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Entering Gaza: Why It's Still Worth Entering a Planned Ambush?

In the aftermath of the shock following Hamas terror attack, voices advocating against entering Gaza due to it being a planned ambush by Hamas are growing louder. It is undeniable that it is indeed an ambush, but with the support of Iran, Hamas has laid an ambush in every alternative route that Israel may choose.

Israel finds itself trapped, having to decide whether to enter Gaza or not. It resembles a mouse forced to choose between two holes for escape, knowing that in both, it will encounter a threatening cat. Now, it must decide which cat it's preferable to confront. Those who argue that entering Gaza will come at a terrible cost are correct. There is no doubt that such a move will result in many casualties and escalate the conflict with Hezbollah.

However, the cost of the decision not to enter Gaza is expected to be even higher. The State of Israel was founded in large part due to pogroms in Europe, and here we are witnessing one of the largest pogroms in modern Jewish history (other than the Holocaust). The societal fracture following the Yom Kippur War will turn out to be marginalized compared to the one we are going to experience now. The communities by side the border with Gaza, including Sderot and the northern border communities, are expected to be abandoned, and eventually, so will the settlements in the Golan Heights. Lack of trust in the IDF will have dramatic consequences for national resilience. The image of Israeli strength will be damaged globally, along with the motivation for Saudi Arabia to join the Abraham Accords. The major story, of course, lies in the Palestinian arena, where Hamas will achieve a tremendous symbolic victory that will resonate across the Middle East.

Cats ambush a mouse


The decision not to enter Gaza at this time implies treating the war as yet another round of fighting. In each round, we encounter a stronger enemy, and this time will be no different. We will face a stronger Hezbollah, a stronger Hamas, and a larger Iranian presence in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. Most importantly, without entering Gaza, there is no guarantee that the next pogrom will not occur. In short, if we do not enter now, we will have to enter in another two or three years with a much weaker opening position.

For those who remain unconvinced, imagine that we are in May 2021 (Operation Guardian of the Walls), and miraculously able to see the future and understand that if Hamas is not destroyed, around 1,300 people, including children and the elderly, will be killed in about two years. If you knew all this back then, wouldn't you think entering Gaza is necessary?

We are in a war that we did not initiate. If we do not recognize this, we will lose it.


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