Certainly, radical groups - such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, both supported by Iran - have had a hand to play in the current situation. The Palestinian Islamist group is supported by the Iranian government and all of the recent air-strikes on Tel Aviv were launched with the aid of Iranian-made Fajr rockets, as reported in the media (Yeganeh Torbati, Iran denies supplying rockets to Gaza militants, Nov. 20, 2012, Toronto Sun). Gaza militants had fired rockets at the city of Tel Aviv earlier this month (Nov., 2012), an air-strike which had quickly prompted an Israeli air-strike retaliation and, then which in turn, a retaliation which Hamas in turn returned with by sending hundreds of rockets into southern Israel within a 24 hr period. CTV News reports that "Israeli military officials estimate that Gaza militants have as many as 12,000 rockets, [and the Israeli authorities] said some 220 rockets struck the Jewish state and another 130 were intercepted by the country's dome missile defence system, the Iron Dome." (Rockets fired at Tel Aviv as Gaza conflict worsens CTV News Staff, Nov. 15, 2012). Not too surprisingly, Israel defended itself by sending in ground-troops into Gaza in order to defend itself.
The strange culminating point to all this is the Palestinian Authority's UN status upgrade? One can certainly understand Canada's reticence on the matter of any discussions pertaining to Palestinian statehood. Canada's Foreign Affairs minister, John Baird, was vehemently opposed to the Palestinian bid, but the irony is not lost on the fact that Canada has reportedly given some $300 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority since December 2007, as reported by Kathryn Blaze Carlson in today's National Post (Ottawa to recall Palestinian aid after Birds strong rebuke of statehood vote, Nov. 30, 2012). Any skeptical mind cannot help but wonder if any of our Canadian dollars ever made it into Iranian hands in exchange for Fajr rockets to launch at Tel Aviv...
Sometimes, it is hard to tell where it all begins and, most importantly, where it all ends...
A vivid image comes to mind, though. It is one that I once saw on an al-Qaeda website somewhere in cyberspace. The image showed some jihadi fighters with some highly stylized Arabic calligraphy written on it, and which strangely enough its author had artistically inserted - as a tactic - the prototypical image of a revolutionary, that of Cuban Che Guevara posted in front of a backdrop saying “Palestine… The homeland of the revolution.” Now, to the best of my knowledge, in the course of his lifetime Che never had anything to do with any jihad rhetoric nor Palestine, yet somehow there he was... with a checkered-scarf.
Referenced Works And Further Readings:
A. Goldschmidt Jr. 2002. A Concise History of the Middle East, Westview.
David Hirst, 2010. Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East, New York: Nation Books.
G. Kepel. 2002. Jihad : The Trail of Political Islam, Cambridge: Harvard Press.
R. Israeli. 2008. Islamic Radicalism and Political Violence, Portland: Vallentine Mitchell.