Limits of restraint
Dan Shiftan
Published: 17.01.09, 19:02
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44 Talkbacks for this article
1. I disagree.
yehuda ,   Holit, Israel   (01.17.09)
The key ti victory in any conflict is psycological. A war or battle is "won" when those on one side feel that a simbolic victory is acheived. Vice versa for the "loosers" in a conflict cross a simbolic psycological threshhold where they loose the will to fight back. The last conflict lacked that kind of resilution both for us and for islamic extremists. It can be argued that what we are sufering now in the south is a continuation of the lack of conclusion in the last conflict. We cannot stop the current battle until we acheive a victory that we as the Israeli people can feel is decisive and those wishing our distruction can truely loose the will or at least significantly damage their will to fight. We have not acheived that yet and to stop now would only repeat the cycle. I strongly urge the current leadership not to bow to media and international pressure and to aggressivly bring this battle to the conclusion that the Israeli people can truely feel that progress has been made.
2. A very interesting view
Mr Popoff ,   R   (01.17.09)
Well I think Israel has been fighting the war in a different way and so far rather successfully. There have been only relatively minor casualties on the Israeli side while Hamas has suffered heavy losses. But the Israelis are making a grave mistake : they are leaving Hamas leaders intact and in power. It is definitely not enough to win the war, and Israel knows it. It is pretty clear, Hamas will lick its wounds off and start again. Israel has left business unfinished with the radicals, and it will play into the hands of Iran. I thought Israel's leaders were smarter, but they are too dependant on the Uncle in Washington. What can Obama do? He is not very enthusiastic about Israel, I have heard. I am amazed, why Israel has to go into cease-gire now, as the enemy is shocked and bleeding!
3. good article - makes sense
Mark ,   Lodz, Poland   (01.17.09)
Let's make sure that we vote for the party which has this 'political willingness' ,not just in its manifesto
4. Siehst du?
Chrisona ,   Chicago.IL   (01.17.09)
"even though Israel has no operative solution for it [rocket fire]" Rumkowski lives! Israel has an operative response in Gaza already: destroy Hamas and then establish security control over the strip. THAT would stop the rockets. Obviously Shiftan emigrated from Chelm, and his heart is still there.
5. What's missing in this analysis
Lennybruce ,   amsterdam, NL   (01.17.09)
This op-ed piece and most of all the ones I have read recently in Israel press miss one point: no one is talking about peace anymore. The conventional thinking appears to have returned completely to maintaining Israel's security only through military might. That may still the rockets, for a while, but a true solution, one that allows Israel to finally join the community of normal nations is further away than ever and no one seems to care. I wish you luck as the sword will not, can not, protect you forever.
6. #5 - Germany and Japan didn't speak peace either...
William ,   Israel   (01.17.09)
until it became the best option in light of a military onslaughter by the Allies. They were essentially beaten into submission and peace became an option for them when the other costs were too high. This is what must be done with Hamas and other radicals. When the price gets too high for their mis-guided attempts at destroying Israel and Islamic supremacy over the region, then peace may occur - as Egypt and Jordan have figured out. The problem is - Hamas ONLY exists because it wants to destroy Israel and create an Islamic State. If these are removed from its charter then it ceases to exist as it is. So, trying to speak peace with a 2-State solution with them is a lost cause. Either Hamas will be destroyed, or Gazans will demand it to stop. Either way, only peace will happen for both sides at this junction.
7. War is about hurting the other more then being hurt
daniel   (01.17.09)
If they want to fight their bloody resistance, they should feel it pain just ain't worth it. That's the thing. Israel must be willing to extract such a price. It's aweful but it must be done.
8. #6 Interesting but you forget...
Lennybruce ,   amsterdam, NL   (01.17.09)
that using these kinds of parallels are extremely dangerous as you are talking about a traditional war between nations. I am only posing the question: what would the situation look like if over the past 10 yrs, or 5 yrs or even 18 months, that israel had taken tangible, meaningful and significant steps in showing its determination to peace. For example, beginning to evacuate all settlements east of the barrier; or beginning to allocate west bank water resources on an equitable basis; or removing dozens if not hundreds of barriers east of the wall that harass more than secure. Al these measures would pose no security threat and would show that israel's and zionist's ambivalence and conflicts - peace or land - are being resolved in a way that creates real room for viable Palestinian slef-determination.
9. Dan Shaftan
yv ,   Melbourne, Australia   (01.17.09)
I tend to agree with the conclusion, the Arabs got away without sufficient penalties for their indulgences for too long. The motto should be: "You want war? You will get it, but in a war you risk to lose everything you have standing on your patch of land."
10. #5 Lenny-Thanks for your good luck wishes in the meantime!
Alan ,   SA   (01.17.09)
11. #5 WRONG!
lildoobird ,   Jerusalem   (01.17.09)
Diplomacy is what has been rejected by our closest neighbors. When they realize how futile th sword is only then will there be peace. We have shown time and again we are willing to ngotiate and make deep concessions, what have the Palis ever given in return but more demands without fulfilling its obligations to previous treaties.
12. Ultimate War
Zen ,   Londinistan   (01.17.09)
Eventually this conflict will go nuclear. The question is will Israel allow its enemies who are sworn to annihilate it to gain nuclear parity? Israel needs enough deterrence to deal with its neighbours, provide access to oil fields for its allies and deter a third party strike against it. If the Arabs will not live with Israel let them die by it. The alternative is for global Jews to march into ovens again. We have seen that anti-Zionism is a small cloak for anti-Semitism. The world cares more for one casualty of the IDF than it does for one hundred thousand killed by non-Jews.
13. #7 What u been smoking??
Stan ,   Johannesburg   (01.17.09)
Lennybruce from Amsterdam: 1. Israel withdrew from ever inch of Lebanon 2. Israel withdrew from ever inch of Gaza All in the hope that "give them what they want and they will be happy" - like you say. And the result ?? That is why we are here today. So if that didn't work - the opposite must be true - be hard on them and they will respect you. It seems this is all they understand.
14. lildoobird you are absolutely correct excellent post
jared ,   orlando   (01.17.09)
15. Dan dan the flim-flam man
Gur   (01.17.09)
Ah.... so our DELIBERATE DEFEAT at the hands of Kadima is just a CLEVER PLOY so really, we have WON. How utterly clever we are!
16. Lenny, your comment is spot on. Thank you.
Yair ,   Beer-Sheva   (01.17.09)
17. Lennybruce what are you smoking ?
jj ,   Israel   (01.18.09)
We are prepared to make peace with you, despite your ignorance.
18. it is useless and dangerous
bruno ,   bouxwiller   (01.18.09)
to consider sworn enemies of Israel as peace partners. within conflicts of other nations, let's say Georgia and Russia, the peace solution may be found. But ISRAEL is totally different. It is surrounded by non stop enemies who are on their legs only by their hate towards Israel, the beloved nation of God the Almighty.
19. You Still Do Not Get It!!
Mark ,   London,UK   (01.18.09)
Any occupied nation will fight its oppressor and the Palestinians will keep doing so. As long as there are brave men in resistance who love dieing for the sake of their land and living in dignity more than you love life Israel will never have peace. Justice is the answer. The solution I see to this conflict is to return of Palestinian refuges to their land and the settlers going back to where they came from...
20. Dr. Shiftan
Ira ,   New Jersey   (01.18.09)
It is a brilliant analysis. The true believers of Hammas are obviously delusional. The latest confrontation is a form of electric shock therapy. There will have to be a percentage of Hammas members that wiil no longer believe their own B.S. The ultimate key for reality to set in is when hopefully Israel deploys an effective anti- rocket system. They will realize that religious zealotry is a waste of energy and Israel is not going away.
21. Lennybruce
PW ,   Virginia USA   (01.18.09)
your comment would be accurate if the dispute is about land and borders and property rights...This conflict is a religious struggle, no amount of land concessions would appease the Arabs... Thank you Dr. Shiftan for an excellent article.
22. Mr Popoff, 1'st round is a DEMO
jj, Israel   (01.18.09)
23. To Lenny #5. Peace Responds To Peace.
Maansingh ,   The Netherlands   (01.18.09)
You say :”.. no one is talking about peace anymore.” Lenny, if someone (i.e. Hamas et al) want to fight with you (i.e. Israel) -- you will HAVE to fight the opponent. You can NOT and should NOT turn your back to the opponent. IF Hamas et al want to live peacefully with Israel as neighbour -- Israel will live peacefully with Hamas et al as its neighbour. Lenny, peace responds to peace -- fight responds to fight. IF someone (i.e. Hamas et al) want to fight with you (i.e. Israel) -- you can NOT talk peace. TO talk peace while the opponent is interested in fighting you -- is sheer STUPIDITY, makes NO sense, is like looking for a pie in the sky.
24. #8 why should we take down settlements in israeli
r.f.   (01.18.09)
territory? in case rockets will be fired from gaza inadvertantly at them ? maybe gazans shouldn't settle near the border to please israel? you gave israelis a new idea to think about, because israelis don't have the "hutzpa" to think like you. your country has settlements and towns or even cities near it's borders, maybe you hould take them down to show good will to your neighbours, or else suffer from terror? with ideas such as these to indicate normal relations between countries your name must be hussein
25. #5 #8 lenni\hussein we do supply water to palis
r.f.   (01.18.09)
but as israel suffers from serious draught, especially in 2009, israel shall probably have to buy water from europe. maybe you should donate some of your water to the palis, that would really show good will on your part, as we can't help much with something we have a serious shortage of
26. wrong
Israel Israeli ,   Tel Aviv   (01.18.09)
All this article shows is that the election season has begun and Dan Shiftan is a Kadima supporter who can ignore facts and history. Hezbolla was able to defeat Israel in Lebanon II because Israel destroyed the SLA. As long as Israel had full control of Gaza, Judea and Samaria the number of deaths and the expense was minimal. In the entire First Intifada, fewer Israelis died than in the one month of Lebanon II. There were no rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza, Judea and Samaria until Israel signed the Oslo accords. However, the massive rocket attacks only started after the ethnic cleansing of Gush Katif gave the Arabs territory and the perception that Israel can be defeated.
27. I dont think so
Mohammad ,   Jordan   (01.18.09)
The author said "The strategic response is political willingness to sow disproportional destruction and hurt the assets that are dear to those who fire rockets at Israeli population centers". What assets are you talking about??!! Before Gaza operation, Hamas was unpopular outside the Gaza strip because of its last civil war with Fatah "Abbas party", they were under the israeli siege, and they did not have enough money to feed Gaza people. After Gaza operation, Arabs and Muslims start to worship Hamas and what it represents, the amount of donations Hamas is recieving these days is unprecedent (which might be used to fire more rockets into Israel the future" ,the increase in the number of hopeless and orphans who wants to fight Israel and become martyers, and finally, Hamas legitimacy depends on its resistance of the Israeli occupation, and continuing this war is making Hamas the legitimate leadership of the Palestinian people while Abbas and all moderate arabs are the biggest losers. On the other hand, why to ignore the cost of this operation on Israel, the economic cost especially during this global financial crisis, and the political cost which is the distortion of Israel image as a modern country. The operation has not finished yet, and it still too early to speculate the outcome, but from what i am seeing, the logic of the extermists is prevailing on both sides, pro war people always forget that it has been 61 years (since 1948) since we entered this war, which indicates that we are in a vicious cycle. No peace treaty has been signed with the palestinians yet. However, Israel signed two peace traties with Eygpt and Jordan which proves that peace is the only solution, we just should not give up hope and faith.
28. logical
Pat ,   Paris France   (01.18.09)
This doctor seems to be very intelligent and logical, but what happens to Israel the day the Arabs are stronger and use the same tatic?
29. dispicable
AH   (01.18.09)
so you kill their children until they find that resisting occupation is too costly????
30. To Mark #19. Their Homeland Called Kingdom Of Jordan.
Maansingh ,   The Netherlands   (01.18.09)
You say :” The solution I see to this conflict is (the) return of Palestinian refuges to their land.” Mark, the homeland of the Arabs of the ‘British Mandate of Palestine’ is nowadays called the Kingdom of Jordan. (The Kingdom of Jordan became independent from Britain in May 1947.) Mark, the solution I see to this conflict is that ALL the Arabs who doesn’t like to live under Israeli rule -- SHOULD move over to their homeland called the Kingdom of Jordan. BTW the Queen of Jordan is a Palestinian Arab. So all the Palestinian Arabs will feel immense pleasure living under a Palestinian Arab Queen -- they will love it.
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