The war with Hamas is already lost but this has nothing to do with the strength of Hamas but with the weakness of the Netanyahu leadership. Israel is not defeated or destroyed by this war but unless sharp lessons are learned and quickly then Israel will in the long run be defeated. Netanyahu is being supported by over 60 per cent approval but what does that mean? The reality lies outside of the knowledge of most Israelis.
What Netanyahu might have done:
- Declared that the aim of the war was to destroy Hamas completely
- Make as the number one aim of the war the arrest of the Hamas leaders and placing them on trial as war criminals
- Gaza is tiny! The Israeli army is powerful and totally equipped for any such war. Netanyahu could have in the first 3 days drove a wedge into Gaza to take possession of the area under which the Hamas leaders are hiding. Empty that area. Demolish every building in that area.
But Netanyahu did the opposite to all of this. He made it known through various media flunkies that it is better to keep Hamas in existence. Their arguments were sheer cowardice in action. He never mentioned the arrest of these war criminals which as the war went on and Abbas showed his hand included the PA as well as Hamas. Finally the army under Netanyahu did nothing substantial that would challenge the Hamas war criminals. Netanyahu was not fighting a war against Hamas at all because he does not understand the critical relationship between war and time.
Bibi should have been gone before this war started. He should have been out of Israeli politics for good when he sat on the fence as Sharon mobilised his Stalinist, Judaism hating pólice, aided by many Rabbis by the way, to empty Gaza of Jews and handed it over to the enemy. THAT was the time but it is still not too late to remove him.
Bibi must be careful not to emulate King Saul, when he was commanded to destroy the Amalekites altogether, and not keep their king alive; admittedly Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyah are probably spending the war safely ensconced in a Qatari 5-star hotel, but with the right media play, this could be shown to be the cowardly cop-out that it is. I’m sure there are some leaders underground in Gaza whom Israel could take out, too. Right now they are going to be made to look like heroic and clever defenders. The people can be relocated, but as Machiavelli said, smashing the opposition at the outset sets the right example—you don’t let the enemy bleed you—no one is going to give any Israeli or Jewish authority any prizes for humanitarianism—they will just look weak, and that is an invitation to the further attacks which will come. Israel will continue to bleed while Iran and Hezbollah get their ammo ready for a crushing blow…