As there is no choice, Israel is forced to endanger the lives of its soldiers for victory against terrorism – this time in Gaza.
Yes, victory. That is the word that was uprooted from the national and military lexicon when we forgot that this is our land. The word “victory” has practically become a dirty word.
Israelis are willing to pay a price for victory and it is the only justification for an infantry incursion into Gaza.
If the government does not intend to triumph but rather to simply strive for another round of fighting, it is best to remain outside Gaza. In that case, it will be sufficient to cut off the Gaza populace’s Israel-provided electricity and cash, and continue with artillery and air attacks.
In the mid-1990s (the Oslo era), Israel’s “this is our land” mentality switched to “this is their land.” A large cross-section of influential people in the arts, communications, politics, security, justice and media spheres are responsible for the transformation. They built their careers on it and cannot go back to the pre-Oslo days of the “this is our land” mindset. This transformation is why there is no solution to the terror plaguing Israel.
In the “this is our land” days, famous Zionist icon and fighter Abba Kovner explained the imperative to conquer Gaza. Kovner did not talk about eliminating terror; he talked about victory. Victory is impossible without moral resolve. Those who want to solve today’s terror problem would be well advised to read Kovner’s battle order, written for IDF troops as they prepared for battle in the 1956 Sinai War:
“The will to triumph is a prerequisite for victory.”
No containment, no control over the height of the flames, and none of the other anti-army, pseudo-intellectual discourse that dominates today’s army. An army must strive for only one thing: victory.
After some words of encouragement, Kovner explains that Gaza is a living organ torn from the body of the state of Israel.”
Kovner takes the moral stance that Gaza belongs to Israel.
He continues: “A clenched fist is hovering over the state, a base for the murderous Egyptians.”
Kovner refers to the security threat to the state, while homing in on the perpetrators of terror and the country that is behind them.
At the very end of the battle order, Kovner mentions the only claim that is being made today: the suffering of the people:
“Nachal Oz Be’eri, Kisufim Nirrim – a chain of flourishing settlements facing a hostile border.”
“Fighters,” Kovner sums up, “smite the enemy! Smite him again and again!”
“The enemy will be destroyed by the sword of the division fighters” [No stopping in the middle.]
“Forward to battle and to victory!”
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
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