Neil A. Radow

Israel’s Deadliest Addiction

Addiction is a dangerous disease. It can ruin lives and even end them. Addicts are prone to irrational acts and bad life decisions all in the pursuit of a momentary rush. People sacrifice their futures and ruin friendships simply chasing a feeling of peace, however temporary. Everyone has their drug of choice, be it cigarettes, alcohol, or even heroin. These addictions can take control and suppress rational thought. They all can kill. Israel, however, under the Netanyahu government, has developed a different addiction. An addiction that can prove to be deadly. Israel is addicted to cease fires.

Nobody in Israel can deny that the recent 5 day cease fire was great. Life returned to normal, kind of. We had a brief respite from the rockets that have threatened 5 million people. People were able to go out for a bite to eat, or go to the beach, without worry. There was action in the streets. We were high. But now we’ve come down. Breaking the 11th cease fire so far, Hamas has renewed this round of hostilities. In this round they are firing even more rockets. While we were enjoying our drug of choice, Hamas was re-arming and regrouping for another deadly round. We are trapped in a pattern of self abuse, chasing that unattainable peace. Despite it’s 11 cease fires, this addiction is not unique to the present. Our previous dabbles with the drug came after 2008’s Cast Lead and 2012’s Pillar of Defense. This is only a particularly deadly relapse.

Israel is at war with Gaza. A cease fire does not end a war it just prolongs it. A war ends in victory or defeat. A cease fire is a temporary end to hostilities- giving both sides a respite. As well as a chance to prepare for the next round of fighting. This only benefits Hamas. Israel has the advantage, militarily, Hamas can only improve vis a vis the IDF’s ability to improve in the same time. They can lean the lessons from the last fight, and prepare the terrain. They can prepare more rockets and dig more tunnels. What can Israel do to improve?Get more F-16s? That won’t make a difference- we have plenty! We get our high- and it may even last for quite a while- but eventually we come down. And things are worse than they were the last time. But we’re addicted, we can’t help ourselves.

There is one central problem. The government is afraid to topple the Hamas government in Gaza. They’re afraid of what might take it’s place. Hamas knows this, thus they have no real motivation to give up trying to kill Israelis. We have no deterrence. We are fighting over terms of a cease fire. It’s ridiculous. We need to end the war with total victory over Hamas. This is not only about Hamas but about sending a message. We need Iran, Syria, and even ISIS to see that we will destroy all who try to destroy us. But we won’t do that- we’re too addicted to the brief high, the false peace, that our drug of choice brings us.

About the Author
Neil was born in New York City and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. After a brief stint volunteering with Sar El (Volunteers for Israel) during the 2nd Lebanon War, he decided to make Aliyah and draft to the IDF.