Many Arabs in Gaza want war against Israel. Their political Charter demands it. A nuclear war excites them. But that’s for the future. They seem instead to want real war right now--on their terms, so men can fire rockets at Israel and run.
In the first thirteen days of November, 2012, they fired perhaps 260 rockets at Israeli civilians in southern Israel. That’s once every 45 minutes, just the right interval to keep a million Jews in Israel sprinting repeatedly to bomb shelters.
This was their kind of war: lots of rockets into Israel, irrelevant property damage but a million Israeli civilians terrorized.
Bombing civilians is a serious war crime, but if the Arabs do not make a mistake here, this could be a good war because they’re good at it. Their battle-plan seems to be based partly on four war-concepts which they seem to have perfected; and each links directly to your TV screen.
Perhaps this is the Gaza battle-plan:
First, Israel’s military must be neutralized. It’s too powerful to confront head-on. It must be constrained—and then handcuffed.
Gazans constrain Israel’s military by moving the battlefield into civilian populations. That may be another war crime, but they don’t care about that because no one else seems to care. They also know that Israel is terrified of killing civilians because Western nations blame Israel when Hamas’ human shields die.
They handcuff Israel’s military by formatting these civilian battlefields to fit your TV screen. You see, your TV determines what you believe. That’s why this conflict is a TV war. This is reality TV with ‘david-the-good-guy’ fighting ‘Goliath-the-bad-guy’.
Without your TV, the Arabs cannot win this war.
Second, attacks against Israel must be organized in an asymmetric (unconventional) manner. They must also be unrelenting.
In theory, tiny flies that never go away annoy a powerful beast. Flies that attack in unpredictable, relentless waves can drive that beast away.
Israel’s enemy in Gaza is spread across disparate groups. These groups appear to have no coordinated organization. But they know that, even when attacks against Israel are not coordinated, the impact of those attacks is no different from a pre-planned assault.
Think of a pack of wolves attacking a prey. Each lunge by each wolf is based on opportunity, not plan; but the total effect has the look and feel of a pre-planned assault.
Wolves who kill know how to work together to achieve a common goal.
Those who would destroy Israel organize on the conceptual level and execute at the cell level. This approach is safe, it’s extremely asymmetric and because this type of fighting focuses on the individual, it creates great TV images.
In this war, it’s Israel versus your TV screen.
Third, the battlefield must be managed to Israel’s disadvantage. Unless backed into a corner, Arab fighters in Gaza will not engage the Israeli army. They will harass that army—and then film the results. The battlefield then transfers to film. Film can be edited.
Watch your TV screen. David-the-Arab can out-manoeuvre Goliath- the-Jew.
Fourth, Israel must fear the pressure of deterrence.
In practice, (see Wikipedia, deterrence, for a quick definition), deterrence refers to the use of threat in order to compel an adversary to do something—or prevent him from doing something.
Arabs watch Israel on TV. They know that if an Israeli attack against Gaza kills civilians, the United States could turn hostile to her; the European Union could turn hostile; and the United Nations could support unilateral Palestinian statehood. The threat of world reaction, in other words, compels Israel to hesitate defending itself.
That threat—and this version of a Gaza battle-plan--worked for most of this year. Between January I, 2012 and October 30, Gazans fired perhaps 600 rockets at Israeli civilians, sometimes paralyzing Israel’s south. Israel’s only response was tit-for-tat because they had been compelled by world leaders to go no further.
Israel hesitated to defend herself. Apparently, she felt the fear of deterrence.
Until November, the Gazan battle-plan looked good.
Then, something changed. As November began, Gazans fired 77 rockets over a 72-hour period. A few days later, they fired an additional 100 rockets over a 48-hour period ending November 12. Perhaps this was a mistake because, suddenly, tit-for-tat couldn’t keep up; on November 14, 2012, Israel decided to stop fearing world opinion. She decided instead she needed to stop the rockets. She attacked Gaza.
Israeli soldiers are now in harm’s way. We pray for their safety.
The Arabs now appear to have their war-for-TV. They even have a propaganda machine. It has been reported that Gazans have used at least two false pictures and one staged video to show ‘civilians’ killed or injured by Israel.
Faked pictures for faked casualty numbers: it’s perfect TV scripting.
Will the Gaza battle-plan work?
That depends upon how you react to your TV screen.