No Mean Feat

I certainly don’t want to conquer Gaza for the benefit of Abbas. I don’t believe Israel should be an occupier of Gaza long term. Nor do I want to give anything in return for a ceasefire. Hamas shouldn’t be rewarded for inflicting this war on us. It remains to be seen who has the staying powers under the new rules.  And what kind of pressure will the Obama administration put Israel under in order to open the borders. Israel should insist on demilitarization including unlimited inspection and access as the precondition for opening borders. In the meantime we should try to sell the idea of the world taking in about 900,000 refugees in
Gaza and leave it to Israel to annex the land and rebuild it at its own expense.  Until such time such an option is available, I see no value in occupying Gaza. Sooner or later we will have to end the occupation. The present choice is much better for israel.  Ted Belman.

By Sarah Honig

Posted on August 4, 2014

This was all too evident in the reactions of disappointment that followed the purely tactical decision to re-station IDF units at staging areas in and around the Gaza Strip, while keeping others behind to maintain defensive positions that safeguard Israel’s hinterland.

Anyone who bothered paying attention would have understood that this is no wholesale retreat, that all options remain open after Hamas was dealt grievous blows both to its rocket arsenals and tunnel projects.

Sure, Hamas might continue to fire at Israeli civilians, but it keeps depleting its stockpiles, which it would be hard pressed to replenish. All known tunnels were destroyed although this doesn’t rule out a situation in which a tunnel or branch thereof were missed.

But in all, it would serve us to remember that the IDF went in with superior intelligence and wasn’t blindly groping for tunnels in total darkness. Our forces knew where to look, a fact which attests to painstaking prior preparation and which refutes contentions that the tunnel threat was lackadaisically ignored.

There are no guarantees for perfect story lines in combat zones. Where bullets fly, lives are on the line and bad things can happen to the best of soldiers. Reducing nonessential contact with the local population is therefore prudent.

The ground incursion into Gaza was never intended to conquer it and expel Hamas. It was occasioned by the tunnel threat and that was neutralized more efficiently and successfully than might have been envisioned.

The wails of discontent from both Left and Right arise from wishful thinking that has nothing to do with the justifiably limited aims of this phase of the fighting.

Nowhere on our broad mainstream political spectrum are there outright advocates for Hamas but many on the Zionist Left want Hamas replaced with Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah functionaries. The rationale is that we can do business with Abbas, though this hasn’t actually ever worked so far. Moreover, it was to Abbas’s care that Israel relinquished Gaza in the 2005 Disengagement and he was the incompetent who lost it to Hamas.

As things stand, Abbas would be lucky to hang on to Judea and Samaria where he’s entirely reliant on Israel’s support. The notion of paying with the blood of countless Israeli soldiers just to reinstate Abbas in Gaza should be a nonstarter.

The same concerns about the terrible cost in lives ought to preclude calls from the Right to retake Gaza. It‘s true that terrorism can only be controlled by actual Israeli presence or unhindered access, as experience indeed shows in Judea and Samaria. The IDF can take possession of Gaza faster than is assumed but would then have to mop up, which would inflict casualties on all sides.

Deployment flexibility leaves Israel with all operational options, while it enjoys incomparably greater staying power than Hamas, its bluster notwithstanding.

It is tempting to demand radical facile solutions but reality doesn’t always dish these up. It’s easy to demand comprehensive once-and-for-all overhauls of chronically dangerous circumstances but such overhauls can be deceptive, if not altogether unattainable.

It is a true test of leadership to keep a cool head when emotions rage all around. It isn’t easy and it isn’t popular.

Such difficulties are further exacerbated by the unique Israeli psyche. We aren’t merely a democracy but a democracy comprised more than any other comparable society of opinionated second-guessers and vocal armchair generals.

Despite blatantly biased portrayals overseas, Binyamin Netanyahu’s government isn’t gung-ho or trigger-happy. Despite carping protests at home, it isn’t weak or irresolute.  It has been adroitly performing a tricky balancing act between the desirable and the doable despite unavoidable battle mishaps, calumnies from implacable foes and insincere slurs from severely injudicious sometimes-allies.

After a month of warfare we should take solace from the fact that official Israel has consistently been doing the right thing. That’s no mean feat.

August 4, 2014 | 33 Comments »

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33 Comments / 33 Comments

  1. It is reported at KOAT TV #7, New Mexico that Tzahal pulled out from Gaza ahead of the CF. Does anyone know if true?

  2. @ bernard ross:
    We are directly connected to the Home Front Command message service. Most Israelis are.
    Moments ago I heard a warning for rocket salvo launched by Hamas. Did not bother to check details. It was a given as much as it is a given that Netanyahu-Livni and all, run.

  3. Disarmament Hamas gets traction

    According to
    “The frustration of the Times’s editors is understandable. In recent days, Israel’s calls for demilitarization have attracted powerful adherents.
    On July 15, Tony Blair – Middle East envoy of the Quartet and former prime minister of Britain – said that action must be taken to remove Hamas’s “military infrastructure.” On July 22, the European Union declared: “All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.”
    On July 24, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a resolution calling on the Obama Administration to make the disarming of Hamas a central part of any cease-fire proposal.
    Also on July 24 and again on July 30, the Times’ arch-rival, The Washington Post, published lead (unsigned) editorials calling for “the disarmament of Hamas.” The Post specifically challenged the Obama Administration’s preference for putting off demilitarization until some far-off day. The Post proposed that any economic aid to Gaza be linked to Hamas surrendering its missiles.
    Traditionally, The New York Times has always been on the side of international disarmament. Even when doing so would have given the Soviet Union military advantages over the United States, the Times could be counted on to hail the glories of demilitarization. But when it comes to choosing between demilitarization and championing the Palestinian cause, well, demilitarization has to give way.
    And so the editors at the Times are left flailing their arms in frustration, watching world leaders and prominent newspapers endorsing Israel’s call for the demilitarization of Gaza, while all the Times can do is run misleading headlines and hope to fool those who aren’t paying close attention.”

  4. yamit82 Said:

    Anyway you guys can always call on Sargent Preston and his trusty wonder-dog King

    You have it all wrong – in times of trouble we can rely on the Government to use the armed forces to repress us , not protect us.


    Hundreds arrested: Video of cops battling G20 protesters in Toronto


    Toronto G8 G20 Summit Detention Centre An Inside Look CTV News Media Producer Arrested



    The Oka Crisis 1990: Lasagna beaten during interrogation, Mohawks arrested.




    Never Forget – Idle No More

  5. yamit82 Said:

    From what I see it looks like a joint production of a potpourri of fringe non Muslim groups along with the Muslims. Each using the other as mostly useful idiots but not Terrorists. Jew hatred always finds and unites strange bedfellows.

    You are completely out of touch with Global Islamofascist reality.
    All those people are supporting a terrorist cause , working for genocide and all are terrorists and very dangerous. They have imported a fascist and terrorist culture in Canada. When the time comes every single one of them will participate in Armed Jihad or support services for that as they are doing now. What they are doing now in their violent gatherings is an act of terrorism.

    . They have already taken our freedom and the peacefulness of our streets.
    What an overinflated sense of importance you have to think it’s only the Jews that Global Islamofascism is persecuting – how totally absurd! The cartoon Riots on our streets were not about the Jews – they were about oppressing us – the Infidels.
    We have no freedom to criticize them, we have no freedom to stop their encroachments, we have no free speech, the HRC took it away, all of our media tell lies about who they are and what they are doing. We are already being terrorized by these terrorists and have been for quite some time.

  6. I understand there is a limit to what a country or an individual could/should do. My desire is to see Hamas completely defeated, disarmed and Gaza demilitarized to remove continuous threats and attacks against Israeli’s who live close to Gaza. What Hamas has done has a negative psychological impact upon the people. How to give them hope to live in peace if the terrorists remain power? How to overcome the biases of western media that continuously feed one sided negative info to western countries and governments? I have observed some of the mass media telling the truth about the ongoing warfare. Better and continuous PR campaign is vital to overcome such imbalances of reporting by a mass media in order to win in the current or/and future war(s).

  7. @ bernard ross:

    Doesn’t take a genius to figure out Israel based on past performances utterances and quotes by our politicians and media fools. They are underground and Israel knows where they are. I would not have bombed them but sent in our most professional commando units backed up with a couple of battalions of Tanks to surround the hiding palace smoke them out kill them and or parade them in front of Al-Jazeera so the whole Arab and Muslim world can see them in their underwear and tied and bound with chains. later Kill them all and bury them in unmarked graves.

    Israel did bump off a Hamas commander tonight before ceasefire announced.

    Problem is that eliminating Hamas political and military leadership could have ended the resistance and the war and there seems to be too many who want it to continue even if it’s low grade. For Now!!!!

  8. @ Max:

    From what I see it looks like a joint production of a potpourri of fringe non Muslim groups along with the Muslims. Each using the other as mostly useful idiots but not Terrorists. Jew hatred always finds and unites strange bedfellows.

    Anyway you guys can always call on Sargent Preston and his trusty wonder-dog King to save your worthless asses. 😉

  9. yamit82 Said:

    Are you worried?? 😛

    Worried? With a smiley?
    They have brought their hatred and violence and repression (women, sharia, suppression and violence against free speech, etc) to our streets and our cities.

    The time is long past for “worried”.

    It’s just when and how do they strike first? And how long they will practice slow erosion of our liberties before they declare open war on us.

    It’s only a mater of time before they have their own enclaves with rockets here. They will wait for a major terror event , like the elimination of Israel or a triple WMD on American cities – then they will come out.
    Every one at those gatherings is a terrorist just waiting for their weapons and the signal.

  10. I see no value in occupying Gaza. Sooner or later we will have to end the occupation. ?????

    Occupation???? You 2 Belman?? 🙂

    The present choice is much better for israel. Ted Belman.

    Send the Arabs in Gaza to Areas A&B in Y&S. Polls say 80% (effectively 100%) want to leave Gaza. Gaza Gas/oil revenues will more than pay for the transfer within a few years.

    Remember that Egypt has contracted to buy natural gas from Israel under a 20 year contract. That gives us some leverage with Egypt. Don’t let anybody kid you we want all of the Gaza gas and oil. That’s worth getting rid of the Arabs.

  11. yamit82 Said:

    Hamas had a working understanding that Israel (BB) did not want to overthrow Hamas and that the Political leadership is immune against the IDF.

    an understanding? sounds like a conspiracy 😛
    How did this understanding arise?
    One certainly gets the impression, unless they were all underground, that they were being avoided.
    My suggestion is that when hamas comes out to look around Israel should kill them all,intentionally violate the cease fire.
    (and then say “oops, my bad”)

  12. @ NormanF:

    The same regimes are still financing and even arming their Jihadist militants.

    They always take out insurance from all sides who ever they think or hope can be bought.

  13. That last video in Toronto shows that the enemy is firmly entrenched in Canada.
    The speakers openly promoted hatred anger and and violence and not just against Israel but against the Canadians and American Governments.

    When they have sufficient numbers and have weakened us enough they will come after us (all of us infidels) the same way.

  14. @ yamit82:

    Moderate Arab regimes are quietly cooperating with Israel because they’re afraid of revolutionary Islamism and their leaders don’t want to find their heads on a pike. They haven’t become good Zionists and fallen in love with Israel. Its just they recognize Israel won’t subvert them and is a stabilizing force in a dangerous neighborhood. Plus, they’re afraid of becoming satellites of Iran whom the Arabs for now hate more than Israel.

  15. Good for Jon!

    After a month of warfare we should take solace from the fact that official Israel has consistently been doing the right thing. That’s no mean feat.

    Sarah snatched victory from defeat with just a few paragraphs.

    Are the American-Israeli public as dumb as the article thinks they are?

  16. @ bernard ross:

    Hamas had a working understanding that Israel (BB) did not want to overthrow Hamas and that the Political leadership is immune against the IDF.

    They believed correctly that Israel had no intention of reconquest of Gaza and absorbing some 2 million worthless welfare recipients who hate our guts. The cost to Israel economically would be draining. They figured correctly that they could wait Israel out and let world pressure over dead civilians and property damage do their stuff.

    They knew Israel and our moves better than we knew theirs.

    Tunnels: Are a major Industry in Gaza. What has been destroyed can be re-dug and increased in time. Their rocket Industry will be upgraded and improved.

    The IDF Claims to date that they have destroyed all tunnels known to them?? Really??? I wonder how many still exist, that they don’t know about or know about but are ignoring so they can pull back now???

    This is what everybody knows.

    The IDF knew about the tunnels even though not their number or exact locations.

    BB and key government officials knew about them before this conflict.

    BB agreed to a ceasefire before the first tunnel was made an issue and the aims of the conflict given to the IDF. If you remember he offered quiet for quiet no more.

    BB has long since stopped designating and making the rockets a major issue, mainly due to the success of the Iron Dome even though that was the announced and understood original war aim of Israel and the IDF.

    The Tunnels have depleted the populations of all border settlements and many if not most will never return because of the scare of the tunnels. BB’s moves have not brought closure to this problem… Families especially those with young kids are sacred of the risks more so that the rockets and mortars. People are really shaken and questions and inquiries to follow the cessation of conflict.

    The government of Israel and the IDF left a large part of our population out to dry and we will want to know WHY???

    In the end the political fallout and that includes the heads of the IDF are going to be put in the hat seat. How hot will depend on how this ends and how it’s perceived by most Israelis.

  17. yamit82 Said:

    Those who want to see hundreds more dead without a clear end game and exit are fools.

    Unless Israel sees an endgame scenario of keeping gaza then it makes no sense to pacify gaza completely at great cost. If others will run gaza(PA,UN, etc) then why do their work for them, let them use their troops or diplomacy to clean out hamas, or demilitarize them.
    yamit82 Said:

    I don’t trust BB’s New Arab Allies…Their silence, cooperation and disdain for Hamas is not enough to change their Islamic hatred for Israel… For now it may just be expedient but should things change I see what BB optimists dream of will blow up just as our past Islamic friend Turkey has.

    I agree, but I expect that israel would already know this. I believe that they all wanted Israel in Syria as well as to depose hamas, but Israel is cautious and wants real benefits in return.

    PS(Al nusra and iSIS took a village in Lebanon, I wonder if hezbullah will have to return to protect its turf?)

  18. NormanF Said:

    Hamas wants to turn Gaza into Israel’s Stalingrad. No point in its soldiers being ground up in meaningless urban combat.

    True but a long war of attrition is equally negative.

    I think BB is hoping with Egypt’s help of controlling Hamas by controlling the border crossing with Egypt. This war has less to do with Israel than Egypt. Gazan economy depends on Egypt either opening the border or allowing the Tunnels.

    They picked this fight to try to force Sissi to compromise. Israel is a second string player as far as what Hamas wants.

    Abbas screwed them by withholding salaries for some 30-40,000 employees of Hamas Gaza administration. Some of them belonging to Fatah were paid.

    This is why Hamas went for broke the swamp was being drained and they depend on Millions injected each month.

    Iran will not remain detached nor Turkey and Qatar even their best Bud Obama could be spoilers to what I think BB is trying to get from his very limited moves both political and militarily.

    Note: I don’t trust BB’s New Arab Allies…Their silence, cooperation and disdain for Hamas is not enough to change their Islamic hatred for Israel… For now it may just be expedient but should things change I see what BB optimists dream of will blow up just as our past Islamic friend Turkey has.

  19. @ drjb:
    @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:

    The opportunity to WIN a decisive military victory over Hamas ended after the first week. The IDF could take Gaza in less than a week but eradicating Hamas if possible could take a long time even years and at a cost of hundereds of lives. While most Israelis want to see the IDF victorious in a classical sense it’s hard to impossible to eradicate a committed motivated ideological (religious) enemy trained and dug in on his home turf especially literally underground as they are today.

    It took the IDF 4 years to pacify Y&S after Defensive Shield Operation by Sharon. No Rockets are fired from Jenine or Schem at Israel because the IDF has literally control of all of Y&S and the Shabak has long restored it’s capabilities lost after Oslo. The combination of IDF presence, Shabak and the wall have made Y&S if not friendly, non threatening. Gaza is different because they have no real government and is ruled by the Hamas Mafia which controls everything and takes a cut from everything that moves in and out of Gaza.

    A Gaza resident exclaimed his feeling to the Al-Jazeera Press. “Fuck the Jews (Israel), Fuck America, Fuck Abbu Mazen (Abbas)”. Hamas was not mentioned.

    The hatred between the Leaders of PLO Fatah and Hamas transcends their hatred of Israel on both sides and that’s why Abbas and the PA will never arrive in Gaza. They remember being thrown off the highest buildings in Gaza by Hamas and their bodies dragged through the streets.

    Hamas needs Abbas today and will bury for the time being some of their hatred and Abbas needs unity government to stick it to Israel internationally. But it’s a sham that will break up sooner than later if it hasn’t in fact already.

    Since the conquest and elimination of Hamas was never a war aim and never stated by the government as one it’s the one thing you can’t blame BB for.

    Whether this mini war will bring Peace and Quiet to Israel longer than the last round is speculative. Some say a few months others up to 5 years or longer????

    Since we are still in the middle of this operation I tend to reserve judgement. If their are no clear gains to Israel from this war it will become obvious to most in Israel and political consequences for those who planned and carried this operation out, at least it’s what should happen as it has to all past PM who never completed previous military actions to their needed and expected outcomes by the IDF servicemen and the public.

    So far we have lost 63 of our best sons and 3 civilians. Those who want to see hundreds more dead without a clear end game and exit are fools.

  20. @ yamit82:
    Re: the 2nd video with noad lahat:
    He is explaining this ‘reporter’ some very basic facts. The bombing of Berlin by the allies, USA dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and nakasaki… With the inevitable civilian loss of lives (in other words, who are YOU, to question Israel’s surgical attacks)
    But what really got to me was when he tells her that if he had to choose between his kids and the enemy’s kids he would choose HIS kids . (I mean DUUH!)
    At the 3:23 mark this reporter is asking him with an intonation in her voice that basically translates into “I can’t believe you would actually choose to have YOUR kids safe vs. the enemy’s kids”
    This blatant provocative double standard, I am sure is viewed as ‘normal’, ‘a quite legitimate question posed by an honorable member of the press’….

  21. The point is Israel has no good options. If someone can clean out Gaza without costing hundreds of Israeli lives, I’d like to hear it.

    Hamas wants to turn Gaza into Israel’s Stalingrad. No point in its soldiers being ground up in meaningless urban combat.

  22. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:
    I agree with you but I would like to add the following. I’m so depressed by this mishigas that the regular israeli will accept as normal the view that “there is no military solution”, that we”must get out of Gaza and Judea/Samaria”, that “we can’t do this”, that we “must give them their land”, that “we really demolished them this time”, etc, etc.
    Sarah, and most israelis I speak to are actually HAPPY with Bibi and his team and the IDF leadership!!!! They manage to find the silver lining where none exists. They are helpless!!! what will it take for israelis to wake up???

  23. Bibi’s game plan for GAZA.

    Israel will insist on demilitarization as the precondition for relaxing borders and the blockade. Also Hamas will not be the ruler of Gaza


  24. I am not going to list the pile of verb and prose BS chained to appear logical while spreading digs in the context of the write up above. It is from start to end, shinola.
    A people who is sound of mind goes to WAR as a last resort and it does so to win! Not to deliver “heavy blows”, “teach lessons”, “send messages”, “degrade supplies”, etc. A sound leader never sends soldiers to die for the above but to win, again, TO WIN THE WAR. That means utter destruction of an enemy, for example as when the IDF is used to DESTROY the homes of Jews, destroy villages, destroy Jewish farms, even uproot cemeteries.
    Mr. Netanyahu and his ilk are ghastly people users, not balanced leaders.
    That aggregate of Nobel seekers, face making TV marionettes, must be set aside and at least two people elected Investigative Commissions set up to ferret out every detail of the fancy named debacle.