It appears my assertion regarding the government’s reasoning for Operation Cast Lead was correct. Now that Israel seems to be actually winning in Gaza, it seems like Livni and Barak are in favor of an early end to the operation.
“Livni contends that continuing the offensive could harm the deterrence it has achieved so far and damage Israel diplomatically.” Has she not learned anything? Anything Israel does in self-defense will harm Israel’s diplomatic image. Furthermore, she is just throwing around the word “deterrence” for populist reasons. True deterrence will only be restored if Israel truly routs the enemy – if Israel forces a de facto surrender, if not on paper. Stopping now will grant Hamas bragging rights, which are worth a lot more in the Middle East than in kindergarten. Bragging rights practically determine who won and who lost, and Hezbollah has been bragging plenty since 2006.
One last point – Olmert is now against an early end to the operation, accurately stating that “stopping Operation Cast Lead now would be a missed opportunity.” I am really not sure what brought about this change in the outgoing PM. Is this an attempt at some sort of redemption? Can anyone shed some light on the topic?
I truly hope that Israel will not stop yet another operation halfway through. Unfortunately, history shows that the only way to truly gain respect in the Middle East is to be feared. Fear, as a result of a resounding victory. Israel has not won such a victory since 1973 (despite the initial stages of that war). Israel needs to win this war, and stopping it now is not the way to do it.