What would Mama scream if she saw her beloved son standing on the edge of a ledge, in danger of dropping into oblivion?
She wouldn’t shout, “My son, don’t fail!” After all, it was failure that brought him to this point. She would yell, “Son, don’t fall, you’re at the edge of the ledge!”
This is really what Israel’s Operation Protective Edge has become – a feeble response to days, months, nay, years of Hamas terror against Southern Israel in particular and all of Israel in general.
What has happened in our holy Eretz Yisrael is so painful to anyone even half sane, like me.
Let’s backtrack to the beginning: Hamas of Gaza ordered Hamas of Judea to kidnap three holy, beautiful Jewish children and use them as hostages in order to free more murderers. The plan went awry when one of the boys managed a call to police, and all three were immediately shot.
The government strongly suspected the boys were dead but led us to believe they were alive. The intention was to unify the nation against the recent pact signed by Hamas and Fatah, which had brought the peace talks to a halt. The government’s strategy seemed to have worked and the newfound spirit of unity culminated with a giant rally in Tel Aviv attended by tens of thousands.
The following day, two and a half weeks after the boys went missing, their bullet-riddled bodies were found.
As a punishing response to terror, new settlements were about to be established. But things got complicated when a deranged Jew murdered an Arab boy in a fit of vengeance. And now the tables suddenly turned in favor of our Hamas enemies. Rioting Arabs were burning everything in sight, shouting “Hamas, Hamas!”
Hamas now took center stage, and a celebration of rockets started flying out of Gaza.
Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that “quiet will be met with quiet.”
Hamas leaders laughed and tried to use one of their many tunnels to kidnap a Jewish hostage, just as they did in the 2006 kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, but luckily Israel thwarted the attempt.
Clearly, the government of Israel was aware of the existence of the tunnels but, strangely, had neglected to address this serious problem for years.
Meanwhile the rockets continued raining down on us, although thanks to Iron Dome few people were injured.
Our security cabinet was now forced to ponder its next move and promptly announced: “We must respond from the head, not shoot from the hip.”
When hearing this cliche repeated over and over, I couldn’t help but recall the old Western movies where two cowboys would face off in a murderous showdown. If one wore his two-gun holster around his hip while the other comically buckled his holster around his head, there was no doubt as to which one would succeed in drawing his guns, shooting first, and winning the battle.
But our brainy cabinet sat in hesitation.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman saved the day when, “shooting from the hip,” he shockingly announced during a televised press conference that his Yisrael Beiteinu party was breaking away from Netanyahu’s Likud party, leaving Likud suddenly reduced from 31 mandates to 20 – just one more than Yair Lapid’s 19-seat Yesh Atid faction.
There were some rumblings about how Lieberman could do such a thing at such a critical moment. But that very night we heard the great rumbling of Israeli jets. Thanks to Lieberman’s courage, Israel’s response had finally begun. The military dubbed it Operation Tsuk Eitan,” which literally means “mighty distressed cliff.”
The name was camouflaged in English as Operation Protective Edge. This implied Israel had the edge, the advantage, but the actual Hebrew more accurately reflected reality. Israel had reached the losers’ edge of the cliff.