The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Two weeks ago we suggested that Hamas officials had seized on Israel’s decision not to invade Gaza in the course of Operation Pillar of Defense as somehow demonstrating that Hamas was quite capable of taking on the Israeli military, and that the world, particularly the Palestinian street, should take notice.
As we said,
The Hamas bluster about having bested Israel in Operation Pillar of Defense should not be dismissed as typical Arab hyperbole.To be sure, Hamas leaders will know what really happened. According to a study issued by The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Israel confounded Hamas’s military at every turn, killed its military leader and much of its officer hierarchy and also destroyed most of its strategic assets. And the performance of the Iron Dome anti-missile system and overall civilian defense also proved impressive.
Yet Hamas officials are peddling the notion that Israel’s decision not to invade Gaza was a direct result of Hamas’s fierce resistance – despite the fact that Israel achieved its declared goals through the use of targeted air and naval power.
We went on to suggest that “there was method to their madness” in that they were seeking to engender an air of inevitability regarding both their short range success against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and their long-range prospects vis-à-vis Israel – in other words, the intention was to impress upon the U.S. and others that Hamas had eclipsed the PA and now stood as the only logical representative of Palestinian aspirations.
However, an analysis by Jerusalem Post military affairs correspondent Yaakov Lappin sheds important light on Israel’s strategy in Operation Pillar of Defense and provides important context to the apparent shift in Israeli tactics.
In “IAF Preparing Surprises for Enemies,” Mr. Lappin wrote:
Here’s a fact that helps illustrate the scope of the transformation washing over the Israeli Air Force these days…. Technological upgrades to weapons systems in fighter jets are creating new operational capabilities, which would have been seen as borderline fantasy just 15 years ago.
As a senior Air Force official stated…a single aircraft can now strike four different targets far away, with the push of one button, meaning that fewer sorties are required to level heavy damage on the enemy. The strike capabilities of several aircraft in the past are now possessed by a single warplane.
What all of this means is that the IAF is pushing ahead with its strategic assumption that offense, rather than defense, will be the decisive factor in the next confrontation, in which Hezbollah and its considerable arsenal of rockets may well be involved….
Furthermore, the source argued, Israel cannot pour vast amounts of money into defensive systems [such as Iron Dome] indefinitely. While active defense systems are vital, and have a direct bearing on offensive attacks, they cannot form the main reply to rocket threats, he said.
Hence, the IAF is sticking to the Ben Gurionesque doctrine of causing massive damage to the enemy and bringing the conflict to an end rapidly. Unfortunately, Ben Gurion’s principle of taking the fight to enemy territory can only be partially achieved these days, with the Israeli home front under a heavy rocket threat.
But short spells of fighting can be achieved through hitting the other side hard – far harder than the damage Hamas absorbed in November…. The source warned that the era of “knockout victories” in which enemies raise a white flag and surrender has long passed. In any future conflict, rockets will be fired into Israel until the last day of the conflict. But afterward, Hezbollah will have to “get up in the morning and explain to their people why they brought destruction to Lebanon,” the source said.
That’s what happened to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, which, despite its many shortcomings, cause such damage to southern Lebanon that Nasrallah has still not been able to repair all of it, 6 1/2 years on. In any future clash, the damage will likely be far more extensive.
So rather than representing a policy of hesitation and weakness, Israel’s decision not to invade Gaza as part of Operation Pillar of Defense marked a determination to rely almost exclusively on air power to inflict punishing levels of damage on the enemy and to return to classic notions of deterrence. It is, to be sure, an abandonment of a ground invasion approach that, frankly, has not worked. But while Israel certainly has the military capacity to retake Gaza, it would not be cost effective in terms of stopping rocket attacks.
We have long thought the wooden application of the conventional military doctrine that air power cannot work without “boots on the ground” was misplaced. Stopping Hamas and Hizbullah from firing rockets into Israel was never going to be accomplished by destroying both groups through bloody hand to hand combat. They are endemic to the area and would begin regrouping their forces and rebuilding their arsenals as soon as the IDF left.
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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
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.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-changing-face-of-war/2012/12/26/
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