Why not victory?

As a distant lover of Israel, I have been genuinely puzzled by its failure to produce a statesman equal to the challenges faced by the country over the past 20 years. In every area of modern life the country boasts a genius that on a per capita basis must be unrivaled. Yet on the world stage its politicians seem almost retarded.
The country has never had a public accounting for the utter disaster that was Oslo. Its politicians seem to keep the country’s citizens in the dark about the nature of its national security strategy and the actions taken to pursue it. Indeed, it seems incapable of having such a conversation for lack of a strategy to begin with.
To take just one small example, is there a politician in the country in the past 20 years who has spoken with the insight and candor of Caroline Glick in this column from tomorrow’s Jerusalem Post?
“Abbas is not Israel’s partner in peace. Abbas is Hamas’s partner in war. That is, he is an enemy of the State of Israel…
“What, really, was this hudna? The hudna was a plan that was concocted by Egypt, the EU, the PA, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. Its declared purpose was to allow terrorist organizations to flourish, operate, and grow unmolested by IDF counterterror operations. The hudna was also geared toward enabling Abbas to continue to exact concessions from Israel, including statehood, without its ever lifting a finger against terrorist groups. That is, the hudna aimed to establish a Palestinian terrorist state run jointly by the PA, Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad under the tutelage of Egypt and the sponsorship of the EU.
“The hudna’s architects never claimed that it involved a complete cessation of terrorist operations against Israel. Because of this, it is not at all strange that, after the Jerusalem massacre both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who jointly claimed credit for murdering Jewish babies and parents, announced that they would continue to adhere to their hudna. There is no contradiction between attacks like the bus bombing and the hudna. The only side whose actions are constrained by the hudna is Israel.
“This constraint on Israel’s operations, of course is a decade old. Last Thursday I found myself engaged in conversation with a young IDF officer. A commander in one of the IDF’s elite counterterror units, the officer contrasted the goal of the IDF with the goal of the US army in Iraq. “They are there to win,” he said of the US army. ‘We are not supposed to win. Our goal is just to survive,’ he told me.
“Who can blame this 22-year-old officer for thinking this way? Since he was 12 years old his government has abandoned the notion of victory, let alone the provision of physical security to the citizens of the State of Israel as a national goal. Since the onset of the Oslo process, the policy of the governments of Israel has been to transfer responsibility for the security of Israelis to our sworn enemy Yasser Arafat and his PA and his strategic partners Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah.
“This policy, which was completely discredited three years ago with the collapse of the Camp David summit, has been maintained and upheld by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in spite of the fact that he was twice elected by a landslide for the direct purpose of reinstating Israel’s security that is, victory over our enemies as the goal of his government. The price of this policy has been steep. Over 400 Israelis were murdered from 1993-2000 and another 900 have been murdered since then…
“A decision to kill, deport, or arrest Arafat and try him for crimes against humanity in an Israeli court of law would be an immediate catalyst for a military operation that would in fact bring this country victory and the security that would ensue. Why is this? Because the only way to win a war is to identify who the enemy is. After 10 years of lying to ourselves, the blood on the streets of our capital city calls out the truth. Hamas and Islamic Jihad could never operate if it weren’t for the PA and Arafat and his new straw men Abbas and Dahlan. The longer our leaders dither and deceive us, the longer our army officers will believe that their work is meaningless and the longer our lives will be at the mercy of our enemies.
“Our future lies in the hands of our leaders. Victory is the only option. What will it take for them to find the will to lead us to it?”


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