All is not well in Zion

I get reports from, and this is a paraphrasing of a special report, Israel At Odds With Itself.

Israelis have a saying, “When the cannon roar, we fall silent.” Meaning, as a general rule, partisan bickering and even public contention and controversy are impermissible. This rule has clearly been abandoned in this war.

The public divisions in the Israeli government are at an all time high, moving from extremely confused to the chaotic. The public feuding of government ministers such as the prime minister and foreign minister are unprecedented.

On the one hand the government is saying that the Lebanon offensive will substantially increase today, yet at the same time it is ready to accept yesterday’s cease-fire resolution. The IDF has brought strong pressure to be unleashed and do what they do best, win wars. Yet some government leaders have hinted they have no confidence in the military. And the media has picked up on this so the cacophony and rancor will increase sharply.

The division stems from two conflicting schools of thought: a) defeating Hezbollah will require re-occupation of parts of Lebanon, which will invariably lead to a counterinsurgency thus incurring unacceptable losses via attrition over time, and b) the risk of not doing just that is a much higher cost of the war because it will leave Hezbollah intact, making Hezbollah the victor, thus simultaneously significantly lowering Israel’s military prestige while significantly increasing Hezbollah’s prestige.

Olmert embodies both views, and this vacillation is will cost him politically. Some have speculated that this vacillation was a psyche attack against Hezbollah, but the real damage is to the Israeli psyche.

The cease-fire lacks a timetable. Add to that its requirement of the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah, a problem the Lebanese have not been able to address in the past and will be powerless to comply in the future. Only after that the French are to be added.

So Olmert can accept the cease-fire in theory simply because there is no timeline and disarming Hezbollah is not going to happen. And the cease-fire blames Hezbollah for this war and allows Israel to continue to defend itself.

What is clear is that the Israeli leadership is genuinely concerned about something, what exactly is that concern no one outside the inner circle knows. It’s beyond the obvious at this point. For example, the Israeli public can certainly deal with a high casualties as long as the mission is being accomplished, namely the dismantling and destruction of Hezbollah’s military capacity to strike Israel.

Something is holding Israel back, and fear of casualties is not it. The paralysis and increased confusion of the Israeli government only adds to the mixture of unease, in Israel and worldwide.

Israel can defeat militarily Hezbollah; it’s only a function of time. An imminent cease-fire is what Iran and Hezbollah want so they can propagate it’s claim of victory in the conflict to demoralizing Israelis while emboldening it’s fellow militant Islamics.

What next? Israeli troops may indeed yet be unleashed attacking Hezbollah in it’s traditional lightening fashion.

What does this all mean at the moment? Hezbollah’s emboldening & nerves have not been rattled. Israelis nerves, on the other hand, have been become rattled and flustered. All is not well in Zion.

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Posted on August 12, 2006, in News and politics. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. so, was this war worth the costs? Are the Israelis getting a reward bigger than the losses they will be facing? Or could have other options been used and perhaps kept Israel that aura of invincibility which is a stronger deterrent against aggression than any modern weapon Israel has.

  2. Historians will ask such questions for years to come.

  3. Israelis are already holding their leaders responsible. They see quite clearly what a failure their war in Lebanon was. Now, after a month of fighting Olmert is discussing with Hezbollah terms for an exchange of prisoners. Seems this could have been done over a month ago without over 1000 people dying, methinks…..

    Israel lost its most important asset in this war: aura of invincibility.

    A stateless group stood up to the mighty Israeli military force, something no Arab state had done in the past. If Israel cannot defeat an army of 4000 in Lebanon, how can it stand up to Iran? Iran sees this and feels good.

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