Sunday, January 25, 2009

The View from Israel: The Gaza War was a Wash - B. Michael

Ynet news, January 25, 2009 - The following opinion was published today in the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot:

Did the army draw lessons from its past performance? Unclear. The praise being lavished on the IDF still requires verification. This army participated in two wars: In Lebanon it was fired at and it emerged out of it by the skin of its teeth. In Gaza it was almost not fired at, and it immediately “won.” Therefore, the only learned conclusion we can draw from the Gaza events for the time being is that it is much easier to win without an enemy.

Did the Palestinians learn their lesson? No. Death and destruction do not educate nations. This is just the way it is. More than 1,000 Israelis were killed in the second Intifada, yet this didn’t quite turn us into peace-lovers. It also didn’t make us moderate or logical.

Was our deterrence was restored? No; among other things, because we never had “deterrence.” Israel has been pulverizing the Palestinians for dozens of years now, yet they are having difficulty grasping this, and continue not to be deterred. This will be the case this time around as well.

Did we prove to the world that Hamas is hiding behind civilians? I’m sorry, but we haven’t done that either....

Was the army’s morality proven again? Oy vey. A moral army is not one that kills civilians and then rushes to boast how moral it is. A moral army is one that goes out of its way to avoid killing civilians, even at the price of risk-taking. When the brutal British occupier assassinated the Stern Gang’s commander it shot him at point-blank range at his hideout in the heart of a Tel Aviv neighborhood. The moral Israeli occupier would have apparently dropped a one-ton bomb on the entire neighborhood and explained that it did not wish to jeopardize its troops....

B. Michael is a columnist for the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot in Israel.

No comments: