Op-Ed: Is Israel Going to Let Hamas Win?
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
Sometimes it seems that the last time Israel took the initiative and battled its enemies was 47 years ago. Since then, apart from the invasion of Lebanon of 1982, Israel didn't try to win its battles.
I don't want to offend my readers' feelings. But a hard truth must be said as it is: if this goes on, Hamas is winning.
It is winning as the Vietcong won the war against the US. Did we forget the image of the helicopter fleeing Hanoi from the roof of a CIA building? Is it so different from the Israelis fleeing Lebanon and destroying Gush Katif?
Since 2009, when Israel fought its first war against Gazan terrorists, the Israeli government never seeks victory, but yet another "ceasefire".
Hamas is winning since Israel left Gaza in 2005 and destroyed Gush Katif. We like to believe that the Jews left on their own initiative, and that is true. But in many ways, Israel left due to the terrorists' pressure. Hamas was able to convince the government that Jewish Gaza was a burden. That a military unit cannot be used to defend "the settlers".
Hamas is winning because as of now there are dozens of kibbutzim and Israeli villages along the frontier with Gaza which are empty. Many Jews abandoned the region because of Hamas' tunnels.
The life of a single Israeli soldier is worth more than the lives of 100 terrorists.
Hamas is winning the war over public opinion: Israel is vilified as child killers, while Muslim terrorists are justified as "resistants".
Hamas is winning because it was able to shut down Tel Aviv international airport.
Hamas is winning when it builds dozens of tunnels that reach inside Israeli territory. Will Israel one day wake up to discover that they have built a tunnel from Bethlehem to Jerusalem?
Hamas is winning when its heads are safe under a Gaza hospital or a Doha hotel.
Hamas is winning when Israeli commentators and politicians believe that it cannot win the war, but just manage it.
Israel is afraid of winning. This melancholic need for withdraw is epitomized by Israeli publicist Nahum Barnea's last column: "Come home".
63 Israelis so far have given their life in this war against Hamas. Look at their faces. They are younger than me, but all of them protected the entire State of Israel and its people.
They are French, American, Moroccan, British, but all of them are Israelis.
It is not that Hamas is stronger than Israel. It isn't. Maybe it is that Israel isn't willing to sustain as many casualties as Hamas is.
The life of a single Israeli soldier is worth more than the lives of 100 terrorists. Brave Jews have been killed by Muslim cowards. They are the heroes of this war.
Don't let the political and military echelon write another chapter in Israel's story of defeatism.