There is no consensus in Israel on how to deal with the dual assaults by Moslems (especially Arabs and Iran) who openly call for the destruction of Israel, and increasingly influential European leftists and anti-Semites who (for different reasons) want Israel diminished or destroyed. The European leftists are gaining allies throughout the West, including among leftist politicians in the United States. The founding of Israel in 1947 is turning into another example of “no good deed goes unpunished.” The current peace talks, forced on the Israelis and Palestinians by the U.S., are seen by everyone (including a lot of Americans) as pointless. Arabs and Palestinians have not changed their “kill all Jews” attitudes towards Israel and the Israelis have still not agreed to just disappear. Because of the continued Arab intransigence over Israel, opinion polls show that most Israelis are opposed to any peace deal with the Palestinians that involves withdrawing Jews from the West Bank or Jerusalem.
Fighting continues on the Syrian border, as the Syrian Army continues trying to regain control of the border. Rebels have had control of most of the Israeli border this year but the army and their Hezbollah allies keep trying to change that. Meanwhile, Israel has quietly provided hospital care for civilians and rebels badly wounded in the fighting. The casualties are brought to a border crossing, where medical personnel are now stationed to examine the casualties to determine if their injuries are severe enough to require the level of care the Israelis can provide. Over a hundred Syrians have received care so far, all of it unofficial and unacknowledged.
August 14, 2013: In Egypt police moved in on two groups of Islamic radical demonstrators who had established long-term (six weeks so far) occupations of areas in the capital. The occupations were part of an effort to get recently deposed president Morsi reinstated. The protestors refused to move and force was used. Nearly 300 people died, over 80 percent of them civilians. In response small groups of Islamic radicals attacked government buildings, media centers, hospitals, and so on. By the end of the day the government had declared 30 days of martial law (a state of emergency). The Islamic radicals have tried to avoid violence because the last time they went that way in the 1990s, the extremists among them began killing civilians indiscriminately and that turned the population against them. Egyptians have not forgotten this and again feel that the Islamic radicals (in the form of the Moslem Brotherhood) are becoming a cure worse than the disease.
One thing nearly all Egyptians agree on is that Egypt doesn’t work. There’s the corruption, which helps keep the few hundred wealthiest families in control of the economy and government. The system these families have created makes it very difficult for entrepreneurs (who create the most new jobs and threaten the economic power of the old families) or social change in general. This is not unique but is common throughout the world. It is worse in Egypt, and while most Egyptians believed the Moslem Brotherhood promises to clean up the corruption and introduce economic and political freedoms, they were disappointed when this did not happen. Instead Morsi, in an effort to keep his radicals happy, began introducing Islamic law (sharia) and lifestyle restrictions. That provided the popular support the military (which has always been on the payroll of the wealthy families) needed to depose the Moslem Brotherhood government. Much to the dismay of the Islamic conservatives, this was hailed by most Egyptians, as was today’s move to clear the Moslem Brotherhood protest camps.
August 13, 2013: A rocket was fired at Israel from Gaza but exploded harmlessly in an uninhabited area. The next day an Israeli air strike hit terrorist targets in Gaza.
Bowing to pressure from the United States, Israel released 26 Palestinians serving prison sentences for terrorism (and killing Israelis). The Palestinians would only go along with the current negotiations if they got some of their killers (who are regularly praised as heroes in Palestinian media) out of prison.
In the Israeli Red Sea town of Eilat, an Iron Dome system detected an incoming (from Egypt) 122mm rocket and intercepted it. Such interceptions are automatic (when Iron Dome is turned on) if the software predicts the incoming rocket will land in an inhabited area. Islamic terrorists operating in the lawless Sinai later took credit for the attack. It was believed that the terrorists fired three rockets but evidence of only one (that got shot down) could be found. The other two might have malfunctioned and landed in Sinai or in the sea off Eilat.
August 11, 2013: Israeli troops fired on a group of Palestinians who tried to tear down part of the security fence around Gaza. One Palestinian was wounded.
August 10, 2013: Israeli troops fired on a Palestinian man who climbed over the Gaza security fence carrying a package believed to be a bomb. The man was shot dead and was found to not be carrying a bomb.
In the Sinai an Egyptian helicopter fired missiles at a meeting of Islamic terrorists, killing twelve people. Egypt has sent thousands of additional security personnel into Sinai, but many of the local Bedouin tribesmen and the Islamic terrorists living among them are resisting any more government control and proving very difficult to shut down.
August 9, 2013: Near the Israeli border in Egypt (Sinai), an Israeli UAV fired missiles at Islamic terrorists setting up a rocket launcher. This killed four Islamic terrorists and destroyed the rocket launcher and at least one rocket. This attack apparently had the permission of the Egyptian government (and military) which did not protest. It was public knowledge that Egyptian and Israeli intelligence were cooperating to better deal with terrorist threats operating out of Sinai and Gaza (which is a northern extension of Sinai). The Egyptians had recently warned Israel that Sinai based terrorists had obtained (apparently from Iran via Sudanese and Egyptian smugglers) longer range (up to 70 kilometers) rockets that were going to be used against Israel. Eilat is believed to be a prime target for these longer range rockets, especially its airport.
In the Sinai two Egyptian helicopters fired missiles at an Islamic terrorist base where rockets (for attacks on Israel) were stored.
August 8, 2013: Israel shut down the airport in Eilat for two hours because of the possibility of a terrorist rocket attack (which didn’t happen).
August 7, 2013: An Israeli patrol apparently wandered across the border into a Lebanese minefield. A mine went off and four Israeli soldiers were wounded. Lebanese officials said the Israelis were 400 meters inside Lebanon and Hezbollah took responsibility for the explosion, saying they knew the Israelis were coming and planted two bombs. The Israeli military refused to provide any more details, except to say their troops were on the border, not across it.
Several rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza but exploded harmlessly in an uninhabited area.