Although Israel clearly needs no reasons to invade Palestine, it seems that the current devastating wave of attacks which have killed more than 300 Palestinians – 3 times more than all the British troops killed in Iraq since 2003 in just a few deadly days if bombardment – are motivated by 2 main reasons.
The first and probably most important is that with the Israeli national elections coming up, the aggressive hawks within the Israeli cabinet want to send a message out to the electorate that they are “tough on terror” and they are still the electorates best bet to protect them from Hamas.
Secondly, it surely can’t be any coincidence that Obama is to be sworn in as president soon and this is the Israeli government’s way of sending out a warning to him that, even though Bush and his neo-cons are gone, not to “go soft” over the Palestinians.
On this latter point, it is frustrating that, as Lenin’s Tomb points out, Obama refuses to speak out against Israeli aggression. Of course, being the consummate diplomat he is, Obama’s argument is that the Israeli’s have a legitimate right to protect themselves from rocket attacks by Hamas which sparked off the whole thing in the first place. He fails to mention however that while the American government arms Israel to the teeth with weapons and F15 Fighter jets, it gives none to Hamas, the political party that was democratically elected by Palestinians that the Americans consider terrorists.
More importantly, Obama has to keep The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sweet since they lent a lot of support and funding to his electoral compaign.
With this conflict exploding on the back of the financial crisis, it seems that Obama’s honeymoon is over before it has even begun.
Note that some suggestions on how to help relive the suffering of victims in Gaza can be found here.