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Israel, Iran, and the Gaza Strip

I Haaretz reports that the Israeli cabinet is considering calling up as many as 75,000 reservists, which is a massive mobilization many times larger than the call-up for Cast Lead. Even if you discount this report as psy-ops on the part of Israel against Hamas, it appears that Netanyahu wants a massive display of force. Though it could mean he intends to re-occupy Gaza, I strongly doubt that’s his intent. It would bring massive international opprobrium, which isn’t what he wants in the run-up to elections.
My sense (wholly personal and not based on specific knowledge) is that Bibi and Barak plan for this to be a two to three-week military exercise. I can’t believe they’d want it to fester longer than that because that would put in major dent in the feel-good atmosphere he’d like to engender in the late-January election period. That still gives plenty of time for the IDF to collect its scalps, which can be prominently displayed before the Israeli public, thus giving Bibi his own personal war on which he can proudly campaign.
The death toll has risen to 35 in Gaza. There were no Israeli deaths today.
I was gratified to see Egypt’s prime minister visiting Gaza today. It was a gutsy move by Pres. Morsi. I think Israel can expect more of this if/when it invades. Tunisia’s foreign minister is due later today there. I would love to see Turkey’s foreign minister visiting Gaza as well. Erdogan promised to visit. There couldn’t be a better time. In fact, if a different foreign minister scheduled a visit every day, it might make it considerably harder for the IDF to massacre Gazan civilians. Another visit from the emir of Qatar would be great right around now. How about one of those chubby Saudi crown princes? Get out of the Lamborghinis and put yourself on the line for your fellow Muslims for a change.
Many have taken to calling this Cast Lead II, but I think that’s wrong. A lot has changed since 2009: the Arab Spring. Egypt is governed by the Muslim Brotherhood. That is why the visit earlier today of the Egyptian prime minister to Gaza, even though symbolic, was a major piece of theater.
Turkey has become hostile to Israel since the Mavi Marmara massacre. Ironically, Turkey was in the process of mediating a possible peace agreement between Syria and Israel when Olmert chose, instead, to begin one of his two wars. Erdogan’s goverment has offered once again to mediate the current conflict. This has to be in part intended to needle Netanyahu, who the Turkish leader knows wants nothing of a ceasefire nor of anything to do with Turkey.


1 Comment

  1. Profile photo of dor123abc dor123abc says:

    This is an interesting article. Good job

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