Harriet Sherwood sees another ulterior motive for Israel’s operation in Gaza

On Nov. 12 we posted about a report by Harriet Sherwood on Nov. 11 about the “escalation” in Gaza which suggested that the upcoming Israeli elections were quite possibly motivating Bibi Netanyahu to consider a major military operation in response. 

“In the south, dozens of rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza between Saturday evening and midday on Sunday by militants from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other organisations. 

Netanyahu warned that the military was ready to intensify its response to rocket fire from Gaza following the escalation of attacks and counter-attacks.

The round of violence followed a similar spike almost three weeks ago, which subsided after intervention by Egyptian mediators. But some observers believe Netanyahu may be more inclined to order a robust approach in the runup to Israel’s general election on 22 January.”

Sherwood attempted to buttress the claim by suggesting that Operation Cast Lead, in 2008-09, was similarly launched just before an Israeli election.

Operation Cast Lead, the three-week assault on Gaza in which about 1,400 Palestinians were killed, was launched in the build-up to Israel’s last election in 2009.” [emphasis added]

The Guardian’s ongoing live blog on the current conflict included an audio interview with Sherwood (who at the time was waiting to cross into Gaza), by the Guardian’s Haroon Siddique (posted at roughly 10:30 Israeli time), in which she walked back a bit from that claim.  

However, at the 3:55 mark in the audio (embedded below) Sherwood suggested another possible cause for the conflict: The Palestinian Authority’s current bid to gain non-state membership at the United Nations.

The degree to which the Israeli government’s current military act is motivated by a simple desire to protect its citizens from enemy rocket fire, as any other nation in the world would most certainly do, evidently didn’t factor in to her analysis.