Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

A few points:

1. President Biden has always been a friend to Israel, but the arms-halt for Rafah is deeply misguided.

Here’s why:

A. Israel’s leverage on Hamas leaders is that we’re coming to kill them and nobody likes dying.

If you prevent Israel from entering Rafah, you’ve taken away Hamas leaders’ incentive to cut a hostage deal.

B. It may create a miscalculation for Hezbollah and the other Jihadists in the neighbourhood.

They might mistakenly think that Israel doesn’t have enough arms and ammo-depth, which might tempt them to attack us.

C. If we run short on precision-bombs we’ll have to use less precise ones>>more civilians will die.

The precise opposite of everybody’s intention.

D. A halt sends a message of daylight btwn US and its ally Israel.

Bad here and everywhere.

E. It’s morally wrong b/c it accepts the false narrative that Israel is supposedly targeting civilians or is nonchalant about civilian death.

If we didn’t care we’d bomb the hell out of Gaza and finish this war in 3 days without losing boys in battle.

We just lost 5 boys over the weekend.

The fact is that almost half the Palestinian casualties are of Hamas members.


2. Israeli government should have captured Rafah and destroyed Hamas four months ago.

I’ve no idea why our government is so slow and seemingly indecisive.

Neither do understand why we pulled out division 98 that had been sealing the Hamas fighters trapped in Rafah. Sort of like removing the lid on a can in which they were trapped, allowing them to disperse all across the Gaza Strip.

3. We can’t assume we have endless time.

This wavering is damaging: international pressure building,

Hamas has ample time to boobytrap Rafah and escape to other areas.

Speed and continuity are basic tenets of winning wars.

Stop talking, just do it. FAST.

4. If we accept the premise that civilian death is unacceptable in war, it guarantees that all terror groups in the world will adopt Hamas’ MO of human shields. Many more civilians will die. In NYC, London and Paris.

5. Israeli ministers must stop their petty political postering and infantile rhetoric, and stop causing self inflicted damage.

We in Israel know that it’s all hot air, but people around the world assume that a minister’s words are serious.

And Israel pays a tangible price for this clownship.

6. Somehow planning for post-Hamas Gaza has become a taboo in our government.

The mere discussion is portrayed as a“soft lefty defeatist” thing. It’s not.

It’s necessary so that when we capture a certain city (e.g. Han Yunus) in a tough and costly battle, we know who we hand it over to and who runs it.

This ensures that Hamas will not re-enter the moment we leave, thus causing us to have to fight 3-4 times to recapture the same place(!).

We can decide to keep Israeli temporary admin, or local Palestinian, or other options. But we need to decide SOMETHING.

Who fills the void.

Otherwise by default it’s Hamas, the worst of all options. And that’s what’s happening right now.

Thats like mopping water up a slanted floor just to have the water keep sliding down.

I think Israel’s leadership shuns this for (mistaken) political reasons.

So our government must get over it.

Bottom line:

We’ve lost precious time, but this is still winnable.

Israeli government must decide at last what it wants.

If we want to defeat Hamas, then let’s do it.

US should support Israel and if anything, urge its leadership to act more decisively and faster so we finish this ASAP.

Naftali Bennett is the former Prime Minister of Israel