Israel. Overall the topic is not relevant to most borders and conflicts, but it is quite interesting.



    *Military history shows that military tunneling is ancient and quite widespread.
    Last edited by Firn; 07-22-2014 at 09:25 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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  6. #26
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Firn,

    Your post reminded me that North Korea (DPRK) at various times has been found to have dug tunnels across the DMZ with South Korea (ROK). A border which one would expect a lot attention to detecting the activity.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-22-2014 at 10:28 PM.
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  7. #27
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    I don't follow the Israeli press, nor do I know theditorial stance of Haaretz, but this opinion piece is pretty savage, especially over the wilful blindness of the drone camera operators when watching life in Gaza and their acute eyesight when a group of Hamas fighters in IDF uniform emerge from a tunnel.
    Draw your own conclusions:http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.606645

    The author Amira Hass is:
    ...the Haaretz correspondent for the Occupied Territories
    Her very short bio is on:http://www.haaretz.com/misc/writers/amira-hass-1.278
    davidbfpo

  8. #28
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    It is a Greek tragedy. Both sides have lost many opportunities to compromise and will lose more in the days to come. When those in power in Israel clearly want to keep all or most of the occupied territories (building new settlements is hardly a signal they are leaving) and avoid every opportunity to make a deal, they are not laying the groundwork for durable peace. When those in power in Gaza seem to believe ALL Jewish presence in Palestine is to be "reversed" ("Palestine will be free; from the river to sea"), they are not laying such a groundwork either.
    If Likudniks think Palestinians are incorrigible terrorists and barbarians who can never be trusted, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If Hamas (and even more so, their millions of outside cheerleaders with nothing to lose) say the Israelis are worse than Nazis and are committing history's greatest genocide, then what sane Israeli would consider them a negotiating partner that wants to make peace? Its a lose-lose situation. Sad.
    This is not a moral judgement. I am not making any claim about "both parties" being equally guilty (or unequally guilty). But here we are, with millions of Israelis and Palestinians, and not enough middle ground. Whatever the moral standing of either group, the facts on the ground are that Israel is the stronger power, but appears unwilling to trade that stronger position to get a deal the other party can also live with...Likud's minimum demands seem more than the Palestinians can reasonably concede. Meanwhile, Hamas are the weaker power, but (perhaps misled by periodic outbursts of vocal support from hundreds of millions of distant people with "no skin in the game"; or perhaps just mis-led) their strategy makes no sense to anyone who wants a reasonable peace. OK, maybe it makes some remote sense if one accepts that another 30-40 years of suffering and dying is perfectly worthwhile if the ultimate payoff is "no Israel" AND if one believes that eventually Israel can be worn down to where its friends will abandon it, its best minds will emigrate and the remaining "middle-eastern" level country will eventually be unable to sustain itself amidst a hostile Arab nation....this is not inconceivable, but I dont think it is as likely as many of my friends seem to think. ...and if this is NOT likely, then the strategy of endless confrontation is mindless and self-defeating (though it is undoubtedly attractive to faraway supporters who want heroes to admire, not compromisers).
    It is probably not going to end well, no matter what. Too many factors work against a good outcome. Israel is currently so much stronger that it is hard to imagine human beings resisting the impulse to "crush enemies" when said enemies seem so much weaker. Some Palestinians may have been beaten into a more "reasonable" position but there are just enough fanatics and just enough "leaders" around to pursue dreams of the "mother of all battles" and other Arab fantasies...and to provide Israel with the excuses it needs to avoid peace...and last (and probably the least), the enchantment of wide public support in the Muslim world (and in the third world in general) also doesnt help....
    It is hard to imagine human beings left to their default settings doing much better in such circumstances. Very exceptional leadership would be needed, and is not always around.
    Its not going to end well.

  9. #29
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Omar:

    A thought occurred to me as I was reading your well written piece above. I wonder how much of Israeli pigheadedness is because way in the back of their minds, they know they have a place to go if everything goes bad in Israel-the United States. If and when things fall apart there, given American culture and politics as it is now, every Israeli would have a refuge. Six million or more visas would be issued and every Israeli could sail away to Amerikay and never look east again. So given that and current levels of unquestioned military and political support, there is no immediate reason for compromise. There is nothing right or wrong about this, it is just the way it is...now.

    But that assumes that the Americans will stay as true 50 years from now as they are now. That is not a wise assumption to make. Things change and if Israeli grand strategy depends upon certitude concerning the US they could end up all alone way out upon a skinny limb.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  10. #30
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Firn,

    Your post reminded me that North Korea (DPRK) at various times has been found to have dug tunnels across the DMZ with South Korea (ROK). A border which one would expect a lot attention to detecting the activity.
    Hamas seen in isolation is of course disavantaged in important ways compared to DPRK famous tunneling years:

    a) Far less economic ressources then the isolated and poor state DPRK
    b) A considerable shorter border less then a quarter of DMZ length
    c) The technology gap is far bigger

    I have of course no idea about the geology, possibly the Korean hilly topography and vegation also made it easier to hid tunnel entrances and exits. The relative poplation sizes is also against Hamas. However Israel as a lot of other borders and areas to watch.

    I forgort to add Hamas 'strategic' element of kidnapping a civilian or soldiers. Oddly enough the DPRK also used kidnapping even if for arguably slightly different purposes.
    Last edited by Firn; 07-23-2014 at 08:15 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  11. #31
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    When those in power in Israel clearly want to keep all or most of the occupied territories (building new settlements is hardly a signal they are leaving) and avoid every opportunity to make a deal, they are not laying the groundwork for durable peace.
    I'm sorry, but did the Israelis not forcibly remove every one of their citizens from Gaza about 4-5 years ago? They sent in the military to drag out every Israeli settler left there who refused to leave.

    I would count that as a "signal they are leaving"
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    They left Gaza, but I was thinking about the West Bank. Intentions there certainly seem different. The Palestinians still tend to see this as one problem, not separate issues. (of course, they never let Gaza go free either...without getting into the reasons and whose fault that is, access in and out of Gaza has remained tightly controlled)

  13. #33
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    So far who is winning;Israel or Hammas?

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    It is actually interesting to see how over the last years Iran and Hezbollah contributed to the fighting effectiveness of Hamas in Gaza---32 Israeli IDF killed and only an estimated 200 of which Hamas claims only 70 were fighters and the IDF estimates Hamas strength at 20,000.

    Interesting also is the fortified underground and interconnecting tunnel systems remind me of Far Eastern battle tactics ie the North Vietnamese Army tatics of fortified villages.

    There was a former Marine officer--Poole who wrote a number of books on the Far Eastern battle tactics being used in the ME by both the Sunni and Shia.

    http://news.yahoo.com/hamas-tactics-...173119328.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-24-2014 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Copied from the Iraq thread and one sentence edited out

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    I added a pulp fiction reference and turned my comment into a blog post

    Palestine and Israel.. no end in sight
    http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201...-has.html#more

  16. #36
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Gaza's tunnels

    An Al-Jazeera article, with multiple links:http://america.aljazeera.com/article...gn=SitRep_0724
    davidbfpo

  17. #37
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Tunnels were a'coming

    An IDF map of some of the tunnels; ignore the measurements - which as Rex Brynen on Twitter points out are hopelessly wrong:

    From:http://s1252.photobucket.com/user/TI...nter1.png.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-25-2014 at 02:37 PM.
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  18. #38
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Asymmetric warfare: change where you want to fight

    A short, good article in The Weekly Standard; it refers to the North Koreans and reminds us only four of the twenty-one suspected tunnels under the DMZ were found (Cites SWC member David Maxwell too):http://www.weeklystandard.com/articl...html?nopager=1

    It ends with:
    For decades Israel’s traditional military doctrine has been to fight its enemies on the other side of the wire. However, its enemies’ new North Korean-inspired doctrine is to go under the wire. If Israel doesn’t deal with first Hamas’s tunnels and then Hezbollah’s, the next war it faces may well be inside Israel itself.
    davidbfpo

  19. #39
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default We are losing legitimacy and the room to operate is no longer great...

    Awhile ago there was a thread on an Israeli documentary, The Gatekeepers, which interviewed a number of Mossad / Shin Beth directors. Posts about the film are on the Israel COIN & CT thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=4661

    Today Der Spiegel has an interview with one of them:
    Yuval Diskin was the director of Israel's internal security service Shin Bet between 2005 and 2011. In recent years, he has become an outspoken critic of the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    Link:http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-a-982094.html

    Hard assessments made, e.g.:
    Israel is now an instrument in the hands of Hamas, not the opposite. Hamas doesn't care if its population suffers under the attacks or not, because the population is suffering anyway. Hamas doesn't really care about their own casualties either. They want to achieve something that will change the situation in Gaza. This is a really complicated situation for Israel.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-25-2014 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Add film name and link
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  20. #40
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    A short quote from that article.

    Israeli officials have expressed amazement at the extent of the tunnel network. “Food, accommodations, storage, resupply,” one astonished official told reporters last week. “Beneath Gaza,” he explained, there’s “another terror city.” That is, Hamas’s tunnel network is evidence of a military doctrine, both a countermeasure to Israel’s clear air superiority and an offensive capability that threatens to take ground combat inside Israel itself, targeting villages, cities, and civilians as well as soldiers. Israel perhaps should not have been surprised to discover the size and seriousness of Hamas’s tunnel network because they’ve seen something similar before, in the aftermath of the 2006 war with Hezbollah. And indeed it was Iran’s long arm in Lebanon that helped build Hamas’s tunnels.
    Before WWII the 'bomb tonnage' required to kill a city dweller considerably was underestimated by a considerable factor, partly due to effectivness of pre-warning and bomb shelters. Vastly increased and superior firepower has in the last hundred years forced those at the receiving end often underground, from the especially deep German underground shelters on the Western Front to the Austrian Ice City under the Marmolada.

    Another strange link to the past are the entries of those tunnels. Under intense Israeli observation they seem to start mostly under populated areas in buildings. The entries of the classic WWII tunnels of allied POW were also usually hidden in that way. In both cases the disposal of the earth poses problems.

    All in all for the Israelis close distances between (large) Gaza and Israeli settlements might be areas where the detection of the tunnels has the highest priority. And indeed the IDF map shows possibly the most fitting one along the border.
    Last edited by Firn; 07-25-2014 at 05:23 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

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