Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Netanyahu's declaration of victory rings hollow

Prime Minister Netanyahu's declaration of victory on Wednesday is unlikely to have fooled anyone, least of all the Israeli people.

The stated goals of Operation Solid Cliff/Protective Edge were variously to eliminate Hamas' rockets, create quiet in the south, and eliminate the tunnel networks.

Some tunnels have been destroyed. So long as a single shovel remains in Gaza, more can be built.

If there is quiet in the south today it is because Hamas are observing the ceasefire; not because the IDF silenced the rockets. Hamas kept up a steady barrage of rockets and mortars right into the last minutes before the ceasefire came into effect, in spite of relentless pounding by the IDF and IAF for more than seven weeks.

Gloating about Hamas' leadership being decimated is irrelevant even if it were true; there's plenty of eager recruits where those came from, and if history teaches anything, it's that the next generation of resistance leaders are generally younger, smarter, and more ruthless. Hamas' prestige has been enormously enhanced by Netanyahu's war and to claim otherwise is either brazenly dishonest or delusional.

The unstated goal, to destroy Hamas - PA reconciliation, was also a complete failure. The fact that it was PA negotiators speaking for Gaza and Hamas in Cairo shows they have been brought closer, not driven apart.

And the damage to Israel from Netanyahu's war of choice?


Hundreds of thousands have protested against Israel in nations not that long ago considered solid allies. Countries friendly until two months ago have recalled their ambassadors. Israel's relationship with its single most important benefactor has hit an all-time low.

Israel has never been more isolated.

Some victory.

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