Insurgents Winning in Israel

9 Die in Palestinian Attack in Gaza Strip [RSS] (NYT)

At least three Palestinians blew up a bomb and then attacked Israelis late Thursday night at a busy crossing point in the Gaza Strip in an attack coordinated with other militants who fired mortars and automatic weapons at Israeli soldiers, the Israeli army said Friday morning. Six Israeli civilians and the three Palestinians militants were killed during the attack, according to the Israeli army and media and Palestinian medics. Another 10 people were wounded, five of them Israeli and two seriously.

The attack took place just before 11 p.m. at the Karni crossing, where farm produce and other goods enter and leave the Gaza Strip. The militants place a 300 pound bomb by the terminal wall that divides the Israeli and Palestinian sides and blew it minutes before closing time, the Israel military said. Three Palestinians then entered the Israeli side of the terminal firing their weapons at Israeli civilians and soldiers. During the evacuation of the wounded, mortars were fired at Israeli troops. Early Israeli and wire agency reports of suicide bombers were inaccurate, the army said.

Thursday’s large and well-organized attack was a sharp riposte to efforts by the newly elected Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to arrange an end to violence. Mr. Abbas, who was elected on Sunday, has publicly called for a halt in attacks against Israel as counterproductive to the formation of an independent Palestinian state, and he has been engaged in a “national dialogue” with various armed groups to agree on a cease-fire. They include Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a group that is part of his own Fatah movement, as well as Islamic radical groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The violence is a slap at Mr. Abbas and shows some of the challenge he faces in replacing the late Yasir Arafat, who was a hero to the fighters.

Three Palestinian militant groups claimed joint responsibility for the attack, including Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees. That claim represents an effort to group local militants in joint operations.

Clearly, the attempt to bring democracy to Israel is doomed to fail. The insurgency is growing stronger, despite almost sixty years of fighting by the U.S.-backed government and the expenditure of billions of dollars. How many more must die before we call this operation off?

Several things are clear:

  • The arrogant refusal of the Israelis to get more international support is a key reason they are now losing.
  • The Israelis did a poor job of planning for this operation and have failed to react quickly enough to events on the ground.
  • The Israeli Army is too small. More troops have been desperately needed for half a century now, yet the administration has failed to provide for them.
  • The failure of Israeli leaders to provide adequate armor for its people is outrageous.
  • A draft is imminent if this operation is not called off.
  • Sharon is a chimp.
  • Rumsfeld must go.
FILED UNDER: Best of OTB, Democracy, Humor, Iraq War, Terrorism, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    OK, I shouldn’t be reading your stuff pre-coffee, James. I was ready to start verbally slapping you around, then confused, and then the “AHA” factor set in.

    Cup #2, here I come.

  2. Mark says:

    One quibble: doesn’t Isreal already require able men and women to serve in the IDF for a certain length of time? Read: they already have a draft!

    I may be wrong, of course, but…

  3. James Joyner says:

    Mark: Hypothesis confirmed!

  4. Kappiy says:

    One addition to your list: the settlements constructed in the West Bank and Gaza must be dismantled.

    I would alert readers interested in the occupation to see the documentary, “Checkpoint,” by the Israeli director Yoav Shamir. Without commentary, he set up cameras at the checkpoints throughout the occupied territories filiming the interaction between soldiers and Palestinians–you get a sense of the futility of the whole occupation from the point of view of Israeli soldiers.

  5. M. Murcek says:

    3 people see satire and one doesn’t in the comments here. Too bad that out in the bad old world, the ratio is not 3 to 1 when it comes to understanding who the killers are in the middle east.

  6. Al says:

    You know, Kappo, your name is not even funny, but it DOES explain your post 🙁

    It also shows that ISrael has its own Democrats and looney left wingers. “yes, ISrael is at war, and so it should give land to the enemy because it will bring peace. Maybe ISrael should pay them some money, too, so they will stop hurting them”. Yeah, that always works.

  7. Zed says:

    perhaps I lack that patriotic endurance, I’m still tryin got figure out why Israelies still take the bus.

  8. We’re clearly seeing a failure to understand and work within the peaceful aspects of Shia and Suuni Islam in this case, far superior to our own Western Values.

  9. paul kogan says:

    This piece is the kind of dark humor that Israelis will get but, as evidenced from the posts above, fall flat for Americans.

  10. TallDave says:


    BTW, a Lancet study estimates that over 1 billion people have been killed in the Israeli conflict (95% confidence interval of 1,000 to 2 billion). Clearly, we are doing more harm than good, and need to withdraw all American military support and let the indigenous peoples work the issues out for themselves.

  11. Crerar says:

    Interesting how you draw similarities to Israel occupation and US occupation. Are both really intended for the long term settlements ???

  12. TallDave says:

    Oh, and another study finds a similar rate of casualties between Vietnam and Israel, when you adjust for the influence of modern medicine, body armor, the rate of inflation, phases of the moon, the direction of the wind, global warming, the Beatles’ popularity, ham sandwiches, and UFOs.

    Clearly, the American aggression in taking sides in the conflict has failed, and withthdrawal of our unilateral imperial forces is the only humane option.

  13. TallDave says:


    Yes, we intend for the elected Iraqi gov’t to remain in Iraq for some time.

  14. ken says:

    I am not sure I get this James. Are you saying, by implication, that it would be ok for America to end up like Israel after a thirty years occupation of Iraq?

    If we have learned anything from Israels’ three decade long occupation of a foriegn territory in the middle east it is that WE should not repeat it. Like Vietnam, we do not have the stomach for such long drawn out wars over nothing of consequence to our real interests. Nor should we ever develop the stomach for such wars.

  15. TallDave says:

    I agree ken. Israel should just let itself be destroyed. Closure is more important than survival.

  16. Chad says:

    You people are kidding, right? If this Laurence Simon comment isn’t a joke, I’m just going to die laughing when some shiite or sunni kills this guys family because he was “oppressed by american imperialism”. Please tell me he’s joking. Please,….someone…..hello?….

  17. James Joyner says:

    Yes, he’s joking you numbskull.

  18. Tongueboy says:

    Jiminy Christmas, people! As a lunatic German philosopher once said, “Irony is dead.” Little could he have known how right he was…

  19. quark2 says:

    Hrmmmmm, I was wondering where all the iron in my soil had disappeared to, it’s ironically all in this thread!
    Seriously though, there are moonbats that would see logic in some of the ironies posted here. *sigh 🙁

  20. Mad Anthony says:

    Does anyone think it’s kind of odd that the article includes the 3 Palistinian terrorists killed in the attack in the “9 dead” headline? I mean, I know they are dead and all, but it’s kind of their fault, seeing as how they, you know, participated in a terrorist act and all.

  21. McGehee says:

    Just my luck to have been out of town today and missed all the fun. Sure is nice to see who the humor-impaired are.

    Like I say, anyone can be funny, but people with no sense of humor are hilarious.

  22. TallDave says:


    The answer is 9 people of no moral distinction were killed. There were 6 civilian deaths and 3 oppressed freedom fighters whose yearning to be free led them to sacrifice themselves for the good of their people.