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The Utility of Cutting Off Utilities

I’m finally hearing some sense from one of our politicians, albeit from one who has a problem keeping his tongue away from the throats of young women.

Meanwhile, Vice-Premier Haim Ramon, one of a growing number of cabinet ministers in favor of cutting off utilities to Gaza in response to Qassam fire, said Tuesday that Israel should put a “price tag” on every rocket launched at Israel.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is to convene his security cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the continuing Qassam shelling of Sderot and other western Negev communities.

The call to cut off water, electricity, gas and fuel to the Strip is seen as an alternative – or, if unsuccessful, a prelude – to a broad IDF incursion into northern Gaza and perhaps the Philadelphi Route in the south.

“We will set a price tag for every Qassam, in terms of cutting off infrastructures,” Ramon said in remarks broadcast on Army Radio. “The Hamas will determine that price tag. It will know this in advance.”

“We will not continue to supply ‘oxygen’ in the form of electricity, fuel, and water while they are trying to murder our kids. The capability to do that stems from the fact that we are not in Gaza.”

I couldn’t agree more, although this should have been decided months – if not years ago.

And to those of you who will condemn such a move as collective punishment, I would first respond that I do not recall hearing such cries when rockets started raining down on Sderot and other Israeli towns and cities. Then I would posit that the “average” palestinian either supports terrorism or does not support it. If they support it, they should be considered culpable. If they do not support it but do not discourage it, they should be considered at least partly culpable. It is not enough to remain quiet while terrorists fire rockets at innocent people, using rocket launchers located near their houses.

If the majority of palestinians oppose terrorism, then they need to send a loud and clear message to their terrorist brethren. And if basic morality does not serve as a good enough motivator for them, being short of electricity, fuel, and water might just do the trick.

And if you think I sound harsh, I’m guessing you are not accustomed to having rockets deliberately fired at your children’s schools.

Update: Hamas’ response:

A spokesman for Islamic Hamas movement said on Tuesday the Israeli threat of cutting power supplies to Gaza is “not strange” as the Jewish state used to combat the Palestinian people by all means.

By “all means”, I am guessing he means entering into negotiations, making one-sided concessions, and not responding sufficiently to attacks on her citizens. As opposed to the means with which he’s familar, such as firing rockets at schools and nurseries, sending human bombs to murder civilians, using children as human shields, and smuggling weapons using ambulances and baby strollers.

He accused Israel of utilizing the rocket attacks as a pretext, saying his movement dose not fire as much rockets as the other factions do.

But he vowed to escalate the rocket attack whenever Hamas finds it necessary. “The Palestinian people can’t achieve their goals without resistance,” said the spokesman.

And many palestinians do believe this. So they need to know that all they will achieve with resistance terrorism is a downturn in their situation.

Update: For those of you who claim the “average” palestinian would be too frightened to speak out against the terrorists, you needn’t look further back than this picture and caption from today:

AP

Members of the Palestinian Women’s Union chant slogans as they demonstrate in Gaza City to demand to the restoration of law and order in the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007. Hamas wrested control of the Gaza Strip from forces affiliated with the Fatah Party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in five days of bloody fighting in June. Tensions have since been high between the rival groups in Gaza, with Hamas arresting Fatah officials and those loyal to the party. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Demanding the restoration of law and order in the Gaza Strip, but not the end of Qassam rocket launchers near their homes.

And you may also recall this protest in March.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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