|Staff Sgt. Dor Chaim Nini, 20, and Maj. Yochai Kalangel, 25: Yet more "sacrifices for peace"?|
At least when Peres told the grieving families of terrorist victims that they were 'sacrifices for peace' he was never actually directly part of the plan to have them killed, even if that was the inevitable result of his policies. But it is now becoming increasingly clear that the Israelis killed by Hezbollah yesterday were 'sacrifices for peace' in a much more literal sense. Or, more accurately, they were 'sacrifices to avoid a more serious confrontation with Hezbollah right now as opposed to a bit later'.
Why do I say this? Last week after the brilliant and totally justified pinpointing of Hezbollah and Iranian operatives who were planning a mass terrorist attack from Syria, the Israelis decided to issue what can only be regarded as an apology turning a major victory and deterrence into a grovelling plea that the enemy should not hit us back too hard. On Sunday Israel allowed Hezbollah to fire several rockets from Syria into its territory without any serious response, in the hope that this would somehow satisfy its blood lust for revenge. It clearly did not, because the rocket attacks continued into Monday. Given that Hezbollah has most of its firepower on the Lebanese border it is impossible therefore to explain how the IDF allowed soldiers to be driving close to that border on Tuesday in unarmoured vehicles, unless they were prepared to have their 'sacrifices for peace'. All of the noises coming out of Israel and Hezbollah suggest that indeed Hezbollah has for the time being satisfied its blood lust and that Israel is happy 'not to provoke' Hezbollah.
The IDF has become increasingly politicised to the extent that it can even be characterised as 'lions led by donkeys'. As commentator asherpat points out in response to this article even Mossad and Shabak have become dominated by leftists who feel that appeasement is always the best way forward. In 2004 I had a discussion with Efraim HaLevy (who had just ended his term as Mossad head), after a public talk in which he intimated that he did not really support military action to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon. HaLevy tried to paint himself as the ultimate realist but instead managed to convince me that he was the ultimate defeatist, because he actually said that we could never properly defeat our enemies. He said that there was no way to avoid continued regular future conflicts and his depressing 'realist' strategy was one of concessions and continual containment to ensure the conflicts were only 'minor'. He regarded the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 as a successful example of this strategy.
It is clear Halevy's strategy was accepted by the entire Israel political elite - and has became a self-fulfilling prophecy. In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza which has led to what Halevy would regard as acceptably 'minor conflicts' every two years or so since. The withdrawal from Lebanon resulted in occasional flare-ups and the 'minor war' of 2006. Halevy - like Peres - no doubt considers that the killing yesterday of Chaim Nini and Yochai Kalangel were 'sacrifices for peace' to avoid a broader conflict. Meanwhile Hezbollah becomes more emboldened - and has no deterrence any more from building up its capacity in the Golan Heights - and Iran gets closer to its nuclear weapon.....