Monday, July 03, 2006

Analysis of Israel's Operation Summer Rain

Sunday's Los Angeles Times published an excellent piece on the background to Israel's incursion into Gaza over the last week. The current crisis has tremendous implications for both sides of the standoff. Here's some background:
The tense weeklong standoff over Palestinian militants' capture of an Israeli soldier has become laden with significance far beyond the fate of the missing 19-year-old tank gunner. Whether or not the soldier is ultimately freed, events have been set in motion that could lead to a prolonged Israeli military entanglement in the Gaza Strip, a troubled terrain that the Jewish state thought it had relinquished for good. In addition, analysts say the confrontation could imperil Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plans to cede most of the West Bank to the Palestinians to create a state, and perhaps result in the long-term strengthening of the Hamas movement — whether or not the Islamist group survives as a governing power. If Israel and the Palestinians can agree on one thing, it is that, by accident or by design, the stakes in this brewing battle have become extremely high. And each side is aware that it has much to lose and little to gain...For many...the ongoing siege of Gaza is a death knell to hopes that by now, nearly a year after Israel's landmark withdrawal of troops and Jewish settlers, the territory would be well on the way to becoming a prototype for Palestinian statehood — with a viable economy, a measure of autonomy and functioning democratic institutions.
Particularly interesting is the article's discussion of Israel's perception of the historical stakes, which have been heightened amid months-long hit-and-run attacks on Israeli military outposts by Hamas elements, and especially the recent capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit:

The raid by three Hamas-allied militant factions left two Israeli soldiers and two assailants dead. But what might have then been a predictable and limited equation of strike and retaliation was vastly altered by the fact that the militants were able to spirit away a soldier — a nightmare scenario for Israel, which has often spent years trying to ascertain the fate of soldiers seized by Arab guerrillas. Through much of the country's history, hostage crises — Munich, Entebbe — have served as defining moments, and the conclusion usually drawn by Israel is that it is better to strike decisively than to talk. The Israeli military establishment reflexively fears any erosion of its power of deterrence, and for that reason, the early days of this offensive, which began Wednesday when troops and tanks moved into a slice of southern Gaza, were a source of frustration to army chiefs. Every day brought reports in the Israeli media that the military brass was aghast at the spectacle of the crack Golani infantry brigade parked on Gaza's northern border, firing artillery salvos but ordered to refrain from entering the coastal strip....But the political implications of the standoff have threatened to overshadow the military offensive. Olmert's government has declared that it draws no distinction between the elected Hamas government and the group's military wing, which was one of the factions claiming responsibility for the soldier's abduction.
As the passage indicates, Israel's reaction is partly driven by the "the lessons of history," and there is some interesting political science research examining how historical analogies shape the actions of decisionmakers. Also, last Wednesday's ran this provocative commentary by Michael Oren, who argues that Israel's slow response to the months of Palestinian attacks have embodened the terrorists. Oren argues that Israel needs to return to Ariel Sharon's policy of targeted-killings, which would improve Israeli security by demonstrating a new-found resolve to counter Palestinian terrorism at the source. See Aubrey J's blog for regular updates on Operation Summer Rain.


prying1 said...

Excellent posting once again. I now know lots more than the MSM puts out on it's radio newscasts and even more than the bit of talk radio I hear. (noisy shop beats out some of it) - Keep up the good work! I love your blog!

Neurotic Mom said...

Hey thanks for the offer. I've been messing around with BE to see how much of a difference it makes. Once i have a new template i will probably get a little more serious on getting the traffic. I do get a lot already but it's always nice to meet new people and see their blogs.

Donald Douglas said...

Hi Paul:

Thank you again for visiting and especially for your generous praise.

Take it easy and have a great holiday!

Donald Douglas said...

Hi Neurotic Mom:

Alright, Blog Explosion's okay -- I get maybe 20-25 hits on a busy day. But have you tried BlogMad? It's got a faster traffic cycle (more hits). I have a link button on my site if you want to sign up or try There's a lot of moms' blogs there, and some colorful women's blogs. Some of these sites may be similar to yours. Check it out. Also, on Blog Explosion, try the "Blog Rocket" game, if you haven't already? It's kind of fun and there's more exposure there, and you'll be entered into a lottery to win big hit jackpots.

When you visit sites, at BlogMad or elsewhere, leave comments like crazy. Paul, your kind co-commenter above, has a nice blog at, and I comment over there from time to time, so now we're regular visitors to each other's site -- and Paul's even linking to mine!

Also, try some regular business traffic exchanges. Some have special categories for blogs. I like Traffic Roundup. There's a link button on my site or try It's easy to use and there's a fun cow roundup game for winning extra credits. For more information on the traffic exchanges go to, which has a great list of all the free manual exchanges and try a couple.

Additionally, register at some blog directories, if you haven't already. I get hits occasionally from directory searches. And keep an eye out for blogs or online publications that solicit articles and then submit. I published two of my posts at, increasing my exposure a bit.

Finally, write a new post everyday, good quality posts of medium length with links to blogs or media articles of interest. People visiting blogs like fresh content and crave new information. Do you have any expertise in a particular area? Scrapbooking? Kids' health? Photography? Camping? Who knows? If you do, start a substantive series on a topic. I'm a political scientist, so I write about the articles I read in the newspapers, magazines, or academic journals (and I'll leave a post about the novel I'm reading from time to time). My specialty is international relations, but I'm pretty much a generalist.

There you go! Keep in touch. I'll read your blog from time to time

Take it easy.

Neurotic Mom said...

Yeah i'm listed on some blog sites but haven't heard of blogmad though. I've been getting massive hits from blog explosion, i was really surprised. And yes i've been posting daily for several months. I have a ton of regular reader but most of them don't comment on a regular basis, which is fine withe me. I don't stick with any one subject, my blog is my stress release so it's whatever has my attention for the day. I've received emails from people saying they liked the different posts that it didn't get boring so i'm not going to generalize on any one thing in particular. Once i get my copyrights registered i will be posting my writings.
Thanks for taking the time to give me advice, i really appreciate it. I'm going to give your site to my husband he is into politics. If you want to check his out it's in my sidebar links as Center for Sanity

Donald Douglas said...

Neurotic Mom:

You're welcome. Good luck with your site promotion. Come back and visit over here once in a while. I'll do the same over there. And let me know if you like BlogMad!

Take it easy.