13 March 2008
by ICSEP Director Daniel Doron
in The Wall Street Journal
The massacre of rabbinical students Thursday at a Jerusalem seminary highlights the failure of the powerful Israeli military to stop the assaults of Palestinian terrorists. It also reveals serious deficiencies in Israel’s strategy and tactics.
These have cost Israel dearly. They also harm the world-wide war on terror, of which Israel is on the forefront.
You can’t stop every suicide bomber of course. But for seven years now, Hamas terrorists have been rocketing southern Israeli towns from Gaza. Israeli governments headed by Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert have all vowed to put an end to the attacks. Despite Israel’s overwhelming military superiority, its governments have failed to do so.
Israel has scored some impressive victories in its fight against terrorism, especially from attacks originating in the West Bank. Numerous attempts by Fatah and Hamas to dispatch bombers into Israel were frustrated by a combination of excellent intelligence, daring special operations, and the ability of the army to enter Palestinian-ruled areas in hot pursuit or for preemptive strikes. Not so in Gaza.
There, a radicalized population has elected a Hamas government determined to eliminate Israel. After Israel unconditionally retreated from the northern Gaza strip—hoping that the Palestinians would concentrate on state building—the territory was immediately used for attacks on Israel. Why has Israel failed to stop them?
Governments here—behemoths whose budgets consume about a half the nation’s $160 billion GDP—are generally dysfunctional. They are hamstrung by constant internal squabbles and Byzantine bureaucracies. As became evident as early as the 1973 Yom Kippur War, their dysfunction has infected the Israeli defense establishment. In that year, a totally surprised Israeli cabinet and military leadership reacted with confusion and ineptness that almost led to the country’s ruin. The recent Winograd Commission of Inquiry report on the Second Lebanon War indicates that these faults are endemic to the over-centralized yet disorganized Israeli system of governance.
More than in most countries, Israeli politicians are preoccupied with political machinations designed to buy support from powerful interest groups by distributing government largesse. This causes not only the factionalization of politics and growing corruption, but consumes time and energy that leadership should use to address life and death issues. As the Winograd Commission attested, Mr. Olmert’s government initiated the Second Lebanon War without proper discussion or preparation. During the relatively long war government and military leaders failed to define their objectives. They issued vague and contradictory directives, causing repeated failures and unnecessary loss of life. Only the exceptional bravery and tenacity of Israel’s soldiers and field commanders and of the rocketed Israeli population saved the day.
Obama's true agenda...Throw Israel Under the Bus
JOHN VOIGHT ON OBAMA'S DISTAIN FOR ISRAEL
A message to the Jewish people and the entire world
Chronicles I - 16:15-18: "Forever remember His covenant that he commanded forever; That He made with Abraham and swore to Isaac; and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant; saying to You I will give the Land of Cannan as your alloted heritage"