Into the Fray: Like a rudderless ship in a stormy sea

By Martin Sherman, JPOST

Just as Hamas uses its civilians as human shields against Israeli military attacks, so the Israeli government uses its civilians as human shields to fend off diplomatic attacks from the international community.

Binyamin Netanyahu

Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at the Knesset on Monday Photo: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST
The most righteous of men cannot live in peace if his evil neighbor will not let him be.
– Wilhelm Tell, Act IV, Scene III, by Friedrich von Schiller, 1804 

The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.
– Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

There is always a cost to defeat an evil. It never comes free, unfortunately. But the cost of failure to defeat a great evil is far higher.
– Jamie Shea, NATO spokesman, BBC News, May 31, 1999, on civilian casualties inflicted by NATO in the Balkans.

As Operation Protective Edge – which could have been dubbed “Pillar of Defensive II” or “Cast Lead III” – drags on, it is becoming increasingly clear that the government is misconstruing its role..

Running the country vs. leading the nation

It seems to believe that its primary role is to run the country, rather than lead the nation. This is a disastrously inappropriate misperception of its task

The manner in which the current round of military operations is being conducted clearly reflects a state of mind preoccupied with tactical management of existing realities, rather than strategic leadership, which strives to forge new realities.

The objective of the campaign – articulated as the restoration of calm – makes any other conclusion difficult to reach. Indeed, when “calm” is chronically impermanent, the desire for a return to the precarious status quo ante has a ring of despairing resignation to it, and conveys little hope of any better realities.

This debilitating syndrome was diagnosed in a perceptive opinion piece titled “Defeatism at its worst” (Jerusalem Post, July 14) by Anya Zhuravel Segal – who interestingly enough served on Binyamin Netanyahu’s staff prior to the 2005 disengagement from Gaza: “We are facing a deep crisis of political leadership, and a deep disbelief in our power to shape reality.”

Sadly, it is difficult to imagine a more fitting characterization of the mindset of Israel’s leadership in recent years, underscored not only by the definition of the objectives of military campaigns undertaken, but by the means employed to wage them.

Tactical brilliance, strategic imbecility

There can be little disagreement that Israel has cutting- edge technologies that few countries can compete with at its disposal. While this impressive technological superiority has resulted in several brilliant tactical achievements by the military, on the strategic level Israel has displayed what can only be called utter imbecility, precipitating situations which have considerably degraded its security.

Ever since the disastrous decision not to preempt the Arab attack in October 1973, which brought the country to the brink of annihilation, and cost it thousands of needless deaths, Israel – and Israelis – have paid heavily for policies of restraint and retreat, whether almost immediately, or with the passage of time.

Nearly all Israel’s subsequent strategic initiatives have involved restoring/transferring territory to defeated aggressors, in exchange for unkept – and often unkeepable – pledges. In every case the areas relinquished have, sooner or later, become platforms on which attacks are planned, prepared and perpetrated against Israel.

As a result of Menachem Begin’s 1977 decision to surrender the strategic expanses of Sinai, Israel faces an increasingly grim situation on its long southern border. The peninsula is descending into one of the most savage areas on the planet, ruled by brutal jihadi warlords increasingly putting Eilat and its booming tourist industry, without which its very viability will be imperiled, at risk.

Strategic imbecility (cont.) 

Faced with an evident lack of Egyptian ability and/or will to cope with the unfolding realities, a situation is emerging which eventually will become intolerable for Israel, one which can only be addressed by jeopardizing the peace treaty with Cairo, which constituted the rationale for relinquishing the territory in the first place.

The 1993/1995 Oslo Accords led to the deployment of armed Arab forces, drawn from the ranks of murderous terrorist organizations, within mortar range of the nation’s parliament. With it came an unprecedented wave of bloody terror, currently held in check only by the effects of 2002’s Operation Defensive Shield, subsequent redeployment of the IDF in the area, and the construction of a multi-billion dollar “separation barrier.”

The 2000 unilateral withdrawal (or more accurately flight) of the IDF turned southern Lebanon into an huge arsenal for the Shia-extremists Hezbollah, bristling with missiles that rained terror and destruction on millions of Israelis in 2006. The poorly conceived and inconclusive Second Lebanon War resulted in a dramatic increase in the deadly ordnance directed at Israel.

True, Hezbollah has refrained from using it up to now. However, the fact that the organization did not join Hamas in the current round of fighting may well have more to do with its involvement in the civil war in Syria, an indication that it is loath to engage on two fronts, rather than an effect of any durable deterrence attributable to a memory of the 2006 engagement.

Indeed, its huge accumulation of offensive weapons, coupled with persistent reports of extensive cross-border tunneling, hardly seem indicative of a diminished appetite to continue battle at an opportune moment in the future.

The most imbecilic of all 

Then came, arguably, the most imbecilic strategic initiative of all – the unilateral abandonment of the Gaza Strip (a.k.a. disengagement) and the expulsion of the Jewish residents from their thriving communities, which generated around 10 percent of the output of the economy and ample employment for its Arab residents.

So far, for Israel this “inspired” decision has resulted in three (and counting) military campaigns, massive disruption of the socioeconomic routine, ongoing trauma and occasional tragedy.

For the Palestinians the consequences have been far more calamitous – except of course for the cruel, corrupt cliques into whose clutches the disengagement delivered them, who have grown prosperous beyond their wildest dreams.

It would be hard to conceive of any policy initiative more counter-productive – indeed, self-obstructive – than this. Unless of course one looks at the current government’s efforts to end the hostilities in the south.

For, despite the precarious and perilous impermanence of the status quo ante, the major – if not the only – demand the government seems to be raising for a cease-fire is the restoration of the situation that led to the current fighting.

Worse, at the time of writing, the government was reportedly mulling some face-saving concessions for Hamas – ensuring that it could not only claim victory by remaining defiantly undefeated, but could flaunt tangible “achievements” – as it did after November 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense.

Emerging exasperation 

But as the government stumbles on in a seemingly aimless – albeit, pyrotechnically impressive – endeavor, there are signs of growing public exasperation with its performance and eroding confidence in its competence.

These were succinctly articulated by Zhuravel Segal in her previously cited op-ed, in which she echoes many of my thoughts: “I do not believe for a second that Israel, a country with outstanding…logistical accomplishments, cannot stop rocket fire from Gaza. What I see clearly, though, is incredible negligence and lack of systematic, long-term planning effort on behalf of Israel’s top political brass and…the prime minister…These days we are rallying behind our prime minister’s wartime rhetoric as if we were facing an enemy that could actually stand up to the concerted effort of a modern democracy with first-world diplomatic and military means at its disposal….”

‘Defeatism at its worst’

She goes on to lament, in a tone of bitter disillusionment tinged with bewilderment: “… we send our very best people to fight a bunch of fanatics who assemble smuggled rockets at home and hide in tunnels under their wives’ washing machines. Is this really the best we can do? If it is, I am deeply disappointed in Israel’s long-term planning capability…This is defeatism at its worst. It hurts us where it really matters and turns us into an indefensible victim yet again, a complex one hopes Israel would have by now shed.”

There is much to heed in Segal’s anguished words.

For while Israel’s highly effective civil defense apparatus has functioned admirably, reducing the casualty toll to the barest minimum, the ongoing imagery of Jews, forced by a Judeophobic militia to scurry for cover, and cower in shelters, is becoming increasing unacceptable, and is, or at least should be, incompatible with the founding ethos of the country.

The prattle that presents the retaking of Gaza as an invalid strategic objective is ludicrous and should be discounted with disdain.

Retaking of Gaza as a moral imperative

It is becoming difficult to bear the claims that the mighty IDF – portrayed as the strongest army in the region, capable of prevailing over any of Israel’s enemies, or combination thereof – cannot take an objective, barely 11-km. wide and 50-km. long, with no significant topographic barriers to impede its advance.

Such a measure is the only way the government of Israel can discharge its moral duty toward its citizens. To refrain from undertaking this task is a moral abomination on several levels, implying that, just as Hamas uses its civilians as human shields against Israeli military attacks, so the government of Israel uses its civilians as human shields to fend off diplomatic attacks from the international community.

Yes, such a measure will involve casualties – on both sides. But the blame for the blood shed must be laid squarely at the door of those who called for Israel to hand over the Gaza Strip to its sworn enemies – and of those who could have prevented it but, because they preferred privileged positions over political principle, did not.

Retaking Gaza cannot be avoided, only delayed for a less opportune and more hazardous occasion, when the enemy will be better prepared, and casualties higher.

Dismantling of Gaza as a moral imperative

In a recent report, the Post’s Yaakov Lappin wrote: “The experience of Israel’s military planners tells them that toppling the Hamas regime…is not necessarily in Israel’s long-term strategic interests. It remains far from clear who might replace Hamas, and Gaza could turn into a Somalia-like strip of land filled with Islamic State militias that cannot be deterred at all.”

This sort of claim be must rejected out of hand. Indeed it was precisely this kind of thinking that induced Israel to deal with the PLO lest it end up with Hamas. Israel agreed to deal with the PLO and got Hamas….

No matter what Arab regime is installed in Gaza at the end of the fighting, there is always the risk of it being replaced by more implacable and inimical successors.

Israel cannot determine who will rule Gaza…unless it does so itself.

To do this, it must impose unconditional surrender on Hamas and begin the systematic dismantling of Gaza and the relocation of its population in third party countries, as I first proposed two decades ago in “Why we can’t dump Gaza” (Jerusalem Post, December 9, 1992), and in numerous subsequent Into the Fray columns.

Frittering away a unique opportunity

Today Israel has a unique opportunity to eliminate the menace of Gaza and offer its non-belligerent population a better life elsewhere. It is difficult to imagine the current benign circumstances reoccurring:
(a) support of Israel in the US is at near-record highs, outstripping that for Palestinians (even among Hispanics and Blacks);
(b) there is deep hostility for Hamas in Egypt under Abdel Fattah al-Sisi;
(c) the Arab world is distracted by the internal tumult raging across it, with little time or resources to devote to the Palestinian issue;
(d) Hezbollah is entangled in the Sunni-Shia wars in Syria/Iraq, and unlikely to engage in an additional front against Israel.

So in the words of the sage Hillel, “If not now, when? The question is, will the government rise to the occasion.

Will it be equal to the challenge? Or will it let the country continue to drift, rudderless in the stormy sea that surround it – until an unexpected wave swamps it?

Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
www.martinsherman.net

July 19, 2014 | 50 Comments »

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  1. honeybee Said:

    I prefer King James because I like the sound of the English when read aloud:

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+8:7&version=KJV

    The majority of individuals I know prefers King James Version (KJV, NKJV). The old version uses 16th and 17th century English which is hard to understand by some. The New King James Version uses modern English. They are among the top 5 most popular Bible translations. The New Living Translation and ESV are in plain English and among the most popular ones as well.
    The Aramaic Bible would be the most popular because of its content as it was translated directly from the original and ancient manuscripts. Aramaic was the language in which the scriptures were originally recorded.

  2. @ honeybee:
    My daughter was only eleven or twelve years old. My next door neighbors who did own a big state in the Hamptons knew the trainer. Their daughter had qualified for the Olympic team. It costs hundred of thousands to train a kid to that level. In any case all these organized sports and other competitions are very political. In NY even the Philharmonic and the Opera boards are controlled by political cliques. If your last name is Jewish you can forget about it. In the musical field it is also cliquish but in this case it is controlled by the Tribe. Peter Gelb the general manager of the Met. Opera is an Antisemitic of the puta madre que lo pario. His grandfather was Joseph Haifetz the best violinist of all times. There are things in life I can’t understand. A Jew who is such slime and betrays his own people is one of them. I’m waiting for their call to raise money.

  3. “When Israel turned Gaza over to the Arab inhabitants in 2005, I believed that peace was possible. International donors had purchased greenhouses to provide the inhabitants with a means of producing food, and disposable income. The vision of Palestinian Arabs and Israelis building something together was now believable because the Arabs now had a productive industry at their command. Then Fatah-affiliated Palestinians destroyed the greenhouses.
    When you give somebody forty acres and a mule, and his first move is to kill the mule for entertainment while he poisons the forty acres so nothing will grow there, you are indeed dealing with the equivalent of a rabid animal with whom reason, negotiation, and peace are impossible. When that same somebody teaches his children hate instead of science, engineering, and skilled trades, this simply reinforces the diagnosis of a deadly, contagious, and universally fatal disease.”
    Read more at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/6016#.U81tD7FMLVF

  4. AbbaGuutuu Said:

    I am surprised to see CA back after a lot of hostilities against him with exception from Dweller and few others

    This is just to correct my previous statement. I or any person should not be surprised about CA’s coming back. He has all the right like any other person to freely express himself within the guidance given by Ted Bellman.
    Had I paid attention to few individuals who opposed me at the time he stopped posting I wouldn’t have come back to this website. I am grateful to some individuals who stood with me (based on principle) in the face of meaningless attacks made against me.

    As long as a person is not against the interests of Israel and Jews, it is good to have different views thereby fighting a well known enemies to have a better result. Unlike most of you I did not know about his views. I am not criticizing those who stood against or/and for him.

  5. mar55 Said:

    My older daughter was taking horseback riding lessons and the coach wanted to use her for showing his horses.

    When I was a college girl the was an older horseman who liked the way I rode and wanted to train me to enter riding competitions. But I had the feeling he really wanted to get in my pants. An on going problem in my life.
    Hope your feeling better soon. I shall try to keep you amused. I need to amuse myself because I turned my foot and now must walk with a boot. The weather is hot and muggy. But shouldn’t complain when Israel suffers.

  6. Israel should not stop the current war initiated by Hamas before having a decisive victory.
    “Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded.” That was a statement made by Khaled Meshaal, a leader of Hamas.
    The following was received by Israeli citizens in the Binyamin region via text message (after Israel had agreed to a potential ceasefire) and prior to the escalation of Israel’s action to protect its citizens from indiscriminate rocket attacks:
    “Your government claimed yesterday that it stopped the battle, but without our consent and meeting our conditions – and it thought we were rash enough to [agree to a] cease-fire. On the contrary, we hurried to strike anywhere in Israel – from Dimona to Haifa – and we made you hide in shelters like mice.
    Again, we warn you – if your government does not agree to all of our conditions, then all of Israel will legally remain open to our weapons fire” (Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades).
    The al-Quassam Brigade is the same group that stated, “Our battle with the enemy [Israel] continues and will increase in ferocity and intensity.”
    There are those who always hasten to blame Israel for any increase in the violence that erupts in the region. The United Nations, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the president of the United States seemingly call on Israel first to refrain from violence. I have yet to see the United Nations and the American hierarchy lay the blame for the continuing unrest in the area at the feet of the Palestinians, who have now made a pact with, and brought into their government, the internationally designated terrorist group Hamas”.

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/07/israel-must-die/#HufkoO0eiav0C1Dw.99

  7. @ honeybee:
    I did not know you were a poet. Very good.
    I’m laughing as I’m reading your posts. You are another one who uses irony very well.
    I own you. I have not been feeling very well lately and have been coop up in the apartment. Laughing is the best medicine. Thank you HB. I do like horses. My older daughter was taking horseback riding lessons and the coach wanted to use her for showing his horses. Then came the petition “I want a horse please” she said she never used the crop. I talk to the horse and he knows what I want him to do. It made her angry when she saw kids constantly hitting the horse. It all ended when, since we do not live in the countryside and had no room for horses we had to find a place to board him. It turned out the upkeep of the horse was much more expensive than the tuition for her independent school. The younger one went to a school where most of the kids ride and board their horses in school because they also compete. Talking shop among the students riders my daughter came upon a conversation where some of the students whose families raised horses were talking about buying horses for $55,000.
    and her comment was “Fifty five thousand and does not have wheels?” You are very fortunate to live where you live. Horses are wonderful animals.

  8. @ the phoenix:
    You are very funny. Your use of irony with your sense of humor is always welcome. By the way, I had to go to the dentist and had a molar extraction. I’m waiting for an implant.
    Getting old is not for sissies.

  9. honeybee Said:

    AbbaGuutuu Said:

    PA’s: It works against their wishful thinking to “destroy” Israel and the Jews

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+8%3A36&version=KJV

    The scripture on the website that you posted compares mankind’s earthly and eternal life. Is there a person who has ever gained the whole world? Isn’t a person’s soul (which is eternal) too precious to even be compared to earthly (temporary) gains? Thanks for posting and I like that scripture.

  10. the phoenix Said:

    olfactory nerves?

    I a Cowboy’s Sweetheart. Darlin the smell of manure don’t bother me none. However, in the city the smell cars exhaust really bother me.

  11. @ honeybee:

    Sun dry it and it loses its smell and its good on tomato gardens.

    A technical question, hb.
    What happens after it rains? Does it not ‘rehydrate’ (and thus, renew the ‘attack’on the olfactory nerves? 🙂 )
    Btw, it’s a real question.

  12. the phoenix Said:

    Horse manure is always manure

    Horse . because it is pyro-genic, has good uses. As Dentist you should know that it was once use as poultice to treat an abscessed tooth.
    Dried it makes a good fire, like buffalo chips.

  13. mar55 Said:

    their horses

    All horse are lovely despite their owners. I love a horse barn in the deep winter. The smell of the horse and the hay combine. The warmth and stream rising from the horses bodies as they stomp about in their stalls to keep warm. The little birds taking refuge in the rafters , fly and sing surviving until the arrival of the Spring.

    If you spread horse manure properly in the sun its kills the bacteria. Careful how you spread it because its pyro-genic. Tomatoes are OK.

  14. honeybee Said:

    I have always wondered why the Pals so wasted the gift of Gaza ???? They could have developed such a beautiful area into a little Miami Beach.

    Dear HB, I am pleased to see your posts again on this website. I hope you and your family are doing great!

    Developing Gaza to a little Miami Beach works against the main objectives of PA’s: It works against their wishful thinking to “destroy” Israel and the Jews. They want to gain sympathy from international community by presenting themselves as ‘victims.”

  15. mar55 Said:

    @ yamit82:
    Interesting how as soon as Israel stars making progress in cleaning the scum in Gaza, the VERMIN reappears. Horse manure is always manure. It smells!

    Though I know which vermin you were referring to, (in fact, my comment #6 was directed at him directly), here is YET another one … 🙁
    From walla news (21:36 Israel time):
    The black bastard was on the phone with Netanyahu. He stressed the fact that the us will act in close cooperation with Israel and ‘additional countries’ in the region to implement a cease fire and to protect citizens in gaza (…well of course!) and in Israel (yeah, right…)

  16. CuriousAmerican Said:

    There is no easy way out of this. Or Israel would have handled it earlier.

    Anger may be appropriate in this situation, but do not let it impair your judgement.

    You are right in saying ” there is no easy way out of this.”

    Hamas depend on those who live in Gaza, Iran and others. How about making life so difficult on Hamas and its supporters within Gaza and then allow them to leave the territory in order for them to escape to any country of their choices? If life becomes unbearable in Gaza individuals would be forced to leave it on their own.

  17. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:
    Samuel, when I become very impatient with the Israeli government and the injustices in the system I remember my grandmother saying:
    “No hay mal que dure cien anos ni cuerpo que lo resista”.
    I pray Hashem comfort you and help you have patience. I can’t blame you when I put myself in your place. But the justified anger will affect your health. You are a noble and righteous man who has no patience for the shenanigans of the corrupt people in charge. Another saying from abuela. “No te desesperes a todo cerdo le llega su San Martin” and, to the pigs in the present government the end is near. Ask yamit82
    he is just as frustrated as you are. Keep cool and trust our Creator. Lastly one which is American. “Don’t get mad, get even”. We, at least I keep preying for your family and your boys. Wait, we all will celebrate. Remember you promised HB a big barbecue. No one makes a better “parrillada” than an Argentine. Well the Spaniards from Castille also specialize in it. Still I like the Argentinian’s better. Be well and keep on praying. Not only for petitions for also for thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for all we have and for all we do not have and do not need either.

  18. @ honeybee:
    Except the manure coming from their horses will be contaminated with deadly bacteria. Do not expect anything good from vermin’s horses.
    By the way, my daughter got not so many tomatoes this year but the quality has improved.
    Her mother in law got a great harvest of tomatoes this year. She will have to make lots of tomato sauces and freeze them for the winter.
    How are your tomatoes this season?

  19. @ beniyyar:
    Gaza is a filthy cesspool that can be rather simply cauterized. I served on three reserve duty calls there.
    Later accepted an invitation to join Dr. Landau for a field review.
    There are no problems from the military standpoint to raze any resistance. The problem is predicated upon OUR horrendous leadership. One cannot expect from leaders that up to not long ago freed Islamic murderers to plan now to destroy those murderers. It is illogical to expect that.
    As new leadership advances and removal of the suspect leadership take place, we will terminate the Islamic murderers.
    That change over is inexorable and the outcome will be a terrible end for the fabricated entities in Gaza and elsewhere.

  20. yamit82 Said:

    Do you really care???

    I do not! I respect others right to freely express themselves even if they may disagree with me.

  21. yamit82 Said:

    free port city with tourist hotels along the fine Palm Tree lined beaches. Nice climate as well.

    I have always wondered why the Pals so wasted the gift of Gaza ???? They could have developed such a beautiful area into a little Miami Beach.

  22. yamit82 Said:

    I hated the after paperwork though, better to off them and not report it.

    Shoot, shovel, shut-up. But I have said that before, could I be nagging??????? Darlin

  23. @ yamit82:
    Interesting how as soon as Israel stars making progress in cleaning the scum in Gaza, the VERMIN reappears. Horse manure is always manure. It smells!

  24. @ bernard ross:
    I totally agree with your assesment of the situation.

    Israel should cease to accept the role of being the door mat of the world. It should act at the level of its military rank. it should kick butt, bloody noses, and strike fear into others. that is what will give it the alliances that will make it independent. Israel needs resources and it should forge military alliances that guarantee those resources. It should look more to Africa than to europe in order to get those resources.

    Only when Israel starts striking fear into others RESPECT from the chorus of Jew hating Europeans and the international community will follow.

  25. beniyyar Said:

    Martin Sherman is rapidly losing all credibility, and worse, he is beginning to look like a buffoon.

    The only buffoon I see on this blog is you.

    For 10 years I shopped had my car repaired and enjoyed eating in some of the best fish restaurants this side of Europe in GAZA. Spent many of my reserve duty stints in Gaza and employed workers from Rafiach and Khan Yunis.

    What was can be again, if we are determined to return and stay in Gaza. Actually Gaza is quite beautiful and has a lot of potential. I would make it a free port city with tourist hotels along the fine Palm Tree lined beaches. Nice climate as well.

  26. Martin Sherman has finally convinced me that he is a lunatic and should be locked up in a institution for the mentally ill. Retake Gaza, occupy and govern Gaza, dismantle Gaza, really Martin, and in what reality do you live? This is what you get when your rhetoric gets out of hand, there is no way on God’s green earth that Israel’s military could every control the Gaza Strip and there is no way on that same planet that any other country in the world would support Israel in this regard. Martin Sherman is rapidly losing all credibility, and worse, he is beginning to look like a buffoon.

  27. bernard ross Said:

    interesting that CA and AG arrive back the same times

    I am surprised to see CA back after a lot of hostilities against him with exception from Dweller and few others. What a coincidence that both of us came back at the same time.

    I hope you do not mind him and I coming back.

  28. AbbaGuutuu Said:

    Any sensible person can easily understand that there is no easy solution for Arab-Israeli conflicts. At this juncture, the worst thing to do is to stop removing Hamas from power and destroying its infrastructures.

    The worse thing is allowing any Arab in Gaza to continue breathing. Off em all!!!

  29. CuriousAmerican Said:

    The real solution to this right now is to re-occupy the Philadelphi Route.

    This would stop all smuggling.

    If your goal is to re-take all of Gaza, then there will be perpetual guerilla war.

    No smuggling because our new Arab partner has closed all the tunnels Mubarak refused to close.

    No, … we need to control all of Gaza and dilute the population either by exporting them or killing them. I don’t care which but since the rodents are trying to kill me and I do take it personally!! I will volunteer to take out as many as I can. It’s been awhile since I last offed five of the rodents who tried to kill me in a drive by road accident but they failed I got them instead.

    I put a bullet in the head of all five.

    I hated the after paperwork though, better to off them and not report it.

  30. Any sensible person can easily understand that there is no easy solution for Arab-Israeli conflicts. At this juncture, the worst thing to do is to stop removing Hamas from power and destroying its infrastructures.

  31. @ CuriousAmerican:

    Do you have an explanation prepared for the press why the removal of 1.8 Million Gazans is NOT ethic cleanings?!

    I am surprised it took you so long to slither back, and offer your previously offered (ad nauseum) pov.
    You want an ‘explanation’ for the “press”???
    Open the “how to win in gaza” thread and look at the caricature posted there.
    According to this so called “press”, it is the fucking gazans crushed under Israel’s heavy thumb, while (big powerful) Israel is whining and crying “ow!” , “stop it!” , “you’re hurting me!”…
    What does that tell you american?
    It speaks volumes!!!!
    It says effectively that:

    “What the hell is the problem with YOU JEWS!!!”
    “So you have a few rockets here and there fall on you, so what is the big deal?”
    “Look at the damage you’re doing to our poor darlings who have no place to go no place to hide… You are crushing them and you are STILL crying?”

    To this SCUM, masquerading as ‘journalists’ you you want to give a prepared explanation???
    Have you seen Bennett interviewed by the sob self hating Jew, wolf bllitzer?
    All the bastard wanted to do was to come back again and again to the fact that four little musloids were blown to pieces (GOOD!!! {the phoenix})
    THIS is the press and world opinion you think we should worry about???

    I hope to God, to live to see the day, when a Jewish LEADER,,when asked such a loaded question, will turn the tables and use this occasion to answer with a question.
    In fact, MANY QUESTIONS…
    First and foremost is
    Who the fuck are YOU to lecture to US?
    Where the fuck were all of you hypocrites while 6 million died?
    … And the list is LONG.
    So, may I recommend, american, that you write this little question of yours on a piece of paper, fold it aaaaaaaaaand shove it!

  32. The real solution to this right now is to re-occupy the Philadelphi Route.

    This would stop all smuggling.

    If your goal is to re-take all of Gaza, then there will be perpetual guerilla war.

  33. @ NormanF:

    Moshe Feiglin has proposed this solution: emptying Gaza would constitute a message to the Arab World

    Where would you expel the Gazans to?

    Egypt?!

    Egypt is at peace with Israel, and actually supporting Israel against Hamas. Egypt might as well be your ally, in this situation.

    So where should Israel expel the Gazans to?

    Jordan?!

    Israel has a peace treaty with Jordan? Do you want to walk the Gazans through Israel to Jordan. Do you think Jordan would take them?

    Lebanon?

    Do you want to ship 1.8 Million Gazans to Lebanon? Do you think Lebanon will take them? Do you think the world will not notice – not that you care; but you will care if the term “ethnic cleansing” is used.

    Do you have an explanation prepared for the press why the removal of 1.8 Million Gazans is NOT ethic cleanings?! Do you think the world will accept your explanation, or will you insult them if the world does not accept your explanation?

    I understand your point, NormanF; but evacuating Gaza will not work.

    Geography prevents removal. The Gazans are not next to an enemy you could dump them on.

    Israel should re-occupy the Philadepi Route.

    Maybe set up a fence between Gaza and the re-taken Philadelphi Route. So that Gaza is surrounded on all 4 sides by Israelis.

    There is no easy way out of this. Or Israel would have handled it earlier.

    Anger may be appropriate in this situation, but do not let it impair your judgement.

  34. Finally! From your mouths to the people’s ears.

    My mother used to say that “To be a doormat, you had to lie down first.” And it is time for Israel to reveal the threats AND what Israel is giving away free to the US and the world.

    There was a military commander yesterday who was interview by Wolf Blitzer!!!!!! This said REPEATEDLY that the ONLY goal is to dismantle the current tunnels!! This is madness and this is murder of IDF soldiers by their own government who sends them into battle with both hands tied behind their backs. If this is true, then Israel is fighting to lose.

    And the treasonous leadership is ALREADY talking appeasement negotiations AGAIN!

  35. Martin Sherman aptly describes the rudderless ship being sailed by those not up to the task of leadership. He also hints that the reason for this situation is a a result of political and diplomatic pressure on the state of Israel by the international community. He further suggests that succeeding governments have risked Israeli lives in order to appease and assuage this evil and pernicious international community. Certainly it appeared to begin with Golda Meirs decision to sacrifice Israeli lives to appease the US need to shed Jewish blood first. Since then the evil internationals have continued to thirst for Jewish blood.

    What is missing from this predicament is the transparency and honesty of the leadership coupled with their massive arrogance that they know best what decisions to make in the light of this evil pressure. I would suggest that the opposite is true. At least Livni and the left transparently reveal that they are foreign agents who suggest that Israel should do what the foreigners want or the foreigners will damage Israel. The right pretends that problem does not exist but appear to act as if the problem exists under the table in massive proportions and thus end up implementing the same policies as the left.

    I think there is a great need for Israel’s leadership and political community to honestly present the threats being made, towards Israel, to the Israeli public and who is making the threats. Furthermore, the GOI should be making studies as to what ways, what methods these threats can be countered and/or weathered. The true situation and the available remedies should be given to the public and they should make the decisions based on real knowledge. Perhaps the public, instead of kowtowing is willing to take risk in order to act independently and perhaps they are willing to sacrifice some economic growth for security and strength. Right now it appears that politicians have been appointing themselves as sages and withholding the most important information affecting the nation, and the diaspora, from the public. If the US is making evil threats then all jews should know, the same with the euros. One cannot proceed intelligently if the greatest threat is kept hidden.

    The appearance of a foreign stranglehold on the people of Israel and the diaspora needs to be brought to the light of day. All decisions appear to be made kowtowing to this stranglehold, therefore the Jewish people have a right to know the truth so that they can begin to devise real solutions to the actual problems. We might find that the best solution lies in an opposite path. That instead of acting humbly and defensively that perhaps Israel should adopt an aggressive posture focused purely on independent survival; seizing, land, assets and resources of neighbors in order to operate under sanctions.

    Israel should cease to accept the role of being the door mat of the world. It should act at the level of its military rank. it should kick butt, bloody noses, and strike fear into others. that is what will give it the alliances that will make it independent. Israel needs resources and it should forge military alliances that guarantee those resources. It should look more to Africa than to europe in order to get those resources.

  36. Moshe Feiglin has proposed this solution: emptying Gaza would constitute a message to the Arab World that creating an Arab state on Jewish land is not Israel’s problem. It would also make clear to the Arabs Israel is here to stay and when they attack Israel, they will lose more then just their honor and their lives. When the Arabs wage a war of aggression against Israel, they should forfeit the privilege of living alongside Jews. Is peaceably expelling Jew-hating Arabs a difficult proposition? Yes – but the costs of war and social trauma should not be paid for by Israel’s Jews. And like with the Czech expulsion of Fifth Column Germans from their country after World War II, its the only solution that will eliminate perpetual conflict with Israel’s Arab neighbors. For strategic and moral reasons, the Disengagement must be reversed and Gaza must become without Arabs, a permanent part of the Jewish homeland. There is no other solution that will allow Israel to live in peace and safety in its own land.