Jan 17, 2009

Did Israel Just Blink, Or Win?

By Joel C. Rosenberg

Senior Israeli officials have been signaling all day that they are close to achieving their objectives and thus may soon unilaterally declare a ceasefire. At this hour, the Israeli Cabinet is meeting behind closed doors in Tel Aviv to make a decision on how to proceed. Yet the question that must be asked is: what objectives have Israel truly achieved at this point? To be sure, IDF forces have made enormous progress against the Hamas terror infrastructure in Gaza over the last 22 days. But let’s be clear: Hamas continues to fire rockets at southern Israeli towns and cities (at least 15 on Saturday, hitting a synagogue and sending a pregnant Israeli mother to the hospital after her home received a direct hit). Hundreds — if not thousands — of Hamas terrorists continue warring against Israeli forces in Gaza (9 Israeli soldiers were injured on Saturday, four of them seriously). Hamas refuses to surrender or agree to a cease fire. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in 2006 and held ever since, has not been released, nor do his parents or his country even have assurances that he is alive much less healthy. What’s more, Egypt has not yet formally agreed to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons back into Gaza (though Cairo appears to be moving in that direction). How exactly is that the kind of sweeping success Israel needs right now? I’m concerned Israel has just blinked, not won. But let’s pray I’m wrong and that this, in time, will prove to be a dramatic victory for the IDF and true safety for the Israelis along the southern border of Gaza.

Related Links

Reuters: Israel plans ceasefire, Hamas vows to fight on: “Israel appears keen to halt Gaza hostilities before Barack Obama is sworn in as U.S. president on Tuesday, to avoid clouding a historic day for its main ally.”
Hamas fires at least 10 rockets at Israel on Saturday (the Sabbath), scoring direct hit on a synagogue
Israel’s Cabinet to vote Saturday on unilateral Gaza truce