Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."



ANOTHER DEFEAT
Moshe Arens
Ha’aretz, June 04, 2008
 
   It may not be only Ehud Olmert who is so busy worrying about his legal problems that he does not have enough time to address Israel\'s urgent security issues. Many Israeli citizens, except of course residents of the South, are probably also completely engrossed in studying the details of the current investigations and have little time left to worry about what really needs to be worried about - the ongoing war in the South. One can only hope that the Israel Defense Forces and its commander, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, are continuing to take seriously the awesome responsibility with which they are charged - assuring the safety of the people of Israel.
 
   Maybe our chief of staff needs to be reminded of what he said shortly after he assumed his present position: "In the next war, there will be no doubt about who won." This was said after his predecessor, Dan Halutz, declared after the Second Lebanon War that "the IDF won on points," though it was clear that the IDF had actually been defeated in that war by a few thousand Hezbollah fighters….
 
   After agreeing to a cease-fire with Hezbollah that allowed it to declare victory, rearm and become the dominant power in Lebanon, Israel had a second chance in the war against terrorism: the war in the South against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, who, like Hezbollah in the North, are backed by Iran. Again, Israel\'s civilian population was attacked by short-range rockets. These attacks have now lasted for many months and are reaching deeper and deeper into Israel….
 
   Should this confrontation also end in a standoff, with Israel agreeing to a cease-fire with the terrorists, it would be another defeat for the IDF. Not a "victory on points," and not even a victory on points for the terrorists, but a defeat of the IDF by the terrorists. A defeat, pure and simple. …
 
   This is no minor matter. To those who wonder how Israel has been able to survive for many years in the hostile environment of the Middle East, the answer is that it has been able, time and again, to defeat the enemies that have risen up against…
 
   Thus if Israel\'s ability to defend itself should be called into question, this would not only spell the end of any chance to widen the circle of peace, but would also increase the probability of another full-scale war. That is what hangs in the balance in the confrontation with the terrorists in the South….
 
   Only a decisive victory in the war against the terrorists in the South will assure Israel\'s safety. A cease-fire will be a victory for the terrorists and a defeat for the IDF…