Soon came the government’s announced goal of destroying the Hamas terror tunnels, which were far more numerous and extensive than previously imagined. (What happened to the goal of destroying Hamas’s tremendous arsenal of rockets, the launching of which had drawn Israel’s retaliation in the first place?)
Now there were calls for a ground battle, since you can’t destroy tunnels from the air. The Israeli man in the street, as well as the soldiers who stood practically unprotected on the Gaza border, wanted to recapture the strip, destroy the tunnels and missiles, and eliminate the leaders of Hamas.
Back at the security cabinet, however, we heard the same two songs – “Shoot from the head and not from the hip” and “Oh, Hamas, oh darling, quiet will be answered with quiet.”
But then another high-ranking official decided to shoot from the hip, as Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon attacked Netanyahu for releasing murderers and avoiding a ground confrontation with Hamas in Gaza.
How dare he act so firmly when Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and her friends on the left seemed to be calling the shots for our smooth-talking prime minister? So Danon was promptly fired – but what do you know, that night the ground troops began firing their way into Gaza. Mission: destroy the tunnels and quickly withdraw (“flee” is not a good word).
Many tunnels were indeed neutralized. Unfortunately, 64 amazing soldiers gave their lives and, to the dismay of nearly 70 percent of the nation, a three-day cease-fire was timidly accepted and our forces rushed out of Gaza.
The entire world was watching us. With brutality rampant everywhere, especially in the Middle East, it was so important for Israel to achieve a decisive victory.
Now all our enemies were able to smile, particularly Hamas and the ISIS cutthroat murderers in Iraq. And they surely laughed upon hearing the Israeli government telling its citizens who lived in the south they could return to their now peaceful homes.
What a desecration of God’s name it was when the missiles again started flying as soon as the 72-hour cease-fire expired and we inched our way closer to the edge of the ledge.
And how our enemies must have roared with joy when we agreed, on Tu B’Av, to another 72-hour cease-fire. A clear victory for Hamas, whose goal is to trap us in an endless war of attrition, draining our resources while making our nights sleepless.
This failure to deal a decisive blow in Gaza surely has given Hamas and ISIS and Turkey’s reelected president and Hamas-funding Kuwait and the Arabs of Judea and Samaria (along with Israeli Arabs) more hope than ever that we eventually will fall from the edge of the ledge, where we dangle because of our own misdoing.
Hashem yirachem, May God show His mercy so that we may at least remain dangling until Mashiach comes.