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Side-Bars on the Gaza War
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Side-Bars on the Gaza War

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Two State-One State Side Effect

As the Hamas rockets begin to approach more and more parts of Israel, the side effect of these scary barrages is that so far they have remained wildly unsuccessful in hitting population targets and/or are being shot down by the Iron Dome defense system.  This activity underscores the threat that the Israeli hardliners have suggested.  As more and more of Israel is threatened by rockets launched from outside the country, a Palestinian state on the West Bank which could potentially possess these same weapons presents a greater and more ominous threat to Israel’s heartland. If Israelis already now are concerned about whether Ben-Gurion Airport is likely to fall within the rocket range from Gaza, one need only consider the potential exposure that the airport would have if rockets were being launched from just across the Green line by hostile Palestinian forces.

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Internet Side Effects

As one follows the fighting in Gaza, there is a side effect that reaches every computer or tablet email user wherever they might be. There is an intense and growing initiative launched by all the various charitable supporters of Israel on behalf of their own cause, soliciting support for their own particular effort, which is sustaining and directing aide to Israelis fighting themselves or living in persistent fear of attack. It was one thing when 66 years ago or even during the 1967 Six Day War when Israel’s very existence was at stake to ask world Jewry to express their support of Israel with their pocketbooks. Israel today no longer needs the level of charitable giving when Jews were sending packages to the fledgling state. Financial support helps and permits the Government put more of its money into defense. Israel, however, needs friends and allies to argue for the legitimate nature of its fight and cause; but the level of fund-raising on the back of this crisis is tasteless at best.

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7/7

Americans, who are very aware of the annual commemorations on 9/11, are largely oblivious to the largest terrorist attack committed on British soil on 7/7/05.  Fortunately, it came and went again this year without incident and even without minimum fanfare.  The 9th Anniversary of the London Bombing continues to send chills through Britain like 9/11 does in the U.S.  The irony is that in the U.K. more people are genuinely surprised that there have been no more terrorist incidents in Britain than are Americans about such events having reoccurred in the States. Part of the fear relates to the number of Arabs who are British subjects or residents in England.  Britain is hard pressed to control or monitor the travel of its citizens without genuinely interfering with citizens’ civil rights. This is especially difficult for students and young people, who represent the largest target population of potential terrorists.  Britain’s heightened sensibilities to impinging upon citizens’ rights, grossly complicates security work even with all the extensive public surveillance prevalent throughout the country.

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