Who is afraid of defeating Israel’s enemies?
Hamas is trying to draw Israel into a war of attrition, one that Israel’s political leadership repeatedly claims that it will not allow. If that is true, why are we stuck in retaliation mode, seemingly afraid to take the offensive, thus ignoring the wishes of the clear majority of the public that, according to all recent polls, wants a clear and decisive victory that will finish off Hamas once and for all. Do Israel’s politicians have the courage to succeed in an all-out war?
Israel’s puzzling war policy, otherwise known as “if there’s quiet, we’ll help you rebuild” (and rearm, restock, and refuel) has led to an indecisive game of tit-for-tat, in which we quickly follow up successful air-strikes on military targets with an apologetic-sounding announcement that “no non-combatants were hurt”. The apparently thin-skinned team of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon seems incapable of acting militarily, without frequently looking over its shoulder to see “what the goyim will say”. This approach of obsessively examining international political ramifications before every significant air strike is a tragic mistake that plays right into the hands of the Islamic propagandists, who are well aware of Israel’s ultra-sensitivity to international criticism.Unless a conceptual shift is made very soon, this is a policy that is destined for political failure.
The latest victim in this sick game of tit-for-tat is four-year-old mortar shell victim Daniel Turgeman of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, who couldn’t get to a bomb shelter fast enough to protect himself. Was this death really necessary?
Indeed, we are rapidly approaching the fiftieth day of the on-again off-again Operation Protective Edge. While it’s true that unity is a national value, and yes, we prefer not to criticize our leadership in wartime, but it needs to be stated and stated clearly: This four-year-old boy would not be dead if we had been fighting to win from day one of this conflict. The goals for a true Israeli victory that I described at the very beginning of the operation are the only way to achieve genuine quiet from Hamas attacks on Israel from Gaza:
Here are the five key goals in ever-so slightly modified form, taking new realities into account:
1. ALL terror tunnels need to be completely destroyed.
2. ALL terrorist weapons need to be confiscated.
3. ALL bomb factories and warehouses need to be totally destroyed.
4. Israel needs to take and maintain full control of Gaza to insure that the previous three goals are achieved.
5. A major public relations campaign needs to be implemented, unapologetically explaining our historical rights in Gaza and justification for this offensive, followed by firm Israeli resolve to ignore those who refuse to accept our absolutely legitimate explanations.
While those are the minimal requirements for any Israeli offensive to be considered a victory, there are other goals that would certainly be advisable, such as:
1. Totally eliminate the Palestinian Authority as a political force that Israel foolishly accepts as a “peace partner”.
2. Confiscate all weapons in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem – that includes Islamic Jihad, Hamas and its unity government partner Fatah, as well.
3. Allow the reestablishment of the formerly thriving Jewish communities of Gaza, in place of the rocket launchers now occupying that sacred ground. It is our historic right to be there, but history has also shown that increased Israeli settlement brings an increased security presence.
4. Take steps to enable and encourage the peaceful emigration from Gaza of Arabs that don’t want to live peacefully in a Gaza under Israeli sovereignty.
Finally, let’s declare that this is indeed a war. According to international law, many actions that are legitimate in war may not be considered acceptable in a limited operation. Free electricity is still inexplicably being supplied in abundance to Gaza by the Israel Electric Company, at our political echelon’s insistence. There are also occasional shipments of construction materials getting through every time there is “humanitarian ceasefire”. These are just some of the vital foods that have been used by the Islamic terrorists to fuel military needs. The time to end such support to our enemies is now.
Reprinted with author’s permission