Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It is true that the cannons are speaking now, but what is most interesting about this war is the silence of certain key players. In each case, this silence is either promising or ominous.

First, Olmert et al. have been silent about the objectives of this war. The proper objective is victory, namely, pounding the enemy into submission. Yet, one wonders whether the actual objective is to replace Hamas with some "more moderate" party to whom Israel can surrender Yehuda and Shomron with honor. Or, perhaps the objective is to flex muscles and obtain quiet until the elections. One shudders to think. So long as Olmert doesn't say anything stupid, we must set aside these doubts and support the war.

Second, the ground troops are silent. There are two possibilities. The good one is that we are wisely not walking into traps and instead are planning to use technological means to destroy the tunnels that run through Gaza along with everybody and everything hiding inside them. The bad one is that Ehud Barak has simply lost his nerve, as appears to have been the case over the past several years and as almost stated outright by MK Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael.

Third, Hizaballah is silent. This might mean that they are weary and wary after the summer of 2006. Or it could mean that Syria is trying to build some international goodwill and will be sending the bill once Obama takes office. Or it could mean nothing and tomorrow will look different than today.

Finally, Obama has been silent. I think that means he's busy playing golf.


Blogger Ben Bayit said...

1) While it is politically incorrect to do so, sometimes it is important to say "I told you so". See Gonen Ginat's column in yesterday's Yisrael Hayom on this point (at ) where he basically says that the "fantical, bearded, messianic right-wingers" were obviously somehow more connected to reality than the rational academics in their think tanks.

2) Unfortunately the left has used this tactic before in starting air sorties right before an election against Bibi. If you recall in 1996 after he called an early election, Shimon Peres then started an air campaign 48 days before the election to stop katyusha attacks from Lebanon until it was called off after an american brokered ceasefire after the civilian causlaties at Qana. (operation Grapes of Wrath).

So yes we should support the troops and all but "kabdeyhu vechashdeyhu". personally I think it is wrong to have a ground offensive in Gaza after the disengagement unless everyone who supported it, publicly admits they were wrong about it. I'm glad that there are voices on the right who have been - and still are - against a massive ground invasion into Gaza.
It is also very likely that the path to true constitutional and electoral reform in the State If Israel lies with the religious right abandoning militarist zionism (along with its various shades of fascism). The army is not a kli kodesh - it is a means to defend the citizenry from enemies and no more than that.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Y. Ben-David said...

It is interesting to note the irony that this government, the most "peace"-oriented in history, elected to carry out a unilateral withdrawal from most of Judea/Samaria, and ending up supporting the division of Jerusalem and giving up the Golan up to the Kinneret, has brought us two wars within 2 1/2 years. Don't forget that official Peace Now members like Yuli Tamir and Amir Peretz were in it.
I also can not forget that Netanyahu, Livnat, Steve Shalom, Yuval Steinitz and others SUPPORTED the policies that brought this disaster on us, and yet now they have the gall to claim they would be more "responsible" leaders than the current Kadima-Labor gang that is currently in power.
I, frankly, have no faith in any of these people and have no idea where this war is going. It looks like it will end up as a repeat of 2006 because without actually taking over most if not all of the Gaza Strip, I don't see how the rocket attacks can be stopped and without retaking the Philadelphi strip on the border with Egypt, it will happen again in the near future, probably with rockets that can hit Tel Aviv. So what has really changed with this war?
I agree with Ben-Bayit about what he says about ground operations. I think this is the time for the Right to shed itself of what BB calls the "militarist Zionist" mindset and show that we oppose useless military operations.

I don't know if any of you look at what "progressive" Jewish bloggers write (e.g. Richard Silverstein, Phil Weiss, MJ Rosenberg and others) but there is an unprecedented amount of hate coming out of these people towards Israel AND the Jewish people in general. (Yes, HATE). When I write comments in their blogs, I hold back many of the thoughts we are expressing here about our doubts about the motives and intentions of our leadership here in Israel. It seems a lot of the generally uninformed Jewish masses in the Galut are being exposed to unprecendented levels of Jewish self-hatred and I think we have to play a role in countering it.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous YK said...

Do you honestly believe that pounding Gaza to a pulp will pave the way to having the Gazans/Palentinians stop bombing Israel? Or, more likely, will it just make them hate Israel, the Israelis, and the Jews more and be more willing to take risks to inflict any sort of damage and pain that they can?

Do you or anyone else honestly believe that this war is anything but an attempt to win the upcoming election? Remember that pre-Operation-Cast-Lead polls had Likud beating Kadima, even with the rightward Likud primary results. Livni & Barak need a major score to make up for the Lebanon 2006 debacle. If Tzahal comes out of this relatively unscathed and both Gaza & Lebanon/Hezbollah are silent until February, you can count on Livni & Co. capturing the Knesset. After which it's only a matter of time before she begins handing over bits and pieces in exchange for "peace".

9:02 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Your first paragraph: I'm not worrying about them hating us more. The marginal cost of more hatred at this point is negligible.
Your second paragraph: I am not blind to the possibility you raise. As I wrote, I think it prudent to set it aside when morale needs to be as high as possible.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous anonymous in shul said...

If Barak has simply lost his nerve, then I pray that he won't be manipulated into a ground war.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Y. Ben-David said...

Today, Yom Hamishi (Thursday), I note that sane people (e.g. David Horowitz in the Jerusalem Post and Israel Harel in Ha'aretz) are now beginning to say that it seems that this war is going to end up being a pointless waste of lives carried out for political reasons, just like the 2006 Lebanon II War. Without a comprehensive ground campaign the rocket fire can't be stopped, and it seems the gov't will not do this. Thus, Harel said it is best they do not do ANY ground operations at all...why waste our fighting men's lives just so Barak and Labor can gain a few seats in the Knesset. It seems that there is a hardcore belief on the Left that violence is the best political advertising they can do....beat up Jews in Hevron and then bomb Palestinians and Barak becomes a big hero. Ari Shavit who has been cursing Olmert as a corrupt, incompetant clown for two years now, suddenly came out in a column today in Ha'aretz saying it is unpatriotic to oppose the war and that Olmert now is a great leader. Is there no limit to this sick cynicism of the Left. I frankly say this...I do not believe anything the leaders of this country say about this and its objectives and I don't believe it is being carried out for the welfare of the people of this country. They will do ANYTHING to stay in power and we are now seeing the results. I wish I were wrong. Anybody out there is welcome to disagree with me, but I believe this is the truth.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Rafi G said...

Ben - please email me offline as soon as you can.

I have something I need to ask you.

Thanks. fairly important

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard KapoDickie Silverstein is an immature self-hating Seattle anti-Semite pretending to know something about Judaism

8:26 PM  

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