July 20, 2019

On Gaza, Gantz and Bibi Have Plenty in Common

“After Arab states failed to dislodge Israel through military effort, [a] new strategy [evolved that] seeks to replace direct confrontation by military formations with, [in the words of one Israeli expert], “the methodical erosion of the enemy’s resolve” through unconventional guerrilla-like means. . . . Part of this strategy of permanent confrontation includes a redefinition of victory. Whereas Israelis, like most Westerners, are culturally primed to seek a decisive clash, Hamas and Hizballah see in mere survival a victory, since it permits the continuation of the muqawama [“resistance”]. So long as the enemy doesn’t win, it loses…

Netanyahu, the prime minister in 2014, and Gantz, then the IDF chief of staff, are among the key architects of Israel’s response to [this strategy]. That response flows from a basic premise: in this waiting game, time is on Israel’s side. There is a corollary: Israel can do a great deal in the meantime to ensure this long war concludes in its favor.

And so Israel has set about degrading the capabilities of its guerrilla enemies and growing its own non-conventional capabilities, from missile defense to cyber and espionage to precision air power to the psychological arena intended to undermine the terror groups’ backing at home. Hence the Gaza blockade and the persistent, increasingly public Israeli air campaign against Hizballah’s supply chain in Syria…”

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