Reading Jeff Halper’s analysis I don’t know if I should cry or laugh.
He writes: “Let’s be crystal clear. Israel’s massive attacks on Gaza today have one overarching goal: conflict management.”
I presume that the Israeli government is not consulting Halper and that he does not have some secret sources. For me it is crystal clear that since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 the Israeli leadership has being trying to complete the ethnic cleansing of 1948. Of course nobody can call ethnic cleansing just “conflict management”.
The US opposition to this Israeli goal has been able only to slow down the cleansing but not to stop it. Israel just made from time to time some symbolic concessions under US pressure but not more.
This analysis is almost the only one that can explain the behavior of the Israeli leadership and there is enough material to support it.
The plan to “clean” Gaza is old, but only now it seems to be very close. I myself pointed at it again and again and predicted that it will be implemented along the same strategy demonstrated by the Israeli army in Southern Lebanon, i.e. an extensive bombardment that will lead to the flight of hundred thousands of civilians to Egypt and afterwards it would be much easier to cope with the Palestinian fighters. Some Israeli former generals propagated this strategy openly as papers of a respected Israeli military institute of the Tel Aviv University. A farther proof, among many others, is the recent publication in Ha’aretz that the Israeli government asked for expertise on the international legal situation of bombing of civil areas. As published in this daily, it can be understand that there are some “legal” ways to commit these war crimes, including the “evacuation” of civilians from their homes.
As a kind of Christmas and parting present president Bush obviously authorized a limited operation that should concentrate on combatants after Israel brought on November 4th. (US election day) the fragile ceasefire to fall through an obvious provocation, that the Hamas leadership was foolish enough not to overlook or to look for non-violent means to answer it.
The Israeli leadership obviously hopes now that there will be Palestinian reactions that will enable harsher steps, meaning more extensive bombardments which will lead to the flight of most of the Palestinians. In this way Israel will avoid the problems of the “day after” the war. Israel has no desire to control directly Palestinians and there is no acceptable alternative of other reliable force capable or wishing to oppress the Gazans.
In the geographical conditions in Gaza this Israeli strategy has better chances than in Lebanon. But still it is not clear how Hizballah, Syria and Iran will react to the blood bath in Gaza. They have the capability to fire missiles all over Israel. Another possible fall out is upheavals in various Arab countries.
It remains to hope that on the one side the Palestinian militants in Gaza will refrain from firing rockets at Israeli settlements and will develop at this late hour a non-violent strategy. On the other side it is necessary to appeal directly unto Israeli soldiers to do what is in their might to stop and prevent war crimes.
Today, as the Israeli army relies to a wide extent on computer technology and therefore even a single soldier at the right place can stop the war crimes. Never have possessed so few people, like computer experts, so much power. The Israeli military law says clearly that everybody has to prevent war crimes and prevent the implementation of orders over which a so called black flag is flying.
The support, publication and propagation of the appeal unto Israeli soldiers to do their duty published in a German website might have a deterring effect on the Israeli leadership even if not a single soldier will follow it. The broader support for the appeal will build a further pressure on the Israeli government to look at last for a just political settlement.
The Israeli soldiers will not just fulfill their moral duty but will help to prevent a catastrophe (Shoa) from happening to all the residents of the Middle East including the Israeli Jews.