Dan Ehrlich

Claim Victory, Find Hostages, Help Rebuild Gaza

You might say this is no longer the Israel-Hamas War but has become the Hamas-Netanyahu War with the PM admitting the conflict may go on until 2025 with him still at the helm and no word of the 100 plus hostages missing in action.

Israel’s military has said it has taken control of the important buffer zone along the Gaza-Egypt border known as the Philadelphi Corridor, meaning it now controls Gaza’s entire land border.

But, where are the hostages? No one seems to know.

Even after Israel has marched up and down the Gaza Strip, admittedly by Bibi’s own words killing more civilians that Hamas terrorists, he claims there’s still a lot of work to be done…he didn’t make it clear is that means in the future killing more terrorists than civilians and/or freeing the hostages.

The fact is, there’s no way all Hamas members will be liquidated. And, until the head of the snake is cut-off, it will live on through it leadership sheltering in Qatari luxury.

Netanyahu, spurning threats from abroad and from his own coalition partners, feels his longevity as Leader for Life, still depends on the big win he promised last October and what he since said was waiting for the IDF after the last bastion of Hamas members were cleansed from Rafah.

For some Bibi critics, there may never be a win to his liking, he’s taking Israel into George Orwell territory with a war that never ends ‘to keep the fabric of society intact,’ or keeping him on the job and out of the criminal court for the now almost forgotten corruption charges he faces.

Still, Bibi and his ultra frum cronies seem to exist in a vacuum where world opinion doesn’t exist…only antisemitism does.

As Israel faces isolation as a pariah nation for its leveling much of Gaza, Netanyahu dismisses this as antisemitism, his old standby for criticism of Israel and of his conduct.

True, there’s always going to be some measure of antisemitism around. However, the destruction of the Gaza Strip feeds these Jew haters and their follow travelers a feast they been longing to have for since the end of World War 2.

The main problem the wider world has in understanding this war is because it’s not being fought against a standing army facing off against the IDF. Israel’s adversaries are hidden most of the time, often among civilians or sheltering in their tunnels.

By the IDF’s own estimates its has killed about half of the Hamas fighters, and considerably more civilians…most of whom were killed in air strikes on buildings and camp sites.

Had Israel conducted a ground based infantry war with limited air strikes there wouldn’t be nearly as much world wide criticism. And more hostages may have been rescued alive.

Now, with the October 7th first anniversary only four months away, and with no sign of the hostages, it may be time for Israel to declare a victory, start recruiting a new Gaza leadership who will help in rebuilding the strip.

Lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs will only come when their standard of living becomes desirable and similar to Israeli Arabs. In the post war era, Israel must involve itself in the creation of stable and decent society for the Palestinian Arabs, free of Hamas involvement and intimidation.

The search for the hostages should continue as a police operation along with cleaning out remaining Hamas terrorists.

But to carry on a large scale war for several more months may not result in the return of living hostages, but probably result in more civilian deaths, more IDF casualties, ruin Israel’s image in the region and weaken it for a probable large scale confrontation with Hezbollah.

Ending the Hamas-Netanyahu War is a lot more important than Bibi’s job.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.
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