Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Zionist worries about world opinion

From his Herzliya Center bio: "Brig. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilboa, Advisor on Intelligence Affairs to the Israeli Intelligence Community and lecturer on Intelligence Studies at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. A political columnist for Ma’ariv, an Israeli daily newspaper. Held several senior positions in the Intelligence Directorate and the Intelligence Department of the IDF General Staff..." He wrote as follows in the mass circulation paper Maariv yesterday (from the Arab language translation in AlQuds alArabi today, being, as far as I know, the only access to this type of material for anyone who doesn't read Hebrew):
Only a week after the end of "Cast Lead", we are at the beginning of a new type of war, one against the image and the political accomplishments. Hamas was hit hard, but the capacity it still has is to launch a new war (directed at public opinion, Palestinian, Arab, world, and even Israeli), which according to the Center for Intelligence and Terrorism in the Institute of Intelligence Inheritance (?) the struggle that Hamas is currently waging, with the assistance of AlJazeera, the "axis of evil", and various international groups, relies on five elements:

(1) First, in essence, the argument is that it was not Hamas that launched the war, and it is not the guilty party. Incriminating rather Israel which wove a conspiracy to liquidate the Palestinian "problem", by pursuing Hamas, which constitutes the "resistance" to the Israeli occupation, and stands at the head of the fight against the Zionists.

(2) The second element, untrue and weak, presents an image according to which the Israeli army hit civilians and particularly children intentionally. Hamas is trying to present an image that the Israeli army committed continual war-crimes...

(3) The third element, economic and governmental, stresses Hamas' commitment to reconstruction, and to providing limited financial assistance to all families whose houses were destroyed or damaged, and to [families] of the killed and wounded. Moreover, Hamas has begun the struggle on its main interest, which is the opening of all crossings into Gaza under its supervision, and that the responsible party for all finance and assistance sent to the Gaza Strip is not Abu Mazen.

(4) The fourth element, which is also a lie in what it assumes, is the frivolous addition to the story of the heroism of the men of Hamas and of their military abilities...

(5) The fifth element is provocative and a record for the future, and it takes up the beginning of the reconstruction of the tunnels and this is an open announcement that no one is able to prevent us from smuggling weapons and ammunition, because we are a resistance movement, and the essence of our activity is violence against Israel.
Just to interject at this point, it is obvious that Amos Gilboa and his people have little to fear from the American center-left/progressives, because the points he complains about do not even appear in much of that milieu (for instance, if it is any indication, Marc, Spencer, Matt and Helena all remark today on the Palestine issue and the Mitchell mission and not only do they not mention any of these allegedly Hamas-inspired points, they actually don't mention Hamas at all, let alone the concept of resistance. All they do is celebrate the fact that a fine American is being sent to the "region", the assumption being that a fine American will do good, even if his main interlocutors will be the Zionists and the Arab tyrants, avoiding Hamas, and we are supposed to think that the result will be good even if it is not given to us at the moment to understand what that "good" will turn out to be). So in this respect the American center-left/progressive movement does not seem to be something Amos Gilboa needs to worry about. Probably he is thinking more of Europe.

It is true that Israel is preparing to block the pretensions of Hamas and those who support it; but it appears that what our political leaders and first and foremost preparing for is the elections. That is quite understandable. The problem is that our internal political race is permitting a victory to Hamas and its supporters.

In my opinion, there is sometimes the impression that the Israeli government would actually like to grant Hamas a political victory. [This is followed by a discussion of the release of the Israeli soldier Shalit, held by Hamas, and its relationship to the idea of victory or defeat].

Is the current Israeli government really prepared to grant to Hamas this accomplishment, that the world sees them as the victors and us as the defeated? It is hard to believe, unless [the reason is that] political Zionism has lost the use of sound reason on the eve of the elections.
He seems to be implicitly recommending that Israel fight on in order to reverse this impression of defeat. And in fact, in addition to reported regular shelling of the Gaza coast, there are now reports of "clashes" on the border (see the summary by Siun, an honorable exception to my above generalization about the trend in the American progressive milieu.)


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