Between Them, Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Clarify Israel’s Options

Dozens of acres of Israeli forests and fields were burned in the past few days because of the so-called “incendiary kites” that Palestinians in Gaza have launched over the security fence. Meanwhile, on Monday, Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech to the Palestinian National Council—the congress of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)—in which he blamed Jews for bringing the Holocaust upon themselves with their usury and “social behavior,” explained that the Shoah was a Nazi-Zionist plot (a favorite subject of his), and decried the Jewish state as the extension of British colonialism. To Jonathan Tobin, the two events throw the choices confronting Israel in stark relief:

Israel is being asked to trade its only bargaining chips in the form of territory in exchange for something that—as even most peace advocates acknowledge—will be an armed truce at best, rather than peace. Abbas’s speech is a tip-off that the Palestinian state clamored for by peace advocates would be a stepping stone to new campaigns aimed at the end of the Jewish nation.

Israelis know this because they saw what happened the last time Israel gave up territory, when then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew every last soldier, settler, and settlement from Gaza in 2005. Instead of trading land for peace, Israel traded land for terror. Instead of protesting the Israeli settlements in their midst, Hamas-ruled Gaza now protests the “settlements” inside the borders of pre-1967 Israel.

The Friday “March of Return” demonstrations at the border between Israel and Gaza being orchestrated by Hamas are not civil-rights protests. The point of these weekly efforts, in which Palestinians armed with guns, Molotov cocktails, rocks, burning tires, and lit kites try to tear down the security barrier that protects Israel, . . . is to destroy the Jewish state. . . . Evacuating Gaza didn’t inspire its people to accept the notion of two states for two peoples. It merely whetted their appetite to continue their century-old war on Zionism which, contrary to the claims of some on the Jewish left, they have yet to concede is a lost cause.

So the question for Jews who carp at Netanyahu and claim that Israel is the obstacle to peace is: which Palestinian state do you want? The one in the West Bank led by a fanatical anti-Semite who is determined to whip up hatred for Jews among his people? Or the one led by Islamist terrorists in Gaza who are already actively seeking Israel’s destruction? If Israelis say, “no, thank you,” to either and insist that, as bad as things are, repeating Sharon’s disastrous Gaza experiment in the West Bank will make things infinitely worse, it’s because they are paying attention to what Abbas and Hamas are saying. American kibitzers and critics ought to do the same.

Read more at JNS

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza withdrawal, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Two-State Solution

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security