Gaza War Policy

29 Tammuz, 5774 Jerusalem, Israel

Let us humbly try to analyze the success of our war policy in Gaza, now after three weeks of effort.

Missiles are still being shot at Israel, and more and more of our soldiers are being killed.

This suggests to me we are doing something wrong.

The comments below are made with only tremendous gratitude to the soldiers who are fighting this war, but with criticism of the strategy of those determining policy.

The fundamental mistake, I believe, is the attitude that we have to do it for them. Meaning, we have to go in and take care of Hamas. This approach assumes, it seems to me, that Hamas is some foreign entity among them. This ignores the reality that Hamas is the organic and genuine expression of a large, large part of the Gaza Population.

Our approach, it seems, is based on the assumption that we have to do it for them.  We have to destroy the tunnels. We have to destroy the missiles. We have to stop Hamas. We are fighting this battle almost as if an Israeli city, Tel Aviv for example, were taken over by terrorists.

Everyone knows that the secret to peace is creating adequate deterrence. Well obviously we are not creating deterrence in Gaza today. I was frankly surprised that the rocket attacks did not stop after IDF soldiers entered Gaza City itself. I asked my friends, where are they firing these rockets from? One explained to me: these are small rockets you can keep in your living room, or your child’s bedroom. You can mount the launcher on the top of your car. You can then quickly drive out from the parking under your building, fire, and retreat back into your parking lot. Or you can go up to your roof and fire. And they are still firing! After three weeks of battle. So evidently they are not deterred. And why should they be? The IDF just keeps going after terrorist leaders. If you are not a terrorist leader, what do you have to fear? Or if you happen to know your neighbor is harboring a missile launcher in his garage or bedroom – what incentive do you have to report him to anyone?

We have to teach THEM to do the work. How do you do that? Stop living the fantasy that Gaza is occupied by an alien force called Hamas. The alien force is The PLO and Abu Mazen, who was brought in from abroad. The local grass roots voice is Hamas! That’s why they won the election there.

Why are we giving them electricity? Turn off the power there!

Threaten and carry out. Say “if the missiles do not stop, we are going to destroy these following buildings.” “If the tunnels are not destroyed, we are going to destroy these buildings or neighborhoods.” Go through one street to another, from the air. How dare you send my precious brothers there to do what we can force them, from the sky, to do themselves.

The first Shabbos of the battle, I passed my friend in the street. He is a rabbi, and was on his way to shul for mincha and third meal, where he gives a class. We stopped and talked. I said you have a son in the army now, right? Where is he? He said, “he’s in there, in Gaza.” All these precious boys, who have grown up in the past twenty years I have been in this country, how dare we risk them? If there is no choice, there is no choice, but I believe there is a choice, and that tears my heart out.


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