We are in World War III and we still can’t name the enemy.
‘Non-kosher’ Islamists and ‘kosher’ ones
Wednesday felt uncomfortably a lot like those first early days of Operation Protective Edge.
Hamas fired rockets, we attacked targets from the air; they fired more rockets, we hit more targets from the air. And in the meantime, the airwaves were full of speculation about whether Israel should commit ground forces into Gaza, and if so how far they should go.
Didn’t we just have that debate? Forty-four days after the start of the Gaza operation, we seem to be back at the very beginning. But don’t be fooled, or, rather, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should not be fooled, because the ground has shifted – it has shifted internationally, and it has shifted domestically.
As we stand poised on the brink of what seems like the second half of this bloody round, the international leeway and legitimacy that Israel enjoyed at the beginning – largely because it restrained itself for days while rockets were fired from Gaza – has been largely depleted.
The accumulated impact of the images of the dead and dying in Gaza has taken its toll. If Jerusalem launches another ground incursion – this time with the aim of toppling Hamas – it is unlikely to merit the same degree of understanding, or be given the same amount of time to try and achieve its objectives, as at the beginning of the campaign.
Certainly not from the US, where last week’s decision to put arms sales to Israel under White House supervision was a clear indication of US annoyance and impatience.