Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Major Operation This Summer

I don't usually make predictions. I don't claim to be an expert on geo-politics.

But today I will nevertheless predict that Israel will launch a major operation into Gaza, some time this summer. And this will have more to do with internal Israeli politics, than anything else. The new defense minister and prime ministerial hopeful Ehud Barak will want to show that he is indeed tough, and indeed competent, and has indeed restored the Israeli army's capabilities.

This is what most ambitious new defense ministers have done - especially ones from the Labour Party who always have to prove that they are not lefty wimps. They launch some major "action". This is what Rabin did in the first intifada when he was defense minister in Yizhak Shamir's government, and this is what Shimon Peres did when he took over as prime minister and defense mister after Rabin's assassination, and this is what Amir Peretz did in response to Hezbolah's provocation last summer.

Rumour has it, that he is already drawing up plans, and only waiting for a provocation from Hamas. Given the chaos in Gaza, there is no doubt there will be many such provocations over the summer. Given that Barak has just now taken over as defense minister, it is likely we will wait a month or two before striking. So watch out in August, or September.

I hope I am wrong.


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