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Sunday, June 18, 2006
Background: Why Israel is not taking serious measures to stop the Qassams

Background: Why Israel is not taking serious measures to stop the Qassams

Aaron Lerner Date: 18 June 2006

1. The rockets attacks are not a big news item because no one has been
killed recently by a rocket. The Israeli attitude towards near misses is
that they are not relevant. Consider that when many tens of thousands of
Israelis were almost incinerated when a tanker truck blew up in Israel's
largest gas (and other fuel) depot, the Pi Glilot fuel depot on Thursday May
23, 2002 it had literally no impact.

2. Even if some Sderot residents are killed, the news cycle for the item
would probably end before the Olmert administration would feel compelled to
act unless those killed and their survivors were particularly photogenic
and/or had a particularly heart wrenching story (pregnant mother, photogenic
family wiped out with the exception of a surviving member who is not only
photogenic but has good verbal skills and is not handicapped by such
negative features as either being religious, an immigrant, etc.).

3. Action by Defense Minister Peretz to implement the bulldozing of outposts
in the near future appears to have effectively shielded Peretz from the
threat of any serious media criticism for his failure to "deliver the goods"
on his various threats to take action if the rocket attacks don't stop. An
additional twist to the outpost evacuation story is that a truly cynical
view of the operation would suggest that if some settlers happen to be
killed in the operation that this might serve to offset world criticism for
the Gaza beach incident.

4. There is a view that there is still a chance that the Hamas - Fatah
conflict may still develop into a full blown bloody civil war and thus
Israel should avoid taking action that would serve to unite them against a
common enemy.

Will the Sderot protests now planned to start tomorrow somehow put the
Sderot story on the top of the news heap long enough for the Olmert
administration to be forced to act?

Given that the media is supporting Peretz (all the major papers ran
favorable interviews with him in their weekend editions) the odds are
against the protest working (in the absence of a successful rocket attack).

The fate of the protest will be clear by the evening news broadcasts. Even
if the action get decent coverage, if the stories do not include follow-up
with DM Peretz and PM Olmert being pressed to respond the protest will
probably not be perceived by the Olmert team as requiring a serious
response.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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