Tzvi Gottlieb

The Tactical Thing To Do Is To Cease-Fire

First I would like to say thank you and well done to the Israeli government and its PM for returning 113 abductees to Israel. This is not an obvious decision at all. Certainly not for a far right government. The return of the abductees is the least that can be done to compensate for the terrible injustice caused to the residents of the Otaf and the citizens from the “Nova” festival on October 7th.

We suffered a very hard blow from Hamas. 1200 murdered and 250 kidnapped in one day, thousands of tragedies that will haunt everyone who was there and survived and the entire nation of Israel. Now the smart choice is to look forward.

The smartest thing we can do tactically is to unilaterally stop the fighting, completely. And here are the reasons:

  1. Israel will not eliminate Hamas. Certainly not after its terrorist “success” against Israel and the return of hundreds imprisoned in Israeli prisons. The Hamas and Jihad people are underground in the tunnels, and Israeli forces will not enter there, certainly not when there are kidnapped Israeli citizens down there.
  2. Israel will not regain its deterrence towards terrorist organizations and Arab countries if it bombards more buildings and more terrorists and many civilians will be killed. It will just add and expand the circle of hatred and hostility until next time.
  3. The world is not paying attention to the Israeli narrative, despite the massacre carried out on October 7, because Israel has kept the Palestinians under occupation for 56 years. With all the horrors of that dark Sabbath morning, with horrors that cannot be compared to anything we know, it is impossible to suddenly convince the world of the righteousness of our way. We are the conquerors, we are the strong side, even if we suffered a very painful blow on October 7.

That’s why all “Hasbara” efforts are useless to begin with.

  1. To reduce the international pressure and alienation towards Israel, for the world to give even a little attention to the horrors of October 7, we need to stop fighting now. One-sided. No agreements, no mediators and no understandings.

Without casualties on the Palestinian side every day, at least part of the world would be able to pay attention to the stories, the tragedies, the horrors, the images that emerge from that dark Sabbath day.

  1. Acting out of revenge achieves nothing, you cannot beat those who have nothing to lose. And Hamas and the Palestinians have nothing to lose. It is a losing battle even when you are much stronger.

We need to pick up the pieces and rebuild, and create deterrence with a tough hand against those who will try to harm us. And of course not to leave the Otef Aza completely exposed with only two battalions.

  1. This is probably the most important reason of all – there are still about 150 abductees in Gaza. We don’t know how many of them are still alive, but the proper and intelligent thing to do is to bring them back. And war will not help achieve this goal.

The statements in which “Hamas suffered severe blows and therefore agreed to negotiate” are a joke. Hamas wanted to talk from day one, and so did Qatar. Both of these terrorist enablers were at a great disadvantage on October 8, in the first days after the massacre, because the world pointed an accusing finger at them.

Now after dozens of days of fighting and thousands of dead Palestinians and hundreds of thousands who fled, Israel is in a state of inferiority. Both in terms of the goals of the war and in terms of global pressure.

Therefore, the right thing is to immediately and unilaterally stop the fighting. Acknowledge that we have suffered a severe blow from an enemy and heal our wounds. And prepare for the many internal and external challenges that still await us.

The threat of Hezbollah’s thousands of missiles has not been removed, but fortunately for us, President Biden immediately jumped in to deter Iran and Hezbollah successfully. And we are very thankful to him for that.

Continuing the fighting cannot achieve any goal. No deterrence, no return of the kidnapped, no improvement of our international status, no strengthening of the home front, weakening our economy and wellbeing. Nothing.

On the military front, on national resilience and treatment of our wounds, on the economic front and on the international public front, this is the right thing to do.
The question is whether our leaders are able to make the right decision for the people of Israel.

About the Author
Attorney, former communications director for the Israeli government, lobbyist, strategy, former reporter for Galei Tzahal and Haaretz, former Shaliach to the US, CEO of The Israeli TV & Film Producers Association, Campaign manager for several parties and incumbents. Led several social causes, organizations, causes and unions. Life-long volunteer and student.
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