An Israeli defeat in Sderot.

Ze’ev Schiff, Haaretz

[..] The enemy that defeated Sderot is a terror organization that is militarily weak, yet in spite of its weakness, it has succeeded in achieving deterrence vis-a-vis Israel, just as Hezbollah did. The government and the defense establishment try to explain away the situation with excuses such as the following: This would be a difficult battle, in which large numbers of Palestinians would be killed and Israel would suffer many losses; the IDF would be stuck in the Gaza Strip at a time when the Syrian front is likely to flare up; international public opinion would oppose a harsh Israeli response. Meanwhile, the IDF is not even returning fire at the sources of Qassam launches if the rockets are fired from populated areas.

What matters is the final result, not the explanations. And the result is that there is mutual deterrence between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel finds itself in a military draw with Hamas. That is a serious national failure, which in my opinion is worse than the failure of the Second Lebanon War.

Moreover, two important strategic facts have emerged, which cannot be ignored. The first is that the changes in the battlefield and the nature of the fighting have led to a situation in which Israel’s strategic (and not only geographic) depth is insignificant. If what is happening in the Gaza Strip were to happen to Israel in the West Bank, we would be back in a situation like that during the War of Independence, and this could include the expulsion of terrorism supporters.

Therefore, Israel must insist for now on isolating the West Bank, and it must also reject the security benchmarks plan proposed by U.S. security coordinator Major General Keith Dayton, as it is liable to lead to Hamas penetration of the West Bank. Even if we achieve a real cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, at least one year of quiet should pass until the cease-fire is extended to the West Bank.

The second fact is the almost total disappearance of the strategic principle set by David Ben-Gurion, to the effect that upon the outbreak of a military confrontation, Israel must quickly transfer the fighting to enemy territory. At present, it is the enemy who is immediately transferring the fighting to Israeli territory.

June 8, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. Schiff is getting senile: he is stating and regurgitating the known and obvious. He has always backed Oslo but never takes credit for its failures and his and his papersnear messianic belief in dialog , compromise withdrawing fro (sic) occupied territories and living in vulnerable little emasculated Israel. So he is correct today but fifteen years too late. There are many of us Israels who to the contrary see our ultimate salvation in the expulsion of terror supporters which might reach close to a 100% of Palis in judea and summaria as well as gaza, not to mention Israeli arabs. For this one must define exactly what we mean by supporting terror. Schiff and his leftist colleagues are no less culpable the the actual perpetrators and implementors of insane wrong headed dangerous policies built on a principle of a straw man with no real substance only hope in our enemy and providence. Their failure has become a new staggic threat to our existence where before there were none at least in this equation. The question is that you have been so wrong in the past why should anyone listen to you toay? Don`t worry nobody ever rembers what you said yesterday so you are on safe ground, except from me.

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