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ANALYSIS / The IDF model that failed in Lebanon succeeded in Gaza

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Fozzledick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:49 AM
Original message
ANALYSIS / The IDF model that failed in Lebanon succeeded in Gaza
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff

It was almost inevitable that most Israelis would be left with a somewhat sour feeling at the end of the war in Gaza. The left was furious about the killing of Palestinian civilians and the widespread destruction wrought across Gaza; the right was angry at the security cabinet for not letting the Israel Defense Forces win. The soldiers in the field were sorry that the operation ended without the return of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit. And the media quickly moved to cover the inauguration of Barack Obama. By midweek, the Gaza campaign had already been relegated to the back pages of the papers.

No few myths that had been cultivated - in these pages, too - were proved false by the operation. The ground operation did not exact large-scale Israeli casualties, the rocket fire was considerably reduced due to the presence of IDF troops in Gaza, and the army withdrew without an organized "exit plan." On the other hand, the prewar assumption that it would be difficult to achieve a clear-cut victory in a confrontation with Hamas was proven correct. Far from raising a white flag, Hamas hurried to mark the IDF's departure with victory processions.

The public's partial disappointment stems from the disparity between the expectations that developed against the backdrop of the relatively smooth entry of the ground forces, and the difficulty of translating the fighting into an arrangement that would vanquish Hamas. Israel's leaders knew from the outset that these were unrealistic expectations, but even several General Staff officers this week maintained that Israel was only four kilometers away from delivering a crushing defeat to Hamas. That was the distance between the forward paratroopers in the north of Gaza City and their buddies from the Givati Brigade in the city's southern part. If the circle had been closed, so this argument goes, we would have seen a different outcome.

For the IDF, the Gaza operation was a corrective experience in the wake of the failure and humiliation it sustained during the Second Lebanon War. The conditions of the confrontation facilitated the army's task: Not only did Hamas turn out to be a weaker foe than Hezbollah, but the performance of the Israeli officers improved, from Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi to GOC Southern Command Yoav Gallant, from the brigade commanders, who raced ahead, to the logistics personnel. But we should also remember the situation in which the IDF's top brass found itself (in part, of course, due to its own fault) at the outbreak of the previous war.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057933.html
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Fozzledick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. Egyptian official: Israel achieved all of its military goals in Gaza
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 11:56 AM by Fozzledick
By Haaretz Service and Army Radio

Paratrooper commander: IDF reached its goals in Gaza operation

An Egyptian official has said that Israel achieved all of its military objectives during "Operation Cast Lead" in the Gaza Strip, having exacted serious blows to Hamas and it's infrastructure, according to an article published in the Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat on Saturday.

The official is quoted in the article as saying that senior Hamas leaders are still in hiding out of fear of Israel Defense Forces strikes, and that Israel is not interested in pursuing a new calm or Tahadiyeh with the militant group.

On Friday, the commander of the IDF Paratroopers' Brigade, Colonel Hertzi Halevy, said that the IDF achieved its goals during Cast Lead, according to Israel Radio.

During an interview with Israel Radio, Halevy said that no one expected to rid the Strip entirely of rocket launchers or smuggling tunnels, but that the operation will teach Hamas that "a second round won't be such a good idea."


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1058232.html

The rhetoric here strikes me as a bit overblown, but Hamas does suddenly seem to be a lot more willing to negotiate, as per recent reports regarding border monitoring and a possible prisoner exchange.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. time will tell.....
these things take more than a few weeks for the repercussions to actually start being felt......there is a subtle realigning of the stars going on... whether it be good or bad is yet to be seen
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Tripmann Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Read:
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 12:47 PM by Tripmann
Spokesman for american/israeli backed dictatorship in Egypt claims that tactics which failed against hezbollah fighters worked against caged refugees armed with ak-47s and homemade rockets.

At least your news source is unbiased :sarcasm:
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Fozzle, you falsely assume something here
You falsely assume that Hamas was totally against compromise and diplomacy before this operation. That is patently false, Hamas has offered no fewer than 15 long-term peace proposals to Israel since the 1990s. There are some who would love to come to an agreement inside Hamas, and obviously some who would not, but don't paint them all with the same broad brush of ignorance.
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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Hamas's idea of compromise:
a "lull" so that they can rearm with more powerful and dangerous weapons and complete their goal of "liberating all of greater Palestine".

Talk about dumb to think the Israelis would fall for that nonsense.

Thats no compromise.

Compromise would mean actually stopping terrorism and acknowledging that Israel is here to stay,

But we won't see that from a murderous terrorists in Hamas.
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Why does Hamas terrorize Israel?
Do you have ANY idea?

Hint: it isn't because they "hate you for your freedom"
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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I can't help you with that, because it is such a dumb question nt
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Dumb question because you don't know the answer, eh?
Educate yourself more, please.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Question for you: Why has Israel maintained a seige on Gaza?
It's not because they enjoy making Palestinians suffer for no reason.
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. To stop the suicide bombings was the reason Israel gave
But, Israel was aware (or at least certain people made light of) that their policy of extrajudicial killings was not going to come without repercussions. The suicide bombings didn't start until Israel starting killing innocent Palestinians. The first suicide bomb ever was in 1994, and it was in retaliation for an off-duty IDF reservist opening fire and killing 30+ Arabs in prayer in Hebron. After that, they executed dozens of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al-Aqsa leaders- all illegally. The blockade was a result of the suicide bombers coming from Gaza, but they don't tell you that the suicide bombers were being sent because Israel illegally assassinated Sheikh Yassin.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. In response to some of your points
You claim that the suicide bombings didn't start until Israel started killing innocent civilians, but I would hardly call the horrific Baruch Goldstein murders an example of "Israel killing innocent civilians." It's not like he was sent by the government to go kill people. His deranged killing spree was condemned by the government and the organization he belonged to was labelled a terrorist organization and outlawed.

The suicide bus bombing which followed was launched deliberately by Hamas (as you mentioned) who proudly claimed responsibility for that attack.

Exactly one week later, Hamas launched another suicide bombing attack at a bus station in Israel which they also proudly took responsibility for.

A few months later, Hamas launched an even more deadly suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv which was launched in response to the Israel-Jordan peace treaty that was being signed at that time.
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. You forget the man was in the IDF, why?
I don't believe he was acting on orders, but should Israel not be held accountable for his actions, especially considering he was a member of their military? People ask why someone would want to blow themselves and others up, I told you why they first started. It was called a massacre at the time, and rightfully so. Who cares if his actions were condemned by the Israeli government, it happened and those people are still dead, right?

Consider this. When Hamas and Israel engaged in that Egyptian-brokered peace deal on June 19th of last year, there were around 30-40 rocket and mortars fired from Gaza until November 4th (until the IDF killed 6 Palestinians in a raid into Gaza), all from extremist groups - but none from Hamas. Hamas arrested dozens of members from these groups after it was found out they were behind the attacks, but still the Israeli media (and the Pro-Israeli propagandists on here) tried to blame Hamas for this. Things happen that is outside of your control, but I was told that they must be held accountable for anything that someone living in their territory does. So my question, why must Hamas be held to higher standards than Israel when it comes to breaking the peace?

Whether he was a rogue extremist or not, the killing took place, and Hamas retaliated. When Israel decided to assassinate Sheikh Yassin, there were those who opposed the resolution- even inside Sharron's own cabinet, saying how it would hurt the peace process, etc. But one voice had something far more prescient to say: he accused Sharron of signing death certificates of thousands of Israeli's. His prophetic words came to pass, and there was a general rise in violence from Gaza. No Israeli citizen is safer today than they were just 4 months ago, and no Israeli citizen has ever been more safe because their government has a habit of assassinating Palestinian leaders they don't see eye-to-eye with.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. National military service is mandatory
I do not think it is fair to categorize Goldstein's actions as "Israel attacking civilians". Certainly Israel should have (and would have) punished him for this heinous crime had he not been killed himself in the attack. This was a criminal attack and the people who killed Goldstein were completely justified in doing so. What is not justified is to then go and deliberately kill innocent people on a bus who had nothing to do with this incident.

And while 1994 was the year of the first suicide attack against Israeli civilians, the PLO had conducted numerous terror attacks against Israelis in the decades prior to that attack and of course violence between Israelis and Palestinians had been ongoing for some time, often with civilians being targeted.

As to your other point about the rocket attacks, I think that Hamas did a pretty good job of maintaining quiet during that six month period. There were of course the rockets they launched after November 4th that they claim was in response to the tunnel incident that you cited, but other than that, the rockets that were launched from Gaza were mainly launched by groups other than Hamas. I think the Israeli media was actually pretty fair in categorizing this period.

After this period, however, Hamas did make it clear that they were ending the truce by launching a barrage of rockets against Israel in December. This does not seem to have been the wisest course of action. Certainly the people of Gaza are not safer today as a result of the decisions that Hamas has taken vis-a-vis its approach to Israel.
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I agree with your last statement
The leadership on both sides need to be thrown in jail and tried for war crimes after all they have done to impede peace.

I wasn't trying to justify killing civilians, nor defend the actions of Hamas, but you asked why this happened and I told you- right or wrong for them to retaliate in that way. It happened because of another incident, a massacre perpetrated by an Israeli unto Palestinians. Whatever his affiliations are, or if their were orders or not, does not truly matter. Hamas saw it as "They attacked our kind," and being in part a militant group, they responded how they know best. It is disgraceful that they do not realize that violence doesn't advance their agenda- and I am talking about both sides.

There are many on this board that think Palestinians have a love for wanton violence, and that they just happened to decide one day to build Qassam rockets and fire them at Israel, completely unprovoked. Their is no victim here, except the innocent civilians on both sides.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. I agree with some of your statements too
That's always a good thing when we can find areas of agreement in spite of some differences of opinion.

Let's hope that President Obama and his administration can help guide the Israelis and Palestinians towards a lasting peace.

It'd be nice not to need this particular forum anymore.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Racist and xenophobic. Is that all you can muster in response?
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Fozzledick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Accurate and to the point
and I believe your inflammatory diversion shows your own inability to respond.

BTW, sorry the experiment failed...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Fozzledick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. No, you falsely assume I assume your assumption
What I actually said was that they seem more willing to negotiate now, and I've commented before on the discord between the Gaza and Damascus factions.

I don't think much of their so-called "peace proposals" though. They generally amount to "We're willing to accept Israel submitting to all of our demands at once, and then maybe we'll consider a 'hudna' until we're re-armed and ready to attack again".
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Way to generalize
They offer peace, and Israel says "no we aren't making concessions."

Peace is worth less to Israel than it is to Hamas.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well no shit. The military situation was completely different
and totally in favor of the IDF. On the other hand, Hamas has not been 'liquidated', that wonderful term that evokes 1930's and 40's totalitarian regimes, and instead remains firmly in control of the 1.4 million or so inmates.
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GoesTo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Assad congratulates Mashaal on Hamas's 'victory' over Israel
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Fozzledick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. He would say that regardless, wouldn't he?
Hamas' grand strategy to provoke an uprising in Egypt and force the opening of the Rafah crossing without restrictions didn't quite work though.
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Tripmann Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. We could, of course, say the same
in relation to your original post.
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