Monday, December 29, 2008

Enough is Enough !

OK. Israel has made its point. It should now stop the war in Gaza as soon as possible.

Whatever advantage Israel can receive: teaching Hamas that rocketing Israel doesn't pay, weakening the Gaza terrorist infrastructure, and lowering Hamas' status in the eye's of it public - has been done. We are now moving into the phase where the law of diminishing returns takes over. Every day brings fewer advantages, and greater 'costs' to Israel, and more sympathy and "credit" to Hamas.

The above, you may note, is not a moral argument. It is an argument made from Israel's own original declared interest - stopping, or at least lessening, rocket attacks, and weakening Hamas.

But Israel's goals have become confused of late. Now Barak is taking about fighting Hamas "to the bitter end." Israeli generals are talking about "changing the rules of the game." Israeli intelligence is leaking stories (exaggerated I would bet) about rising resistance to Hamas inside Gaza. Politicians are talking about "defeating Hamas," about "cutting off is head." Some Israeli columnists are even suggesting "regime change."

What is Israel's strategy? Why are we continuing this war? How will we know when we have "won"? The Realistic Dove is as confused as I am - but more articulate. Read his take here.

And now many Israelis are slowly beginning to ask why and what for too. According to the Globe and Mail:
A poll released last night in Israel showed that 81 per cent of Israelis favoured the action being taken against Hamas, but only 39 per cent thought it was likely to be effective.
How's that for an entire country thinking with its guts instead of its brains.

But slowly more Israeli voices are being heard opposing this war - at least as it is unfolding:
Read the Magnes Zionist's take on it here, here, and here.
Read David Grossman's call for restraint here.
And even Amoz Oz and A.B. Yehoshua have weighed in in favour of stopping now - although to me it sounds like they are trying to suck and blow at the same time.

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