Two things have become clear regarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announced IDF redeployment when the fighting in Gaza eventually ends: Israel is incapable of defeating its enemies within its Oslo mentality, and Israelis are still currently unable to shake free of this mentality.
The essence of war is territory. The enemy wants the territory on which the Jews are living. They do not want sovereignty alongside Israel; they want sovereignty instead of Israel. To win a war, the opposite result must be achieved: the enemy must lose its territory.
Over the past 20 years, the Oslo mentality has severely compromised Israelis’ belief in the justice of their bond to the Land of Israel. The handshakes of Israel’s leaders – from both ends of the political spectrum – with Yasir Arafat and his successors have turned Israelis into colonialists in Tel Aviv. It has fostered an apologetic mentality, a mentality whereby Israelis are guests in their own land.
The prime minister cannot change this mentality, and thus cannot direct the IDF to conquer Gaza.
Demography is not the problem. With thought and pre-planning, Israel can deal with the demographic problem. Its demographic situation is good and a very large wave of aliyah is about to take place. And Hamas is not the problem, either. The IDF can easily defeat these terrorists – if, instead of being directed to get entangled in tunnels and alleys, it will be directed to win.
All the tactical problems have solutions. But the real problem is not with the enemy; it is with us. Are we now willing – after all the blows we have received – to negate the Oslo mentality and internalize that this is our land?
The answer Netanyahu has so far given is, “Not yet.”
We can anticipate the results of Netanyahu’s plans on three fronts:
Terror: All the tentacles of the octopus that threatens us – from Iran to Gaza, from ISIS to Hizbullah, from the Arabs of Judea and Samaria to the extremist Arabs who are Israeli citizens – now understand that Israel is not capable of winning. They have all received a strong tailwind to continue their attacks against us. Henceforth, life in Israel will be much less safe until the next significant round of fighting – which will be much worse.
The diplomatic front: A weak Israel has always beckoned diplomatic pressure. Our lack of faith in the justice of our sovereignty in our land has not only led to hesitation on the battlefield. It has also caused the West to adopt a new approach according to which Israel is a mistake. And mistakes, of course, must be mended.
Judea and Samaria: The non-defeat of Hamas will necessarily bring about Israeli submission and unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria (after all, we must find a solution). As our experience with previous withdrawals has proven time and again, the newest round of pullbacks will feed and accelerate the same process of delegitimization, terror and additional withdrawals.
This is the sorry state of affairs that we face.
I am filled with faith in the strength of our nation and the state we have established after 2,000 years of exile. These energies will galvanize us to rise, shake off the Oslo mentality, change direction and save ourselves from the strategic danger hovering over our heads. They will motivate us to bequeath to our children a future of both physical and spiritual security and prosperity.
At this point, however, we have not yet reached the point that will engender the necessary revolution of consciousness.
For now, we must fearlessly tell the Israeli public the truth and consistently present the faith-based alternative for leadership of Israel. I will continue to do both. And I know that the Nation of Israel will win.
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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