Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This round goes to Hamas

For over four months, Israel managed to maintain a "calm" of sorts with Gaza, with the tacit agreement that there will be no attacks from either side. Although in many ways the original agreement was ignored by Hamas - they continued to smuggle in weapons, they continued to build a huge underground terror infrastructure with the cement Israel allowed in under the agreement, and Gilad Shalit turned from an important part of the agreement to someone completely peripheral - Israel did benefit by having residents of Sderot and other Negev communities being able to live relatively normal lives.

There were violations of the calm by Hamas and other Gaza terror groups, but Israel consistently applied a single rule: for every rocket or mortar shot, Israel would shut off the border for at least a day. The response was immediate and, most importantly, consistent. Hamas arrested Islamic Jihad rocket cells and worked to keep at least part of the deal.

Now, Israel is starting to allow supplies to go into Gaza even while under attack.

Bowing to the ever-present international pressure, where moral midgets like the UNHCR's John Ging will continue to insist that Israel open its borders at the very moment that Qassams are falling on Israeli communities, Israel is poised to resume fuel shipments - despite the fact that Hamas is well positioned to get all the fuel it needs from the elaborate network of tunnels under Rafah that provides cooking oil and gasoline at half the price of Israeli fuel.

Today, Hamas tried to send four well-armed terrorists into Israel - but Israel has let them change the rules of the game where such attacks are going to be considered normal, while Israel continues to provide supplies to an entity determined to destroy it.

The status quo has changed and it was not a change in Israel's favor.