The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
As much as anything else, Operation Protective Edge was arguably the first successful effort by a traditional military power to effectively confront the modern-day challenge of warfare by insurgency. In the process, Israel overcame some of the principal weapons in the insurgent arsenal.
To be sure, as of Tuesday afternoon it was not clear whether the latest cease-fire would stick, though the IDF reportedly was pulling out of Gaza. Nor is it clear to what extent Hamas’s stratagem of initiating war as a means of getting its issues to the negotiating table will prove successful. But there are some valuable lessons that have already been learned.
Hamas was relying on its vast stockpiles of rockets to cause massive casualties and destruction in Israel in order to offset Israel’s conventional military superiority. But the promise of this asymmetrical faceoff didn’t work out for Hamas as it had hoped, thanks to the efficiency of the Iron Dome batteries and the failure of most rockets to do much damage.
In addition, the intelligence resources of the IAF, which controlled the air over Gaza, made for a stunning success rate in targeting rocket launching sites.
Since nothing is static in warfare, the lesson is clear: Iron Dome must be continuously improved to stay ahead of developments in any rocket technology Hamas and Israel’s other enemies might get their hands on.
Hamas had cynically relied on the expected deterrent effect of the inevitable international uproar over the (largely unavoidable) deaths of Palestinian civilians. It appears, however, that Israel was able to accomplish virtually all of its objectives despite the rising tide of international anger over Palestinian casualties. There were few remaining rocket launching targets for IAF or IDF demolition; Hamas’s military infrastructure was substantially degraded; and most if not all of the attack tunnels were destroyed or rendered inoperable.
In the end, Israel sent a loud and clear message that it would not be deterred from doing what it had to, even in the face of Hamas’s contemptible human shield strategy.
The various efforts at arriving at a cease-fire, thwarted by Hamas’s duplicitousness, also taught some lessons. For one thing, it showed Hamas cannot be trusted to keep its word – something to keep in mind as the United States and others go about trying to get Hamas to the negotiating table. It also underscores the folly of negotiating even with the purported moderate Mahmoud Abbas, since he is utterly incapable of credibly guaranteeing compliance on the Palestinian side.
The discovery of Hamas’s extensive tunnel network leading from Gaza into Israel is testament to the ongoing need of an effective and discriminating blockade of Gaza. Construction of the sophisticated underground structures required the diversion of vast amounts of concrete permitted into Gaza for civilian construction. A refinement of that policy is now clearly indicated. As a general proposition, it also is now to be assumed that Hamas leaders will go to the greatest possible lengths to secure whatever materiel they think can be usefully employed in their fight against Israel.
It should also now be quite clear to all that an internationally monitored demilitarization of Gaza must be part of any plan for going forward. No rational person can believe that left to its own devices Hamas would not attempt to rebuild its military strength in preparation for the next round of confrontation with Israel. Allowing Hamas untrammeled power to rebuild its military structure, the tunnels and its rocket stockpiles, is a prescription for disaster.
The discovery of Hamas’s tunnels means it would be prudent to presume that Hizbullah has built or is building its own tunnels, a potential strategic nightmare to which Israel has doubtless already turned its attention.
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Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo
Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims
The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR
U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.
We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
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