Ceasefire a poor outcome for Israel

Today, the IDF announced that it had “accomplished its pre-determined objectives for Operation Pillar of Defense, and has inflicted severe damage to Hamas and its military capabilities.”

It is embarrassing to read this statement, which includes the fact that 130 rockets slammed into Israeli towns on the last day until the ceasefire came into effect at 9 PM. It does not even mention that 20 more struck between 9 PM and midnight.

While many Hamas rockets and launchers were destroyed, clearly many were not. Hamas has been building fortifications since 2009, and much of this infrastructure escaped the air bombardment. Hamas was certainly dealt a serious blow, but not a knockout punch. Its Iranian weapons suppliers will soon re-equip it, and it will probably get millions in ‘humanitarian’ aid from its friends in Europe.

Israel’s operation is estimated to have cost 3 billion Israeli Shekels (about $770 million). Each Tamir interceptor fired by Iron Dome cost $40,000. Now there is a ceasefire, and 30,000 reservists (cost: $60 million) will likely be sent home.

Hamas established that it can hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with missiles that can only improve in the future. It established that — by launching a large number of rockets at once, as it did in an attack on Beer Sheva today — it can overwhelm the Iron Dome system. It established that it can withstand a concentrated air attack and still fire rockets.

Palestinians understand quite well what happened, both the people in the street

Gaza Arabs celebrate their success after ceasefire is announced

Gaza Arabs celebrate their success after ceasefire is announced

and their leaders.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and other officials smile broadly at the outcome of the conflict

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and other officials smile broadly at the outcome of the conflict

But Israeli leaders look glum.

Defense Minister Barak, Foreign Minister Lieberman and PM Netanyahu announce the ceasefire. They aren't smiling.

Defense Minister Barak, Foreign Minister Lieberman and PM Netanyahu announce the ceasefire. They aren’t smiling.

As always, Israel’s overwhelming military might can’t stand up against the ‘persuasive’ powers of the White House, and yet again defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory. There will be another round, and another, and another.

But what do you expect? Israel is addicted to US weapons systems and spare parts — and now, to the Iron Dome system, developed in Israel but funded by the US. Saying no is unthinkable.

One question that Israelis are asking is this: why didn’t Barak and Netanyahu expect this? Did they have assurances from the Obama administration that they could go into Gaza, assurances which were later withdrawn? It doesn’t make sense to call up 30,000 reservists just to scare the other side.

We’ll probably never know exactly what happened. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t interpret this as a positive outcome for Israel.

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7 Responses to “Ceasefire a poor outcome for Israel”

  1. NormanF says:

    The pictures say it all.

    Israel is worse off than before this round and Hamas can rapidly re-equip. Hamas has learned it has nothing to fear from Israel.

    Israel’s leaders are more afraid of world opinion than they are afraid of their own people living under the shadow of Hamas terror.

    Sooner or later the ceasefire will break down and the cycle will begin all over again.

  2. Robman says:

    At least, they have nothing to fear from Israel as long as Obama is in the White House, backing them up.

    The key is for Israeli leaders to signal that if need be, they are willing to do without the U.S.

    I’ll bet China still wants those Phalcon radar planes. I don’t think China has any advisors associated with the MB in their government, and they really don’t care a rat’s a** about the Palestinians.

    As I have predicted repeatedly, given the fact of an Obama second term, before the next four years are over, the “special relationship” between Israel and the U.S. will come to an end.

  3. Shalom Freedman says:

    I am also not very happy about the outcome. But is the Chief-of – Staff of the Israel Army Benny Gantz engaging in a cover up in which he says the IDF hit all the targets they intended to hit in Gaza? Is it wrong to think that the long- range missile arsenal of Hamas was seriously depleted? Isn’t it important to point out how little damage the fifteen hundred rockets sent by Hamas into Israel were able to do? Is it too wrong to suggest that Hamas is derailed for a period of time, perhaps months perhaps a few years?
    Isn’t it important that so few lives were lost on our side?
    Isn’t it also important to indicate that the ground operation which could have greatly devastated Hamas would have involved occupation of Gaza, prolonged work there to root out terrorist forces, global isolation, cutting of relationships with Jordan and Egypt , loss of support from the U.S.?
    My own sense is that the Netanyahu government did the best it could in the circumstances. And when I mean ‘the circumstances’I mean first of all the change in the Middle East which has come through a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt.

  4. Vic Rosenthal says:

    Shalom: everything that you say could be rendered as “it could have been worse.” The fact is that Israel spent ש”×— 3 billion to buy some time before the next round.
    And there is something else: what effect do you think the Hamas ‘victory’ will have on Hizballah? Why shouldn’t they go for a similar result?

  5. juvanya says:

    I steadfastly disagree. Israel won a great victory this war. Compared to the past, we won the media war. There are few serious media accusations like last time. The foreign journalists see the truth. Its the doofs back in Europe that interrogate Regev and Leibovich.

    Militarily, Israel reminded Hamas and Gazans of what Israel can do. It destroyed substantial stockpiles, albeit not all. They may be pretending to cheer, but I think that is partially the result of propaganda, biased paradegoers, and also some just cheering there was no big war.

    Israeli Arabs and the West Bank saw what rockets are like and no doubt they are more supportive of Israel now. A rocket landed in Bethlehem. That is guaranteed to change hearts. We also received hundreds of new emissaries, such as the foreign Maccabi Tel Aviv players and the CNN crew that took cover. They may not show it, but they will massage more questions about Palestinians into their message. Finally, the bus bombing took the attention at the end and brought worldwide condemnation. Hamas is lucky no one has died.

  6. Shalom Freedman says:

    Barry Rubin believes Hizbollah is too preoccupied now with a possible civil war in Lebanon to risk taking on Israel now. I also disagree about the deterrence. Anyone who takes a look at the strategic targets, such as they are in Gaza will see that they have been destroyed. Nasrallah has been cautious for six years and has even more reason to be cautious now. He can do a lot more damage than Hamas has done but it will not help him if his whole world becomes a hole in the ground.
    The Palestinians in Gaza proclaimed victory. Every defeat is a victory for them and they continue to march progressively and sadly into deeper backwardness.
    Hamas has no real military option against Israel. If it were wise it would make a phony agreement with Fatah and allow them to make a phony agreement with Israel which would get them a state on most of the territory of Judea Samaria and Gaza. But they instead will continue to think in all or nothing terms and so get pretty much nothing.
    Netanyahu like Ben- Gurion did not think in such terms but rather did the best he could given the circumstances. There are a number of positives from this operation. One I think,and I may be wrong is that Hamas is out of the military equation for some time.
    Tehran is another story and the one we have to focus on.

  7. juvanya says:

    ” The Palestinians in Gaza proclaimed victory. Every defeat is a victory for them and they continue to march progressively and sadly into deeper backwardness.”

    There is no concept of defeat in Arab culture. It is victory or death.