Who on the Israeli side should bear guilt, and why would that matter?
Israel’s politicians, secret services leaders, and military commanders all had to blunder for decades to enable October 7.
First of all, we don’t blame the victim. The only perpetrators were Chamas and Iran—no Israeli.
Secondly, those who messed up need to be examined and judged. But now, we have war. So, this is for after the war.
Even when Israelis get convicted, it doesn’t mean it’s just their fault. It mostly means it was their responsibility.
A conviction doesn’t mean they could have done better. Monday’s quarterbacks have easy taking. It just means they should have.
The main mistakes were not momentarily, though the last week and the last minutes and the first hours, lots of things went horribly wrong.
There were some systematic mistakes for years that seemed smart at the time. A peace agreement with terrorists. Giving them autonomy. Hoping prosperity would make them mellow. All are total nonsense, in hindsight.
Some people who cried wolf for decades ago, but they were always hardlines. A clock that stopped is not right twice a day.
And bias. Being convinced of what you know and think, making you blind and deaf to all the warnings from simpler people just reporting what they see. An inability to think outside of the box in which you boxed yourself.
Netanyahu, internationally labeled a hawk, nevertheless, was always the first to go for a ceasefire with Gaza. I thought that was good. War is always so bad. Always innocent people die. Now we know that was stupid. As the Dutch saying goes: soft doctors make stinking wounds.
There is something unnecessary and malicious in seeking heads to roll (figuratively). 1. Revenge is not part of our Tradition. 2. It doesn’t matter who. When we need no heroes, we will have no one terribly disappointing us. Netanyahu can easily say with Lincoln: “If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
Nonetheless, the buck needs to stop with him, and he’s the first who needs to be convicted. Which doesn’t mean he caused the disaster. And it will only be fair when many Israeli politicians, secret services leaders, and military commanders will get mentioned in the same breath. For from the stupid Oslo Accords to the Disengagement to the Two-State mantra.
Our leaders now succeeding in defeating Chamas and not letting other terrorists take over goes a long way. It doesn’t mean they did nothing indictable. But it must be satisfactory to get a chance to right your wrongs.
The most important thing is not who were wrong, but what was wrong and to correct it.