Victory in a war requires either a peace treaty, unconditional surrender, or totally neutralizing the enemy. The World heretofore has not permitted an Israel victory. The fact that Israel has been prevented from ever winning a war has encouraged its enemies to try try and try again! Ending wars with armistices, ceasefires and pauses guarantees that the next war will be around the corner.
The 1947-48 War of Independence ended in series of ceasefire agreements with Egypt (Rhodes, February 1949), Lebanon (Rosh ha-Nikrah, March 1949), Jordan (Rhodes, April 1949), and Syria (Maḥanayim, July 1949). No Peace Agreements, no recognition of Israeli victory, just Green Lines, Blue Lines, and No lines.
Israel success in the Sinai campaign of 1956 ended when the United States and the Soviet Union forced Israel and the IDF to evacuate the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Troops of the United Nations Emergency Force were posted on the Egyptian side of the frontier and at Sharm el-Sheikh to guarantee free passage of Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran. No victory.
The Six-day War in 1967 ended when a United Nations-brokered ceasefire took effect before Israel was allowed to complete its spectacular victory and was rewarded with the three No’s of Khartoum and the UN branding of Disputed Territories.
The Yom Kippur War ended 25 October 1973, with a ceasefire imposed by the international community. Again, as soon as Israel completed its encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army and Suez City, bringing them within 100 kilometres (62 miles) of Cairo, Israel was denied a Victory!
The world cannot allow the Jewish State to be victorious.
The first Lebanon War began in June 1982 after numerous murderous attacks when the PLO occupied southern Lebanon. Israel drove the PLO out of southern Lebanon and with international help, Arafat and the PLO escaped to Tunisia. After complex involvement in Lebanese internal conflicts and in response to international pressure Israel withdrew in 1985 to Southern Lebanon and ultimately under Ehud Barak left entirely. No victory. No reliable UNIFIL force. Israel’s failure to be victorious empowered Hizballah.
There have been 5 Gaza/Israel Wars: Operation Summer Rains (2006) – in response to the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Operation Cast Lead (2008) – in response to rocket fire from Gaza, Operation Pillar of Defense (2012) – in response to rocket fire from Gaza, Operation Protective Edge (2014) – in response to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas, and Operation Guardian of the Walls (2021) – sparked by clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. These wars ended with ceasefires mediated and imposed on Israel by Egypt and the United States. No victories. Each time, Hamas was thrown a life line to try another attack.
These ceasefires before October 7, allowed Hamas to continue governance of Gaza. And it allowed Hamas to expand its rocket arsenal, military armaments, build tunnels and prepare and train for the Black October catastrophe.
President Biden and the US State Department have taken advantage of Israel’s potential need for support should another front in the North open up to insist that Israel agree to “humanitarian pauses” in return for hostages. They and others are pressuring Israel into a permanent ceasefire.
Remarkably, Israel has been forced to send Mossad director David Barnea to meet in Qatar, Hamas’ primary supporter in the last decade, with USA CIA Director William Burns to submit to Hamas demands for extending the “pause” negotiations. The pause must not morph into a permanent ceasefire. This time, Israel must ignore outside pressure and must have a clear irreversible objective: Total Victory.
Israel must eliminate Hamas and remove Hamas from power and free the Hamas abducted hostages. Unfortunately, destroying Hamas risks killing hostages held in the huge tunnel complex and elsewhere. As the humanitarian pause is extended to secure the release of additional hostages it must not be extended to a permanent cease fire.
That scenario has played 5 times with Hamas only to lead to greater violence and catastrophic barbarism. Israel military has declared that the path to rescuing the hostages is continuing ongoing massive assault on Hamas terrorists. Hopefully, this time Israel will ignore the hysteria and blind worldwide support for Hamas and demands for another ceasefire. Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Gallant, and opposition leader Gantz have committed to finally winning a war and destroying the Hamas enemy.
Netanyahu compared the future situation in Gaza to the Allies' occupation of Germany and Japan after their surrender to end World War II. Netanyahu said, "Once we defeat Hamas, we have to make sure that there's no new Hamas, no resurgence of terrorism, and right now the only force that is able to secure that is Israel.”
The US administration also insists that Israel must not undermine what all observers understand to be a delusional two-state solution with Gaza united with Judea and Samaria. It is understood that such a solution bringing Jibril Rajoub and other leaders of the Palestinian Authority who broadcast that the October 7th massacre was justified and that a similar attack could be expected in Judea and Samaria would be outrageous. Allowing continuing existence of the PA and facilitating another Hamas victory is a clear recipe for an ultimate catastrophe imperiling Israel’s veritable existence.
All Abraham Accord signators, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, oil-producing Gulf Arab states and other potential allies of Israel understand that a drawn-out Gaza conflict could breed radicalization across the wider Middle East. They are terrified that another “permanent” ceasefire will allow Hamas to survive and claim a spectacular victory. Each of these countries is gravely concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent of Hamas, and other radical terrorist groups will view Hamas success and seek to emulate Hamas success and totally destabilize the region.
Furthermore, Israel cannot lose again. It must preserve its credibility as a potent ally of Sunni Arab states in their long-term conflict with Shiite Iran.
Until now, the threats of Arab oil boycotts, global anti-Zionism/antisemitism, combined with the shock of a powerful resurgent Jewish State successfully fighting its enemies have denied Israeli victories and prolonged conflicts with its neighbors.
This time Israel must be victorious and eliminate Hamas and free the abducted hostages. Only then can the vision of a New Middle East be realized.
Dr. Michael Wise is a founder and investor in numerous technology companies. He is a graduate of YU and holds a PhD .in Theoretical Physics from Brandeis U., is the author of Israel demography study (BESA).and has published numerous articles about Israel sovereignty and demographics in Judea and Samaria. [email protected]