Home Ed: 34: February/2009

Ed: 34: February/2009

War and Politics

Even his rivals agree that Ehud Barak's leadership of the Gaza campaign was impressive. The IDF seems to have emerged from its underperformance in 2006 determined to prove that it has treated all the ills that had previously appeared to afflict it.

Media Microscope: The Ging and Gunness Show

John Ging and Christopher Gunness are respectively, the head of and the spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) - the UN organisation set up to care for, and some would say perpetuate the problem of, the Palestinian refugees.

The Last Word: An Intolerable Tolerance

Mixed with chants such as "Bomb the Jews" and children bearing placards bemoaning that Jews didn't get enough Nazi treatment, were many posters and signs claiming Israel/Jews were perpetrating a Holocaust, that the Star of David was the same as the swastika and/or that the Jewish people are involved in genocide.

An Israeli-Palestinian agenda for Obama

Before his inauguration, US President Barack Obama promised that his administration would be engaged in the Middle East peace process from "day one". Because he is venerated in Europe and the Arab world for being perceived as fundamentally different from previous President George W. Bush, but has also appointed people trusted by Israel to some key Middle East roles, many believe Obama is particularly well positioned to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Editorial: A durable ceasefire and beyond

Because Hamas is not likely to stop firing rockets at Israel as long as it has them, the sine qua non of any durable ceasefire is ending Hamas' smuggling of rockets and other weapons into Gaza from Egypt.

Scribblings: A notable absence

Israel bombed at least six mosques during the first week of its Gaza campaign. The silence about this has been pretty deafening. Why? Because it was absolutely clear that Hamas was caught red-handed using mosques as weapons storage centres and military command centres.

Europa Europa: 1930s Redux?

As tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of Europe over the past month, the chants were modified but the message remained substantially intact: "Hamas, Hamas, Hamas - Jews to the Gas." Or, more simply: "Death to the Jews."

After the Gaza storm

Having Hamas as a neighbour is like living next door to a serial killer who abuses his children and threatens to kill them if you go in after him. You can defend yourself but if the police won't arrest him the only choices left are to build a wall around him, stop him from getting weapons, and send in food.

Cracks in Hamas

Hamas has the ability to rehabilitate itself and this should not be taken lightly. But this time it will be hard to mollify Palestinian public opinion. There is no enthusiasm for Hamas' period in power; its fighting prowess has hardly inspired awe, and there is no longer any faith in its leaders.

Teheran’s Gaza Gambit

Behind the scenes in the war between Hamas and Israel, there was a party playing a key role that aspires to be the big winner in the fighting - Iran. As in the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah, Iran is gaining precious time to promote the leading strategic goal of its policy in recent years: attaining nuclear weapons capability.