Israel at “Highest State of Readiness” for Gaza Ground Invasion
Sheera Frenkel reports in the Times of London that a senior IDF officer told her the army has been moved to its “highest state of readiness.” In IDF jargon, this is called P+1, which means the entire army must be ready for combat on one hour’s notice. Israel will not invade Gaza during Shabbat (too many religious-settler soldiers who are observant). That means the invasion could begin as early as Saturday night, Israel time, less than 24 hours from now. Cast Lead also started at the end of Shabbat, January 3, 2009.
Haaretz reports that the Israeli cabinet is considering calling up as many as 75,000 reservists, which is a massive mobilization many times larger than the call-up for Cast Lead. Even if you discount this report as psy-ops on the part of Israel against Hamas, it appears that Netanyahu wants a massive display of force. Though it could mean he intends to re-occupy Gaza, I strongly doubt that’s his intent. It would bring massive international opprobrium, which isn’t what he wants in the run-up to elections.
My sense (wholly personal and not based on specific knowledge) is that Bibi and Barak plan for this to be a two to three-week military exercise. I can’t believe they’d want it to fester longer than that because that would put in major dent in the feel-good atmosphere he’d like to engender in the late-January election period. That still gives plenty of time for the IDF to collect its scalps, which can be prominently displayed before the Israeli public, thus giving Bibi his own personal war on which he can proudly campaign.
The death toll has risen to 35 in Gaza. There were no Israeli deaths today.
I was gratified to see Egypt’s prime minister visiting Gaza today. It was a gutsy move by Pres. Morsi. I think Israel can expect more of this if/when it invades. Tunisia’s foreign minister is due later today there. I would love to see Turkey’s foreign minister visiting Gaza as well. Erdogan promised to visit. There couldn’t be a better time. In fact, if a different foreign minister scheduled a visit every day, it might make it considerably harder for the IDF to massacre Gazan civilians. Another visit from the emir of Qatar would be great right around now. How about one of those chubby Saudi crown princes? Get out of the Lamborghinis and put yourself on the line for your fellow Muslims for a change.
Many have taken to calling this Cast Lead II, but I think that’s wrong. A lot has changed since 2009: the Arab Spring. Egypt is governed by the Muslim Brotherhood. That is why the visit earlier today of the Egyptian prime minister to Gaza, even though symbolic, was a major piece of theater.
Turkey has become hostile to Israel since the Mavi Marmara massacre. Ironically, Turkey was in the process of mediating a possible peace agreement between Syria and Israel when Olmert chose, instead, to begin one of his two wars. Erdogan’s goverment has offered once again to mediate the current conflict. This has to be in part intended to needle Netanyahu, who the Turkish leader knows wants nothing of a ceasefire nor of anything to do with Turkey.
Another difference: Obama is now president instead of president-elect. Not that this means much. But one thing it does mean is this is Obama’s problem, not one he can slough off as he did in 2009 when he responded by saying he wasn’t president and therefore couldn’t do anything to stop the killing. Now he can. If he doesn’t, it will reflect upon him as president.
Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, called for “restraint” and a “reduction in hostilities.” Not sure why he couldn’t say the “C” word (ceasefire) but it’s a helluva lot better than any other U.S. politician, that’s for sure. The only Jewish Israeli politician who’s explicitly opposed the war is Hadash’s Dov Kheinin, who spoke eloquently at last night’s anti-war rally in Tel Aviv. He was joined at the rally by Meretz’s Nitzan Horowitz. As a party, Meretz is definitely about to take a strong position in favor of saying sometime in the very near future they’ll take a definite position on the war, one way or the other.
Iran also looms as another potential military threat. No doubt Netanyahu may be viewing Operation Pillar of Sand, er Smoke as a warm-up for the next really big battle, over the skies of Teheran. But I wonder how many threats Israel can balance before it picks one fight too many.
Israel no longer rules supreme in the region. It has competitors, both politically and militarily. It’s dominance is still not seriously shaken, but the IDF’s swagger has been diminished by its performance in previous engagements with Hezbollah and Hamas.
All this bodes for a shorter, more confined conflict. I could be wrong. I’ve learned never to underestimate the will to mayhem of Israeli leaders.
While I’ve taken to calling Netanyahu and the Likud the permanent right-wing majority, I’m now calling Israel the permanent war state. The Middle East’s Sparta. As I wrote yesterday, Israel’s government does not want peace. It wants chaos among its perceived enemies. The only way to achieve that is to start a war every few years. Lately, the rate of conflict has been about every three years (2006, 2009, 2012), which has picked up considerably from decades ago when war’s tended to average once a decade or so (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982).
I have just created a new Facebook group: No to Gaza War. If you belong to Facebook, please join and suggest friends and allies do as well.
41 thoughts on “Israel at “Highest State of Readiness” for Gaza Ground Invasion – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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● RE: “Haaretz reports that the Israeli cabinet is considering calling up as many as 75,000 reservists, which is a massive mobilization many times larger than the call-up for Cast Lead. Even if you discount this report as psy-ops on the part of Israel against Hamas, it appears that Netanyahu wants a massive display of force.” ~ R.S.
● SEE: “Another Superfluous War”, By Uri Avnery, OpEdNews, 11/16/2012
ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.opednews.com/articles/4/Another-Superfluous-War-by-Uri-Avnery-121116-319.html
● PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING THE “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION. – http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-please-restore-justice-and-pardon-my-dad
● P.S. ALSO RE: “Haaretz reports that the Israeli cabinet is considering calling up as many as 75,000 reservists, which is a massive mobilization many times larger than the call-up for Cast Lead. Even if you discount this report as psy-ops on the part of Israel against Hamas, it appears that Netanyahu wants a massive display of force.” ~ R.S.
● SEE: “A Pillar Built on Sand”, By John Mearsheimer, London Review of Books, 11/16/12
ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2012/11/16/john-mearsheimer/a-pillar-built-on-sand/
● PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING THE “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION. – http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-please-restore-justice-and-pardon-my-dad
There was a siren here at the beginning of the Sabbath in Jerusalem. Apparently a missile hit the Gush area, 20 km from Jerusalem. It’s the first time I have ever heard such a siren in Jerusalem since 1998.
I’ve joined and shared your page on Facebook, Richard. Thank you with all my heart for all the work you are doing. Keep it up!
I agree that the looming finale with Iran may be relevant here but in a different sense. An important part of Iran`s ability to counteract was having friendly bases near Israel. The main one, Syria, is now by and large Kaput (which has also made Hezbollah reconsider how deeply it may want to be involved). That leaves Hamas, which although seeking now Egyptian clout is still an intransigent anti-Israel force (not willing to recognize Israel or talk to it) and it is also in possession of a huge arsenal of missiles that it got from Iran. Dealing with alone is one thing and having it as a potential missiles base in the case of a war with Iran is another.
Gaza is an Iranian “base??” If you want to see a real base go to the 5th Fleet’s base in Bahrain or the UK’s in Diego Garcia or any Israeli air base. Those are bases. Please don’t make laugh & get serious.
As for non-recognition look at yourself in the mirror. You Israelis are the ones who’ve refused to recognize Hamas, which has come a whole lot closer to recognizing Israel than the other way round.
Although talks are said to be deadlocked, it was quite a show of solidarity to see Tunisia, Qatar, Egypt and Turkey all showing strong support for Gaza. (All are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood). It also has let the US know its influence in the region has waned considerably. Whether this is enough to discourage Israel from any large scale ground offensive in Gaza remains to be seen, but it certainly was a dramatic bit of political theater.
Yes, Israel doesn’t want peace except that variety Tacitus referred to when he said of his robbing, killing and plundering compatriots: “They left a desert and called it peace”.
Presently the only half-way legitimate cover this latter day mediterranean robber has for its brutal aggression and oppression is the mantra that “Israel has the right to defend itself”. One hears it being said by politicians of all nationalities and backgrounds – sometimes through clenched teeth one hopes. So from that point of view the rockets are indispensable.
Ahmed Jabari’s interest in a long term truce might have contributed to his demise. I recall that Operation Cast Lead followed not long after Khaled Meshaal showed, in an interview with a French journalist, an interest in the Arab Peace Initiative (to which Israel has never seriously reacted).
The on again off again conflict with Hamas has to Israel the value of “the beggar’s wound”. It has to be left continuously open to be politically lucrative. So my hunch is that it will take good care not to destroy Gaza’s missile capacity in its entirety. The homemade ineffective ones will be allowed to remain.
Do you think Hamas wants peace and the Israelis don’t? Or do you think neither side wants real peace for their own reasons?
I’ve wondered about that too, Bob. What is Hamas? a resistance organization that rules Gaza, some say with an iron fist but it depends on who you talk to. One thing that I’ve heard quite often is that Hamas has made the siege and occupation into a business venture, just as Mahmoud Abbas has done in the West Bank with the PA. Neither the PA nor Hamas is of any practical use to the Palestinians and seems to exist to fill the pockets of its officials. Were the status quo to change, so the gravy train may stop, but so, too may the situation for the Palestinian people change for the better. Corrupt politicians are a dime a dozen, unfortunately, especially in the middle east.
Bob,read Avnery’s article referred to above by Dickerson. Jabari’s interest in a long term truce seems to have been genuine. I don’t know about Hamas as a business venture, Mary. No doubt, the species of homo sapiens being what it is, there are officials there who are mainly after their own interest. On the other hand Hamas’s elected (!) officials are in an occupation with high risks not easily compensated for by illegally filled pockets. Hamas is of no “practical use to the Palestinians'”? Then who or what is? It seems to have taken some of its governmental tasks seriously though Israeli scuttle-butt knows otherwise. Also, if there is no organisation at all that keeps up some resistance to Israeli depredations what are the Palestinians going to do? Allowing themselves to be chased off the premises entirely? Lie down and die?
Hamas is of little practical use to the Palestinians because they serve themselves more than the people. I have heard this so many times from Gazans themselves. And it’s the story of the typical middle eastern politicians – corrupt, self serving and oblivious. Hamas makes a lot of money from the tunnels, working with Egyptians. It charges huge taxes and fees for all goods brought in through the tunnels, and almost everything Gaza needs comes in that way. I am merely relating what I’ve been told by people living in Gaza who would have no reason to lie.
The reason Hamas was elected is that the PA is even more corrupt, and Hamas still resists the occupation while the PA and Fatah do not. Hamas is working towards a more moderate position politically, to counter the rise of other groups, some of whom are more fundamentalist.
To avoid misunderstandings: when I spoke about high risks not easily compensated for by illegally filled pockets I didn’t mean to imply that the loot thus gained would be some kind of just reward. What I meant to say is who would want to do these things if there was not some other motivation there ? Rage about an injustice without end, hatred, thirst for revenge or genuine concern? “Following the money trail” would in such cases lead nowhere.
” … some of whom are more fundamentalist” … you are not implying that Gazans would be better off under them, are you?
It doesn’t surprise me at all that you found Gazans complaining about Hamas. Living in an open air prison, deprived of most essentials, would lead to general querulousness anyway. How can people keep their eyes continuously on “the bigger picture” in such a situation?
During the Indonesian struggle for independence (1945 – 49) there were two governments in Java : the Dutch one with its centre in Jakarta (then Batavia) and the Indonesian one which had its main seat in Jogyakarta. I guess that you would have been able to find more Indonesians then complaining about their masters in the latter place than in the former. The proto-Indonesian regime was no doubt more corrupt – it was also ruthless in eliminating supposed collaborators. Nevertheless it led the struggle for independence and you would find very few Indonesians today claiming that they would have been better off without it.
No I am not implying any such thing, Arie, puhleeze.
So, you think the Gazans are merely whining about Hamas because they aren’t “keeping their eyes on the bigger picture”?
You really do need to do some homework. Or better yet, get to know some Gazans.
When (maybe ‘if’) the IDF invades with all their heavy armaments, I wonder if they might forget to leave — you know, sort of undue what many fundamentalist Israelis think was Sharon’s great blunder.
And then what? Put up checkpoints and mount patrols? No, this is about kicking weak people around, firing guns, and leaving – or threatening to do that. The constant tension gives the army something to do and keeps the Israeli population in a bunker mentality. I have the expectation that, if things go in the “right” pattern, that the Egyptians might become involved and this will start a new war between Israel and Egypt.
of course, I expect they will shoot up the place and do a lot of terrorizing and destruction and then leave. But, this is the second time around and, by virtue of that, it would seem to be an excuse for Netanyahu et. al to start the occupation process to supposedly prevent all the bad guys for firing rockets … etc. and then maybe a few outpost ‘settlement’ might spring up … etc.
Probably not; there’d be way too much flak, maybe.
oh, and by the way, unfortunately I don’t think Egypt and Turkey are going to do squat, no matter what Israel does to poor Gaza. though, it sure would be mud in Netanayahu’s evil eye if his gaza adventure actually go some heavy lifting cooperation by Egypt and Turkey to actually stand by Gaza with more than words. That would really shut Netanyahu up.
I would be surprised if Egypt actually did anything. Its economic situation prohibits anything right now, and Morsi has that big IMF loan he’s working on getting, which he could very well jeopardize by engaging in any aggression against Israel. But you never know.
Good news! Looks like a cease fire, and not a ground invasion, is what is imminent!
What are you smoking, Bob? Israel Broadens Bombing
Dear readers, if you want to make such claims please offer a link or source so we can verify your claims. Otherwise, you’re just spreading rumors & there are more than enough of those on both sides.
It’s been all over the news. Here’s an excerpt and link:
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said at a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday that “there are indications of an imminent cessation of combat between Israel and the Palestinians.”
I see you now have a new post about the cease fire as well.
There is no ceasefire, although an Israeli envoy was flown into Cairo today and is in a huddle with the Egyptians, Turks, Tunisians, Qataris and Palestinians as I write.
This morning 50 Egyptian peace activists with 8 trucks of aid traveled to Gaza as well.
No one knows what is going to happen until it happens.
I doubt that’s what he said in Arabic. At any rate, there is no imminent ceasefire. On the contrary, there may began invasion before there’s a ceasefire. Bibi would love nothing more than to pick off Hams Leander’s one by one & then get himself an immediate ceasefire so he pays no price. I’m afraid the only way this asshole learns a lesson is for someone to hit him over the head really hard. That’s the way Rottweilers are. That’s the only way he’ll back down.
Do I relish this option? Do I want Israeli dead? No. But what if the only choice to stop thousands more Palestinians dying is for Israelis to die. It’s a horrible thought. But not as horrible as Bibi’s current policy of unanswered slaughter.
And if anyone thinks that Israel isn’t exponentially increasing the level of hate, hostility & violence it will face down the line from Arabs, they’ve got their heads up their behinds.
It would be prudent for Bibi to bear in mind that Egypt is not always going to be economically hamstrung and that it would behoove Israel not to play with fire when dealing with Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood is well allied with several Arab countries including Tunisia and Qatar, and is also on excellent terms with the Turks. Whoever is an ally with Egypt is an ally with Palestine. US influence in the region is decreasing by leaps and bounds, which is one reason Obama and Hillary are in Myanmar today and why Obama called Gaza a “crisis du jour.” Obama is expected to lose interest in Israel/Palestine in his second term and concentrate on creating his legacy based on domestic issues.
Dead child in photo was killed by errant Hamas missile, not the IDF!
Around 9:45 a.m., family members and neighbors said, an explosion struck a doorway near the Abu Wardah home, killing Aiman Abu Wardah as he returned from his errand, as well as Mahmoud Sadallah, 4, who lived next door.
The damage was nowhere near severe enough to have come from an Israeli F-16, raising the possibility that an errant missile fired by Palestinian militants was responsible for the deaths. What seems clear is that expectations for a pause in the fighting, for at least one family, were tragically misplaced.
The IDF did not launch any airstrikes in Gaza while Egyptian PM Kandil was in Gaza. AP adds:
Mahmoud Sadallah, the 4-year-old Gaza boy whose death moved Egypt’s prime minister to tears, was from the town of Jebaliya, close to Gaza City.
Mahmoud’s family said the boy was in an alley close to his home when he was killed, along with a man of about 20, but no one appeared to have witnessed the strike. The area showed signs that a projectile might have exploded there, with shrapnel marks in the walls of surrounding homes and a shattered kitchen window. But neighbors said local security officials quickly took what remained of the projectile, making it impossible to verify who fired it.
If it was an Israeli missile, you can be sure that it would have been shown to the media! Furthermore, PCHR, which is keeping track of everyone killed in Gaza (and which admits that most of the dead have been “militants,”) did not list Mahmoud Sadalha or Aiman Aby Wardah in their list of victims of Israeli airstrikes, although they even include one person who died of a heart attack.
Put this together with the fact that Hamas and other terror groups were firing rockets throughout Friday morning while the IDF did not, plus the fact that over 100 rockets have fallen short in Gaza (both using past performance and IDF statistics as proof), and the fact that the shrapnel in the video matches almost exactly the shrapnel damage we have seen from rocket fire into Israel, and it is very clear: this child was killed by Gaza rocket fire, not by Israel.
This is a lie. All that the articles claim is that no one could verify who killed the child, not that an errant Hamas missile did. Essentially, no one knows what happened. Possibly an errant shell killed him or it could be an IDF shell or another cause. Also, another lie is that the IDF remained silent during the so called truce. It did not, as reading farther in the very article you linked to above would have shown you. You haven’t even offered evidence to prove the IDF maintained the ceasefire, which almost every media outlet confirms didn’t happen. Liar much, Joel? Or did your propagandistic zeal simply get the better of you?
As for the PCHR list, you haven’t offered a link to it so no one can verify your claim there either.
Also, use quotation marks so we can tell what’s from the article you quote and what’s your own personal tendentious propaganda.
I’m going to remind you in future to document all claims you make, to quote sources fully & in context, & to differentiate original sources from your own opinion. I’ll be measuring your future comments here against this benchmark to determine whether you’re being a fair participant in the reader community or whether you have an axe to grind. Axe-grinders don’t last here.
If you go to the PCHR website, you should be able to find the names of all those who have been killed thus far in Gaza over the past few days. They update fairly regularly.
A lie? I don’t think so.
What about the 10 or so children murdered today in one strike alone. Did a Hamas Grad kill them too? There are only so many child murders you can disappear from Israel’s moral accountability list.
Stick to the point. You claimed it was a lie. I showed otherwise. Issue a correction instead of deflecting.
I don’t see any reason for a correction as it is not conclusive he was killed by a Palestinian rocket. This is moot anyway. You could talk about the Dalou family instead.
I wonder why did you choose a photo of palestinian child and did not put a photo of injured or dead Israeli child?!
I think you don’t really want peace.. you just hate Israel.. both sides should be well presented if you really want peace!!
No Israeli children have been killed in this round of fighting. Or perhaps with the help of the Propaganda, er Hasbara Ministry you can dig one up.
Oh and Maan reports 3 more Gazan children killed today. Stuff that in your pro-Israel pipe and smoke it.
If not killed, but injured.. It doesn’t make it any better. Unlike IDF, HAMMAS fire rockets to get civilian casualties and as many as they can. Unlike HAMMAS, Israelis do regret a loss of innocent palestinian child.
It almost seems that you are happy that 3 more Gazan children wre killed today… You remind me the Hamas leaders and their use of children in this conflict.
You are beyond disgusting.
I guess you even missed the fact that “During the fighting, Hamas held meetings inside the hospital and distributed the payroll from the hospital” (taken from wikipedia). Just for you to understand how hard it is to get the responsible for rocket firing without hurting the innocent that are being held as hostage by Hamas. Stuff that in your pro-Terrorist pipe and smoke it.
It feels like you do support Israeli innocent casualties.. I cant find anywhere that you condemn rocket firing into civilian area… That just makes it clear what you are all about.
“You really do need to do some homework.”
Oh dear, Mary, that crushing argument is too schoolmarmish for me to seriously enter into.