While ferment grips the Arab world in the Middle East and North Africa and all eyes are on Libya, Palestinian terrorists continue their deadly activities against Israel including a bombing in Jersualem yesterday and rocket attacks on Israeli cities launched from Gaza.
I believe that the terrorists are being opportunistic in the timing of their attacks. They may well be seeking to prod Israel into a massive retaliation, which they would then try to morally equate to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi‘s killing of civilians that brought forth a military response from the international community.
So far, unless you were very closely following the news, you wouldn’t know much from the mainstream press about the terrorist bomb attack in Jerusalem yesterday. The New York Times carried a story about the incident on p.6 today, for example. Reuters simply called it “a Palestinian strike.” Even the Fox News prime time shows last night made little mention of the attack or the rockets launched from Gaza against civilians in Israel.
The Palestinian terrorists and their sponsor Iran know that the front page headlines will come from any significant retaliations by Israel causing loss of life, and the loud cries that follow from the “international community” for action against Israel.
Yesterday, a bomb exploded in a telephone booth next to a bus stop in a busy part of Jerusalem killing a 59-year-old woman and injuring dozens of other people. It was the worst attack in Jerusalem in four years.
Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a conference call organized by The Israel Project that the dead woman was a tourist, although her country of origin had not yet been determined. He also said that the bomb was the same type used during the Palestinians’ Second Intifada. It weighed between 2-4 pounds and included steel pellets added to the device to cause the maximum number of casualties.
All those injured were standing on the sidewalk. Had the bomb exploded inside a bus, the death toll would have been much higher. As Rosenfeld said:
We’re very lucky that more people weren’t killed.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms” but a Gaza terror group praised it and said it came in response to “Israel’s crimes.”
As if to back up their praise, terrorists in Gaza fired nine more rockets and mortars at civilians in southern Israel, including two military-grade Katyusha-type missiles at the city of Beersheba. They have fired over 80 mortars and rockets at Israel since last Saturday. This in turn followed the cold-blooded massacre of a Jewish family in the West Bank, which included the slaughter of an infant.
In response to both the Jerusalem bombing and the terrorist attacks launched from Gaza, Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, indicated that Israel may be planning a firm response. This may well be what the terrorists want – to prod Israel into another operation in Gaza and exploit it in a propaganda effort to garner world support for an international response akin to the no-fly zone established over Libya.
Here is how national security expert Frank Gaffney described a scenario that might play out, based on what he calls the “Gaddafi Precedent“:
It begins with the Palestinian Authority seeking a UN Security Council resolution that would recognize its unilateral declaration of statehood. The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, one of the prime-movers behind the resolution that authorized the use of force against Gaddafi and a vehement critic of Israel, urges that the United States abstain, rather than veto the Palestinians’ gambit. She is joined in that recommendation by a kindred spirit at the Obama National Security Council, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs Samantha Power, and by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose unalloyed sympathy for the Palestinian cause dates back at least to her days as First Lady.
This resolution enjoys the support of the other four veto-wielding Security Council members – Russia, China, Britain and France – as well as the all of the other non-permanent members except India, which joins the United States in abstaining. As a result, it is adopted with overwhelming support from what is known as the “international community.”
For its part, Israel refuses to evacuate the oft-condemned “settlements” on Palestinian land or to remove the IDF personnel, checkpoints and facilities it rightly sees as vital to protecting their inhabitants and, for that matter, the Jewish State itself.
Hamas, which controls Gaza, seizes this moment to forge a united front with Abbas’ Fatah…The unified Palestinian proto-government then seeks international help to “liberate” their land. As with the Gaddafi Precedent, the first to act is the Arab League. Its members unanimously endorse the use of force to protect the “Palestinian people” and end the occupation of the West Bank by the Israelis.
Turkey, which is technically still a NATO ally despite its ever-more-aggressive embrace of Islamism, joins forces with Britain and France, applaud this initiative in the interest of promoting “peace.” They call on the UN Security Council to authorize such steps as might be necessary to enforce the Arab League’s bidding.
Once again, Team Obama’s leading ladies – Mesdames Clinton, Power and Rice – align to support the “will of the international community.” They exemplify, and are prepared to enforce, the President’s willingness to subordinate U.S. sovereignty to the dictates of transnationalism and his hostility towards Israel. They appeal to his sense of history and his oft-expressed sympathy for the Palestinian right to a homeland to trump his political advisors’ concerns about alienating Jewish voters on the eve of the 2012 election.
Accordingly, hard as it may be to believe given the United States’ longstanding role as Israel’s principal ally and protector, Mr. Obama acts, in accordance with the Gaddafi Precedent. He warns Israel that it must immediately take steps to dismantle its presence inside the internationally recognized State of Palestine lest it face U.S.-enabled “coalition” military measures aimed at neutralizing IDF forces on the West Bank – and beyond, if necessary – in order to fulfill the will of the international community.”
A very scary scenario, yes, but one quite likely to unfold as long as the Obama administration remains in office.
Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam