Operation Protective Edge is now two weeks old. Since the ground offensive began Thursday night, we have begun to get a better picture of just how dangerous Hamas has become in the nine years since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. And what we have learned is that the time has come to take care of this problem. It cannot be allowed to fester or grow anymore.
We have known for years that tunnels were a central component of Hamas’s logistical infrastructure.
What began as the primary means of smuggling weapons, trainers and other war material from Hamas’s sponsors abroad developed rapidly into a strategic tool of offensive warfare against Israel.
Israel was shocked by the FAA’s swift and sudden decision Tuesday to suspend all US civilian air traffic to Tel Aviv. The move was made without an investigation, without issuing any warning, and without any discussion with Israel. As my friend Prof. Eugene Kontorovich from Northwestern Law School explains in the post below published on Commentary’s website, the FAA’s action is over the top when compared to its continued willingness to permit US civilian aircraft to take off and land in Afghanistan. After all, in stark contrast to the situation in Israel, military aircraft in Afghanistan have been downed by Taliban forces. The double standard the FAA has applied to Israel leads necessarily to the conclusion that concern for aircraft safety was not the primary cause for the FAA ruling.
Israel, the FAA, and International Isolation
By Eugene Kontorovich, Commentary Magazine
For years, peace processors and pundits have threatened that to stop its “growing international isolation,” Israel must make “painful concessions” and withdraw from territory. The “growing isolation” was always a myth. Israel’s trade with Europe has grown constantly in recent years, even as it developed new markets and ties in Asia. Tourism has reached record levels almost every year, as has the number of Israelis traveling abroad. Except to those sensitive to the movements of postmodern dance troupes, the international isolation was a chimera.
Now, however, international isolation has truly arrived–not from holding territory, but from leaving it. With the suspension of American and European flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, rockets from Gaza yielded what peace processors said settlement construction would. The flight suspension by all major airlines is a major–even if temporary–economic, diplomatic, and psychological setback for Israel. It finds itself, for the moment, in same position as Iraq, Libya, and Somalia.
The subtext here is that Israel has a sword at its neck: face a private-sector no-fly zone or agree to a cease-fire that lets Hamas keep its rockets, and thus close Ben Gurion Airport again at the time of its choosing. It is a lose-lose proposition.