The Israeli and American Politics of Islamic Jihad's Rocket Attacks on Israel
by Matthew RJ Brodsky
ClearCut with Michelle Makori / i24News
November 14, 2019
Matthew RJ Brodsky joins STRATFOR Middle East and North Africa analyst Ryan Bohl on i24News "ClearCut" with Michelle Makori for a wide-ranging discussion on the Israeli and U.S. political machinations that have come from the latest conflict between Israel and terrorists in Gaza.
Despite the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) continued to rain down hundreds of rockets on Israel, prompting an IDF response targeting PIJ locations and assets in Gaza. The point at which Israel seeks a ceasefire, rather than a larger-scale response remains a politically contentious decision for the prime minister, even more so during the current political stalemate.
In the past, and seemingly this time a well, Netanyahu has elected to keep his eye fixed on the Iranian threat from the east, rather than becoming bogged down in a wider conflict inside Gaza without a well-defined endgame in mind. This provides opportunities for national security concerns to be harnessed for domestic political gains.
Meanwhile, Avigdor Liberman remains in the combined role of Israel's political kingmaker and spoiler. Of all the candidates and parties, someone will have to compromise first or at least turn their own declared coalition red lines a shade of pink. Will Liberman be the first to blink?
The events in Israel and Gaza have also created a new political hay for Democrats and their presidential hopefuls in the U.S. with Sen. Bernie Sanders suggesting a cut in aid to Israel to increase U.S. funding in Gaza. For her part, Sen. Elizabeth Warren claimed it is the official U.S. policy to support a two-state solution "and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, everything is on the table." They also failed to condemn the PIJ for firing rockets at civilian centers in Israel. On the other hand, candidates Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Steve Bullock have voiced support for Israel and condemned the PIJ.
Conspicuously quiet on the matter, frequently outspoken critics of Israel, Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have remained silent on Twitter regarding the PIJ's double war crime of firing hundreds of rockets at civilians while sheltering among civilians. As Michelle Makori points out, "their silence in the Twitter-verse is deafening." Brodsky suggests that Turkey's President Erdogan's visit to the White House may have played a role in their desire not to rock the proverbial boat.