Why Was There War in Gaza?

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Charles Krauthammer @ NRO:

Why was there an Israel–Gaza war in the first place? Resistance to the occupation, say Hamas and many in the international media.

What occupation? Seven years ago, in front of the world, Israel pulled out of Gaza. It dismantled every settlement, withdrew every soldier, evacuated every Jew, leaving nothing and no one behind. Except for the greenhouses in which the settlers had grown fruit and flowers for export. These were left intact to help Gaza’s economy — only to be trashed when the Palestinians took over.

Israel then declared its border with Gaza to be an international frontier, meaning that it renounced any claim to the territory and considered it an independent entity. In effect, Israel had created the first Palestinian state ever, something never granted by fellow Muslims — neither the Ottoman Turks nor the Egyptians who brutally occupied Gaza for two decades before being driven out by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel wanted nothing more than to live in peace with this independent Palestinian entity. After all, the world had incessantly demanded that Israel give up land for peace.

It gave the land. It got no peace.

The Gaza Palestinians did not reciprocate. They voted in Hamas, who then took over in a military putsch and turned their newly freed Palestine into an armed camp from which to war against Israel. It has been war ever since.

Interrupted by the occasional truce, to be sure. But for Hamas a truce — hudna — is simply a tactic for building strength for the next round. It is never meant to be enduring, never meant to offer peace.

But why, given that there is no occupation of Gaza anymore? Because Hamas considers all of Israel occupied, illegitimate, a cancer, a crime against humanity, to quote the leaders of Iran, Hamas’s chief patron and arms supplier. Hamas’s objective, openly declared, is to “liberate” — i.e., destroy — Tel Aviv and the rest of pre-1967 Israel. Indeed, it is Hamas’s raison d’être.

Hamas first killed Jews with campaigns of suicide bombings. After Israel built a nearly impenetrable fence, it went to rockets fired indiscriminately at civilians in populated areas.

What did Hamas hope to gain from this latest round of fighting, which it started with a barrage of about 150 rockets into Israel? To formally translate Hamas’s recent strategic gains into a new, more favorable status quo with Israel. It works like this:

Hamas’s new strength comes from two sources. First, its new rocketry, especially the Fajr-5, smuggled in from Iran, which can reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, putting 50 percent of Israel’s population under its guns.

Second, Hamas has gained strategic strength from changes in the regional environment. It has acquired the patronage and protection of important Middle Eastern states as a result of the Arab Spring and the Islamist reversal in Turkey.

For 60 years, non-Arab Turkey had been a reliable ally of Israel. The vicious turnaround instituted by its Islamist prime minister, Recep Erdogan, reached its apogee on Monday when he called Israel a terrorist state.

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

4 Responses to “Why Was There War in Gaza?”

  1. 1

    Liberal1 (Objectivity)

    Even Krauthammer repeats the myth of the Greenhouses. They were not left in tact. 50% of them were disassembled by the Israelis to be moved to Israel. The remainder were left unworkable, due to lack of maintenance and irrigation by the Israelis during negotiations. So the Palestinians took the materials for rebuilding in Gaza—since Israel was blockading building materials. (Look it up)

    That’s the problem with extreme conservatives. They just believe what their people tell them—without researching the issue. But that’s normal for many liberals and conservatives—to believe their own spokespeople. That’s why blogging on conservative website is a valuable exercise for me—I learn from their mistakes.

  2. 2


    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    So you think that just because I force you to move from your home at the point of a gun, the only home you have ever known, and I decide that I am going to confiscate your property, including your home and your business that you built, that you should leave it for me to profit from? If you were forcing me to leave my home, and everything I had worked to build, I would set a match to all of it before I let you enjoy one board.

    The Israelis built those greenhouses, doing what Israel does best, turning fallow land into productive farm land, but within hours of the Israeli evacuations, Palestinians, still basking in the glory of the 7th century, vandalized the greenhouses making them inoperable. They [the 7th century Palestinians] carried off the hoses, the water pumps, the plastic sheeting that covered the greenhouses while the Palestinian army stood by watching the destruction of the greenhouses by their fellow followers of the Pedophile Prophet. The remaining greenhouses, that were not totally destroyed by the 7th century cavemen, were purchased by wealthy people, including Bill Gates, for a price of $14 million to be given, freely, to the Palestinians. Major mistake.

    And why did Israel shut off the water to greenhouses whose water pumps had been stolen and were not functional anyway? Perhaps the number of rockets being fired into Israel by the followers of the Pedophile Prophet had something to do with that, you think? What good was the water anyway when there were no water pumps or hoses to facilitate the flow of the water?

    And let’s not forget how those ever so brilliant Gazans immediately started burning synogogues, and sturdy buildings built by the Jewish settlers that could have been used for schools or even housing Palestinians. No, no such common sense coming from the Gazans. Instead, they destroyed the greenhouses which could have not only provided the Gazans with much needed food, but turned the greenhouses in vast wastelands where they built tunnels into Israel in order to smuggle arms and terrorists so they could continue with the only thing that is important to Gazans, killing Jews.

    But you seem to think that when someone else demands your property, you should be forced to leave your home, your business, your garage with your car sitting in it, and everything else you worked hard to build simply because someone else wants what you built, but doesn’t have a clue how to profit from it so they tear it down.

    As long as Palestinians teach their children to march with AK-47s shouting “Death to Israel, Death to America” there will be no peace. The truest thing I have ever heard was that there will be no peace in the Middle East until the Muslims start valuing the lives of their children more than they value the deaths of Jews.

  3. 3


    you prefer to believe the liars terrorist who started this last war
    just like you believed with the other the LIBYANS where protecting the AMBASSADOR,
    and you don’t believe the SEALS BEING TOLD TO STAY DOWN BY OBAMA.

  4. 4


    Liberal you need to learn some history, specifically what did the place that is now Israel look like before 1948?

    It was a wasteland with nothing growing and a desert landscape. Some of you liberals are so freaking dumb it is pathetic.

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