Not Another Half-War

Seek a permanent and advantageous outcome.

Victor Sharpe,

Victor Sharp;e
Victor Sharp;e

I pray that I will be proven wrong. In fact, I will be overjoyed if I am wrong, but my fear is that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in overseeing the present campaign against Hamas, will repeat his Second Lebanon War debacle - a half-war and another tragic humiliation for Israel. The other Ehud, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, allowed the Arab aggression from Gaza to escalate to intolerable levels through paralyzing inaction - this, while he called his critics "hotheads".

Of course, the world's leaders and the international media remained eerily silent while the Arab blitz by Hamas
The Gaza experience should put to rest once and for all the prattling sermonizing.
continued day after day, and the suffering of the Israeli men, women and children grew to unbearable extremes. Since 2005, when Israel foolishly withdrew from the Gaza Strip - leaving behind a thriving agricultural infrastructure for the Arabs to embrace and the chance for them to prove to the world that they were genuinely interested in living side by side in peace with Israel - Hamas terrorists have fired some 6,300 missiles deliberately aimed at Israeli civilian targets. The result has been the creation of a Hamas-occupied territory, which should be called Hamastan, in which millions of dollars worth of working greenhouses donated to them by Jewish Americans have been trashed, where the Islamist Hamas and Islamic Jihad have called endlessly for the destruction of Israel, and from where an Arab aggression has continued all along Israel's southern border to the present day.

If nothing else, the Gaza experience should put to rest once and for all the prattling sermonizing that calls upon Israel to engage in "land for peace" - a suicidal policy whereby the Jewish state gives away more and more of its land, but never receives peace.

We know from bitter experience that as soon as Israel could no longer bear the Palestinian provocations and finally retaliated the world would end its deafening silence, call the Israeli air strikes "disproportionate" and call for an end to the "cycle of violence." These two phrases were used against Israel in 2006 as it fought back against the massive missile bombardment from Hizbullah in Lebanon. It is symptomatic of the world's blatant pro-Palestinian bias and dislike of the Jewish state. Jews can die and be maimed for as long as it takes; not Arabs.

With Ehud Olmert still in power as Prime Minister, despite his alleged corruption, the fear is that he will, as usual, succumb to foreign pressure and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will once again be forced to stand down before it has finished the job; this will leave Hamas to humiliate Israel as Hizbullah did before. Sadly, it seems that Messrs. Olmert, Barak and Tzipi Livni are more concerned about their image and political legacy than about the salvation of the Jewish state.

First of all, if you launch a war, it must be an all out war with a permanent and advantageous outcome - namely the complete and utter defeat of the enemy. Total war is the only war that should be fought. Half-measures always lead to future disasters, as Olmert's ineffectual handling of the Second Lebanon War proved.

There must be a strategy for what comes after the hostilities end. It should include the liberation of the Philadelphi Corridor and its permanent retention, for this is where all the smuggling tunnels exist between Egypt's Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Through these tunnels, in the area from which Israel was forced to withdraw by Condoleezza Rice, all the heavy and sophisticated weaponry that Hamas uses against Israel flow. These tunnels provide the oxygen that keeps the Hamas monster alive. The Egyptians, who promised to end the smuggling by the Palestinians, have proven themselves knavish collaborators while the smugglers did their dirty work. Some Egyptian police even connived with the Palestinians in the smuggling enterprise. Baksheesh, the cult of bribery, is alive and well in the corrupt Arab world, as it always has been.

Secondly, a slice of territory, such as in the north of the Gaza Strip, must also be liberated and permanently annexed to the State of Israel. This would send a
There must be a strategy for what comes after the hostilities end.
message to the Islamists that their relentless aggression leads to loss of territory, something they fear most and which goes against their Islamic ambition to conquer land for Allah. It would also lessen the ability of Palestinian terrorists to launch Iranian-made missiles and mortar rounds into Ashkelon and beyond.

Just attacking Hamas infrastructures and military targets and then accepting another phony ceasefire is a half-war and a disastrous strategy. Of course, any territory that Israel liberates from Arab occupation will create a political firestorm in the United Nations, orchestrated by the 50 or more members of the Islamic Bloc and, as always, supported by the enfeebled and hypocritical European Union, now fast sliding down into the vile pit called Eurabia. Indeed, the presidency of the EU, which is ever afraid of upsetting the sensitive Arab and Muslim world, has protested at the Israeli air strikes and predictably used the well worn term, "disproportionate." However, there were no such official European condemnations while thousands of Palestinian rockets and mortars rained down on Israel from Gaza for months and years, in a gigantic act of premeditated and murderous terror.

My fears with both Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak in control are grave, very grave. Sadly, under the present Israeli Government and the ruling Kadima Party, the Israel Defense Forces have slowly become the defensive forces. History has taught us that any army tends to react unfavorably when the spirit of initiative, which so epitomized the IDF, is allowed to die and give way to a timid "Maginot complex". However, going into Gaza with "boots on the ground" must not occur unless there is a compelling reason to do so, and an irrevocable decision to gain permanent mastery of the territory and completely eliminate Hamas and all Palestinian terrorists.

We may soon know, but Israel's very future may hang upon the outcome of this struggle.