Have we just witnessed history repeating itself? Did Israel back down without achieving any goal more significant than destruction of infrastructure? Israel seems to have pulled its forces away from Gaza and ended its operation against Hamas as a nod to the new American President. Yet, time can only tell what the net results of the “war” really are.
Throughout Gaza and other Arab lands, there are rallies praising “Hamas’ victory“; obviously that is a propaganda tool, subjective and doubtful. Still, one can’t ignore the similarities here and in Lebanon in 2006. Israel went into Lebanon and Gaza with lots of might, heavy air strikes, massive destruction and damage and over one thousand reported Arab deaths to a relatively smaller number of Israeli dead. Surely, the Arab dead were claimed to be innocent civilians in 2006 and 2009. Israel failed to recover their kidnapped soldiers, dead or alive, upon declaration of a unilateral withdrawal in August 2006, and Gilad Shalit is still unaccounted for following the end to this action yesterday.
What remains the same is the pressure imposed on Israel by world leaders, unsympathetic to the cause of Israelis being bombed daily in Sdeorot and Ashkelon. Indeed, the new U.N. chief has made similar comments to those of his predecessor when denying Hamas (then Hezbullah) used the U.N. building as a launch site, much as the U.N. back then denied witnessing and ignoring the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers with the U.N.’s own vehicles.
When – not if – Hamas sends its first rocket back into Israel, we will all see just how successful Israel was. My fear is that they pulled out now to avoid scrutiny from the new President whose zeal for Israel, fair to say, will be somewhere less than that of George W. Bush’s. Still, President Obama’s position on Israel and its force against her relentless and deadly neighbors is yet unstated. Israel balked to avoid finding out right now.
It is not a fair litmus test. Obama may make a comment, and he may come down hard on Israel now, but it is easy to do that after it seems to have stopped. Had Obama been in the White House while Israel remained vigilant inside Gaza, it may have been harder for a supporter of Israel to chastise them during an operation. Israeli leaders did not want to risk testing the theory right now.
Did they accomplish the stated goals? I doubt it. Hamas has soldiers being born every day, and it will maintain its hatred for Israel throughout known time to come. Israel set Hamas back some, but like in Lebanon, did not root it out. They can’t. You can’t kill a dream, and killing Israel is radical Islam’s dream. Israel needed to be strong, they needed to stop the murder and the rocket attacks and they needed to send the message that they will not sit gently as its people are terrorized, but Israel hasn’t won.
To win means to eradicate those who believe Israel must die; that is tantamount to genocide, and that is unfortunately, a deed that comes too easy to her enemies and is simply not the way of the Jew, or the Israeli.
It leaves us with history simply replaying, and we continue on this tragic treadmill waiting for divine providence.