Netanyahu trying to market victory against Hamas
Op-ed: The prime minister is looking for an exit point from Gaza which will help him convince the Israeli public that IDF has in fact won.
The government has turned its gaze to Cairo for Egyptian-brokered negotiations with a Hamas delegation. Isn’t it ironic that General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi holds the key to ending the battle?On the day after we won’t forget the dead and the hundreds of soldiers whose bodies will carry the wounds of the war for years of rehabilitation which might not end till the end of their lives. We will not forget and we will not forgive those who knew about the terror tunnels and about the preparations made by the terror organizations – Hamas and the Islamic Jihad – which planned to hit us mercilessly without any intention of being impressed by the thousands of tons of bombs we dropped on Gaza’s residents. As terrible as these things may sound, we must admit that the decision makers were unprepared, as might have been expected, for determining the objectives of the war and achieving its basic goals. Officials we’ve gotten used to hear and listen to with the required respect provided us with insights of idlers convening in cafés. Take former President Shimon Peres, for example, who stated Wednesday that this war has exhausted itself.
Why? Because it has.
Or Southern Command chief Sami Turgeman’s statement Wednesday that the army is making progress towards completing the mission it has been tasked with – destroying the offensive tunnels.
In fact, one does not need military background to reach the conclusion that Hamas has its own exit point, and it is completely different from the exit point of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who now look as if they are begging for a ceasefire. Forget about the Strip’s demilitarization, forget about an end to tunnel digging. Everything we have experienced in this war will be experienced even more intensely in the future. I am writing this in great pain. The current round against Hamas will most likely end like George Aiken, the Republican senator from Vermont, suggested ending the Vietnam War: Declaring that the US has won and returning the troops home. The problem is that Gaza is not located thousands of kilometers away from us. It’s hard to imagine that pulling out will end our war with Gaza.In the past few years we have been told repeatedly that there is no substitute for Netanyahu in light of his political and security experience. On the backdrop of the serious rift in our relationship with the United States and the foot-dragging on the 24th day of the war, we should ask ourselves if there is really no alternative.