August 4, 2014


Protective hedge : The decision to pull troops out of Gaza is analyzed, second-guessed and defended, as wide support for the leadership starts to give way to a war of words in the press (JOSHUA DAVIDOVICH, August 4, 2014, Times of Israel)

In Yedioth, though, Shimon Shiffer says the pullback is ultimately another case of Netanyahu mismanaging the war.

"Over the weekend Netanyahu decided to pull out of the Strip, without a deal and without making it official. He chose to continue to weaken the Israelis in a war of attrition with no ending date. Plain and simple. 'The responsible adult' and 'King Bibi,' who saw in himself during the days of the war in Gaza someone who 'acts wisely and judiciously,' has been discovered, to great distress, as someone who picks goals for the IDF with insights that even those who try to find good in him have trouble understanding, from 'quiet will be answered with quiet' to 'collapsing the tunnels.' And what of the rockets?"

Shiffer's critique represented an unusually harsh critique of Netanyahu's management of the war, considering many have been holding their tongues while the fighting continues.

But Haaretz's Amos Harel says that with the battle winding down, politicians, pundits and others will soon feel free to let loose with verbal arrows in the coming battle over the war's narrative and conclusions.

"In the coming days, politicians will be freed of even the limited restraints they imposed on themselves while soldiers were being killed in Gaza. They will claim that had it not been for the hesitancy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the generals, Hamas would have been defeated once and for all," he writes. "Netanyahu, Ya'alon and senior officers will claim a great victory was achieved. The Iron Dome anti-missile system kept Hamas's rockets from doing much damage; the tunnels were destroyed (at the cost of 64 soldiers), and Hamas will be deterred for a long time to come. But many ordinary Israelis remain skeptical about the war's results. This may yet turn out to be another case of Israel winning every battle against a terrorist organization but still not winning the war."

Posted by at August 4, 2014 7:10 PM

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