Mr. President, this is a war of necessity

Barack Obama himself said he wouldn't allow his daughters to live under the constant threat of rocket fire

As the Gaza war comes to a crossroad, Israel must decide whether to tread down the path of “cease fire” as President Obama, the U.S. and U.N. have demanded. Or whether to achieve the strategic goal of demilitarization of Hamas, as the EU clearly stated in their statement just last week.

We must remember, providing security is the utmost role of a nation and the real strategic imperative at hand.

“Dealing with the tunnels” is critical, but will not alone change the strategic paradigm with Gaza.

“Achieving a cease fire” is not a strategic goal either – that would just kick the bucket down the road “until the next time”.

The focus of Israel, and our allies on whose front-lines we stand in this battle, should be demilitarizing Hamas, stopping the terrorism against Israel – whether by tunnel or rocket or any other mean –  and putting an end to a reality where our sons and daughters must live in fear of the next siren or of a tunnel being dug beneath them. In 2008, then candidate Obama himself stated that he would not allow his daughters to live under the constant threat of rocket fire – as mine do now.

This is truly “a War of Necessity”.

This is not a war we chose, and not one without a price (on all sides), but this is a battle for our homes, for our homeland and once again Israel is faced with a situation of “ein brera“.

This is not “a War of Choice”.

This should be coined as a “war of necessity” not by a hardliner Israeli politician, but recognized as such by President Obama.

In 2009 President Obama laid out a doctrine of “War of Necessity” with regards to Afghanistan since “Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again”.

Is that not applicable to Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza?

If the fire were to cease immediately, as the U.S. and U.N. demand, even if Israel finished destruction of the tunnels, would Hamas lay down its arms and cease to plot attacks to attack Israelis again?

The answer to that is clear. That is precisely why Hamas must be demilitarized.

Israel does not seek to occupy and resettle Gaza. We merely seek to prevent those who attacked Israel from plotting to do so again. The miraculous “Iron Dome” system, built with the generous support of Congress and the Obama administration, cannot just be a tool which enables Israel to contain and cease fire. The “iron dome” can now be used as an opportunity to change the rules of the game, to create a new strategic reality and to prevent future de-escalations by achieving the strategic goal of demilitarization of Hamas.

This is a war of necessity that our soldiers have heroically answered the call to and our home-front is willing to sacrifice for. This, President Obama coined in his own words, is a war of necessity: “not only a war worth fighting: this is fundamental to the defense of our people.”

About the Author
Mati Gill is CEO of AION Labs, a venture studio with a first-of-its-kind company creation model for new start-ups utilizing AI for drug discovery and development. Prior to founding AION Labs, Mati was a senior executive at Teva Pharmaceuticals and served as Chief of Staff for Israel’s Minister of Public Security. He is an IDF veteran (Maj. res.)`and currently serves on the boards of the Israel Advanced Technology Industries Association (IATI) and the Israel America Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).
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