Israelis cannot absorb any defeat.
Caroline has such a great point here. Israel cannot afford to lose southern Israel, that being Jews getting fed up with the daily barrage of rockets and leave the area for good. I was in a meeting with Israeli officials back in 2006 tasked with providing information about the Prime Minister’s (then Ariel Sharon) strategy of Disengagement from Gaza.
The idea at the time was a reversal of the paradigm from the Oslo period, this time around it would be Israeli security concerns over peace initiatives. One gentlemen in the room stood up and asked, ”what will the Israeli government do once the rockets begin flying over the fence?” That moment will stay with me for the rest of my life.
In hind sight, the Israelis would have been better off to stay in Gaza, and endure the slurs and negative press in being there, than to be the tar-baby of Hamas propaganda, with every outrageous claim and dead child immediately trumpeted by the fake media, stuck to their PR portfolio.
Fighting Without Silver Bullets
Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick’s work, visit carolineglick.com.
Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.
Hours before Israel accepted the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire deal on Monday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traveled to the south to try to allay the fears of area residents.
It’s not at all clear how successful he was.
Residents of the communities bordering the Gaza Strip who evacuated their homes are skeptical of the IDF’s claims that it is safe for them to return.
In an interview with NRG website, Yael Paz-Lahiany, a mother of three young children from Kibbutz Nahal Oz just across the border from Gaza professed profound confusion and concern.
“I really don’t understand what is happening here and don’t know what to think. Just on Saturday we had 10 red alerts at Nahal Oz and I don’t know what to say. I also don’t understand what the prime minister said [Saturday].
I just know that I am staying at Kibbutz Dorot, and here too they are operating on emergency footing, the nurseries are only partially open, and no one is going back to normal. So if 10 kilometers from Gaza they haven’t returned to their routine, how are we supposed to go back to our lives 800 meters from the wire?” Israel’s operations in Gaza so far have been based on the hope that Hamas can be convinced to stand down.
Israel has destroyed its tunnels. The IDF killed hundreds of Hamas terrorists. The IDF destroyed Hamas’s bases.
Hamas’s missile arsenal is depleted. Its leaders are safe only so long as they remain hidden in their illegal bunkers under Shifa hospital. Hamas remains cash strapped and without access to resupply from Iran or other allies.
Assuming that Hamas maintains the 72-hour ceasefire that it requested, in negotiations that may ensue for a more detailed cease-fire agreement if the US is unable to coerce Israel and Egypt into agreeing to open the borders and save Hamas, Hamas will be destroyed through attrition.
If this happens, Israel will have won a great victory.
But if Hamas continues to attack southern communities at any level Israel will have no choice. It will have to send its forces back into Gaza with the mission of retaking control there.
There is only one thing worse than reasserting Israel’s military control over Gaza: Losing southern Israel. So long as residents of the south fear returning to their homes, Israel is losing southern Israel.