25 August '14..
Who said there is no plan? From the start the plan has been to ensure long-term quiet, based on weakening Hamas. You cannot tack on goals that never existed -- toppling Hamas or renewing the diplomatic process -- and then complain that they were not met.
Israel does not need to involve itself in the question of who should control Gaza. If Hamas wants to continue ruling, it must accept Israel's demands. For now, Gaza is being pummeled and senior Hamas leaders are being killed. Hamas itself is helping demilitarize the Strip by using up its supply of bombs. Despite the nonsense being tossed about, Hamas does not have the initiative; what it has is the choice of whether to continue taking a beating or accede to Israel's demands.
The Europeans, the Americans, and some on the Left want to bring down the Hamas regime -- not out of hate for Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal, but rather out of love for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and a desire to restart negotiations. Abbas, too, wants to build himself up on the ruins of Hamas. Its desire notwithstanding, it is not a bad thing that Hamas remains weak in Gaza. It would be a living gravestone over the burial of the idea of a Palestinian state within spitting distance of the heart of Israel.
Big heroes have called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz "cowards." Unbelievable. The geniuses also said that "we wrecked the Israeli deterrence." Where did this come from? Do they have enough perspective to make an evaluation like that? Certainly not. So what is this drivel? Dubbing the Israeli leadership "cowardly" is actually a shot in the arm for Hamas.
On Thursday, asked about Israeli policy, Israel Prize laureate Professor Yehezkel Dror responded more or less that because he wasn't familiar with the intelligence, military, international and legal reports, he could not express a serious opinion that would not be considered rubbish.
Israel has fronts besides the southern one, and there, too, our enemies are waiting. Inside Israel, as well. And there is the complex international system: the U.N., Europe, and America, which is why Israel agreed to the multiple cease-fires. Israeli society, with all its different opinions, is also a factor that must be considered. Social unity and steadfastness are strategic assets.
Haaretz and its minions are working day and night to chip away at this unity. Last Friday, man of destruction Yossi Sarid found the party responsible for the mortar fire on southern Israel -- the settlers. What an obscenity! The same bunch that ridiculed all the predictions of those who opposed the "disengagement" from Gaza continues to spread venom and hate. Sarid rivals Ovid's aging Sybil. The older he gets, the more he shrivels from hate and fury until it will eventually consume him entirely. Every rocket and mortar fired at us from Gaza is labeled "Peace Now" in giant letters. Because that is the truth the current fighting has taught us: From Hamas' perspective (and the broader Arab perspective as well) we are all "settlers" in our homeland, regardless of imaginary border colors.
We need patience and restraint to reach continued quiet. "Iron nerves," as Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook once said. Hamas' strategy rests on rocket weapons and tunnels. They have both failed and been blocked. Hamas also plotted terrorist attacks from the sea and failed. The results it has obtained are comparatively pathetic, and its losses very heavy. Anyone who doubts that is welcome to watch the broadcasts of the hostile television networks: BBC, CNN, and the Palestinian and Hamas-run stations.
The many rocket launches these past few days show that Hamas is in hysteria, not only because of the steep price it has paid (including the lives of senior officials) but also because the moment of truth is coming closer and it desperately wants some kind of achievement. We must not respond with our own hysteria. We need to keep upping the pressure on the enemy. Until then, we need patience. And faith.