We of the pro-peace/pro-Israel camp again face anguished days with news of the current wave of IDF attacks on Gaza. We have to wait for the smoke to clear to see if the vast majority of casualties are armed Hamas elements (which seems to be the case). I hope that I’m wrong, but my instincts, plus the history of the conflict, tell me that the severity of these blows will only create more hatred and more violence in the long run.
The tireless Israeli blogger, Ami Isseroff, has grown so embittered over the years that it’s hard to classify him politically. In this recent post, while totally supporting the justice of Israel’s offensive, he then questions its wisdom:
… After every other solution failed, one would like to hope that the military solution would succeed. But we should not confuse our wishes with reality. Didn’t Israel pound Gaza continuously in 2006 after the abduction of Gilad Shalit? And what good did that do? Didn’t Israel pound Lebanese targets in the Second Lebanon War? Did it oust the Hezbollah?
Short of Israel retaking Gaza in what would no doubt be a blood bath, what can be the outcome of this attack beyond Hamas remaining somehow intact and declaring “victory”? Israeli officials are a bit more cautious with their pronouncements than they were in the disastrous Second Lebanon War. Still, before the attack, Israel GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant said that an IDF attack would try to “send Gaza decades into the past” in terms of weapons capabilities. Since Israel held the Gaza strip until 2005, it is impossible to understand what Galant thought he was talking about.
Can there be much doubt about the outcome of the Israeli attack? The scripting of a tragedy cannot allow for a happy end. At the end of the exercise there will be an additional 300 or 500 or a thousand dead people, but it is very unlikely that the situation in Gaza will have budged very much. It is even likely that the attack will leave Israel in a worse position than it was before the attack. …