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People are ready to ray the price - if it is worth it

Reader comment on item: Poll: Israelis Want Victory, Preferably without Paying the Price

Submitted by JT Meyer (Germany), Jun 15, 2021 at 11:38

Surveys are sometimes manipulative and misleading, depending on wording and the specific sequence of questions. With a view to the recent military conflict in Gaza one may fairly wonder what exactly the import of "having achieved victory" is.

The purpose of the IDF had been to exact a heavy price on the aggressors. Thanks to the professional IAF sorties and remarkable intelligence collected beforehand this goal had been achieved. Everybody could see that Israeli deterrence is a hard currency. That wasn't achieved in a vacuum given the human lifes taken by Hamas, the physically and mentally wounded, the biased media coverage, the persisting international pressure in favour of an armistice agreement, and the peculiarities of an asymmetric warfare, especially in the financial realm of arms procurement.

However, it wasn't a victory in the classical sense since a decisive victory "once and for all" had simply not been on Israel's agenda. Why? Was it a lack of political maturity of the Israeli people who want victory but are not ready to pay the appropriate price? This seem to be a possible conclusion regarding said survey.

Yet, the contradictions emerging from said survey can be interpreted in a different manner, as well: on the one hand there is an obvious desire to reap peace by victory, on the other hand there exists an unshakable sense of reality.

The very first point on the agenda which must be addressed in a victory framework is THE DAY AFTER. Let's assume the next time the IDF would call reserves and would invade the Gaza strip with full man power. Someone would presumably find a method to save the necks of the most vicious Hamas members and facilitate to get them out in the last minute – Qatar, Turkey and Iran are the most likely candidates for providing "life vests". Now Israel had to govern the population in the Gaza strip. I fear that would rather be a curse than a lucky pretext for a victorious champagne party. Or should the Gaza strip be Oslo-modeled and offered to the PA on a silver platter? That would mean to sacrifice lives of IDF soldiers in order please Mr. Abbas. I doubt that Israel does love him so much.

To avoid such kind of problems a victory of this kind has to be categorically excluded.
There is another path to deal with Gaza, i.e. a hermetical isolation. Here come diplomacy, resolution and sophisticated technical methods into play. Every avenue of possible circumvention must safely be checked and closed.

Another two or even three aggressive Hamas campaigns might nevertheless be in the offing, but the number of missiles fired will decline. Eventually, the futility of the so-called resistance will become obvious, and a non-belligerent relationship between Gaza and Israel can start.

In the meantime, other hot-spots of anti-Israel aggression could mushroom elsewhere. It is hard to imagine how peace will come without victory – but it must always be considered which kind of victory is worth it.


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