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What did Israel gain by its Gaza war?
Published Sunday 25/11/2012 (updated) 25/11/2012 12:22
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On Nov. 14, the Israeli government, led by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his minister of defense Ehud Barak, declared the beginning of its "Pillar of Cloud" operation in Gaza.

At the time, several goals were declared; bringing back Israel’s deterrence power, destroying the Palestinian movements' fighting capabilities in Gaza and assuring security in southern Israeli cities for a long time.

Reaching a ceasefire after eight days of continuous airstrikes on Gaza and the launching of hundreds of rockets into Israel was not easy.

The US had to be involved, Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi made a lot of effort, the Qataris were also involved, as well as Turkey and many other actors who all joined in Cairo to try to stop the war.

At the last moments before reaching the ceasefire, the Israeli leadership was completely lost. Finishing the airstrikes against the so-called "bank of targets," resulting in killing dozens of Palestinian children and women, put the Israeli leadership in a new reality that they had denied before.

Even though Gaza was shaking continuously for eight days, until the last moments before the ceasefire came into play, the Palestinian movements continued to strike targets within Israel.

The human losses on the Israeli side were nothing when compared to the number of the Palestinians that lost their lives in Gaza. But the Israeli street was surprised after Prime Minister Netanyahu declared the end of the operation, named "Pillar of Defense" in English.

Israeli public opinion was convinced that Gaza could be erased from the earth, as one Israeli leader has wished, and that the security of the Israeli people can be established by achieving deterrence power, both in Gaza and the region.

Netanyahu convinced Israel that the conflict with the Palestinians can be carried out without reaching an agreement with the millions of Palestinians which are still under occupation.

The shock came at the moment when the Israeli people understood that the force of its army did not succeed in erasing the threat by simply attacking Gaza and maintaining its soldiers to protect the illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Israelis thought that Netanyahu would be clever enough to prevent the Palestinian leadership from going to the UN to ask for a recognition of a Palestinian state and everyone gambled on the Palestinian division which is now being bridged by the Israeli attack on Gaza.

This is not Netanyahu’s first failure; we must only remember that he ordered the Mossad spy agency to assassinate Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal in Jordan and almost lost the peace agreement with the Hashemite kingdom.

Operation "Pillar of Defense", which I prefer to call "Pillar of Offense" resulted in several failures for the Israeli leadership.

This is not the first time that Gaza is destroyed and this is not the first time Palestinians are called to rebuild their cities, whether in Gaza or in the West Bank before.

Actually the operation pushed Palestinians to reject surrender, strengthened calls for Palestinian unity, and enabled the West Bank to prove it is impossible to isolate Gaza.

Did Israel learn anything? Defense minister Ehud Barak is still talking about the destruction of government buildings and killing of military chiefs in Gaza, making an equivalence between Gaza and a state like Israel, rather than a territory under its occupation.

The Israeli goals for this operation were not accomplished at all, except that Israeli leaders succeeded in perpetuating an industry of fear so they will get reelected.

After this operation, Israelis must stop ignoring that Palestinians are under occupation and have to deal with Israeli policies of apartheid and racism every day.

Only after raising awareness amongst Israelis and convincing them that ending occupation can bring real security, would it be possible to assure a better future.

As for the international community, it is the time to understand that fighting the Palestinians' demand for freedom and end to the occupation is worse than any other oppression in history.

Palestinians today are more united and more determined to move forward while demanding their rights.

It would be a serious double standard for any country that believes in democratic norms, human rights or justice to refuse the Palestinian demand for statehood, and an end to occupation and apartheid.

Ziad Khalil Abu Zayyad is Founder of the Middle East Post and MEL (Middle East Future Leadership Network) and lives in East Jerusalem.
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
25/11/2012 14:35
Israelli public opinion has nothing to do with lies being written by Abu Zayyad. There is no such public opinion. We want peace with Gaza, but if your terrorist friends there continue to fire rockets at our towns and cities then they will again bring war on their own heads. Gaza has continuously firing rockets and mortars for over 10 years. There was no "ceasefire" before since neither group ever used the word before, and yes, they continued to shoot at us. We didn't gain. You lost. Again.

2 ) With enemies like these / Who needs friends?
25/11/2012 14:42
This man is delusional. How can he call Gaza "occupied"? Even Hamas doesn't claim that! His delusion blinds him to the game changing achievement of the Israelis. There will now be a major USA military presence in the Sinai. Thus releasing the IDF to deal with Hezbollah and anyone else who cares to get involved. With analysts like him influencing Pally tactics, the Israelis have nothing to worry about!

3 ) meander / ireland
25/11/2012 20:43
Brian cohen is one of many very sad people paid by Isreal to peddle this nonsense, give it up man , its over, the world knows the truth, all Palastinians are under occupation, Isreal is an apartheid state, and if the US vetos palastines undeniable right to statehood they will be utterly vilified. The US federal goverment and Isreal are the true axis of evil in the world today, someday very soon irefutable evidense of their complicity in 911 will surface, and the whole world will know .

4 ) Michae / Canada
26/11/2012 00:15
israeli is the most evil country in the world. Even tho Canada supports Israeli Canada well be led down a bad path and will damage this country reputation.

5 ) michael mazur / australia
26/11/2012 01:43
Israel is in a deep hole of PM Netanyahu's making. He now has lost the election of January 22.
What desperate act might he now commit ?
He would like to perhaps sink a US capital ship in the Persian Gulf as nothing else is open to him, and have the Iranians blamed for it to get the US to nuke Iran.
Obama won't fall for it, and when Iran knows that nuking by the US is all but certain, will send missiles only against Israel as a message to all that the sinking of the US ship was not by Iran.

6 ) Harry Claw / US
26/11/2012 01:49
Brian Cohen as well as nearly every pro Israeli voice are indeed paid to lie. Israel killed a kid playing a game, and than killed the child's mourners, and by this act was violence initiated. That is just the most recent explanation--the long historical record, once freed from Zionist myths, is far more difficult to defend if one should choose to endorse a "Jewish State" in historic Palestine (which existed prior to the creation of the Torah). The truth can no longer be concealed.

7 ) A & Z / australia
26/11/2012 03:09
As a disinterested party I have examined what both sides have said and I have ruled that the palestinians are in the right and the Israeli's are in the wrong. I am the final arbiter of all matters. Trust me

8 ) charles williams / usa
26/11/2012 06:59
Comments 1 and 2 are from paid israeli shills who practice deception and try to influence public opinon with crass zionist prapaganda. Everyone who studies the matter with an open mind knows Palestine is under ruthless and criminal Israeli oppression and occupation, as well as an illegal military blockade. Israel is a racist apartheid state. If it refuses to change it will eventually be demolished from the inside by its citizens or will being crushed in by Hezbollah and iran in a war.

9 ) Ray Hanania / USA
26/11/2012 14:48
Ziad Khalil Abu Zayyad's column is right on and accurate, exposing Israeli lies and propaganda and worse, the racism and hatred of most Israelis. Israe today is the most racist it has ever been and all you have to do is read the comments published in response to clearly written analysis like the one by Abu Zayyad. The Israeli military murdered far more men, women and children compared to the civilians killed by Palestinian "rockets."

10 ) milad / palestine
26/11/2012 22:43
@ ray hanania ..stick to impressing zios in amrica

11 ) Amira / Canada
27/11/2012 18:23
"It would be a serious double standard for any country that believes in democratic norms, human rights or justice to refuse the Palestinian demand for statehood, and an end to occupation and apartheid."

US Vetoing pro-Palestinians requests at the UN, US and Europeans financing and armiing occupation, letting their double-nationality Jewish citizens finance settlements and soldiers and go to israel to do their military service, trading with israel, supporting Gaza blockade, and on and on.

12 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
27/11/2012 22:57
How can Israel be apartheid if Arabs live there, can vote, serve in parliament, and attend the same universities and hospitals? How can Palestine be "democratic" when Jews are banned, cannot own property and cannot serve in the PA? Face it, the real apartheid is in Palestine where Jews are ethnically cleansed. There are Arabs in the Knesset, but no Jews in the PA. The facts are clear - Palestine is the true apartheid state.

13 ) @ Brian / WB
28/11/2012 01:08
you realize it is Israel that bans Jews from PA areas? And there is a Jewish Fatah MP actually.

14 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
28/11/2012 10:52
Oh really #13? You mean that I can buy a house in Jenin and move there? Or did you forget that the Palestinians have the death penalty for the person who sells me a house in Jenin? And just who is this "Jewish Fatah MP" ??? Is he allowed to practice his religion living in Palestine? Aside from this one single exception, can you point out any other practicing Jews who live in the PA? We know it's hard to admit the truth that Palestine is the real apartheid.

15 ) Kim Fletcher / Israel
28/11/2012 12:07
To all who take sides... Stop the victimisation,blame,name calling and hate!There are people dieing on both sides. Is it so hard to aknowledge that there people called Palestinians in Gaza the West Bank and inside Israel? Do they not deserve human liberties? And if anyone thinks they are not being occupied then go please read the international law! Closure of all boarder around Gaza "open air prison" for the collective masses not just the "terrorist" and then collective punishment what Defense

16 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
28/11/2012 15:28
Excuse me, Kim, but the vast majority of Israelis do indeed recognize the Palestinians and that they deserve human liberties - many of which they are being denied by the PA and Hamas (freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech). And fyi the UN investigated and concluded that the blockade of Gaza is indeed legal. "open air prison" is just so much Pal propaganda you spit out. I'll say it again - if the Pals stop shooting rockets and return to peace talks, we might get peace.
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