Israeli Government Contradicts its Own Self-Defense Argument
James Marc Leas
Information on the Israeli Government's own web site shows that its self-defense argument for its military operations in Gaza is flawed
Amazingly, the Israeli Government's attack on the Goldstone Report and its longstanding claim that it was acting in self-defense against Hamas rocket fire is flatly contradicted by evidence provided by the Israeli government itself on its own web site. The web site dramatically shows that the Israeli government had already effectively stopped rocket fire long before Israeli forces launched their initial attack on Gaza on November 4, 2008.
Yet, Israeli government spokesmen endlessly repeat the self-defense claim. In an article in the New Republic on 6 October, 2009, for example, Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael B. Oren, stated that Israel's military action in Gaza was "an operation launched in response to the firing of more than 7,000 Hamas missiles at Israeli towns since Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Strip." He then states, "The Goldstone Report goes further than Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews not only of the ability and the need but of the right to defend themselves."
After years of such abject failure of military methods Israel finally hit upon a technique that successfully ended Hamas rocket fire on June 19, 2008. Israel accomplished this feat without dropping a single bomb on Gaza and without sending a single soldier into Gaza: Israel announced an Egyptian brokered six month ceasefire that began on June 19, 2008. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website that ceasefire was so successful that it brought "calm" to towns near Gaza. In an article titled, "One Month of Calm Along the Israel-Gaza Border," posted on July 27, 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) website states:
More than one month has passed since the calm agreement went into effect, with only sporadic violations by the terrorist organizations. Signs of normal life can be seen in towns on both sides of the Israel-Gaza Strip border.
The same site goes on to quote extensively from a report issued by a pro-Israeli government research organization, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC):
During its first month, the lull arrangement resulted in a significant drop in rocket and mortar fire at Israel. A relative calm has settled over Sderot and Israeli population centers near the Gaza Strip, occasionally broken by rockets and mortar bombs fired by terrorist organizations which oppose the lull (mostly local Fatah networks, with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad violating the lull only on one occasion).
The web site includes the following graph demonstrating the success of the lull arrangement.
Rocket and mortar fire during the lull compared to the months preceding it
The graph reads from right to left and shows an average of 413 rockets and mortars fired each month from January 1 to June 18. The number fired declined to 8 for the rest of June and 12 for almost all of July.
The IICC report continues:
The cessation of the intensive fighting which had been going on before the lull has allowed the residents of Sderot and of western Negev population centers, as well as Gaza Strip residents, to return to normal life.
The IICC report then goes on to state,
Publicly, Hamas leaders have stated time and again that the lull is a Palestinian national interest. On several occasions, Hamas members have arrested Fatah operatives who were involved in firing at Israel and confiscated their arms.