Israeli BlunderPlus

According to a Jerusalem Post Survey the mission of the  Israelis in its Gaza air strikes and coming ground operations is  no less than toppling Hamas  and routing them out of the Gaza strip. Now Hamas as the Israelis and others will quickly point out can be just as thuggish as their opposition in achieving their goals. The problem is defining what those goals are:
the 1988 Hamas Covenant (or Charter) states that the organization’s goal is to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned.” It further asserts that “The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement. It takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions. It does not antagonize anyone of them except if it is antagonized by it or stands in its way to hamper its moves and waste its efforts. Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. Past and present history are the best witness to that.”‘
But also on 8 February 2008, Hamas head Khaled Mashal speaking in Cairo had clarified that “Anyone who thinks Hamas will change is wrong”, stating that while Hamas is willing for a ceasefire with Israel, its long term goal remains: Israel must withdraw from all land occupied in 1967.see here and see wikipedia
The question becomes which is the real goal of Hamas and its leadership – complete elimination of Israel or co-existence with an Israel which has ceded to the 1967 borders, negotiated control of Jerusalem and the right of return of displaced Palestinians to their lands. These of course have been the sticking points of Arab-Israeli negotiations for the past 40++ years.
Israel Casts the Regime Change Die
You would think the Israelis would have learned from the US Iraq War BlunderPlus. But as our previous posting argues the Israeli Government has decided to take the risk that it can eliminate Hamas by force as one of its 3 principle Arab thorns (Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran being the other two). Each of the Muslim groups have, at various times, called for the destruction of Israel either symbolically or as a political and military fact. So much rides on the “success” of the Israeli attempt at Hamas Regime change. This party is not so sanguine.
But even worse for the Israelis is that by upping the eye for an eye death ratio of Palestinians killed per Israeli death to 35-1 they have not only opened themselves to arguments of grossly disproportionate reactions but also open to much less developed world support should Hezbollah attempt even more lethal “sympathy rocket attacks” on Haiffa, Tel Aviv and even Jerusalem.
This vulnerability to rocket attacks and the Israeli’s determination to eliminate those may be revealing its Achilles heel. In the last Hezbollah and Israel war, Hezbollah was able to rain down rockets on Israel’s northern territory right up to the very end of the conflict. So Israel has already unsuccessfully attempted to achieve Hezbollah Regime Change using remarkably similar tactics to those now being used against Hamas. These were heavy Israeli Air Strikes on the Beirut headquarters of Hezbollah, army shelling and AirForce strikes against Hezbollah rocket launchers entrenched in the Lebanon hillsides and then a tank lead invasion into those same hillsides. It did not work. Imagine now an invasion of the Gaza strip with street to street fighting.
Finally the nature of the Israeli surprise attack and bad faith negotiations on both sides removes another barrier to warfare treachery. So my questions are these – what happens when Hezbollah starts firing rockets that surely will reach double the distance and/or double the payload into “used-to-be-safe” areas of Israel? And what about the element of surprise if Hezbollah or other parties deign to do it unannounced and with the only provocation being the attempted “Regime Change” in Gaza? Clearly a lame-duck Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and Cabinet appear to have committed a BlunderPlus. It is very unsettling. The World is now suffering recessions in every region due to  unbridled US financial risk-taking. Will it now see the equivalent political/economic  unrest from equivalent high-risk Israeli Regime Change adventurism?

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