So here we are on the verge of yet another ceasefire with Hamas. This one allows for less face saving on the part of Hamas but ultimately provides a way out of the current conflict. Not the conflict between Israel and Hamas but the flare up of the last few days.
Personally I blame my government for taking the unnecessary steps that got us into this situation. But I also remember Winston Churchill’s words;
When you’re going through hell, keep going!
But we haven’t kept going, we’ve stopped after barely moving from the positions we occupied at the start. In fact this ceasefire allows us to return to almost the exact same situation as before.
When Naftali, Gilad and Eyal were found dead I asked the question how many Palestinians will we kill?
So now we have our answer, 170.
According to the Times of Israel, operation Protective Edge has barely succeeded in putting a dent in Hamas’ stockpiles of weapons and has failed to damage Hamas in any significant way.
So not only did we start a war by rounding up the usual Hamas suspects and renege on our deal that got us Gilad Shalit back, but once we were in it we failed to respond to our enemy in a meaningful way.
Israelis of all political stripes have a right to be livid with our government.
This has been a made for TV war. Hamas were able to show off their rocket capabilities and Israel showed off her rocket interception capabilities. But the game has remained the same.
Netanyahu must have known this would happen. We’ve been here too many times before for him to think otherwise. Perhaps he was waiting to see if there would be some kind of game changing rocket fired. Perhaps if Israel had suffered more dead, more wounded he would have felt that it was worth deploying some of those reservists he called up.
Whatever he was waiting for, it didn’t happen. The truth is that concern for civilian casualties is only commendable if the attacks that kill them actually have a point to them. If all you’re trying to do is make a statement through killing people, then it’s just murder. If we had killed more Palestinians but actually damaged Hamas’ war making capacity in a meaningful way then the collateral damage would have been justified. But this? What was this?
How many Palestinians should we kill? Apparently 170.
For the last week I have been glued to my television as I’m sure many of you have. For the last week I have been following the events that have seen waves of rockets hit the population centers of my country. Regardless of the fact that I oppose the measures taken by my government that got us into this, as an Israeli I have a right to expect that once my government have taken me into war they will finish what they started. I may think that we started this but that doesn’t mean I think Hamas are a particularly rational actor and I certainly don’t think they’re a partner for peace. So if we couldn’t let the sleeping dog lie, if we had to prod it with a stick we should at least have tamed the beast instead of allowing it to go back to sleep until the next time.
And so Israelis have been betrayed twice. Once by getting us into this and again by refusing to take us out of it. Citizens of Southern Israel are, understandably livid. So am I and so should you be. We have suffered rocket attacks so that our Prime Minister could stand in front of the TV cameras and look like a statesman. We have endured the fear of shrapnel falling from the sky so that Bibi could let Kerry and Obama know once and for all that he’s not interested in their peace process. We have gone through this so that Bibi could argue to the world that letting go of the West Bank would equal 20 Gazas.
If this waste of time war is even remembered at all it will go down as the most pointless exchange of missiles in history.
By the way, does anyone even remember the names Amer Abu Eisha and Marwan Kawasmeh anymore?
None of this has brought us any closer to finding them. The 500 Hamas men that we arrested following the kidnapping and murder of our three kids are still sitting in administrative detention. I guess we’re just going to keep them there indefinitely.
Now that the focus has changed everyone’s forgotten how we got here anyway. Perhaps that was the point all along.