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Czech PMFor several days, Israeli media gleefully reported that the Czech prime-minister supported the Israeli operation in Gaza; his statement was attributed special significance, as the Czech Republic takes the rotating EU presidency soon. Never mind the position is nominal, without any real power. Unlike them, we remained skeptical.

One reason for our skepticism is that the Czech PM actually voiced no such support. In his words, the Israeli operation has been “defensive rather than aggressive.” This more or less everyone accepts: the debate is over proportionality.

Responding to protests from Libya and others, the Czech PM retracted his comment, and the Czech FM declared it “a serious mistake.”

In an interview with French TV-24, Haniye’s political adviser Ahmed Yousef said Hamas would accept a ceasefire without any preconditions. Earlier, Hamas demanded that Israel open the Gaza crossings. Yousef’s opinion does not automatically reflect Haniye’s position.

Yousef reiterated Hamas’ commitment to stopping rocket fire on Israel during the truce, as indeed Hamas behaved during the six months of ceasefire. A few dozen rockets were launched by other militants, and Hamas generally acted to repress them.

Curiously, French newsmen got to Ahmed Yousef before IDF could find him.

Arab governments, including Fatah thugs, are siding with Israel in her attempt to dislodge Hamas, but they also are pandering to their constituencies with anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, Hamas-neutral rhetoric. But the masses don’t play politics, and they will take the rhetoric for encouragement—still more credible, as it comes from pro-Western politicians.
Arab regimes have come under popular criticism for collaborating with Israel against the Palestinians. Mubarak so far stands with Israel more firmly than anyone else, and no wonder: a Hamastan in Gaza would provide an operations-base for Egyptian terrorists.

Responding to the incitement, Arab masses took to the streets. Turkey, the Muslim country most friendly to Israel, saw up to 700,000 of its typically secular citizens in Istanbul protesting the Israeli operation.
In Morocco, another Muslim country friendly to Jews, demonstrations were attended by 40,000. Interestingly, an anti-Israeli demonstration in Lebanon was about ten times smaller. Apparently the Lebanese, who have had first-hand experience with Palestinian terrorists, are not that antagonistic to Israeli goals.

In Norway, an anti-Israel demonstration turned violent, and the Israeli Embassy was attacked. Sixty years ago, the German Embassy faced no such threats.

Canada is a country most Jews imagine to be safe, yet more than 10,000 people participated in anti-Semitic demonstrations in major cities.

The Bank of Israel boosts dollar reserves to $41 billion. This is an odd move, as the crisis has cut into the US dollar’s value. But Bank of Israel is intertested in artificially pushing the shekel down so as to benefit ultra-rich Israeli exporters. A weak shekel means higher prices for Israeli consumers, but who cares.

Hamas is using Israeli and US weapons the government supplied to Fatah before the 2007 takeover in Gaza. Israel continues supplying weapons to Fatah in the West Bank.

Olmert promised the presidents of Russia, France, and Germany that Israel won’t re-occupy Gaza. Now, that was obscene. We have here a Lebensraum state, an Eastern autocracy that occupies everything it can from Hungary to Afghanistan, and the nation that slaughtered millions in Algiers and Indochina questioning Israel’s takeover of a tiny plot of land used as a terrorist base. After bombing Chechnya out of existence for a few terrorist acts most likely staged by KGB/FSB rather than Chechens, Medvedev has the audacity to criticize Israel.

And most insultingly, the Israeli PM cares to listen to Russians after they supplied S-300s to Iran, agreed to deploy one in Syria, and even though they sell weapons to just about every enemy of Israel.

Israeli soldiers seek weapons caches and Palestinian guerrillas in Gaza. Any army is woefully unprepared for that kind of a police job. Even with Shabak’s excellent intelligence, arrests of Hamas officials or targeted raids against rank-and-file members are hugely expensive and highly inefficient. They expose IDF troops to enemy snipers and create confusion, as soldiers have no experience enabling them to differentiate between civilians and non-uniformed guerrillas.

The one thing IDF Staff doesn’t advertise is that it uses the troops as bait to draw Palestinian guerrillas into open battles in a bid to destroy as many of them as possible. IDF cannot realistically kill more than a fraction of the 40,000 (Hamas, PIJ, PRC, PLFP) to 110,000 (including Fatah) guerrillas, many of them non-uniformed and living civilian life (e.g., Army of Islam).

Even without organized resistance, Israeli losses are not low: more than forty wounded (most of them lightly) and one dead. IDF has increased the deadliness of its encounters: whereas aerial strikes killed one Palestinian for every five wounded, ground clashes provide a kill-to-wounded ratio of 1:3. Only about a hundred Palestinian guerrillas are dead in the invasion, which brings their death toll in the operation close to 600.

Taking over northern Gaza reduced the number of rocket attacks by about two thirds, but those are inefficient Kassam projectiles. More lethal Katyusha rockets can be fired from southern Gaza.

Palestinian resistance stiffened as Israeli troops entered urban combat.

The Supreme Court embraced a truly moronic solution in regard to terrorist Merkaz HaRav’s house: it won’t be demolished lest the Arab’s human rights be violated, but it will be partially sealed. The Arabs will open it and police will re-close it time and again, but those practical difficulties are of no concern to the government.

The judges abstained from hearing the case because “it’s not the court’s policy to interfere in army matters.” Oh yeah? Is it a  different court that rules on everything from the separation barrier’s route to land-use for closed military zones?

Six hundred Israeli Arabs have been detained for rioting in support of Hamas, but 1.5 million of their compatriots remain at large.