Steve Kramer

Will Israel accomplish its war aims?

Since Hamas barbarously attacked Israel on October 7, 2023, the West has insisted that Israel be responsible for the health and wellbeing of the Gazans, despite the fact that, even now, the majority still support Hamas. Throughout the war, US policy has hampered Israel’s fight to defeat Iran’s terrorist proxies, the Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine, which both seek Israel’s utter destruction. (Iran’s primary proxy, Hezbollah, joined the war against Israel the following day.) 

Increasing the risk to our soldiers and prolonging the war, Israel has had to coordinate much of its strategy and tactics with the US State Department; reduce its offensive attacks, especially airborne ones; use less potent munitions; and limit the IDF’s efforts to destroy all the hundreds of tunnels underground in Gaza. In addition, the US has vigorously and publicly warned Israel not to do anything other than defend itself against Hezbollah, said to be the world’s largest non-state army. The result is that the 100,000 Israelis who were evacuated from their homes and businesses near the Lebanese border are unable to return to their homes and businesses. In their absence, Hezbollah rockets and missiles are destroying Israel’s northern towns and burning forests and fields. In effect, this is a shrinking of the sovereign State of Israel. 

The primary reason for restraining Israel appears to be to avoid the US getting entangled in a war before the November election. Why should Israel have to agree to “instructions” like these? Unfortunately because it has allowed itself to be dependent on American resupplies of weapons and ammunition. Obviously, this hand-ties the military prowess of one of America’s most potent and loyal allies. 

During the initial surprise attack on October 7, 2023, there were 1,200 people murdered in cold blood. 240 were kidnapped and about half remain in captivity, many of them dead. France lost 35 citizens, Thailand 33, United States 31, Ukraine 21, Russia 19, UK 12, Nepal 10, Germany 10, Argentina 9, Canada 6, Romania 5, Portugal 4, China 4, Philippines 4, and Austria 4. The remainder were solely Israeli citizens. Has there been a ‘hue and cry’ about these hostages? Yes, but it’s coming almost exclusively from Israelis and other Jews. 

Then there are the rules of war applied uniquely to Israel and no other state. Such as, Israel is responsible for feeding the enemy population, providing them water and electricity, and protecting them, while Hamas uses non-combatants as human shields and fires upon Israel from their midst. Then there’s the death rate of Gaza “civilians” that the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry regularly claims against Israel according to its accounting: 38,000 Gazans, mostly women and children (many are terrorists in their late teens) have been killed by the IDF. Is there any verifiable basis for these claims? None! The Gazan figures have been doubtful, and many have been debunked since the beginning of the war. Israel reports that of that doubtful total, at least 16,000 are terrorists.
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Nevertheless, from President Biden on down, various governments, organizations, and the mass media quote unverified figures as if they are credible. So many children are claimed dead, so many women dead, hardly any men killed, no one is a terrorist.

Israeli statistics, which are generally credible, report a ratio of between 1 and 1.5 civilian deaths for every Gazan fighter killed. This is a remarkably low ratio, especially keeping in mind that Hamas desires the death of as many Gazans as possible (to gain backing for its cause), and places its military machine and fighters among them, in their homes, UN schools, mosques, hospitals and below many of the buildings. While this sounds incredible, it is the obvious strategy for a fighting force which depends on using non-combatants as human shields. The government of Israel and other Western armies put their soldiers in front of civilians, while the Iran-inspired and supported Hamas terrorists do the opposite.

No country could be expected to raise its hands and surrender when confronted with an enemy like Hamas, which pushes in front its own citizens to protect its soldiers and military machine. If human shields were an accepted strategy for offensive efforts, Iran and its fellow despots would soon rule the world. Think about that…. 

The present American administration is supporting, not confronting, both Gaza and Iran, as well as Lebanon, whose national army is subservient to terrorist Hezbollah. Is there proof of this? The US has supplied Iran, Gaza, and Lebanon with billions of US dollars, it has deprived Israel of massive bunker buster bombs with which to cripple Iran’s nuclear weapons development, it has drastically reduced meaningful sanctions against Iran’s flow of oil (even to states which are US adversaries), and it constantly attempts to force Israel to concede to enemy demands in Gaza and in Lebanon. 

Iran has succeeded around the world in raising hatred towards Zionists, that is Jews, to a level unprecedented since the Nazi control of Europe. The Israeli government is hampered by demonstrations to free the remaining hostages and end the war in Gaza, regardless of the consequences of surrendering. (Iran wins, Israel loses.) The present Israeli government needs full American support to quickly end this war on its own terms, punishing its enemies, and releasing the hostages, alive and dead. 

Israel, which controls the Philadelphi corridor in Rafah, on the border with Egypt, must remain in control there indefinitely, otherwise remnants of Hamas or other terrorists will be able to replenish their military assets. Israel must also persevere in the north, perhaps with a very heavy price, to push Hezbollah forces back from Israel’s border at least to the Litani River, eighteen miles from Israel. If Hamas is no longer an existential threat to Israel and Hezbollah is, at the least, pushed back from Israel’s border, this war will end. That hopefully will lead to an expansion of the Abraham Accords and a new era in Israel’s relationships. Let’s hope and pray that this outcome comes to pass!

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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