THE SYMBOLISM OF (KIDNAPPING) GILAD SHALIT
(CHRONICLE OF WAR, JULY 2006)
We have to understand that this episode in the long attrition war between Israel and Palestine terrorist factions is the drop that tilted the glass. Is a clear provocation, but this time the Israeli response will be powerful. Hamas and Hezbollah are clearly an “agents provocateur”. I think that the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah are simply adventurism, and did not measure the real depth of the Israeli military response, yet to come.
The Israeli anger and frustration was high, in part from the election of the Hamas and its rise to power and government in Palestine administrated territories. That a terrorist organization can take charge of the government, due to an democratic process (that they so much hate…) is a trend that is stopping, in some countries the idea of the of the free and fair elections. Maybe some are not yet ready for democratic elections and democracy in general, as understood by the Western culture. The election of Hamas is another democratic exercise ended in miserable failure.
THE KIDNAPPING OF THE SOLDIER IN GAZA WAS THE TRIGGER OF THE SITUATION, NOW THE GATEWAY FROM TACTICAL ISSUES TO STRATEGIC ONES. LARGER ISSUE WILL HAVE BE DEALT WITH AND MAYBE SOLVED DUE TO SMALL MILITARY TERRORIST INCURSIONS AND TWO TACTICAL ISRAELI OPERATIONAL MISTAKES, TAKING INTO THE CONSIDERATION THE OTHER EIGHT SOLDIERS KILLED IN SOUTHERN LEBANON AND THE 2 HOSTAGES TAKEN.
The raid in Gaza surprised the IDF and the actions have to be swift and powerful. The raid in over the border with Lebanon, surprised even more and the consequences will be even greater. This situation cannot continue, with a country held hostage to a political conflict that is brewed by terrorist patrons operating from Syria and Iran. Is not only Gilat Shalit (by Hamas) (Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev - by Hezbollah) that is held hostage, but all Israel, in the peace process that cannot advance for lack of political will and power from the Palestinians! Better said, the political and terrorists groups of the Palestinian society are holding all of them prisoners to their agenda. The terrorist organizations are over-playing they hands!
The swift and powerful military action in Gaza is also (and can be interpreted as) a show and demonstration for the new prime minister Ehud Olmet & Co. (read ministers teams) that he mean very much, business in the old way, so well described at the end of the XIX century by Clausewitz. If Ariel Sharon would be in power, the Arabs, for sure will be acting differently.
The Israeli have tried all the democratic, social and diplomatic ways. They have tried to apply to every international forum. But nothing works when terrorist in the payroll of masters in Syria and Iran are stirring the spirits and commit endless numbers of suicide attacks in Israel proper. Only the military option is open, and the terrorist understand a simple language: the language of power! After this the diplomats will take over the process.
The raid and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit was a gamble that the political elite (together with the military groups) took and they overplayed their hand. He same happened in Lebanon and the country has to suffer. Now, in the eve of Israeli attack of Gaza & Lebanon, they will recur to the only weapon they have, more terrorist attacks.
Who is taking the much of the sufferings: the simple Palestinians? They are being held as well prisoners and being kidnapped, inside they territories by the negative political forces surrounding them. They cannot make peace! They are being used as human shields by the terrorists’ gangs, now in government. The actions in Lebanon serves only the masters in Iran, trying to defuse the attention of the public opinion over the atomic military ambitions if this terrorism sponsoring government.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz called the incursion into northern Gaza a "necessary step that could not have been avoided”.
The sad story of Gilad Shalit (by Hamas) and the two soldiers kidnapped in southern Lebanon (Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser by Hezbullah) is now a symbol of both sides of this conflict. The other few missing-in–action Israeli soldiers form the 80’ war in Lebanon serves lesson to IDF into not to spare any efforts in bringing back the kidnapped member of their ranks.
No one wants to back off and the Israeli military action will continue, maybe until all the yet unstable, temporary and fragile Hamas government will crumble in the sands of Gaza strip.
I really hope that the Palestinians will understand the powerful symbolism of the story of Gilad Shalit (and that he will return alive to his country and family), and not overplay again they hands in this political game. After all they are missing again a chance. And is seems that never missing a chance to miss a chance.
Air power, intelligent bombs, hi-tech UMV, artillery shells and gunboat missiles will not solve alone the tactical situation. They can help a lot. The infantry and talented ground troops (that is the reason the infantry is the “queen of the armies”) have to be committed to uproot the Hezbollah missile capabilities and totally interdict their operations. After this, maybe the emerging Lebanese army can take control of the southern border area and establish a buffer zone of tranquility, for the new renaissance of both economies, Israeli and Lebanese.
In my opinion, tactical and strategic issues, long overdue, will come on the tables of military professionals first, and diplomats/political people second. They have to be addressed today, and not later.
The international consensus is that Hamas and Hezbollah, along with the Syria and Iran masters, will came out of this political/military situation in a weaker positions than they entered, and the smoke screen lunched by Iran to hide the atomic ambitions will disappear in thin air.
I think that after sufferings, innocent civilians’ death and wounded, maybe the sky will clear and the peace or at least a path to peace will be reached.
note August 2009: the bodies of regev and goldwasser (Z"L) were returned to israel, in a prisoners exchange after the second lebanon war. gilad shalit is still held in captivity, in the gaza strip, even after the successful "operation cast lead".