al-Qassam elite fighters 850

Gaza: Not just against Hamas and Islamic Jihad

In a surprisingly frank admission, columnist Ron Ben-Yishai on 21 July admits in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that the massacre in Shujaiya is not just about Hamas and Islamic Jihad: it’s about ‘deterrence.’ Deir Yassin was about deterrence, too, and that crime against humanity will never be forgotten. And because of that, the people of Gaza know well this strategy of the Jewish military state, and will not again fall into that trap.

Shujaiya is portrayed, as a nest of ‘terrorist infrastructure.’ But anything opposed to Jewish domination and oppression in Palestine is designated ‘terrorist’ something or other, so the designation is meaningless except to the numbed Americans. In reality the massacre of Shujaiya was meant to be a stunning example of Jewish viciousness, ruthlessness and slaughter – consider the yearly celebration of the supposed slaughter of 75.000 Persians on “Purim” which is their most joyful holiday. This is not without historical precedent, and it is meant to force the Palestinians in Gaza to recall Deir Yassin, and the slaughter of the Lebanese as well. It is meant to reinforce the perception of the Jewish military state as “the mad dog in the region” and therefore not worth bothering.

The massacre of innocent civilians was perfectly intentional, however Jewish Israelis torture language to justify their atrocities and soothe their skittish population traumatised by losses and the prospect that they are losing. Again.

Keep in mind that this comes as the Jewish military state is losing and begins to realise that it, with all the American-donated hardware cannot militarily win against Palestinian resistance, just as it could not and still cannot win against Hezbollah.

As noted by Nahum Barnea, Saja’iyya is to Hamas more or less what Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon was to Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War – both a symbol and a military stronghold. The destruction in Saja’iyya that I see in the pictures reminds me very much of what I myself saw in Bint Jbeil in 2006.

So the battle of the Gaza Strip will not be decided in Omar al-Mukhtar Square in the center of Gaza City, but in Saja’iyya. When the IDF completes its mission there – and if the political leadership gives it the time and freedom to act – Golani troops, backed by engineering and armored units, will be the decider.

If it is at all possible to have a deciding factor in a war against terrorism and guerrilla warfare, this will be the place.

Let’s put things into clearer perspective: What is at stake in Saja’iyya are not just the shafts from terror tunnels and the subterranean warfare system, nor is solely about the rocket launching systems. This is a battle for hearts and minds.

The IDF will make every effort to clearly demonstrate its can fight terrorism and win, thereby cementing itself in the enemy’s psyche as a beast one should not provoke.

And this objective is the essence of the deterrence that Israel is seeking, not just against Gaza but also against Hezbollah, and perhaps the global jihad organizations that may reach its borders to the north and the east.

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