Monday, November 19, 2012

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Dear Mr Netanyahu,

Firstly, I commend you on your masterful handling of diplomacy in conducting this war in Gaza.  When even Catherine Ashton finds herself forced to issue supportive statements of Israel, one has to say that you are doing things really well.  In the age of Twitter and Facebook, international diplomacy is no less important than the actions of the troops on the ground.  Kol hakavod!

As an Israeli citizen (and, I might add, a Likud branch committee member here in Beit Shemesh), I would like to understand, though - what is your goal in this military operation?

I ask, because I remember Operation Cast Lead not so long ago, when our forces went in, dusted up a few terrorist hot spots, and then left.  At the cost of a miraculously small number of lives, and a huge amount of defence budget.  Now, 6 years later, Hamas is stronger than it was before Cast Lead, and our position in the international community is weaker than ever in our history.

Is this going to be Operation Cast Lead II, where we go in again, dust out a few more terrorist sites, and walk out again, so that in another 5 or 6 years we can do it all over again, but perhaps next time against a Hamas armed with "dirty" nuclear bombs?

I trust that you are in the best position in the country to judge our strategic position, and I do not presume to say that I could make better decisions from my armchair than you do.  But from my limited perspective, I cannot understand why we would bother wasting our resources on a military adventure of this scale of risk and expense, and putting the entire country through the trauma of war, if we do not intend to prosecute it to its logical conclusion: vanquishing the enemy outright and reconquering Gaza.  I don't care how much the world would condemn us for it; their condemnations are worth nothing against the hundreds or thousands of Jewish lives it would save, and the million people living under constant threat of attack.

So I would just like to understand from you: what is the goal of this operation?  And if you do not intend to re-take Gaza, then how are you planning to prevent this situation from happening again after the "ceasefire", once Hamas has had time to re-stock their arsenal with the best of Iranian and North Korean weaponry?

May the G-d of Israel bless you and your ministers with wisdom, so that you may guide us to a resounding victory over our enemies!

Sincerely, and with best wishes

Shaul (Saul) Behr
Software system architect / code warrior

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