Thursday, January 22, 2009

Views from the Gulf

Israel fails to achieve war aims - Francis Matthews, Gulf News, Editor at Large, January 21, 2009: Every war needs a political end in order to be a success. This means Israel's assault on Gaza has failed since it achieved no political gain, and not even much military gain. From its side, Hamas has been seen to resist Israel but it cannot claim that it has won much either, other than it still exists. This means that the miserable result of 23 days of savage warfare which killed hundreds of people, is a continuation of the frustrating political stalemate that existed before, exacerbated by vast damage to Gaza's infrastructure and housing.

Israel went into Gaza with the declared aim of stopping the random rocketing of its towns by Hamas fighters in Gaza. This proved impossible, so mid-war Israel shifted its declared aims to be the destruction of Hamas' military and social infrastructure. Israel imagined that somehow its attack would be able to reduce Hamas to nothing and that Gaza would still be there. This aim ignored the obvious fact that Hamas is part of the human fabric of Gaza and cannot be destroyed by weapons....

Barbaric blockade has to end - Editorial, Gulf News, January 22, 2009: ....Despite the humanitarian urgency of getting on with the job, the outrageous Israeli blockade is expected to continue. The ceasefire being debated in the many corridors of power around the region and further afield, does not mean a return to normal life. It does not mean open borders, and it does not mean that Gaza can try to start again. It only means that people will stop shooting each other. Israel still plans to maintain a rigid blockade on Gaza; it will still control the region's sea and air space; it will not allow normal commerce and traffic to start; it will not allow the Arab aid to move into Gaza without passing through Israeli hands.

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