Israel, Politics

This just in: "Gaza mission a failure" and "I told you so"

The Israeli media is swimming in pronouncements from anonymous Israeli defense officials that the Gaza offensive has accomplished all it can in Gaza and yet has not dismantled Hamas’ infrastructure. Hamas has played it safe and is still capable of shooting just as many rockets per day as previously. Senior defense ministers back an immediate ceasefire. Meanwhile Israeli diplomats are beginning to worry about the long-term impact of the lost media war, EU relations are freezing, the northern front with Lebanon simmers, anti-Semitic incidents the world over are increasing, and the Arab world is inflamed.
The Gaza mission’s stated objectives have failed. From the very, very beginning I said it, we said it and publicly: The military option never worked in Gaza, even when soldiers were stationed inside day and night for years. Why would it be different this time? There is no military solution to a political problem and the military operation will not bring Israel security.
Let me call a few other things out here:
Every tactic the pro-Israel rallies have aggitated for has failed. Israel has by military action set itself back diplomatically to the Second Intifada, shitting away the little good will left in the Arab world earned by the Disengagement. Israel has “discovered” that military action is not sufficient, and instead requires a “breakthrough diplomatic accord.” It’s time to stop taking their arguments with any seriousness. AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents, and (ha) the Israeli government deserve our skepticism on military matters. (Due note however, that the polls for Labor are up, and Diaspora Jews “felt Jewish” again. Maybe this explains why they love wartime.)
Not that this conflict is without its silver lining, but it’s hard to think about it when there are nearly a thousand dead Palestinians and Israel is backed into a corner. For example, the Jewish pro-peace movement found it’s muscles working, as Congress gave both AIPAC and Americans for Peace Now its Gaza resolution to edit. This despite wishful thinking that it was proven ineffective. In a similar vein, Arab opinion over Gaza is (relatively speaking) more divided that in the past. This is a pyrric victory, considering the lost lives and diplomatic cache, and the virtual return to Square Zero.
It’s time to go back to the root of the conflict: negotiating two states for two peoples.

22 thoughts on “This just in: "Gaza mission a failure" and "I told you so"

  1. “There is no military solution to a political problem and the military operation will not bring Israel security.”
    Agreed. However, there is no political solution with Hamas.

  2. Isreal needs to stop worrying about what evreryone else is telling them to do & start doing what is their best interest, which is crushing Hamas once & for all.

  3. “Agreed. However, there is no political solution with Hamas.”
    A two-state solution in accordance with international law, and only mutually agreed territorial swaps.
    Compensation to Palestinians refugees of what is now Israel in exchange for their right of return, as well as compensation to Jews driven out of Arab nations.
    That is effectively what the vast majority of the world votes for regularly in UN General Assembly over many decades now, while US veto power keeps it from ever moving to a binding resolution which would start the process of bringing and end to this conflict. That is basically what the Arab world came up with shortly after Bill Clinton handed Arafat Barak “offer” for Palestinians to agree to a permanent state of subjugation under Israel.
    And yes, that is also something many Hamas members will agree to as well, making the ones who still insist on attacking Israel much easier to stop. They don’t have much more than “death to Israel” to live for as long as Israel is effectively wiping Palestine off the map. Give those Hamas extremists something and end to subjugation under Israel, and many will happily take it. Unfortunately, that has always been too much for Israeli leaders to even acknowledge, let alone accept.
    Here is a wonderful article stating as much, but in greater detail:
    http://kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31308

  4. You people are delusional, all you do is attack Jews who believe in self defense and then you act as if Hamas is just a misunderstood teenager…You guys need a reality check.
    Listen to what Hamas says and then tell me that they will ever agree to a two state solution. Meanwhile let’s let them bomb us, after all it’s obvious so many of us are much more comfortable as the poor defenseless victim.
    And just out of curiousity what style of Kung Fu do you study KFJew?

  5. A two-state solution in accordance with international law, and only mutually agreed territorial swaps.
    Sounds great to me as long as it’s also accompanied by a real peace treaty. Except Hamas has said repeatedly they aren’t interested in any of that. They’ve said they would consider a truce (not peace, but a truce during which they can build up their military) if Israel withdraws to the pre-1967 borders AND offers unlimited right of return to all 1948 refugees and their descendants. No peace treaty + indefensible borders + unlimited right of return = no Israel.
    I’m all for a real political solution to the problem, but I don’t see how that’s possible with Hamas. See, e.g., today’s opinion piece in the NYT.

  6. This morning my office spent a full half hour trying to make sense of the top two headlines on y-net, the web version of the popular newspaper Yediot Achronot.
    The first one was:
    “At least 15 rockets land in Southern Israel this morning”
    and the second one was:
    “78% of Israelis consider the Gaza operation a success.”

  7. “Sounds great to me as long as it’s also accompanied by a real peace treaty. Except Hamas has said repeatedly they aren’t interested in any of that.”
    Do you not realize that Hamas was born out of 20 years of Israel demonstrating a complete lack of interest in that, and an active interest wiping Palestine off the map though the colonization of Palestinian territory under force of military occupation?
    Or are you just ignoring this fact to sophistically cast the onus away from Israel?
    Again, many Hamas members will agree to a two-state solution, making the ones who still insist on attacking Israel much easier to stop. They don’t have much more than “death to Israel” to live for as long as Israel continues it’s conquest over Palestine.
    Is that conquest too important to you to give in return for saving Jews from rocket fire, suicide bombings, and the all the horors that coming with oppressing and killing others to strip them of their homeland?

  8. I completely agree that to negotiate real peace, the Israelis need to make even harder choices and concessions than the Palestinians. And the Israelis certainly need to take some steps to gain a little trust given all the mistakes they’ve committed over the years.
    But, kyleb, you wrote “A two-state solution in accordance with international law…” in response to ML’s statement that there is no political solution with Hamas–not the Palestinians–and I agree with ML. Hamas is not going to lead the Palestinians to the peace table any more than the Yesha council is going to lead Israel.

  9. I’d bet the bank that if Israel were for once offer a two-state solution in accordance with international law, with complete and irrevocable acknowledgement of Palestine right to exist, Hamas would happly reciprocate. However, as Israel accepting as much, there isn’t any wager to be had.

  10. Doh, that is:
    However, as long as Israel shows no interest in ever accepting as much, there isn’t any wager to be had.

  11. The only failure here is Israel backing down yet again before taking out Hamas. These people are not interested in peace with Israel or Jews. Hatred runs in their blood. Going back to any previous borders or a two state solution has repeatedly been shunned by Arab leaders, their only interest is in completely wiping out the Jewish state. This is not done behind closed doors, it is said openly. Yet for some reason this goes on ignored.
    I live in Israel, I see what goes on here. Palestinians walk and work freely in Israel. Why is it that all these Arab countries that surround us don’t want anything to do with them? They don’t let them into their countries or through their borders. If they try to cross into neighboring countries, they are shot at. Yet, in Israel they are given homes and work.
    But when it comes to talking, all the Arab states support the Palestinian cause. So far, the only support they’ve given them is more weapons to do more damage.
    Taking out Hamas would be doing the Palestinians a huge favor. Hamas only makes their situation worse and they know it. They use civilians as human shields, women and children who want nothing to do with their cause. They hide in civilian buildings to generate higher civilian casualties so the media can bring horrific images to the world and blame Israel for it.
    Israel threw many peaceful Israeli families from their homes in Gush Katif, many of whom have still not recouped their losses. How did the Palestinian people, or Hamas repay Israel? By shooting missiles at its neighbors from the land that was given to them as a measure of peace. Israel looked the other way for long enough, years have gone by with rockets being launched at innocent civilians.
    One more thing, not once has Israel attacked it’s neighbors. Not once. Every time Israel has gone to war, it was provoked by acts of war by it’s neighboring countries or people.
    Israeli’s are not interested in killing innocent civilians, they are interested in taking out Hamas. Hamas has always targeted innocent civilians, including their own women and children for their own causes. Hamas is barbaric and not interested in peace. They see red and want more bloodshed. It’s easy to blame the Israeli’s for that, but the truth is that it’s a hatred embedded in their genes and two state solutions or any peace process will only give them more fuel for their fire.
    It is true that this war is a failure, nothing has been accomplished and the Israeli leadership has done nothing but make themselves look stupid by backing down because of pressure from it’s allies. This war should been seen through the end, until the Iran and Egypt supplied stockpile of missiles and smuggling tunnels have been destroyed. Until Hamas had been crippled.

  12. just got my email deleted- which was full of rife disagreement and emotion.. in short summary on the way to workk…
    78% of israel feeling this a victory is a real thing… and a real victory.. The fact that military victory is not conclusive- everyone new that.. the decimation of Hamas leadership is a real strength and the potential for stopping continued smuggling of heavier arms to people not afraid to use them is a CRUCIAl move for Israels survival- which is what is going on here…
    Unilateral secessions DON”T buy much favor in the eyes of the arab street. Or more specifically- they do buy favor amongst arab moderates- but they further inflame the Radicals- which is who is calling big shots these days…
    Thomas friedman- as much as my lefty blood curls- said some accurate things in his piece today- much sharper than the “i told you so” up above… Stop judging this war from a non-local perspective and it is a very different reality. The Nusrallah quote he brought is a more accurate perspective than american intellectual conjecture…
    Hamas is not a Palestinian nationalist movement looking to achieve a state… Its motivations are RELIGIOUS>>> to the degree that those visions utilize palestinian nationalism and sacrifice is (i think) secondary to what is being said by sheikhs and imams who are the true leaders in their movement. If you don’t look into this perspective- how can you understand what could be an appriate approach to this conflict.
    “feeling jewish”, or feeling protected by your country when you’re under fire are real forms of victory.
    now i’m late..

  13. Israel threw many peaceful Israeli families from their homes in Gush Katif, many of whom have still not recouped their losses. How did the Palestinian people, or Hamas repay Israel?
    The fact that they’re gone is repayment enough. Think about what this invasion would have looked like if the Gush Katif settlements were still around. How many more Israeli 18-year-olds (from all parts of Israel) would have had to put their lives on the line to defend Gush Katif? How many fewer Israeli families are now in mourning?

  14. There would be no invasion if Gush Katif were still around. Hamas started using Katusha and Grad level rockets after the Gush was given to them. Gush Katif is now being used as a strategic rocket launching area, it gives them a clear shot at many of the Israeli cities that have been and are still being targeted.

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