Israel: Preparing for War

On December 27, after tensions increased after the ending of a six-month cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, Israeli defense forces began airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. Reactions from the Israeli blogosphere have been supportive of the current military action and preliminary blog posts show that Israelis are gearing up for a long and difficult conflict ahead.

Israelity comments on the timing and the build up to the conflict:

Most folks, in the week between Christmas and New Years, chill out in Puerto Rico, visit family on the coast, or go skiing in Aspen. We Israelis go to war.

Operation Cast Lead (reminder to the IDF Spokesman: work on those titles) is no laughing matter. Borne out of no alternative to constant rocket attacks on its southern communities, the military campaign against Hamas in Gaza has resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries – and so far, more rockets landing in Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot and even Ashdod, some 25 miles away from Gaza.

I got an inkling that the operation was impending when my daughter came home from her police shift on Thursday and said she had been briefed about mobilizing in the South when the army attack began in order to keep calm in the communities where retaliation from Hamas was likely.

On Saturday night, however, she was still patrolling her usual areas around Jerusalem. Evidently, the response to Operation Cast Lead among the Palestinian population in the West Bank and around east Jerusalem was serious enough to keep police troops very busy.

“There’s all kinds of riots going on here,” she said on the phone around midnight, “so they can’t send us to the South.”

West Bank Mama notes the call up of Israeli soldiers:

IDF radio has announced that reserve soldiers are being called up now, what is known in Israel as Tzav Shmoneh. Already the yishuv email is starting with requests for those traveling to various places to bring “care packages” to soldiers. Not only do we have yishuv members being called up, but many have sons in the “regular” army.

The mothering instinct is kicking in everywhere.

I have just heard on the radio that families in the north, who unfortunately had to be evacuated from their homes during the second Lebanon war, are now giving out invitations to those in the south to come up to them to get away from the rockets.

And Aliyah! talks about the build up to the conflict:

So far, it has been handled just right. They waited and let those rockets fall while not doing a thing in retaliation. We sat by as more than 300 rockets and mortars landed among civilians in just 3 days, adding to those that fell in the days before and the more than 3,000 that had been launched at those civilian communities this year alone. The rockets fell on us as we treated in our hospitals Palestinians who were hit by Hamas rockets that mis-fired and fell among their own people. The rockets fell on us as convoys of aid, fuel, medical supplies and food made their way across our border and into Gaza.

Because we waited, two important things were won. First, justification for a much larger blow against the terrorists than simply going after a rocket-launcher here and one there. The latter strategy is not only ineffective but gives the international community a chance to spin the situation as a tit for tat equal responsibility for the situation. Clearly, when the attacks are coming consistently only from one direction, it cannot be spun as tit for tat. Even Abbas has said that Hamas is responsible and brought this on themselves. The second thing we won was the element of surprise.

More reactions from the Israeli blogosphere will be forthcoming, including further coverage from the various points-of-view involved in the current conflict. Keep checking the Global Voices special coverage page for more updates.


  • Thanks for the link. I’ll have more tomorrow.

  • Mo Kharbat

    What is happening in Gaza these days is a crime against humanity. What Israel is doing goes far beyond trying to top mortar attacks; this is just the announced objective. The real objective behind this war is to bring the Palestinians to their knees. Whether we like it or not, the Hamas government is the one that was elected by their people and therefore it is the democratic choice of that country. Because we, in the West, disagree with the ideology of Hamas does not justify attacking them or simply ignoring the massacre. I believe that the biggest loser in this war will be the prospect for peace. This war is a huge set back to world peace in general. Religious fundamentalism will spread in the Middle East and a cross the world and will only get stronger. By looking at what Israel is foolishly doing, I can tell that the worst is still yet to come!

  • […] Preparing for War Israeli Bloggers React to Gaza […]

  • Hassan

    Hello all, we don’t have electricity for more than 20 hours , the atmosphere in Gaza is horror , I have been trying to console, relieve and secure my kids while , I my self am very frightened . they strike everywhere , medicine drug stores , greenhouses , fuel stores , mosques and universities , tunnels and police stations.
    they have gone wild , and Gaza strip is just 300 KM F 16 fighters are too much in this crowded overpopulated area. The Israeli are blood thirsty vampires. they act as a God in this earth , no one is able to blame them. Thanks to your democracy America. WHERE IS THE BLACK NEW PESIDENT, IS HE A SMALL BUSH NOW????

  • Any Israeli voices who aren’t illegal settlers in occupied territory or Americans who only recently have made “aliyah?” None of these bloggers were born in Israel.

  • Whether we like it or not, the Hamas government is the one that was elected by their people and therefore it is the democratic choice of that country.

    That is a straw man argument. It doesn’t matter if a gov’t is legally elected if they engage is reprehensible. And shooting rockets indiscriminately is a crime and an action that is insufferable. No nation will allow another to attack them in this fashion without responding.

    Any Israeli voices who aren’t illegal settlers in occupied territory or Americans who only recently have made “aliyah?” None of these bloggers were born in Israel.

    Straw man argument again. We are not talking about settlers and even if we were, the issue of legality is not so simple.

    But the fact is that the terrorists are launching missiles into cities. And as stated no gov’t will ignore this sort of thing.

    Let’s turn your comment around for a moment. If Mexico attacked the towns on the border they very well might be attacking people who only recently moved to the U.S. Is their blood less red or any cheaper because of that.

  • […] of Aliyah! approves of the Israeli government’s initial handling of the conflict in Gaza (hat tip). They waited and let those rockets fall while not doing a thing in retaliation. We sat by as more […]

  • Jack, none of the bloggers are born in Israel. I think the opinions and perspectives of people who deliberately choose to live in a war zone are tainted by their irrational behavior.

    If Americans want to go to Israel and weep and complain because they chose to move to a country with a recent history of violent conflict or worse into an actual war zone, I don’t have any sympathy for them. If they want to live in peace, come back to America where they have a home, citizenship, equality and a country to welcome them.

    The issue of legality is simple: The Geneva Conventions prohibit the movement of a country’s citizenry into another land it occupies. “West Bank Mama” is a self-declared illegal settler who has absolutely no legal right to live in her house, no legal right to restitution if she needs to be removed from it to make peace. Israelis on the Golan are illegal settlers, too. Israelis in Ariel, French Hill and any of the other “neighborhoods” of East Jerusalem are illegal settlers. Israel uses them and their children as human shields.

    Mexico attacking U.S. border towns? Talk about “straw man.”

    I’m only asking to hear from Israelis who don’t have an escape valve and who see their only future being in the land where they were born. These American settlers will just leave and come back to America when their unjust privileges are challenged and taken away. They have the privilege take pride in the myth of heroic war, because when it gets ugly, they will just leave!

  • Jack, if you are going to mention the ‘straw man argument’ at least do us the favour of finding out what one is before coming here and spouting off. Here’s a clue:

    If all you mean is that the argument is erroneous then just say so!

  • Hassan

    Hello all ,

    Plz . don’t forget , isarel is occupation and performs the worst occupation on earth but it is covered completely by America . They closed the area and the first thing they did , they bombed the only satellite channel in Gaza . they don’t want the people to see the atrocities in Gaza.

    Five daughters were killed after f 16 struck a mosque, the daughters the eldest is 14 year old and the youngest is three year old girl. they were all in pieces. To their “Israeli “stigma , the mosque is empty , no hamas men no weapons and nothing there

    Pls. tell me 60 f 16 fighters strike Gaza at the time of the school children leave their schools , the result is 300 killed and one thousand injured. We all saw the bodies of the children in the streets . are they carrying weapons in their school bags?

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.