|Familiar scenes - from seven years ago [Image Source]|
Here's a first extract:
On Friday, Palestinians in Gaza returned for the fourth time to the border fence with Israel, in protests promoted by Hamas. The explicit purpose of Hamas leaders is to breach the fence and march on Jerusalem. Israel cannot possibly allow this — doing so would create a precedent that would encourage similar protests, and more death, along all of Israel’s borders — and has repeatedly used deadly force to counter it. The armchair corporals of Western punditry think this is excessive. It would be helpful if they could suggest alternative military tactics to an Israeli government dealing with an urgent crisis against an adversary sworn to its destruction. They don’t. It would also be helpful if they could explain how they can insist on Israel’s retreat to the 1967 borders and then scold Israel when it defends those borders. They can’t.He's right. We're old enough to remember the coordinated Arab assaults on multiple Israeli bordersseven years ago in conjunction with Naqba Day - May 14 and 15, 2011 and around the same time as the ill-fated and unfortunately-named Arab Spring.
A BBC report at the time ["Palestinian protests: Arab spring or foreign manipulation?", BBC, May 15, 2011] said the not-so-peaceful "protestors"
undoubtedly embodied the same kind of risk-taking, confrontational people-power ethos that has fired the revolts in many parts of the Arab world.How did that risk-taking confrontation play out?
Some weeks later, those May 2011 events in Syria were revealed to have actually been planned ahead of time by the Assad regime. This is all documented in an expose ["Report: Document Reveals Nakba Day Clashes Planned by Syria Government", Haaretz, June 14, 2011]. The bused-in attackers had attempted to breach Israel's border which was the plan. The Haaretz report quotes a Syrian government memo: "Permission is hereby granted allowing approaching crowds to cross the cease fire line (with Israel) towards the occupied Majdal-Shamms, and to further allow them to engage physically with each other in front of United Nations agents and offices. Furthermore, there is no objection if a few shots are fired in the air." There are clear parallels with what's happening now on Israel's Gaza frontier.
Then in June 2011, again on the Syria side of its border with Israel, large numbers of assailants purporting to "protest" were again bused in from Damascus. A Jerusalem Postreport quoted Syrian officials saying 23 were killed and 350 injured "as they attempted over the course of several hours to breach the barbed-wire border".
who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being “yahudi” — Arabic for Jew. The episode was caught on video and has caused a national uproar... There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year...Stephens then connects Israel and Europe:
To be Jewish — at least visibly Jewish — in Europe is to live on borrowed time... There’s a limit to how many armed guards can be deployed indefinitely to protect synagogues or stop Holocaust memorials from being vandalized... There are many reasons to celebrate the date [of Israel's 70th anniversary a few days ago], many of them lofty: a renaissance for Jewish civilization; the creation of a feisty liberal democracy in a despotic neighborhood; the ecological rescue of a once-barren land; the end of 1,878 years of exile. But there’s a more basic reason. Jews cannot rely for their safety on the kindness of strangers... Hence Israel: its army, bomb, and robust willingness to use force to defend itself. Israel did not come into existence to serve as another showcase of the victimization of Jews. It exists to end the victimization of Jews... Though not Jewish, Adam Armoush was once one of the nonchalant when it came to what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Presumably no longer. For Jews, it’s a painful, useful reminder that Israel is not their vanity. It’s their safeguard.Well said.