Another Israeli civilian has been killed in a Hamas bombardment, in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, close to the Gaza strip. Several others were wounded. Nine rockets or mortar shells fired from Gaza struck Israel today, including this one.
Meanwhile, indirect negotiations for a cease-fire continue in Egypt. Although we don’t know the details, suggestions are that it would include a hugely unbalanced prisoner exchange with Hamas and possibly other concessions.
Israel’s government is at the same time super-rational and entirely irrational. Super-rational because it is capable of making the decision to accept the continuing attrition of the rocket attacks, the humiliation of allowing Hamas to depopulate part of the state and prove to the world that Israel is incapable of defending herself, so as not to deal with the short-term consequences of putting an end to Hamas.
And irrational because it is prepared to trade one kidnapped soldier — who will quickly be replaced by another — for the release of hundreds or even more than a thousand prisoners, many of them with blood on their hands (the requirement to only release non-murderers was dropped some time ago).
A few simple facts need to be recognized:
- Hamas will not go away by itself and it is not ever going to become a Zionist organization. Its reason for being is to destroy Israel and kill Jews. The question is not if to fight it, it’s when. And Hamas isn’t getting weaker.
- The rocket barrage is an attack on more than the unfortunate victims. It is an attack on the sovereignty of the State of Israel. It cannot be allowed to continue.
- Israel is in a war for survival. Soldiers are lost in war. I have three children, all of whom served in the IDF, one for an extended period. I know the feeling when the telephone rings at night. But a lopsided prisoner exchange will encourage further kidnappings and remove the deterrent against terrorist murder.