Hamas knows well that the worst thing it can do to the current Israeli government is force it to shift from the pleasant state of providing explanations and meaningless statements to the much more problematic state of acting.
Therefore, in exchange for the fuel that enters Gaza and for the Gaza prisoner release as a “gesture to Mahmoud Abbas” without getting anything in return such as information about Gilad Shalit’s condition, Hamas provides the Israeli government with fuel for its own excuses – which by now have turned into a joke, notwithstanding the fact that thousands of southern residents are suffering because of it.
Just like the word “peace,” cast a magic spell on Israel and paralyzed it in its war against Arafat’s terror, the word “lull” has now become one that paralyzes any normal response on the part of the government in the face of Hamas attacks on our citizens.
The process is simple and well-oiled – along with the attacks, Hamas produces verbal explanations for its actions that are commensurate with the “lull” desires of current Israeli leaders. The Hamas statements are presented to Israeli “reporters,” who recycle them as is for the benefit of defense establishment heads. They, in turn, are happy to receive them, as they serve the attitude of “sit and do nothing until your term in office is over” that guides them.
What happened seven or eight years ago is not the distant past, and the conclusions we can draw from this regarding Defense Minister Barak and his genuine abilities speak for themselves. Barak and his comrades have already tried, and failed, in using a war of words only against the terror that emerged out of Judea and Samaria.
However, their terrible failure, which left hundreds of Israeli casualties, does not stop them from continuing to manage the war against Hamas today in line with the exact same principles. The result is the methodical and frightening recycling of the same mistakes, whose price and ultimate end result are known in advance.
The previous terror war that was waged in Judea and Samaria, the one that started in 2000, was won only after Barak left the Defense Ministry. Hamas knows this and therefore it will do everything in order to act in a way that provides Barak the opportunity to utter “level-headed and wise” statements that are no more than a testament to his impotence.
The man who was a brave officer full of initiative has turned into a lazy and hedonistic general who makes calculations and weighs considerations that have nothing to do with Israel’s security.
Ehud Barak has become a strategic asset for Hamas and therefore he must leave the Defense Ministry as soon as possible. On the same occasion, Ministry heads would do well to remove the plaque in memory to Yitzhak Rabin at the entrance, which teaches us that the IDF has become the “army of peace” and is tasked with waging the “war for peace” rather than defending the State of Israel.
With all due respect to the designers of the plaque, the many statements made by Rabin include more suitable quotes regarding what is needed of the IDF, topped by its duty to protect the citizens of Israel against those who plot against them.
Colonel (res.) Yehuda Wegman is an instructor and expert on military doctrines and IDF history