Some advice to Israel from afar: Do not try regime change in Gaza. Recent history shows that wars that set “regime change” as objective take infinite time and resources, and they fail: take special note of the failures in Afghanistan and Libya.
Set objectives that are achievable in finite time, that are supported by – or at least gain the understanding of – the Western democracies, and, at the same time, have a long-term significant impact and are understood and internalized by everyone in the region, both friends and foes: Aggression, inhumane behavior, massive indiscriminate killing of civilians and hostage-taking, should get tangible, immediate, and irreversible remedial action on the ground.
Therefore, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad should get punished without mercy – and I trust that air strikes alone by the Israeli Defense Forces will do this. But do not try to replace the rulers of Gaza: It is up to their own people to replace them. When will this happen, no one presently knows.
The job of the Israeli government is to give appropriate, immediate, long-term defense to its civilian population. This can be achieved as described and explained in my previous article “The war objective: New armistice line between Israel and Gaza”:
And, keep straight working hard on achieving peace with Saudi Arabia. There is now a short window of opportunity to achieve this, when the interests of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel are aligned. Do not let Hamas and Iran achieve their main goal of their aggression, which was to derail this process. Diplomatic normalization and the establishment of peaceful relations between Israel and the largest and most important Muslim country in the Middle East can only be achieved if the present war between Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and Israel has clear, limited, and tangible achievable objectives, and is short, decisive, and ends in a few weeks-time.