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September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
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HERE WE GO AGAIN

We Lost the War

Israel gained no strategic asset at all.

Three Tenors of the Apocalypse. These three men stood on Gaza's border in November, 2012, and blinked first. Now Liberman is urging another attack. Do we trust him?

Three Tenors of the Apocalypse. These three men stood on Gaza's border in November, 2012, and blinked first. Now Liberman is urging another attack. Do we trust him?
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

The last “Color Red” siren was sounded in Regional Council Sha’ar HaNegev at precisely 10:58 PM, and since then—11 hours, give or take—it’s been quiet in the Jewish settlements around the Gaza Strip. Both the IDF and the terrorists have been sticking to their commitment. (Update: The Jewish Press just reported, at 10:15 AM Thursday, that a rocket fired at Regional Council Ashkelon Coast exploded over Arab territory).

Also, according to the IDF Spokesman’s office, out of the 13 rockets and mortar shells fired after the official ceasefire had begun, at 9 PM, 10 fell inside Gaza, two fell in open areas in Israel, causing no damage, and one was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

I’ll deal in a minute with the deeper meaning of having reached a ceasefire through the good services of the U.S. and a Muslim Brother Egyptian president, and also what it means that Israel has now de facto recognized the Hamas government. But before we deal with that, and the rest of the moral, spiritual, and, of course, military and political aspects of this bizarre truce, let’s review what has been achieved over the past week or so of fighting.

Here are the IDF’s official figures: During Operation Pillar of Defense, aka Pillar of Cloud (the literal meaning of “Amud Anan”): The IDF attacked 1500 targets, including 19 major Hamas command centers, operational control centers and senior headquarters. 30 senior terrorists were attacked, wreaking havoc on Hamas’s short-term command and control issues. Hundreds of underground launchers were attacked and destroyed. 140 smuggling tunnels and 66 fighting tunnels were demolished. Dozens of Hamas war rooms and camps were attacked. 26 sites that manufactured and stored weapons were destroyed. Dozens of long-range launchers were destroyed.

These are the top Hamas operatives killed during the operation:

11.14: Ahmad Sa’id Khalil Jabari, head of the military wing of Hamas.

11. 15: Bahabseh Hassan Awadh Mesmeh, senior Hamas police commander.

11.16: Ahmad Abu Jalal, commander of the military wing Al-Mu’az and Khaled Sha’ar, a senior commander of Hamas’s anti-tank system.

11.17: Osama Kadi, a senior activist in southern Gaza smuggling operations and Muhammad Kalab, an activist in the air defense array.

In other words, Israel gained no strategic asset at all. As has been shown in the past with the assassination of every major, “irreplaceable,” terror genius, each time we kill one of those, soon enough he is replaced, and the terrorist system absorbs the damage skillfully, quickly returning to its former functionality if not better.

As the old adage says: the graveyards are full of irreplaceable people.

Yesterday I uploaded a bunch of pictures of the Hamas government district after the IAF had pounded it overnight. It looked like a junkyard, it reminded me of images of Stalingrad during the war. If, God forbid, they had been able to inflict this kind of damage on us, you’d see the lines of Israelis at Ben Gurion airport stretching all the way to Tel Aviv, with everybody holding tickets for safe havens in Warsaw, Berlin, and New York City.

But the Arabs in Gaza, at least the Hamasniks among them, are celebrating. Heck, they celebrate so hard, one got killed and three wounded just from the happy shooting in the air! They live like rats underground, they risk their lives every day, moving Iranian, Ukrainian, Chinese and Russian death technology through the Egyptian desert from the Sudan, from Libya, from wherever they can. Now and then the IAF rains death on their heads and they retreat, pause, and get started all over again.

The last time I saw that kind of dedication on our side was in 1973, when a tiny group of IDF armor soldiers held the entire Syrian army at bay, keeping it from pouring into northern Israel.

But during that 1973 war Israel was transformed. We were forced to take instructions from our masters in Washington, who had different designs for us. It’s true that, back in 1956, we were also ordered by a U.S. president to pull out of the Sinai and give up the territory we had gained in battle. But in 1973 we had an opportunity to finally and unequivocally stake our claim to our homeland, make a clear statement about the fact that we belong here, and will stay here forever, God willing.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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41 Responses to “We Lost the War”

  1. Barbara Moore says:

    Israel may have lost a battle but never the war

  2. Liad Bar-el says:

    Well put together article, Yori. Please keep it up on top for a long time. We are going to suffer for a long time for this war hasn't ended and will not end as long as we elect faithless stooges as leaders.

  3. Liad Bar-el says:

    Operation Pillar of Cloud turned into pillar of clutz.

  4. Rc Fowler says:

    Operation Pillar of Cloud should have been completed–it will be completed at some point in the future!

    Joel 3:19-20
    19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
    20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

  5. Dave Lobell says:

    Yoni very well said. We should have leveled Gaza and drove Hamas six feet into the ground and covered them up with their own ashes and dirt.

  6. Its imposible while we have merchants leading the country… Failed messiahs ;-)
    Charge them personaly brothers for every unnecessary lost of life at court! Make them pay with their own liberty-life for such catastrphic decisions made. Shalom!

  7. Ron Kall says:

    I am in total agremeent with the article. EXCEPT! I put the problem back to the Six Day War when Israel failed to push all the Arabs over the Jordan or Nile Rivers! Then they Arabs would have their palestine in Jordan and Egypt would welcome their brother Arabs into their society. They hate Jews anyway, so they would be happily living without having to see any Jews! The world could have yapped, yapped, yapped and so what, Israel would be free and strong and not in the precarious position it is in today! The world yapps anyway!

  8. **** the elections! It is not punishment at all! Please, forgive my language. There is no lighter word to describe this…

  9. Gil Gilman says:

    agreed…especially regarding the Oslo Agreement….It is time to scrap the accord which merely lent legitimacy the PLO of Yasser Arafat, which is now the PLO of Hamas. Allowing a caveman in a suit , such as Morsi to negotiate a settlement is nincompoopery at its most obvious.

  10. Gil Gilman says:

    Although there were some positives from the Pillar of Cloud, the future Cumulonimbus negatives far outweigh the small puff of cloud.

  11. I have seen a lot of change in the people of Israel in the last 20 years for the good, but our leaders have not changed, but getting worse, and arrogant.

  12. I don't know what could be called a "victory". Armor suited for fighting in open space, not in congested city streets. Mistake was to cede the Strip in the first place. That error cannot be undone. Had better accept the idea that all Israel will ever get is an armed truce. All else is fantasy, and fantasies are childish.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Muslim world is greatly encouraged that it only took a woman, Hillary and her magic spell to come to Jerusalem and stop the big mirage, Netanyahu.
    They've know for a long time how easy it is to restrain Israel and are much more confident as we enter into another even more dangerous chapter in the Middle East thanks to Israel's weak, appeasing, retreating lack of leadership that gives in to any and all pressure.
    Secular Jewish rule does not have the faith to stand and this is why the worthless talker and the Dhimmi Minister Barak are always backing down.

  14. The cease fire is just that, As soon as Hamas or one of Irans other proxy's is ready and resupplied by Iran, it will start again.Arab military history has always been to use cease fires and truces to buy time to resupplyly regroup and then to attack again. As long as the main point of thier culture and belief system teaches and preaches destruction of Israel an Jew hatred there will bew no peace. Israel will only have peace by military means.

  15. Anonymous says:

    We have not won one since 1967!
    In 1973 victory was snatched from Israel by Kissinger & C. at the 101 Km of the Cairo Suez Road, after Kissinger suggested not to humiliate the Arabs by arriving all the way to Cairo, that was without any defense.

  16. NO VICTORY FOR NO ONE SHAME.

  17. At least this piece is well- argued and shows a knowledge of history. I believe however , and I may be wrong, that iit is unrealistic and unfair. A military operation was conducted with the aim of ending rocket and missile fire into Israel. This has been achieved for now with minimum loss on the Israeli side. The other side caused disturbance and havoc, upset normal life in the South of Israel but did not succeed in destroying much of anything. Israel's military superiority, its precision in use of weapons was made clear to anyone who might wish to attack us. The exemplary behavior of the citizens of Israel in their own self- defense was also clear.
    We did not put the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt. We have to deal with the reality.
    By going for an 'absolute answer' entering Hamas- land and destroying more rocket- launchers we would have isolated ourselves globally.Losing more of our soldiers through a prolonged occupation of Gaza would drain our morale as well as further isolating us in the world.
    This operation had maximum diplomatic support possible for Israel to attain i.e. The United States and its Western allies. We preserved that support.
    The author of this article seems to think that by acting by ourselves alone and by cutting ourselves off completely from the U.S. we will gain maximum security. I do not think that the Prime Minister agrees with this, and I believe almost all serious students of Israeli military and political affairs would agree with him.

  18. It is foolishness to say "Israel lost the war ". If the peace treaty can stop rocket attacks and terrorist attack from Gaza it is a great victory without much bloodshed. If Hams break the peace agreement Israel has the right and ability to take over Gaza, so please don't worry thinking Israel lost the war.

  19. Charlie Hall says:

    Actually, from a strategic perspective, *status quo ante* in a war you did not start is a victory.

  20. Ira Tick says:

    The Jewish Press is a schmata.

  21. It is hard to understand position of Israeli government concerning safety of their people.and it's trully pathetic.people give up their rights and freedoms in return for promised protection on behalf of the government.the question is whom exactly israeli government protecting?

  22. Liad Bar-el says:

    Shame you don't post your name and email address. I would like to correspong with those of words of truth. What you said, I could not said better.

  23. Liad Bar-el says:

    It was after the 6 day war that America intered into Israeli politics. Go figure and read www hirhome dot com "Is America an ally of Israel?"

  24. Liad Bar-el says:

    And the Beacon Mag is a Boosha.

  25. As someone who follows what goes on in Israel regularly, I don't think there has ever been a time when I have been more disappointed in Israel as I am right now. Everyday, I would read about one atrocity or another befalling an innocent Israeli citizen. Either from Hamas or the many other unsavory characters that inhabit the region. But, Hamas was probably the biggest thorn in Israel's side, this went on for years, blowing up school buses, shooting rockets, abductions, rape, and murder. Of course, Israel has do deal with Hezbollah, the Palestinians, and regular Arab thugs as well. I was so proud when I saw Israel finally say, enough is enough, and we we will not put up with anymore of the insanity that Hamas and others routinely perpetrated against Israel. It was clear to see, that Israel's offensive was well planned and coordinated and was working quite nicely. Of course, one of my concerns came true soon enough. Outside forces began to increase their pressure against Israel. But, I was hopeful Israel would ignore the naysayers and carry on with their important work. The next day, I see Hillary Clinton in Israel and immediately I knew why she was there. Still, I hoped Netanyahu would tell Clinton, we appreciate your concern, but this situation has gone on for far too long, and we cannot allow this to continue. Deep in my gut though, I knew in the past Netanyahu did not stand up against the Obama administration. My fears came to fruition when I read this morning a "ceasefire"was agreed. My feelings changed from being concerned to infuriated. History has shown, the only way to get rid of dictators, tyrants, and terrorists is with brute force. Israel had Hamas on the run, they were making steady progress, they just needed to keep it up and finish the job so finally Israel could be rid of scourge like Hamas and innocent Israelis could live like normal human beings. Hamas and other Israeli enemies will consider this a victory, they can say they made Israel stand down, we stood up to them and won. No rational human being honestly believes that Hamas will honor any agreement made to stop killing Israelis. We can expect very soon that those rockets will be reigning down on Israel again very soon. More innocent Israelis will be murdered, and the aggression will only worsen. Some have said, if Israel were to use ground forces the casualties would have risen, perhaps that's true, but sometimes it must be done for the greater good. If we were to have that attitude in world war two, the Nazis would be running the world right now. Yes, in war there is casualties but in the long run it would have saved many more Israeli lives. For the life of me, I can't figure out what kind of hold Obama has over Netanyahu, who actually called Obama to thank him, for what. Obama was the one that put the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood went to Gaza, not to tell Hamas to stand down, but to express their support. They used the same Muslim Brotherhood to mediate the cease fire. Any leader of Israel must be strong in order to safeguard the people and land of Israel, they must stand strong against outside forces that don't have Israel's best interest in mind. Netanyahu has failed repeatedly on both accounts, as such, Israel needs new leadership.

  26. As someone who follows what goes on in Israel regularly, I don't think there has ever been a time when I have been more disappointed in Israel as I am right now. Everyday, I would read about one atrocity or another befalling an innocent Israeli citizen. Either from Hamas or the many other unsavory characters that inhabit the region. But, Hamas was probably the biggest thorn in Israel's side, this went on for years, blowing up school buses, shooting rockets, abductions, rape, and murder. Of course, Israel has do deal with Hezbollah, the Palestinians, and regular Arab thugs as well. I was so proud when I saw Israel finally say, enough is enough, and we we will not put up with anymore of the insanity that Hamas and others routinely perpetrated against Israel. It was clear to see, that Israel's offensive was well planned and coordinated and was working quite nicely. Of course, one of my concerns came true soon enough. Outside forces began to increase their pressure against Israel. But, I was hopeful Israel would ignore the naysayers and carry on with their important work. The next day, I see Hillary Clinton in Israel and immediately I knew why she was there. Still, I hoped Netanyahu would tell Clinton, we appreciate your concern, but this situation has gone on for far too long, and we cannot allow this to continue. Deep in my gut though, I knew in the past Netanyahu did not stand up against the Obama administration. My fears came to fruition when I read this morning a "ceasefire"was agreed. My feelings changed from being concerned to infuriated. History has shown, the only way to get rid of dictators, tyrants, and terrorists is with brute force. Israel had Hamas on the run, they were making steady progress, they just needed to keep it up and finish the job so finally Israel could be rid of scourge like Hamas and innocent Israelis could live like normal human beings. Hamas and other Israeli enemies will consider this a victory, they can say they made Israel stand down, we stood up to them and won. No rational human being honestly believes that Hamas will honor any agreement made to stop killing Israelis. We can expect very soon that those rockets will be reigning down on Israel again very soon. More innocent Israelis will be murdered, and the aggression will only worsen. Some have said, if Israel were to use ground forces the casualties would have risen, perhaps that's true, but sometimes it must be done for the greater good. If we were to have that attitude in world war two, the Nazis would be running the world right now. Yes, in war there is casualties but in the long run it would have saved many more Israeli lives. For the life of me, I can't figure out what kind of hold Obama has over Netanyahu, who actually called Obama to thank him, for what. Obama was the one that put the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood went to Gaza, not to tell Hamas to stand down, but to express their support. They used the same Muslim Brotherhood to mediate the cease fire. Any leader of Israel must be strong in order to safeguard the people and land of Israel, they must stand strong against outside forces that don't have Israel's best interest in mind. Netanyahu has failed repeatedly on both accounts, as such, Israel needs new leadership.

  27. Shock, horror,who ever insists on this

  28. Yori Yanover says:

    Ira Tick — Feeling better now?

  29. Yori Yanover says:

    Daniel Paul K — Let's analyze what you've written. Israel just spent upwards of a billion dollars to get to where it was a month ago, when the Hamas could, at will, start killing its citizens. At which point Israel will have the right to spend another billion dollars, to get back to where it is today. And you define this is a great victory.

    I suggest you call up the homes of the five Israelis and 50 or so Arab civilians who were killed as this amazing victory was achieved.

    What I've described is the delusional attempt to contain terrorists. History has proven that it cannot be done. They will run you ragged and laugh at your retaliations. The death of their own people is meaningless to them, they encourage it.

    So long as Israel plays the Hamas game, it will continue to lose, until the Hamas is able to strike a debilitating blow to its civilian center, killing thousands — think twin towers — at which point a bewildered Israel could collapse on its own weight.

    This is the Iranian strategy, and so far it's a winner.

  30. The cease fire, gives Hamas time to restock their smuggled arms and start all over again.

  31. Liad Bar-el says:

    Just imagine what you might do in Bibi's place if you were told by Clinton that two USA Navy ships loaded with Marines are heading toward Israel, will land and take over the IDF command center if you (Bibi) don't put a stop to strikes and sign a ceasefire RIGHT NOW and you might "accidentally" get killed in the process.

  32. Josef Pozarski says:

  33. Charlie Hall says:

    Occupying Cairo would have been every bit the disaster as the occupation of Beirut turned out to be in 1982.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Charlie Hall: NOT occupy Cairo, but DEFEAT EGYPT, ENTER CAIRO, HUMILIATE THE DEFEATED ATTACKERS, SHOW WHO WON TO THE WHOLE ARAB WORLD, AND GET OUT.They would have never been able to say that they won and the Arabs would have thought twice before screwing with Israel again 'cause one thing is not to win in Israel, completely another to lose a CAPITAL. Same thing for Damascus! We were 35 KM away!!
    Beirut was NEVER occupied by Israel.

  35. Israel did its best under the circumstances. The cup is half full, not half empty. Few of us in life achieve any more than a fraction of what we desire, and the same is true here. Yes, it would have been better if Israel pounded Hamas into extinction, but as things will turn out, before too long, they will have another opportunity.

  36. Get ready Russian warships are to reach Gaza.

  37. Polls says:

    Concessions accomplish a lot for everyone else and nothing for us. In a prior round we gave the Philadelphi corridor away, a catastrophe that makes it impossible to control arms smuggling into Gaza. In this round , our concessions bolstered Morsi,’s stature, Abbas,’s bid for UN recognition,( which will most likely occur now ) Obama and Clinton’s stature and even Hamas’s popularity in the West Bank. Each time we give to enemies in exchange for promises that do not happen then do it again, we prove that manipulating, betraying, ridiculing, & passing resolutions against us works. In stark contrast Iran ignores all of this and builds nuclear capability. What if just once Israel took that attitude: To hell with all of the condemnations, with your diplomats, and human rights commissions. We’re busy fighting for our lives and have no time to hobnob at the moment.

    The irony, is that we, israel no longer need the favor of those we curry to. We can survive without US aid. Our technology, products, know how brought partnerships with eastern europe, & south america,. Russia and China are interested. and if we didn’t hang on the US’s apron strings, would be more interested. Aligning ourselves with the west, when the west is on the decline, and when we don’t have to would be a sad joke if it weren’t for lives the people in the South and elsewhere who suffer, because of the decisions of our fearful leaders.

  38. Roc Diaz says:

    we as jews, all need to come together as one people with one mindset and do teshuva and pray for meshiac to come. He will be the one to make the right descisions for our people.

  39. Roc Diaz says:

    i liked very much what you wrote, i do think that we should make them pay for their actions before implementing a cease fire. for example hammas wants to expand their waters for "fishing purposes" i think that we should cut their 3 mile range to 1.5 miles instead of increasing it. we should double or triple their energy costs and tax their citizens in every single way possible. causing extreme financial hardship on the arabs and depleating their resourses will stop them and eventually they will leave gaza. it wont happen over night, but it will happen. force is the only thing that they understand.

  40. Roc Diaz says:

    its a money thing. israelis are very tough, the only thing that will influence is the cash. once that flow stops from amercia we wont have to listen to clinton crap any longer and we will in fact do what is truley necessary to secure israel and protect her people.

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