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Change Has Come Print E-mail

By Caroline B. Glick
March 4, 2009

Provoked by the Palestinians' escalating missile campaign, on Sunday evening the Ashkelon Parents Association voted not to send their children to school on Monday.

Ever since the outgoing Kadima government ended Operation Cast Lead in Gaza on January 20, the Palestinians have steadily stepped-up their missile war against Israel. Over the weekend the IDF acknowledged that six weeks later, daily Palestinian missile barrages against Israel have returned to pre-Operation Cast Lead levels. Moreover, the IDF warned that over the past six weeks, Hamas and its sister terror groups have rebuilt their missile arsenals both through imports of Iranian arms from Egypt and through local production lines. They have also brought in fairly advanced anti-aircraft missiles capable of shooting down IAF helicopters.

The proximate cause for the decision to close down schools was the weekend missile strike against a high school in Ashkelon. The direct hit caused massive damage both to the school and to surrounding apartments. IDF inspectors assessed that the Grad missile the Palestinians used in the attack had been locally upgraded. Its warhead was two and a half times bigger than usual.

As Ashkelon's children settled into their living rooms instead of their classrooms on Monday morning, a few hundred kilometers to the south representatives from 80 countries and international organizations convened in Sharm el-Sheikh to pledge billions of dollars in aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza. The US, represented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pledged $900 million in assistance.

Also on Monday, The Jerusalem Post reported that the US is curtailing its military aid to Israel. Under new Pentagon guidelines, the Ministry of Defense must give a detailed accounting of how it uses every item it purchases with US aid money. As a consequence, the Defense Ministry issued new instructions to the IDF that from now Israel's purchases from the US will be limited to defensive armaments and systems aimed at preserving its "qualitative edge" against its enemies.

TO UNDERSTAND HOW it came to pass that six weeks after Operation Cast Lead, the US has joined the nations of the world in funding Hamas and is curtailing its military assistance to Israel, it is necessary to understand Israel's domestic politics. Specifically, since as Israel's leaders during Operation Cast Lead Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni are responsible for Israel's current predicament, it is necessary to understand their Kadima party's operating rationale.

The main rule of politics that has guided Kadima since its founding in November 2005 is never be perceived as failing. For the past three years, with the active collusion of the local media, Kadima has managed to control the flow of information to the public and so successfully covered up the abject failures of its strategic policies. Its success in last month's elections is testament to its extraordinary capacity to spin and obfuscate information.


 


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