Thursday, 12 March 2009

Israel suffered 'strategic defeat' in Gaza war

An article on Ynetnews today reveals the extent of the strategic defeat suffered by Israel in its 22-day war against Gaza.

The fact that the recent rocket barrages by Islamic Jihad have seen the use of 'enhanced' Grad missiles means Israel failed in its central objective of stopping the missile fire and its repeated strikes on the tunnels failed to stop the weapons getting into the strip, assuming that was the main route of transit.

Israel also failed to secure the release of its prisoner of war Shalit and this has created something of a political crisis for Olmert, with his parents camped outside his office and for any incoming government.

But the worst aspect of the defeat, and in this regard the similarities with the US invasion of Iraq are striking, is on the diplomatic front - what the New York Times referred to as the the weapon of world public opinion when trying to explain the isolated position of the UK and US in Iraq.

Israel has seen support ebb away from among one-time core supporters in the Jewish population of places like the UK and US.

This is how Israeli commentator Martin Sherman laments the fallout:

"But perhaps worst of all, both in Lebanon and in Gaza, was the calamitous diplomatic defeat that Israel sustained, and the grave blow - of potentially strategic significance - which its international standing and image suffered."

And Sherman, bemoaning the lack of a 'decisive victory' - namely the visible destruction of Hamas - now fears that the pressure on Israel will intensify, and could eventually lead to the lifting of the siege.

Well done Hamas, your steadfastness has rattled the Israeli war machine.

See article on ynetnews


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