Baruch GordonThe writer is founder and former manager/news director of the Arutz Sheva website. An IDF veteran who made aliya from Memphis, Tenn, he serves as Director of Development for the IDF Preparatory Academy in Bet El and Bet El Institutions,founded the internet outreach movement Israel Empowered. He also directs BetElTours.com which offers countrywide tours of Israel He was elected International President of United Synagogue Youth while in high school and became religious while studying at Tufts University. Married to Anat, he and his family live in Beit El.
Everybody now knows that Hamas operates in underground cities complete with living quarters, corridors connecting all parts of Gaza, and stockpiles of rockets. Israel’s fire power is not scraping the surface of this network.
Former Chief Rabbi of the IDF Avi Ronsky, himself a combat officer, analyzes why a ground invasion is imperative.
Here are a few of his points:
Hamas has no tanks and jets. Its strength is its fighting spirit. Hamas continues to launch dozens of rockets across the State of Israel, despite all the airpower Israel is using against it.
In its own eyes, Hamas is the clear winner of the current confrontation.
In sum, Israel with all its advanced jet bombers is powerless against the Hamas rocket-firing machine. Powerless. Hamas will publicize to its constituency its victory and legacy. It will attract new, young members to join its ranks.
Thus, Hamas is not only not being weakened by this operation, but rather being strengthened. The premise that the destruction of Hamas’ above-ground command posts and activists’ homes will lead to surrender, doesn’t take into account their willingness to sacrifice and live very simple lifestyles for the ideal of victory.
Even if the rockets are not causing much damage in Israel, one cannot ignore the erosion of Israel’s national honor. Hundreds of missiles are sending Israel’s citizens multiple times a day to flee for cover. Israel’s status as a sovereign nation is being weakened.
Hi-Tech, aerial warfare alone, as efficient as it may be, cannot restore deterrence. On the contrary, it is liable to create the impression that Israel is afraid of an infantry confrontation. Only a comprehensive ground invasion that will physically destroy the terrorists themselves and their leaders will restore deterrence and quiet.
I am keenly aware that a ground invasion will expose IDF soldiers to increased danger. My son recently became an IDF tank commander and may be among those to enter Gaza. But the lack of a ground invasion empowers our enemies, diminishes our sovereignty, and will, in the long run, cost Israel more money, terrorist attacks and blood.
(For an opposing view, click here.)