This time I have the terrible feeling that this reminds me of the story of the patient who came to a doctor with a cold and the doctor sent him to the snow and told him to come back when he will have pneumonia * The politicians who now justifiably send the IDF to fight in Gaza refused to do that when it was still easier and more effective and in their own hands destroyed the settlements that are now occupied by the IDF * The politicians who now justifiably send the IDF to fight in Gaza refused to do that when it was still easier and more effective and in their own hands destroyed the settlements that are now occupied by the IDF * It is sad, but we have to win this war. I hope that the politicians will not let the efforts of the soldiers be wasted again by surrendering to foreign pressures and accepting impotent foreign forces as substitutes for the effective IDF in prevention of terror from Gaza *
Israel is again in a war situation and the questions are (a) why do we have to go to war again, and (b) what are we fighting for?
Let me answer the second question first. We are not fighting for the quality of life of the residents of our towns and settlements in the area near Gaza, we are not fighting to stop the terror attacks from Gaza, and we are fighting another battle in an ongoing war aimed at destruction of the Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel.
Who is the enemy and what are his real targets? The enemy is not Hamas alone, the enemy is the PLO, the Palestinian Authority which was established here, inside Gaza, Judea and Samaria 14 year ago by the Rabin administration under the umbrella of the Oslo dreams of peace, and all (yes, all) of the Arab countries including in the first line, Egypt.
Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel, but it never intended to have peace and never implemented it beyond the initial steps and minimal cold relations. The commerce, the tourism, cultural relations are close to zero and our government killed the last important item of that treaty when it allowed the Egyptian army to move into the Sinai in 2005. Egypt did and is doing everything it can to help the PLO and Hamas fight Israel. It is also building a huge military force aimed at a future big war against the Jews. It is well documented and declared. When an Israeli government handed the control of the arms smuggling from the Sinai to Gaza to the Egyptians it knew that it will not work and yet opened the arms supply routes for the Hamas.
The specific aims of the present immediate enemy, Hamas and the PLO, is to weaken the spirit of the Zionists in order to prepare for that future attack which should abolish the dream of an independent sovereign Jewish state in the holy land. (They are encouraged by signs of apparent weakness of Israel but they are again mistaken, since they do not identify the real spirit of the people of Israel which is different from that of the political elites).
The basic conflict here is the result of the Islamic religious tradition which states that the holy land is part of the Islamic domain and therefore a Jewish sovereignty in this area is unacceptable and will never be tolerated. The war will end only when the Jewish sovereignty will be abolished and the Jews will be tolerated as second class citizens, Dhimmies. Thus, the answer to the second question is that we are fighting again for the sovereignty and the very existence of the Jewish state. We are facing the whole world of Islam which share those goals and support their avant-garde the Arab world which sends the PLO and Hizbulla to the front line.
All that is not new and hence comes the first question: why do we have to fight again now?
The clock of the cycle of the eruptions of active war situations here, in the holy land, is dependent on us, it is clearly correlated with the action and the spirit of the Jews of Israel. The Moslems will never miss any moment which they would think is appropriate for achieving the above long term goal step by step. The Moslems attacked and will attack, only when they estimate that the Jewish state is weak from inside and is a relatively easy pray.
In 1948 they believed that all of us are holocaust refugees and not able to fight, in 1967 they monitored the decline of the national morale under the recession and attacked, in 1973 they tested us in May and since we did not respond, they again believed that we are not willing to sacrifice and attacked in October. In the year 1999 they were astonished by Ehud Barak’s rush withdrawal from Lebanon and were convinced that we lost our will to sacrifice and Arafat launched a war in October 2000.
In all these wars they were surprised by the fact that the spirit of the people, those who leave home and become reserve soldiers, is not what they read in the Israeli media and heard from the elite groups of Tel Aviv. The enemy was always defeated by our people. So why did they miscalculate again? In order to understand that we have to analyze the internal crisis of Israel (which I shall not do now) and its result in the so called disengagement plan which was implemented three years ago. In 2005 when the Moslems watched how Israel destroyed 26 communities, delivered Gaza to the Hamas, left 26 synagogues to be burned down to ash by the Moslems, rushed out from important posts and opened the routes for smuggling of arms into the Gaza strip, they could not avoid the conclusion that the Jews surrendered under the pressure of the terror and escalated it to high level.
It took three years for our political echelon, the very same group that did the terrible 1993 Oslo treaty and the 2005 disengagement, yes, the current government of the state of Israel, to realize that things work exactly as we were warning everyone day and night for 20 years. For three years the terror of Gaza was escalating and the politicians ignored it. The denial effect was so strong and they were paralyzed. That brought us into the current situation. Everyone with healthy mind knew that the suicidal Oslo treaty (1993) and the self destructive move of 2005, the so called “disengagement” would lead to a terrible war of terror and that the IDF will have no choice but to return to the destroyed settlements that were for years protecting the whole country. The politicians who wowed that the unilateral delivery of Gaza to the enemy will bring “peace and security” refused to admit the wrong doing and refrained from fighting back. As a result the Hamas was given long time for fast military buildup and now that they felt well equipped and prepared, the Hamas escalated the terror activity to a level that even the politicians were forced to let the IDF fight. Thus, now we have a war against a well equipped and prepared army of Hamas, a war that could be avoided.
This time the Moslems around us again misread the Israeli map. The man at the street, the student at the lab and farmer on the tractor understand that we have to win a war and be willing to sacrifice in order to survive as a sovereign nation here. Unlike many politicians of recent years here in Jerusalem, they were waiting for a call for a long time and now they will win the war and are willing to take the unavoidable losses of life. Provided that the defeated political echelon will let them complete the mission they have just started. But, that is doubtful. Already now there are signs that these managers, not leaders, who are at the current government seek to rely again on foreign agents who will stop the arms smuggling and terror. That is a defeat. No one in the world would do the job for the Jews. No one will stop the smuggling and face the terrorists. We have been in such experiments, they never worked and the cannot work. Who will be willing to take a personal risk to protect a foreign nation? A Jewish nation? No one! Only the IDF, our own people can do that.
The demands from many sides for a cease fire should be ignored. I am confident that the men at the front lines are brave and determined; I hope that the politicians who were not determined for many years will not interfere and let the boys do the job. They know how to do the job. The danger is from those who destroyed the settlements of Gaza three years ago and are still in the government and from Christian world that joins the world of Islam is blocking the defense of Israel. I am very skeptic.
In addition it should be known that we are in the front line of the whole free world. The Hamas is not alone. It is equipped and supported by Iran and Al Qaeda.
Sovereign Jewish state is essential corner stone for the whole Jewish world. Thus our boys are fighting not only for our homes, but for a large nation scattered all over the globe.
Professor Elisha Haas is a faculty member in the Bar-Ilan University. He was a Major in the Israeli Defense Forces' Armor Corps' Reserves.
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