INTO THE FRAY: Trouble with tunnels

For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:

TROUBLE WITH TUNNELS

(Kindly consider “liking”, sharing, tweeting – please use hash-tag ‪#‎IntoFray)

The real problem, left largely unaddressed by this week comptroller’s report, is that cowered by the tyranny of political-correctness, Israel’s leaders, have abandoned pursuit of military imperatives.

It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):

ALGEMEINER: https://www.algemeiner.com/category/commentary/opinion/
ISRAELIFRONTLINE: http://www.israelifrontline.com/2017/03/55932.html
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/226060
ISRAEL NEWS ONLINE: https://israelnewsonline.org/into-the-fray-the-trouble-with-tunnels/
ISRAEL’S VOICE: http://www.israelsvoice.org/2017/03/02/5515/
ISRAPUNDIT: http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63621698
MEDIUM: https://medium.com/@martinsherman/into-the-fray-trouble-with-tunnels-b879ed4105cf#.w86l00dor
JEWSDOWNUNDER: http://jewsdownunder.com/2017/03/03/fray-trouble-tunnels/
JEWISH PRESS: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/into-the-fray-martin-sherman/into-the-fray-trouble-with-tunnels/2017/03/05/

Three brief excerpts:

(a) Gaza back the headlines
(b) Flaccidity factor: Impotence not ignorance
(c)The only solution to the humanitarian crisis

(a) Gaza back the headlines

We cannot go on as we are…to remain at peace when you should be going to war may be often very dangerous. The tyrant city…is a standing menace to all…. Let us attack and subdue her that we may ourselves live safely for the future. –Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, 431 BCE

Protective Edge report4
Aerial bombardment in Gaza

You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny… That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be…. –Winston Churchill, May 13, 1940 

This week Gaza was back in the headlines—big time…The publication of the controversial state
comptroller’s report, highly critical of Israel’s conduct of the 2014 Protective Edge operation, catapulted the terrorist-controlled enclave, which, in the last seven years, has precipitated  three (and counting) major military campaigns, back into the headlines…

b) Flaccidity factor: Impotence not ignorance

… there were only really two possibilities. Either: (a) the government was aware of the deadly menace posed by the network of tunnels; or (b) it wasn’t.

If it was aware of the danger, then willingness to agree to a cease-fire before it was eliminated reflects a disturbing readiness to reconcile itself to the threat and expose the country’s civilian population to murderous consequences in the future.

Protective Edge report 6If it was oblivious to the danger, then this reflects a grave ignorance of deadly threats facing the country, a sign of just how out of touch the leadership of the nation has been with the ominous realities that the country must contend with.

Now, although I seldom find occasion to quote “Ha’aretz” as a corroborating source, my eye could not help catching the title of a piece by veteran defense correspondent Amos Harel, “Hamas’ terror tunnels – a national strategic failure for Israel”, written barely two weeks into the campaign.

In it, he makes the pungent point: “A week ago, Israel announced its willingness to accept a cease-fire in Gaza… This means one of two things. Either the ministers and generals were willing last week to let these tunnels, everyone a ticking bomb, tick softly under kibbutz dining rooms until the next escalation, or they weren’t aware of the seriousness of the risk.”

He added, tellingly: “So either they were taking a calculated risk of unusual [read “gigantic”–M.S.] dimensions, or they didn’t have enough intelligence [information] before the operation (which doesn’t quite square with a senior officer’s claim…that ‘never before has the army had such quality intelligence before an operation’.)”

(c)The only solution to the humanitarian crisis

Protective Edge report1
        PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yaalon, Chief of Staff Gantz

Clearly, the humanitarian plight in Gaza was created by the misguided belief that peace and prosperity could be achieved by transferring land to the Palestinian-Arabs to provide them a viable opportunity for self-governance.

Albert Einstein once famously observed that one could not solve a problem with the level of thinking that created it…Accordingly, the problem of Gaza cannot be solved by persisting with ideas that created it – i.e. persisting with a plan for Israel to provide the Palestinian-Arabs with land for self-governance…The problem can only be solved by entirely abandoning the concept that Gaza should be governed by Palestinian-Arabs.  The only durable solution requires the deconstruction–not reconstruction–of Gaza, the humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.

This is the only prescription that can solve the problems of Gaza – both Israel’s security problem and the Gazan-Arabs’ humanitarian problem…Why this simple, but stark truth, has repeatedly eluded the Israeli leadership is the real issue that the comptroller should have investigated. Sadly, he did not.

As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,
Best wishes,
MS

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