Everyone is claiming victory on this one: Israel, Hamas, Egypt and the United States.
Israel is hinting that it has hurt Hamas terribly. Note: it doesn't say it has brought Hamas terrorism under control or that it has destroyed Hamas' ability to launch rockets against Jewish communities in Israel.
Hamas is touting the non-agreement status of the ceasefire, and is declaring that its people are ready for war whenever...
Egypt and the United States just think they are brilliant.
Abandoning the South?
Meanwhile, residents of the South are dismayed, despite a quiet night. I guess I feel like they do. I am happy the missiles and rockets have stopped (although there have been several Red Alerts, and the government is claiming that they are mistakes :) ). I want children to play without fear in the sunshine. I'm thankful that Jewish soldiers do not have to go into Gaza. But I am disappointed that the government has just abandoned the problem without finishing off the terrorists and their ability to strike Israel.
The Gaza situation is a clear cut Damned if you do..and Damned if you don't.
I know the IAF struck more than 1000 rocket targets, but until the moment of the ceasefire and even afterwards, missiles were still being fired. So, perhaps there are thousands more targets. Okay, we know and appreciate what you destroyed. What have you left behind? The Arabs will just rearm and prepare for the next assault, chas v'shalom.
I appreciate the Air Force strikes. I just wish we had let our pilots and soldiers finish the job.
Then again, if the battle would have intensified, Israel would have been blamed and sanctioned for its aggression.
We are currently in the lowest position possible - lose-lose.
If we go in with ground forces, then casualties would add up, chas v'shalom. If we don't go in, we can't wipe Gaza clean of terror.
If we keep this cease fire, then the Arabs can rearm for the future, rebuild their terror infrastructure, and even attack in different ways (as evidenced already with a barrage of stonings, shootings, fire bombings in Israel's cities and on its roads), and we cannot retaliate, because that would escalate the violence. So we have to allow the Arabs to slap us, and injure us, while we lick our wounds and comfort out wounded. Lose-lose.
I appreciate the IDF and the IAF. I pray that Hashem protect them and give them success over their enemies.
But friends, I think if we are going to be criticized anyway, it's important to keep Israel safe for the future. I think Israel's deterrence has to be big and loud and fearsome. Let the nations hate us, but let our people live in safety, even if it's safety and non-peace.
I was going to write ...Win-lose. But it's actually win-win. Because if there's no war between Israel and its Arab neighbors, life could really be beautiful.
** The caption on the top photo of Am Yisrael Chai's facebook page says, "Bibi, we have no problem sleeping on the stairs if you'll just come and destroy their structure."