Michael Boyden

A War Too Long

When Danny Danon, an outspoken Likkud MK, who was Israel’s previous Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and has also served as Deputy Minister of Defence, speaks out, people should listen.

In a Ynet interview today he admitted: “In practice, we are far from achieving the purposes of the war, which are the return of the hostages and dismantling Hamas’s ability to govern. We see that we are not achieving the results we wanted.”

Having twice challenged Netanyahu’s leadership of the party, his political interests are clear. Nevertheless, anyone observing what is happening on the ground at present recognizes that Hamas is far from beaten.

Bibi not only pursued a misguided approach to dealing with Hamas and failed to anticipate the ghastly events of October 7th, but he has also failed to bring the hostages home and create a situation whereby Israelis who live in the south of the country can safely return to their towns and kibbutzim.

If that were not enough, with Israeli forces fighting in the Gaza Strip, Hassan Nasrallah’s Hezbollah terrorists have made the north uninhabitable. Israelis in such towns as Metula and Kiryat Shemona are no longer safe there.

That is Bibi’s legacy. 120,000 Israelis have been forced out of their homes and have no idea as to when if ever they will be able to return.

Israel has never fought such a long war since the War of Independence. Ninety-two days after the horrific Hamas attack on southern Israel the end is not in sight and spirits are low.

Reuters reported last week that “only 15% of Israelis want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stay in office after the war on Hamas in Gaza ends”.

However, one US lawmaker suggested to NBC News that Netanyahu ““has every incentive to keep the war going, to ensure his political survival”.

Waiting for the war to end may be too long.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.