Sunday, March 02, 2008

Not Cleared for Publication: Rockets fall on Ashdod

While dozens of rockets (Qassam, Katyusha, Grad, it doesn't really matter what you call it when it lands next to you) have been exploding all over the Western Negev, Sederot and Ashkelon -- it hasn't been cleared for publication by Israel's censor, but rockets are landing in Ashdod as well (miles north of Ashkelon).

I really don't want to dust off the "Israel at War, Muqata special edition" banner, but it looks inevitable that the IDF is poised for a more serious incursion into Gaza.

The problem is that Israel has no real game plan for stopping the terror from Gaza, and Israel's politicians do not want to admit that the only possible solution for the time being is returning to military occupation of Gaza. It is militarily impossible to stop the Gaza rockets in a short-spanned week or two operation, and until Israel does not fully control the Egypt/Gaza border the flow of terrorist and weapons will continue.

Israel's PR department is operating sub par (as usual), with Asst. Defense Minister Matan Vilnai using a poor choice of words "shoah" (catastrophe with a small "s" or "Holocaust" with a large "S") to define what the Palestinians are bringing upon themselves by increasing their rocket range. PA's Abbas retorted that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is even worse than the Holocaust, but since his doctoral thesis was all about denying the Holocaust, I'm not sure why anyone cares what he has to say.

Actually, there is a military solution to the rocket terror which could be done within the span of hours instead of weeks and days. Unfortunately, Israel's leaders do not believe Israel has the legitimacy to use the solution in defending it's citizens.

It works.

Disproportionate Response.

Ethical, Moral, and Needed now.

It won't win us any extra brownie points from the UN, but they condemn everything we do, so we might as well get the security we need for our citizens if we're going to get lambasted by the world community.

A good week (if that's even possible),


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Anonymous said...

Was it right of you to reveal censored information that the government doesn't want the average Israeli citizen to know about?

And if you are already dissing the Censor, why don't you talk about the shootings near/on Gilo last night?

Anonymous said...

Jameel, when did the rockets start falling? Noon?

For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon desolate; they shall drive out Ashdod at noonday, and Ekron shall be uprooted.

Anonymous said...


Disproportionate response is more difficult (legally) than you make it out to be. It's not just that we'll be condemned by the UN (and the rest of the usual suspects).

There are certain elements of international law that are also considered to be part of Israeli law, even if never legislated specifically in the Knesset. In order to overturn such law, we'd need specific legislation PERMITTING the act.

Disproportionate response is part of this international law. It is illegal under Israeli law.

However, in the current situation, it is foolhardy to simply assume (as did Ban) that harsh response, even if it kills civilians (from whose neighborhoods the rockets are being launched) would automatically be considered "disproportionate".

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jerry: Obviously disproportionate response is illegal under Israeli law. We aren't even allowed to shut off the electricity to Gaza which they don't pay for, and we have no responsibility for.

We're so stupid, that Ehud Barak just asked the legal question today if the IDF is even allowed to return fire to the locations where rockets are fired from (if in populated areas).

Why didn't he *ask* this question when he entered office? Or maybe when he was IDF Chief of Staff?

Israel's legal system doesn't even allow us a moidcum of self defence any more.

Anonymous: Out of deference to the censor, I won't write when they fell...I assume you'll eventually see it in the news.

Joe: The reason I ignored the censor is because it's already in print in much bigger news sources online than the "muqata"

YMedad said...

Gilo news has already been published.

And as for Jameel, as long as I've known him, he's been disproportionate.

Lion of Zion said...

"why don't you talk about the shootings near/on Gilo last night"

i read about in arutz7 last night

Akiva said...

Jameel - A commentor on my blog mentioned that Reuters, and apparently all British mainstream papers, appear to have 'accidentally' mistranslated what Vilnai said. More info here.

Besides what you mentioned, news reports say there were molotov cocktail attacks on the Shomron road to (not sure if it was Pesegot or Pisgat Ze'ev), shooting in Gilo, and not reported widely major rock throwing around Beitar Illit. Also reported rioting in arab areas of Jerusalem.

This is quickly becoming a very big deal.

Anonymous said...


how long does it usually take for this info to hit the press?

i've been checking all afternoon, and not a dickie bird about ashdod on any of the main english news sites.

did it definitely happen?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm all for a more proportionate response.

let the army mix out of the whole affair and let the residents of Sderot, Ashkelon etc. start making their own rockets and firing them back.

they want proportionate give them proportionate.

Anonymous said...

I don't get what this whole disproportionately thing is all about. You don't win wars by acting proportionally.

You win wars by crushing your enemy. They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They put one of your men in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue.

You must fight on their level. With trickery, brutality, finality. You must match their evil.

Did you know that two thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the face of the known world free of the fear of molestation? He could walk across the earth unharmed, cloaked only in the words ‘Civis Romanis’ I am a Roman citizen. So great was the retribution of Rome, universally understood as certain, should any harm befall even one of its citizens?

Tit for tat does lead to more violence. And isn't that what proportionality really means?

If you aren't fighting with disproportionately then you aren't fighting to win, And if you aren't fighting to win then you are just continuing the cycle of violence. Don't get me wrong. I am not one of those who say that violence never solved anything. Ask what the city fathers of Hiroshima what they say about it and you know what they would say? NOTHING, Hiroshima was destroyed. Violence has resolved more conflicts than anything else. The contrary opinion that violence doesn't solve anything is merely wishful thinking at its worst.

No, I am not a pacifist. But the truth is that when you fight you fight in order to totally destroy your enemy's will and capacity to fight. You totally overwhelm them.

Anything less than that is just unnecessary cruelty.

yitz said...

Any answers to this: did it definitely happen?

The only thing I could find was on a Hebrew chat room, here:

Still waiting for clarification, Jameel!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yitz: All the Israeli forums; tapuz, rotter, etc have comments from people in Ashdod about the missile strikes on shabbat in Ashdod.

We heard from a friend who lives in Ashdod.

This website also mentions the Hamas response...

Even though I don't believe it's the whole story.

The back of the hill said...

Any response will be called disproportionate by the pro-Pally crowd.

I think an argument can be made that any response which leaves Hamas capable of firing another rocket is "disproportionate" - in the wrong direction.

A response which stops the rockets would be, obviously, proportionate. So far there has not been any such response. No wonder the Pallies think they're winning. They will not stop untill they're conclusively defeated.

As long as Israel refrains from crushing them, they will commit outrages.

Israel is too gentle.

And I say this with all the love for the Pallies that I can muster.

Anonymous said...

If you listened carefully to Olmert's speech today, stopping the rockets is not even his goal. His goal rather, is a "הפחתה משמעותית" of rocket fire.

It seems that if the IDF acts to reduce the rocket fire to the regular few a day on Sderot, that would be just fine.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I haven't commented here for ages. Here in the UK mainstream media this is presented as a story about latest attacks by Israel and how many civilians have been killed in Gaza (and how can we believe their figures?). It really is like the BBC is the propaganda wing of the PA. Sometimes they tack on a bit about rockets for "balance" but it's obvious they're implying that the IDF is reckless.

I don't know to what extent Israel *needs* international support, but to get it their PR really needs to improve. We need to hear about every rocket attack and every Israeli injured. We need to be told that the terrorists are deliberately operating from within populated areas. We also need to hear about how the IDF picks its targets and how accurate they are so that it's not just a story about jet fighters vs. fireworks.

I don't know how interested news organisations are in reporting this, though. There's a half-hearted attempt in here:

"Israeli officials say that the military operation was designed to stop the frequent rocket fire from Gaza into towns in southern Israel. Since 2000, 13 Israelis have been killed by these rockets."

"Hamas, whose stronghold is Gaza, calls for the destruction of Israel and the return of Palestinian refugees who left or were forced to leave their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948."

...but it's very half-hearted and mostly only the top paragraphs about deaths and funerals in Gaza make it into the TV report.

Anonymous said...

Is a point going to come when you admit that this didn't happen?

Search the Muqata


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