Some thoughts on the Gaza situation (with links)

I don’t agree with his entire assessment, but this is a good one on whether this campaign is the right one at the right time from a strategic perspective…

Where is Israel Going? 
“That does not mean I question Israel’s right to respond to the rocket onslaught from Gaza. Of course, it has that right. Any country has the right, even the obligation to respond militarily to thugs who rain down thousands of rockets on its people, leaving its children quaking in terror. The question is not whether Israel has the right, but whether exercising it this way is right.”

On how the challenges (present and future) to Israel as we currently know it are different than those it has previously faced. I particularly like the mention of shiting demographics, which isn’t something generally brought up in these conversations…

Why Israel Feels Threatened
“Between 1948 and 1982, Israel oped relatively well with the threat from conventional Arab armies. Indeed, it repeatedly trounced them.  But Iran’s nuclear threat, the rise of organizations like Hamas and Hezballah that operate from across international borders and from the midst of dense civilian populations, and Israeli Arabs’ growing dissaffection with the state and their identification with its enemies, offers a completely different set of challenges. And they are challenges that Israel’s leaders and public, bound by Western democratic and libera norms of behavior, appear to find particularly difficult to counter.”

You might be able to pick your war, to a certain extent, but you can’t necessarily pick your peace. Good analysis of how govering Gaza in the wake of this will present quite a challenge…

Is the Real Target Hamas Rule?
“Even if Israel intends to hold back from completely overthrowing Hamas, its tactics could head that way anyway. And the Israelis might already be facing a kind of mission creep: after all, if enough of Hamas’ infrastructure is destroyed, the prospect of governing Gaza, a densely populated, refugee-filled area whose weak economy has been devastated by the Israeli-led boycott, will be exceedingly difficult.”

On the shifting face of public diplomacy and getting one’s message out in a high-tech world (if you’re on Twitter, you can follow @IsraelConsulate)…

The Toughest Q’s Answered in the Briefest of Tweets
“Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well,” said David Saranga, the head of media relations for the Israeli consulate in New York, which conducted the Twitter news conference on Tuesday..”The Israeli government is trying to explain a conflict that people write books about, a conflict that newspaper writers struggle in 2,000 words, in 140 characters at a time.”


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