Israel Harel touches on one of the key problems forcing the IDF’s hand in this Hizbullah war and other recent military events. It’s an article that should be read from beginning to end.

Since the flight from Lebanon [in May 2000], the IDF has been operating more as a defense force for the IDF than as a defense force for Israel. That is because for a long time, but particularly since the flight from Lebanon, part of the public, particularly those who control the instruments that shape public opinion, have been broadcasting to the IDF that its main mission is “to protect the children” [i.e. the young soldiers] and the commanders have internalized that: In many cases, as proved in this war as well, they avoided decisive battles in order to avoid losses.

The unilateral flight from Lebanon took place because public opinion preferred protecting “the children” (an average of 13 dead a year) to the needs of long-term public security. And in this war we paid many times over for the mistake of that flight.

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  • With all due respect, maybe it’s time to rethink the whole idea of Israel. What would happen if you let it go? Would your ancient sites of worship disappear? Would there be no more Jerusalem? Terrorism bites, but they’ve turned you into robotic killers. And for what? Is this really what G-d had planned for you: one war after another?

  • I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Do elaborate, as I’ve read that you are level-headed and chose the name the middle for that reason.

  • TM, fight a guerilla war is much different than fight a traditional war, which the IDF is good at. Syria and Iran couldn’t really do anything w/ the IAF or with Israel’s advanced weaponry. The Iranian’s fought the Iraqis for 8 years and it wasn’t that conclusive. America decimated the Iraqi army within weeks. And now the US, the best military in the world, is losing b/c of guerilla warfare, exactly the same way Hezbollah fights. If it came down to Israel’s survival Israel would take off the gloves and not worry so much about “civilians.”