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Israel’s Shortsighted Assassination ..........   [Copy link] 中文

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Op-EdContributor

Israel’s Shortsighted Assassination

ByGERSHON BASKIN

Published:November 16, 2012

New York Times

AHMED AL-JABARI — the strongman of Hamas, the head of its military wing, theman responsible for the abduction of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit — wasassassinated on Wednesday by Israeli missiles.

Why? Israel’s government has declared that the aim ofthe current strikes against Gaza is to rebuild deterrence so that no rocketswill be fired on Israel. Israel’s targeted killings of Hamas leaders in thepast sent the Hamas leadership underground and prevented rocket attacks onIsrael temporarily. According to Israeli leaders, deterrence will be achievedonce again by targeting and killing military and political leaders in Gaza andhitting hard at Hamas’s military infrastructure. But this policy has never beeneffective in the long term, even when the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas,Sheik Ahmed Yassin, was killed by Israel. Hamas didn’t lay down its guns then,and it won’t stop firing rockets at Israel now without a cease-fire agreement.


When we were negotiating with Hamas to release Mr.Shalit, members of the Israeli team believed that Mr. Jabari wouldn’t make adeal because holding Mr. Shalit was a kind of “life insurance policy.” As longas Mr. Jabari held Mr. Shalit, Israelis believed, the Hamas leader knew he wassafe. The Israeli government had a freer hand to kill Mr. Jabari after Mr.Shalit was released in October 2011. His insurance policy was linked to theirassessment of the value of keeping him alive. This week, that policy expired.


I believe that Israel made a grave and irresponsiblestrategic error by deciding to kill Mr. Jabari. No, Mr. Jabari was not a man ofpeace; he didn’t believe in peace with Israel and refused to have any directcontact with Israeli leaders and even nonofficials like me. My indirectdealings with Mr. Jabari were handled through my Hamas counterpart, GhaziHamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, who had received Mr. Jabari’sauthorization to deal directly with me. Since Mr. Jabari took over the militarywing of Hamas, the only Israeli who spoke with him directly was Mr. Shalit, whowas escorted out of Gaza by Mr. Jabari himself. (It is important to recall thatMr. Jabari not only abducted Mr. Shalit, but he also kept him alive and ensuredthat he was cared for during his captivity.)


Passing messages between the two sides, I was able tolearn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-termcease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previouscease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr.Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel wasprepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr.Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel,including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. Thisdraft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad,when we met last week in Egypt.


The goal was to move beyond the patterns of the past.For years, it has been the same story: Israeli intelligence discoversinformation about an impending terrorist attack from Gaza. The Israeli Armytakes pre-emptive action with an airstrike against the suspected terror cells,which are often made up of fighters from groups like Islamic Jihad, the PopularResistance Committees or Salafi groups not under Hamas’s control butfunctioning within its territory. These cells launch rockets into Israeli townsnear Gaza, and they often miss their targets. The Israeli Air Force respondsswiftly. The typical result is between 10 and 25 casualties in Gaza, zero casualtiesin Israel and huge amounts of property damage on both sides.


Other key Hamas leaders and members of the ShuraCouncil, its senior decision-making body, supported a new cease-fire effortbecause they, like Mr. Jabari, understood the futility of successive rocketattacks against Israel that left no real damage on Israel and dozens ofcasualties in Gaza. Mr. Jabari was not prepared to give up the strategy of“resistance,” meaning fighting Israel, but he saw the need for a new strategyand was prepared to agree to a long-term cease-fire.


This war is being presented in Israel, once again, as a war of “no choice.”The people of Israel are rallying around the flag as would be expected anywherein the world. The United States government has voiced its support of theIsraeli operation by stating, “Israel has the full right to defend itself andprotect its citizens.” It certainly does, but we must ask whether there isanother way to achieve the same goal without the use of force.

Israel has used targeted killings, ground invasions, drones, F-16s, economicsiege and political boycott. The only thing it has not tried and tested isreaching an agreement (through third parties) for a long-term mutualcease-fire.

No government can tolerate having its civilianpopulation attacked by rockets from a neighboring territory. And the firing ofthousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel must end. There was a chance for a mutuallyagreed cease-fire. The difference between the proposal I drafted in cooperationwith my Hamas counterpart and past proposals was that it included both amechanism for dealing with impending terror threats and a clear definition ofbreaches. This draft was to be translated and shared with both Mr. Jabari andIsraeli security officials, who were aware of our mediation efforts.


In the draft, which I understand Mr. Jabari saw hoursbefore he was killed, it was proposed that Israeli intelligence informationtransmitted through the Egyptians would be delivered to Mr. Jabari so that hecould take action aimed at preventing an attack against Israel. Mr. Jabari andhis forces would have had an opportunity to prove that they were serious whenthey told Egyptian intelligence officials that they were not interested inescalation. If Mr. Jabari had agreed to the draft, then we could have preventedthis new round of violence; if he had refused, then Israel would have likelyattacked in much the same way as it is now.


The proposal was at least worth testing. Moreover, itincluded the understanding that if Israel were to take out a real ticking bomb— people imminently preparing to launch a rocket — such a strike would not beconsidered a breach of the cease-fire and would not lead to escalation.


Instead, Mr. Jabari is dead — and with him died thepossibility of a long-term cease-fire. Israel may have also compromised theability of Egyptian intelligence officials to mediate a short-term cease-fireand placed Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt at risk.


This was not inevitable, and cooler heads could haveprevailed. Mr. Jabari’s assassination removes one of the more practical actorson the Hamas side.   


Who will replace him? I am not convinced that Israel’spolitical and military leaders have adequately answered that question.


Gershon Baskin is a co-chairman of the Israel Palestine Center for Researchand Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiatorof the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Shalit.







What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left  -   Oscar Levant

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Post time 2012-11-20 13:42:00 |Display all floors
The implication is that Israel did not want peace in the first place  ...........   !

What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left  -   Oscar Levant

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Post time 2012-11-20 14:59:06 |Display all floors
expatter Post time: 2012-11-20 13:42
The implication is that Israel did not want peace in the first place  ...........   !

of course , permanent peace mean permanent border and that would defy zionist core ideology of greater Israel

Adolph Hitler too never wanted permanent borders or peace for same very reason.

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This post was edited by expatter at 2012-11-20 15:30
SMITHI Post time: 2012-11-20 14:59
of course , permanent peace mean permanent border and that would defy zionist core ideology of gre ...

This is from a blogger:


Did Israel Kill Jabari to Kill Peace?
November 15, 2012

Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the ceasefire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip. This, according to Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who helped mediate between Israel and Hamas in the deal to release Gilad Shalit and has since then maintained a relationship with Hamas leaders.

The question naturally arises- did Israel kill Jabari in order to derail the peace process? It very much looks like it and it isn’t even surprising if it is exactly what happened, given Netanyahu’s perverse wickedness and manipulating quest for power.
Baskin told Haaretz on Thursday that senior officials in Israel knew about his contacts with Hamas and Egyptian intelligence aimed at formulating the permanent truce, but nevertheless approved the assassination.

That’s pretty much the same as killing a guy as he picks up a white flag.

“He was in line to die, not an angel and not a righteous man of peace,” Baskin said of Jabari and of his feelings in the wake of the killing, “but his assassination also killed the possibility of achieving a truce and also the Egyptian mediators’ ability to function. After the assassination I spoke to the people in Israel angrily and they said to me: We’ve heard you and we are calling to ask if you have heard anything form the Egyptians or from Gaza.”
Israel’s government has a lot to answer for. A lot.  

Who has the most to gain if no two state solution is found?  Israel.  

Who stands to profit with ongoing conflict?  Israel.  

Who gets to spin the media in its direction?  Israel.  

Who gets to claim ‘self defense’ even though it struck first in assassinating Jabari?  Israel.

Netanyahu is the world’s most evil man and he needs to be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity.

Zwinglius Redivivus






What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left  -   Oscar Levant

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Post time 2012-11-20 15:25:17 |Display all floors
This post was edited by SMITHI at 2012-11-20 15:25
expatter Post time: 2012-11-20 15:16
This is from a blogger:

The question naturally arises- did Israel kill Jabari in order to derail the peace process? It very much looks like it and it isn’t even surprising if it is exactly what happened, given Netanyahu’s perverse wickedness and manipulating quest for power.
Baskin told Haaretz on Thursday that senior officials in Israel knew about his contacts with Hamas and Egyptian intelligence aimed at formulating the permanent truce, but nevertheless approved the assassination.
That’s pretty much the same as killing a guy as he picks up a white flag
{:soso_e179:}

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Post time 2012-11-20 15:30:07 |Display all floors
btw expatter this Kenyan chap that got Nobel for peace , what is he doing to bring peace in middle east?

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SMITHI Post time: 2012-11-20 15:30
btw expatter this Kenyan chap that got Nobel for peace , what is he doing to bring peace in middle e ...

Well he is ceratinly not looking for a .........

'No Fly-Zone' to stop planes and tanks from killing people  ..........    !!


What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left  -   Oscar Levant

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