Friday, July 06, 2007

Maybe Barak Doesn't Need a Large Operation


Maybe I am not so smart. Maybe Ehud Barak will not need to start a major operation in Gaza to prove his mettle and improve his popularity.

In a previous posting, I predicted that Barak would start a major Operation in Gaza sometime in August or September: this primarily for domestic political purposes, to prove he is a worthy defense minister, and the best candidate for Prime Minister after Ehud Olmert's, no doubt, shorter than average one term in office.

But two headlines in today's Haaretz - "IDF pull out of Gaza After Killing 11 Palestinian Militatnts", and "Barak becoming increasingly popular as candidate for PM" - lead me to suspect he may be able to accomplish his goal with "only" a series of relatively minor operations. If he can keep these up, and convince the Israeli public that he is tough but balanced, and that he indeed can keep towns like Sderot relatively safe, we may be all spared the "major operation" which I predicted. And with Hamas so desperately trying to prove its "respectability" to the world, it may actually voluntarily cooperate reducing rocket attacks on Israel in the next few months. This despite it militant calls for immediate revenge.

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