Those of us who supported the Disengagement from Gaza have had to watch over the years as Israel responded with relative silence to the ongoing Qassem rocket attacks on Israeli communities such as Sderot and others in the Western Negev. While it was wise for Israel to leave Gaza, there had to be a strong Israeli response to Palestinian attacks and the construction of strong military capabilities by Hamas. Yet, the Israelis, both under Sharon and Olmert, did little. The attacks continued and, if anything, the pressure was felt by Israel and Israelis while the Palestinians, under Hamas’s methodical leadership, continued to build their forces.

This was not a recipe for success as far as Israel was concerned. Then again, neither was attacking since it was bound to involve serious losses to IDF personnel and cause ethical concerns regarding Gaza’s civilian population which is used as a shield for Hamas, an organization that likes to emulate Hizbullah’s placement of arms and attacks inside civilian areas.

Today, after a week of watching the Palestinians use the conclusion of a flawed “cease fire” to launch dozens of rockets at Israeli communities, the Israelis finally hit back. They used the IAF to target numerous Hamas buildings and it appears that over 100 and possibly 150 Palestinians – many of them security personnel – have been killed. Another 200 have been injured.

Israel has threatened to proceed with more attacks, but nobody is naive enough to think this day will stop the Palestinians. At most it will slow them. This is, however, the best way to reach Hamas and to protect Israel: take the fight into their side and keep them on their toes by attacking anything military or security oriented in Gaza. Sending in ground forces will not be necessary at this point, although the Israelis may feel that they have to use ground forces to “clean up” the area. Israel should remember that sending troops into Gaza will prevent it from leaving again because they will have to come back in some months anyway. Better to avoid this as long as possible.

By the way, expect many media outlets to turn on Israel within the next 48 hours. Also, expect to see some “civilian” building collapse and dusty dead bodies to appear before the cameras, a lesson well learned in Lebanon where a similar event turned the tide against Israel with ferocious speed.

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  • First off i never was one of those people that supportted the “Disengagement” I’m watching CNN at the moment and they have all the pity the poor palestine pictures on.I cannot remember EVER seeing anything on CNN about Sderot since the kassams started in 2005.Middle you give the news media to much credit,48 hours more like 48 seconds.The coverage on the BBC will probadly be even worse i can see the headlines now.World condems Israel attacks and show some poor little child all covered with blood.But not say a thing about the whole generation of children in Sderot that suffer from PTSD and cannot have one day to play without hearing a siren.

  • Jewlicious friends, stop worrying about CNN, BBC and the like. Leopards don’t change their spots and these media outlets won’t change their pro-palestinian bias. Just keep doing what you’re doing – creating a balanced, factual Jewish viewpoint of the conflict on the web. Good job.

  • I supported the Disengagement, and silly as it may sound I’d still support it.

    I am glad that Israel finally undertook this mission, curious to see how it will play out in the Jewish controlled media.

  • Disengagement always equaled appeasement to me. I never supported it. Anyone with a decent grasp of history should never have supported it. Does Czechoslovakia in 1938 remind anyone of anything? Land for peace actually means land for pieces. As those who gained the land are just going to demand another piece of land and another piece of land.

  • Better late then never, right? After the lie of the disengagement. After a few thousands missles, rockets, and mortars. After living for three years of horror in the south. Olmert/Livni/Barak are finally letting the army win. I really hope that their motivation is sincere and not entirely related to the elections in which they are viewed as Winograd losers.

    Beautiful pictures being provided by the wire services of many uniformed terrorists dead or injured. There is no happiness with the death of people, only satisfaction that the punishment they have inflicted on Jews is being avenged.

    But in the post-Shabbat press conference, Olmert already announced that the operation is doomed from the beginning. He announced that the mission is not against the Palestinian people but against Hamas. I’m definitely not saying that the mission should be against the civilians, but the statement should have been worded stronger giving them all a warning not to support terror.

    As for Shalit, at least Olmert mentioned him.

  • Let’s hope it works, and isn’t simply a page from the Lebanon playbook, i.e. an over-reliance on air power when ground forces are needed. Sounds like Olmert is planning an extended, phased operation, so we’ll see.

  • May G-d protect the soldiers of Israel.

    And may they help the “soldiers” of Hamas get their hoped-for, and richly deserved, “martyrdom”.