March 14, 2012
Time for Gaza Strip war
We can turn a blind eye. We can say that war is a bad thing and nothing good shall come out of it. It’s tempting to avoid a decision and postpone it to an unspecified date. However, reality is taking shape right before our eyes. Tens of thousands of missiles and mortar shells are being accumulated in Gaza, and the address for each one of them is clear: Us.
My heart’s desire is to seek a solution elsewhere instead of embarking on war. Some kind of agreement. A long-term ceasefire. Another Oslo deal. Maybe peace? But these are apparently pipe dreams.
Hamas rules Gaza and alongside it we see groups that are even more radical, such as Islamic Jihad. They receive a backwind from Muslim movements that are taking over Egypt – the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas’ parent) and the more radical Salafis.
Even if we wish to engage in negotiations with them, they are unwilling to talk to us. Even if they would be willing to talk to us, there is nothing to talk about. They will be willing to discuss a full withdrawal from all the territories, but not in exchange for peace, but rather, some kind of vague, temporary truce. Israel’s leftist camp won’t agree to this either.
So it appears that we have no choice: At some point, the IDF will have to choose the bad option and enter the Gaza Strip. This is certainly the bad option – yet all other options are worse.
The implication of the bad option is thousands of fatalities in Gaza and terrible images in the global media. The implication is hundreds of missiles fired on Israel – including central Israel – and dozens of killed civilians.
The Iron Dome missile defense system proved itself in recent days, but it too has limitations. After a certain number of missiles are launched from Gaza, we will be left with no interceptor missiles. We won’t be able to produce them given such murderous rate of fire.
The implication is also quite a few soldiers who will be killed or wounded in Gaza.
This is a terrible option, but what is the alternative? If we wait longer, we may have more Iron Dome batteries, yet the quantity of missiles available in Gaza will grow further, Hamas’ and Islamic Jihad’s armies will be better trained and better equipped, and Arab states may be more committed to the Islamic cause. Our situation won’t be any better.
So perhaps the time has come to make a difficult and painful decision?