Is the timing of Hamas' rocket assaults a well thought out plan, or just Hamas' and Iran's dumb luck?
If you're a perverse murderer who enjoys killing Jews, like Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and top Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Ahmadinejad, this was just about the perfect time to hit Israel with Islamic rockets from Gaza. Fifty rockets a day are bound to bring a very heavy, though limited, Israeli response, (meaning no all out war), even from the seemingly asleep-at-the-switch Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister "enough is enough" Tzipi Livni.
And though the counter attack will probably be limited, it will still be intense. [The Jerusalem Post reports - Saturday Dec. 27, 2:30pm EST two hundred Palestinians, mostly Hamas fighters dead, and all Police Headquarters in Gaza destroyed from Israeli air attacks]. Aside from the Israeli air attacks there will undoubtedly be columns of Israeli tanks and ground forces that go into Gaza. But Hamas, which is itching for a fight the way a young Mike Tyson used to itch for one, through either genius or sheer luck with their Iranian patrons doing the cheering and supplying much of the ammunition, may very well have come up with or simply stumbled upon the smartest plan since Ali's rope a dope.
Hamas and Iran no doubt believe Israel's counterattack will be severe, though not fatal. And perhaps like Muhammad Ali who knew he could take some hits from big George Foreman, Hamas and Iran no doubt see a positive end game to the current situation. It is as simple as this: Hamas and Iran believe, and with good reason, that even if Israel decided to totally defeat Hamas, the world, i.e. the UN, the EU, the quartet, etc. would keep Livni and Barak from doing so. And in this they are undoubtedly correct. [Already according to the Jerusalem Post, France has called the Israeli counter strikes to the two plus years of rocket attacks on southern Israel, "disproportionate." Undoubtedly the UN Security council will be meeting by Monday or Tuesday demanding a cease-fire].
And when the dust clears Hamas, but especially Iran will get what it wants: an Israeli public that decides to go for someone other than Bibi Netanyahu and Likud, an Israeli public that votes Kadima and Labor, because after two years Livni and Barak will finally have looked tough. Iran believes that there will then be an Israeli leadership that will accept American hegemony and not attack Iran's nuclear sites because both outgoing President George Bush and incoming President Obama (unless he has more on the ball than is so far apparent) are prepared to allow a nuclear Iran to come into being.
And if the reports that Netanyahu will suffer a loss of Israeli voters because he has moved Moshe Feiglin down on the Likud list of candidates, and Likud loses the February 10 election because of that, than it will simply be one more instance of, you should pardon the expression, Netanyahu's ham fisted politics.
Of course, no one can tell for certain how an attack on Gaza will work out, nor the Israeli public's response to it. But whether by plan or accident, the monsters of Hamas and Iran may have come up with something that at this point must look like falafel from heaven, a weak Israeli government voted into office in February.