Suppose we take this idea seriously, and suppose the media are taking this idea seriously. Why then can I not find a single mention anywhere of the Israeli death toll from these 300 rockets? Even if not a single Israeli died in those attacks, that would not excuse the attacks. But if the airstrikes are indeed a response, then there is a question of the proportionality of that response, and before that question can be addressed, we need some numbers.
I see that Hamas responded to the raids with dozens of rockets, killing one Israeli and wounding others (at least six) -- but that's it. No other Israeli casualties are mentioned. Have there been no other Israeli casualties, before the Israeli airstrikes? I would imagine so. So could we have a tally, please? I would like to be able to compare the figures: at least 230 Palestinian dead and 780 wounded, according to Haaretz (higher figures than the 225 / 400+ figures in the news over here), versus how many Israeli dead and wounded? (This site does not quite provide the right numbers, but could guide estimates.)
But this is a very silly line of inquiry, because the idea that this is a response to the rocket attacks is silly. It is not just false, it's not even trying to be true. For a clear hint at this in a major English-speaking media outlet, it looks like we have to go to the BBC:
So why is Israel acting now and with such force? Does it really believe it can stop the rocket fire from Gaza when previous Israeli governments have tried and failed, using every military means? Israel's prime minister says that is his objective: to protect Israeli citizens living close to the Gaza border. To achieve this, his defence minister, Ehud Barak, said Israel would continue, widen and intensify its Gaza operation.(Netanyahu has some great talent there: causing military misadventures without even being in power.)
But Israel's politicians are pursuing a parallel campaign, too - an electoral one. Israel holds parliamentary elections in just over a month's time. The Israeli public has a generally low opinion about how their government has handled what they call "Hamastan" - Hamas-controlled Gaza. Until it started talking tough, the hawkish opposition leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, was leading in the polls. Now the gap has narrowed.
This is a scandalous idea -- perhaps it's not a focus of the American coverage because it's just so unthinkable in this country that military actions could be politically motivated. Still, I did find it mentioned in a single sentence buried at the end of this Time article. As for the rest of the article, it provides such gems as
Israel is prepared to ratchet up the pressure still further in the hope that it will force a workable ceasefire.and
But Israel will need to move carefully. Air strikes that kill large numbers of Palestinian civilians are only likely to fuel support for Hamas, and ramp up international pressure to end the operation quickly.Meanwhile the White House is blaming Hamas (which is almost half right), and sternly admonishes Israel to avoid civilian casualties, which is a bit like condoning the making of omelets so long as one is careful about the eggs.
But now let's look ahead to America's (and the world's!) glorious hope-filled future. Give us a taste of that magical hope dust, Barack!
"In terms of negotiations with Hamas, it is very hard to negotiate with a group that is not representative of a nation state, does not recognize your right to exist, has consistently used terror as a weapon, and is deeply influenced by other countries."Oh, this is all going to get fixed like on January 21, I can feel it.