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Is Israel Refusing to Win?

By Michael Freund
7/27/2006, 12:00 AM

Is Israel's political leadership refusing to win in Lebanon?

It has only been two weeks since the start of the counter-offensive against Hizbullah terror, and already Israel's government is rejecting the military's professional recommendations for how to achieve victory.

At a meeting held late into the night on Wednesday, Israel's security cabinet denied the army's request to launch a more expansive ground operation in southern Lebanon with the aim of clearing the area entirely of Hizbullah's terrorist infrastructure.

Instead, the cabinet prefers to continue using airpower combined with pinprick ground incursions against select Hizbullah targets.

Rockets_hit_kiryat_shmonaThe result, of course, has been that Hizbullah continues to succeed in firing some 100 rockets each day into Israel. Because they do not face a concerted Israeli ground offensive, Hizbullah does not have to throw everything it has into fighting off the Israeli army.

Consequently, they can deploy men and resources to shoot rockets into northern Israel with the aim of terrorizing the country.

Don’t get me wrong – a ground offensive aimed at carving out a security zone in southern Lebanon would not be simple or risk-free. But Israel's limited operations thus far have failed to stop the attacks, and the army's experts are saying that the only way to do so over the long-term is to go in full force.

If that is the key to stopping Hizbullah terror, then that is what the army must do. Let's just hope the politicians don't stand in the way, and prevent Israel from winning this all-important battle.