Marty Peretz has a column in the New Republic praising the Israeli bombing of Gaza:
So at 11:30 on Saturday morning, according to both the Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz, as well as the New York Times,
50 fighter jets and attack helicopters demolished some 40 to 50 sites
in just about three minutes, maybe five. Message: do not fuck with the
Jews. At roughly noon, another 60 air-attack vehicles went after other
Hamas strategic positions. Israeli intelligence reported 225 people
dead, mostly Hamas military leaders with some functionaries, besides,
and perhaps 400 wounded. The Palestinians announced 300 dead, probably
as a reflex in order to begin their whining about disproportionate
Israeli acts of war. And 600 wounded.
I don’t think the message here is ‘don’t fuck with the Jews’ – I think the message is that the coalition government is beset by allegations of corruption and are afraid they’re going to get rolled by Likud in the February elections; they think that bombing the most densely populated city in the world is a good way to look tough on national security.
Certainly none of the Hamas leaders are going to be harmed in the attacks – they’ll have fled to Egypt long before the bombing started. Since they seem to be utterly indifferent to the lives of their people they can, indeed, fuck with the Jews and will cheefully continue to do so no matter how dire the consequences. The bombing has failed to stop the rocket attacks into Israel.
The Israeli’s look set to invade, which will be grimly fascinating. The IDF has a reputation for deploying highly trained soldiers supported by first-class intelligence, a reputation that took a beating when they went into South Lebanon in 2006 – the IDF and even the celebrated Golani regiments were easily outmatched by the entrenched Hizbollah fighters. Military leaders blamed politicians, who blamed incompetent intelligence reports for the defeat.
Hamas appears to relish the prospect of a ground invasion suggesting that they are dug in and well prepared. Someone is underestimating their enemy here; the leaders of Hamas are smart and competent but they are also prone to delusional mistakes of the ‘Allah will grant us victory’ variety. The leaders of Israel are neither smart nor competant, but they are a lot more rational than their Palestinian counterparts and they do have an overwhelming military advantage.