Israel: Losers


May 8, 2007: The Palestinian "intifada" (uprising) against Israel is in its seventh year, and the Palestinians refuse to admit defeat. Over the last two years, there have been about 1,700 dead, compared to nearly a thousand a year for the first five years of the war. The total dead for this war so far is nearly 5,800, of which over 80 percent are Palestinians. The proportion of Israeli casualties has sharply declined over the last two years. Before Israel came up with effective counter-terror tactics in 2005, nearly 25 percent of the dead were Israeli. Now, less than ten percent of the dead are Israeli.

May 7, 2007: Most Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. Attempts to get the government to resign because of the way things were done during last years Lebanon war, have failed. Opponents were only able to muster support from about 22 percent of the members of parliament.

May 6, 2007: A Palestinian group holding a BBC journalist in Gaza, now want a $5 million ransom, in addition to some land in Gaza, and the release of an al Qaeda terrorist in Jordan.

May 5, 2007: Three more rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza. One hit a house and caused damage, but no casualties. Hamas rejected an an American plan to extend the truce and move peace talks forward. Hamas wants Western aid, despite the Hamas position that Israel must be destroyed and Hamas must be allowed to help make that happen. Fatah, the Hamas rival, supported the U.S. plan.

May 4, 2007: The government accused Arab-Israeli politician Azmi Bishara, of spying for Hizbollah, and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars for his services. He and Hizbollah deny this. Bishara has fled the country and refuses to come back. Bisharas political party holds three seats (out of 120) in the Israeli parliament.

In the West Bank, three Palestinians terrorists were killed during a gun battle with Israeli police.

May 3, 2007: Gaza continues to be lawless, with dozens of armed groups staking out claims to territory, and fighting gun battles in the streets to affirm those claims. In Lebanon, the pro-Syrian minority, particularly Hizbollah, continue to oppose free elections and prosecution of those who have killed Lebanese politicians for Syria. The UN is backing investigations into this, as well as the continued arms smuggling to Hizbollah from Syria.

May 2, 2007: The Western aid embargo on the Palestinians (because Hamas refuses to give up its call for Israels destruction) has effectively cut in half the pay of Palestinian government employees. This has not had much effect, as the Palestinian civil servants are remarkably ineffective, even by Middle Eastern standards. The government jobs are basically a form of patronage, so the politicians can reward their supporters. As more Western aid money came in, more of these patronage jobs were created. Arab states offered to make up for the lost Western aid, but have only been able to deliver about $55 million a month, thus government employees have been on half pay (and struck 133 days in the last year over that.)

May 1, 2007: A government report on the conduct of last years war blames the prime minister for lacking military experience, thus not communicating effectively with the army. The prime minister didn't understand that the army reservists in the north were not ready for an invasion of Lebanon. In fact, the policy for the previous six years had been to avoid any cross-border actions. While the invasion of Lebanon was popular with Israelis (because of all the Hizbollah rockets fired into Israel), the government report suggests that it would have been better to just bomb. But that was not what stopped to rocket attacks, it was the ground operations. Once Hizbollah began, six years ago, installing 12,000 thousand rockers in homes, schools and mosques along the Israeli border, the Israelis should have prepared their troops to go in and clean them out. But the Israeli Air Force insisted that they could do it from the air. This is not the first time air force generals have over-promised in the last 80 years.


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