It is understandable for the nation’s decision makers to see the handling of the security challenges (Gaza, the North and Iran) as a package rather than on a front-by-front basis.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, for example, saw them as interconnected and opted to allow Hezbollah to build up a threat of over a hundred thousand rockets plus an ever growing arsenal of guided missiles because he felt that expending the resources required to remove this threat conflicted with our needs for dealing with Iran.
The “mow the grass” approach in Gaza, which, in retrospect, apparently left a lot of grass, was ostensibly driven by the same logic.
But for the rest of us, these vague explanations are beginning to wear thin.
Most Israelis look at what is happening around Gaza – the incendiary balloons, the return to terrorist night activity on the line to keep everyone in the area awake and even rockets – and it doesn’t interest them if the Egyptians are angry at Hamas or some minor targets in the IDF target bank are bombed. What matters to most people is if there is quiet. Period.
And I write this knowing full well that the responsible authorities should ALSO be concerned about the force build ups in the Gaza Strip.
Question: how many rocket factories and warehouses are in the IDF’s target bank today?
How does this figure compare to three months ago?
Most Israelis look North and wonder if we aren’t creeping towards a major clash. Yes, the intelligence assessments keep explaining why Hezbollah isn’t interested in a conflict right now. But anyone old enough to have lived through a few wars here knows that almost every time that was the intelligence assessment.
Naftali Bennett returns from Washington with President Biden’s endorsement of the Israeli-Moderate Arab alliance against Iran.
Bennett’s challenge is to insure that this critical alliance does not impinge on our ability to address our challenges in Gaza and the North.
I daresay that someone really smart may find it possible to find ways for this alliance to help rather than hinder our dealing with these other challenges.
Dr. Aaron Lerner and his late father Dr. Joseph Lerner founded the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) government accredited news organization in 1992,which provides an ongoing analysis of developments in Arab-Israeli relations.