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On Hardball today Chris had a segment on the escalating violence going on in Israel and Gaza with correspondent Richard Engel.  

One line of discussion revolved around what agent was the true threat to Israel, Hamas or Iran. Engel put forth an argument that Israel's great success in reducing the rocket threat, based on its high degree of intelligence, meant that Hamas was a foe that could be handled. He stated that to demonstrate how effective Israeli intelligence was on Hamas the IDF was to the point of calling Hamas neighbors to warn them of an impending strike, meaning of course that Israel knew the neighbors phone numbers and had them ready for use.  His narrative built a conclusion that the real threat to Israel was obviously not Hamas but rather Iran.

His line of reasoning extended further in that Bibi used Hamas' continued indiscriminate rocket fire into Israel as a rationale to launch a military response of his own, but the purpose of the Israeli strikes were really meant to degrade the Hamas capability to respond when Bibi decides to launch his future airstrikes against the nuclear facilities in Iran.

If what Engel and Matthews discussed is true and it is found that the Hamas attacks on Israel allowed Bibi the opportunity to achieve two potential objectives, attack Iran's nuclear facilities and thwart in advance any ability by Hamas to strike back in response, then the roles Hamas and Bibi have played in this conflict will certainly be seen in a different light.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Elections in january (11+ / 0-)

    this is simply a Likud GOTV operation.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:33:02 PM PST

    •  Exactly (8+ / 0-)

      Hamas and Netanyahu are assholes who need each other. Netanyahu needs Hamas to launch rockets into Israel and kill or injure Israelis, so he can justify massive attacks on Gaza, thus improving his re-election prospects. Meanwhile, Hamas secretly welcomes Netanyahu's attacks, because it helps keep them in power. They can tell Gazans that they're the only ones who can stand up to Israeli terror. Of course, the real losers here are the many dead and wounded Israelis and Palestinians, killed or wounded because of their leaders' ambitions.

      •  your thesis and the diarist's could both be true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        many actions are multifactorial.

        I like Richard Engel...he's always seemed quite well informed and good at his job, not that I have a deep frame of reference for that judgement but for him to be totally wrong and not consider this (obvious) political motivation would surprise me.

        Do you think Engel must be wrong...seems like that since you put out your thesis seemingly to replace it as a reason for an incursion. Just want to understand.

        Netanyahu as evil, killing people only for political gain, seems tantalizing but may not be true OR the whole story.

        •  Hamas's Arsenal Traditionally Ineffectual (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Nucleo, Kevskos, BlueDragon

          The thesis is plausible, but it exhibits one major logical flaw.  Hamas rocket arsenals have traditionally been very ineffectual in actually accomplishing anything.  Yeah, they provided lots of the "rockets red glare" as we sing in the Star Spangled Banner, but they have not typically caused any significant damage to Israeli citizens or assets.  Hamas's operations in any dust-up between Iran and Israel would be mostly diversionary, at best.  It's only real value would be to prompt a real Israeli invasion of Gaza, tying down the majority of the IDF ground forces while Hezbollah launches a major strike from Lebanon.  Israel would then find itself tied up on two fronts and needing to redirect its ground forces.  What is disturbing about the larger, more capable Hamas rockets being fired in this most recent skirmish is what it foretells about the weaponry Hamas might be planning on using in any sort of ground action inside a built-up urban area like Gaza.  The IDF just might be riding into a tougher version of Fallujah, against an enemy who has been able to study the playbook a decade longer than the Iraqis had.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:32:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The 'ineffectuality' presents a question. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jplanner, BlueDragon

            Is it clear that, over time, the purpose of all the Jihadist rockets is to do damage, i.e. hit military targets, rather than to demonstrate that no matter what Israel does, the spirit of opposition, and the refusal to accept silently military attacks on Gazan areas for reasons Israel in its sole discretion deems appropriate, are not freebies and some not merely verbal response could be expected. If the Hamas guys are doing this and were serious, there would have been more long range attacks, rather than just a few whose purpose well could besimply to demonstrate that despite Cast Lead, somebody in Gaza can now get rockets within range of Tel Aviv. It only takes three or four to do that. And those three or four send a substantial message. I also note that IIRC, the geography is such that the apartment building which was hit was north of gaza, not where the new settlements  are being built after evicting the  Bedouin.

          •  ineffectual or not... (0+ / 0-)

            if you are living within the reach of those rockets (which now includes tel-aviv, jerusalem), you would certainly want your government to do everything in its power to stop them from landing on you...

            •  Defensive Systems Certainly Appropriate (0+ / 0-)

              One would never deny the Israelis use of defensive systems to take down the rockets which Hamas is using for these attacks.  Conducting a terror campaign against the territory from which they are being launched is something else again.  We shouldn't kid ourselves about the nature of the current air war being waged by the IDF which doesn't seem to differ very much from what the British RAF Bomber Command fell into during WW2 in its night bombing campaign.  

              I would be the last person to argue that what Hamas is doing makes any particular sense either.  If all they wanted to do was to show defiance at the Israeli strikes, they could launch the rockets out to sea to show that they weren't being cowed by the Israeli attacks.  What mystifies me is why Hamas hasn't procured man-portable SAMs to use against the Israel attack aircraft which they can lure in with the rocket launches.  At least that would result in direct strikes against what they perceive to be their oppressors rather than merely pissing in the wind as they're doing now.

              "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

              by PrahaPartizan on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 03:38:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  My view is that..... (0+ / 0-)

                ....they know very well they're provoking a violent response from Israel, which makes Hamas look like the protectors of Gaza. It's electoral insurance. Take Iraq. When we were bombing them and crushing them with sanctions, it did very little to loosen Saddam Hussein's hold on the country, quite the opposite, in fact.

                •  Applies As Well to Israeli Response (0+ / 0-)

                  On the other hand, if one would like to think that the Israeli government would be interested in weakening Hamas's position in Gaza, then the Israeli response is just as dunderheaded as Hamas's.  The current Israeli government's response is designed to ensure Bibi's reelection in January, just as Hamas's most recent actions seem intended to force Bibi into launching another ground invasion.  Sometimes one really needs to wonder if either political leadership has the long-term interest of its respective populations in mind.

                  "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

                  by PrahaPartizan on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:20:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry but the thought (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Nucleo

    of Matthews pontificating on the Middle East makes me want to get as far away from the TV as possible.

    Israeli election in January is all you need to know.

  •  This a dream in fantasy land (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluedust, Kevskos, BlueDragon

    Iran does not need Hamas to strike Israel.Iran has its strongest ally which is Hezbollah(Lebanon)  and they are capable of lauching thousands of powerfull iran missiles(based on russian technology) into Israel.The last time Israel tried against Hezbollah,it failed miserably.

    As Bob gates said,any attack against Iran will be a disaster for decades. Hope US are wise enough not to follow the warmongers. Irak or Afghanistan will be a picnik compare to Iran.

    If you really want to know who is funding Hamas, ask Qatar.

  •  Not so far fetched (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jplanner, BlueDragon

    First there's timing....right after our election perhaps to test the waters, the US & global reaction. And yes, it is for Bibi's re-election too.

    Second.....test the iron dome, just put in place 2011. As well as market the iron dome $$$

    Third.... post Arab spring test Egypt's response/loyalty Iran's involvement with Hama's & smuggling weapons into Gaza

    Obviously this is speculation. But, these are the highlights of why it's a very real possibility. If the leaders of the world are allowing a Gaza genocide, then accountability & consequences aren't an issue.

    Love & prayers to all civilians living this atrocious nightmare!

  •  Don't forget as well that Abbas is going to the UN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Nucleo, bluedust

    on November 29, a symbolically powerful day for Palestinians. This may be Hamas' assertion that they, too are fighting for independence, in a different manner, but one which much be recognized as an available alternative to the Abbas political run. IIRC, there has been reporting of some support in WB for the Hamas move here. Nothing in this ever has one explanation, but it begins to look as if Israel's move to slay Jabiri was not so good an idea, given the number of things that have shifted after they did it.

  •  A further fallout of the current Gaza war (0+ / 0-)

    is that secular Israeli Jews, who may previously have been open to a settlement that included land concessions on the west bank, now understand Hamas would likely set up shop on the West Bank and shoot missiles at Israel from the west.

  •  U.N. and U.S. demand immediate ceasefire (0+ / 0-)

    SOS Clinton going toward that end, to talk with Israeli and some moderate Palestinian leaders and Egypt.

    (Reuters) - The U.N. chief called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Tuesday and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed to the region with a message that escalation of the conflict was in nobody's interest.


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