- Categoria: Iran
- Pubblicato Mercoledì, 04 Aprile 2012 06:35
- Scritto da Neve Gordon
The Palestine Chronicle, 21/03/2012
Initially, the government and security establishment claimed that "al-Qaisi was assassinated in order to prevent an attack that was in the final stages of preparation". Two days after Israel carried out the extra-judicial execution, however, the claim that al-Qaisi presented an imminent danger dissipated.
On March 11, Ofer Shelah reported that "even from the statements made yesterday by the Minister of Defense one got the sense that the assassination was not about direct prevention: Barak clearly stated that it is not totally clear what was being planned, from where, and whether the attack had been foiled. From this, it can be assumed that the attack was more about deterrence".
As the days passed, several commentators revealed that the assassination had been planned well in advance and that the military had made the necessary preparations, including deployment of the Iron Dome batteries. "A Planned Escalation," read the title of one article in Yedioth Ahronoth and in the text, the analyst explained that the "IDF had prepared an ambush" for al-Qaisi. Yoav Limor, an "expert on military affairs", wrote that in essence "al-Qaisi was alive-dead for over a week, and his assassination was delayed until the prime minister completed his diplomatic campaign in Washington, and until after the Purim Holiday and the weather cleared up". Most analysts intimated that Israel knew that the assassination would lead to an escalation. And this, it almost seems, is what it wanted.
The question, of course, is why? (...)
Message for Iran
The majority of reporters and columnists served as the mouthpiece for the security establishment, calling on the government to allocate more funds to buy additional Iron Domes. (...) Ofer Shelah from NRG put it succinctly: "The prime minister must decide unequivocally... that Iron Dome, like other defense mechanisms, is beyond the realm of the budget debate." Another more reflective reporter pointed out that the Grad rockets "flying from the Strip serve as the best lobbyist for the defense budget".
The recent attack is, however, not only about allocating more money to the military; it is also about Iran. (...) Yisrael Hayom declared, "Iran is Behind the Jihad's Rocket Attack". Hence, another objective was to show the Israeli public that Iran, by means of a proxy, had already begun attacking Israel.
Next, a link was drawn between Iron Dome's success and the perceived Iranian threat. Ynet cited a military general who stated that the escalation is about Gaza today, "but I am not sure that this is the scenario for which I am preparing the fighters. There are threats from the north and threats from further away". A columnist noted that Iron Dome's effectiveness "helped demonstrate to everyone that the Israeli home front enjoys a relatively good defense today... (...)"
Indeed, many analysts emphasized that only a handful of Israelis had been injured, but none fatally. The fighting, they accordingly claimed, produced relatively little pressure on the home front. Alon Ben David from Channel Ten summed up this perspective when he wrote: "(...) we have zero losses... under these conditions we can conduct a monitored [fray] that we initiate..."
Zvi Barel from Haaretz was one of the lone critical voices, providing readers some insight into Israel's real objectives. He exposed the logic behind the Iron Dome's glorification, claiming that it helps Netanyahu "sell" the planned attack against Iran: "After Iron Dome demonstrated its 95 per cent effectiveness, there is no better proof to Israeli citizens that they will not suffer serious damage following an assault against Iran. Escalation in Gaza is good for Israel, meaning for those who support attacking Iran".