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What Should Be the Objectives of the War?

Israel is at a pivotal juncture. The reasons against toppling the Hamas regime in Gaza are significant, encompassing the risk of a full-blown conflict with Hezbollah, doubts about the IDF's competence, concerns about overseeing two million Palestinians again, and the safety of hostages in Gaza.


This is why we think this should be the goal after all. 

This conflict must be viewed within a broader framework. Iran has devised a strategic plan against Israel, anchored in recurring bouts of combat aimed at wearing down Israeli society (see yesterday’s newsletter). With each encounter, Israel grapples with an increasingly sophisticated adversary and tighter coordination between Gaza and Lebanon.

What Should Be the Objectives of the War?

The potential harm to Israeli hostages is heart-wrenching. However, the stakes are existential. As long as Hamas is in power, Iran can bolster it for subsequent confrontations. Thus, neutralizing Hamas becomes imperative due to a confluence of factors:

  • Despite this past year's polarization, the war's onset has fostered a rare sense of national unity and resilience.

  • While Hamas is primed to counter an Israeli offensive in the Strip, a war declaration permits Israel to deploy tactics previously held back. We've detailed these in a policy paper submitted to the Israeli government today. Gaza will not turn into an Israeli Vietnam, as American soldiers there did not see the relations between their presence there and safeguarding their families.

  • Hamas's initial strike has severely tarnished its public image, drawing comparisons to ISIS. The current wave of Western support for Israel might be fleeting.

  • A campaign against Hamas could escalate tensions with Hezbollah. However, this is a calculated gamble. Iran risks destabilizing Hezbollah's dominance in Lebanon, the Assad regime's stability, and potential derailment of its nuclear ambitions. The next confrontation will see a fortified Hezbollah and increased Iranian influence. Severing Gaza from this regional nexus is vital.

While ousting Hamas won't resolve Gaza's issues, it's evident that most alternatives are preferable to a Gaza governed by a well-equipped, disciplined terrorist army driven by a lethal ideology. This might necessitate temporary control of the Palestinian populace until governance is transferred to the Palestinian Authority, which Hamas once overthrew.

Eliminating the Hamas regime could transform the Gaza predicament from an uncontrollable regional challenge to a manageable local one. Any IDF operation, regardless of its magnitude, that doesn't culminate in Hamas's downfall will fall short. Israel's actions should be steered by strategic objectives, not vengeance.

Israel is at a defining moment. We must recognize that we're defending our homeland, even if the cost is steep


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