Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Here are some random observations about how the work of the militants who right now are blocking traffic on some of the main junctions in the country and of their colleagues who have been fighting both Palestinians and IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip once again proves some things that we already know for years from the work of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP etc.:
  1. People who fight for their personal narrow interpretation of a religion and for their homes are very dangerous, especially if they are desperate and well-funded
  2. You only need tens or hundreds of dedicated fanatics to totally disrupt the life in a democratic country: maximum results with minimal effort and relatively few resources
  3. Militants have to succeed only once to obtain their goal, whereas security forces cannot really afford to lose even once
  4. The use of children enhances the effect that militants' actions have. The public often feels both disgust and sympathy because of the minors who appear so prominently in demonstrations, blockades etc, but the main thing is that every exposure - positive as well as negative - serves 'the cause'
  5. Related organizations that have a more moderate reputation and more public obligations ( the PA, the Yesha Council ) can always say that a few lawbreakers are not their responsibility, while those lawbreakers do parts of the job that those organizations - largely financed by taxpayers and foreign donors - cannot be seen doing
  6. Extremists from all sides know exactly when to strike, and such strikes are often made simultaneously by groups with interests that both are opposed and run parallel, of course without being directly coordinated. See for example the Hezbollah attacks on Har Dov in the North: Hezbollah knows that Israel has other priorities than an escalation on its northern border, so the organization backed by Syria and Iran can score a few PR points ( very important in view of the ongoing powerstruggle in Lebanon ) without getting hurt too seriously. That Hezbollah - like Hamas and other organizations, and of course like organizations such as the Yesha Council, National Home, etc. - is interested in a continuation of the occupation is not a coincidence, rather one of the main reasons for the timing of their attack. Do not forget that the blockades by the Jewish fanatics were announced days if not weeks ago, and that the Hezbollah attacks ( also ) have all the characteristics of a well-planned military operation.
  7. As I said before today, acts of terror and vandalism bring about a lot of anger, criticism and curses, but also sympathy and understanding for the cause of the militants. In more than one way terror pays off, and doubtlessly democracy is always a loser when confronted with terror and vandalism, no matter who 'wins' in the end.

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