Arnon Grunberg



On tactical achievements – Harel in Haaretz:

‘In accordance with the mediators' proposal, the organization is talking about the release of 35 captives on "humanitarian" grounds: women (it's not clear whether this includes the abducted female soldiers), the elderly, the sick and the injured. In exchange, a full ceasefire of 45 days is required – but the demand for an end to the war and a full withdrawal is apparently intended for a later stage of the deal, following the release of the rest of the captives (soldiers and men below the age of about 50) and the return of bodies.
According to some reports, Hamas wants 1,500 prisoners to be freed in the first stage – a high number, but not one that will empty out the jails in Israel, as the organization was said to have sought in the past. Moreover, one of Hamas' additional demands is for an improvement in the conditions of the security inmates – in other words, the organization surmises that some of them will remain incarcerated.’


‘At the moment, though, there is no doubt that what's more important than anything else for the Hamas leadership in Gaza is to end the war. That will ensure the survival of the leadership and its rule, and indeed also the organization's victory, notwithstanding the near-complete destruction of Gaza and the killing of over 25,000 of its residents due to Israel's response to Hamas' October 7 attacks.’


‘The question, as usual, is whether these tactical achievements are gradually adding up to a genuine strategic victory. The United States was confronted with this question in Vietnam; and France, some years before that, in Algeria. Israel, too, faced similar dilemmas in the past in its war against terrorist organizations: in the Israeli security zone in southern Lebanon, until the withdrawal, in 2000; a few years later, following Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank, in the second intifada; and in the Lebanon War of 2006.’


‘The panic that Netanyahu projected in the first weeks of the war has disappeared. He sounds, once more, articulate and quite confident. He's in his element. But as the polls show, for a huge segment of the public, every appearance of the prime minister generates considerable hostility. The fact that he and his government are still holding the reins of power, four months after the giant massacre that happened on their watch, is incomprehensible. Now it's also clearer than ever that he has no intention of leaving.’


‘This week, in a rare public appearance, at a conference in memory of Ariel Sharon at Reichman University, Eisenkot said, "We are not talking about an abducted soldier. These are hundreds of civilians who lived their lives, relied on the IDF, and in the course of a whole day fought over the door handle in the safe room of their homes and were left in the lurch." He added, "We have a double and redoubled commitment to bring them back, a basic moral obligation. The comments against a deal are a very grave matter." What prospect is there of hearing such simple, clear words from Netanyahu or any of the Likud ministers? In the meantime, the families of the hostages are almost alone. Those taking part in the demonstrations of support for them are mainly participants in the Balfour Street and Kaplan Street protests in the past – against Netanyahu and against the regime coup. Once again. Netanyahu has succeeded in transforming a moral, humane issue into a matter that cuts only according to the separation lines between right and left, Bibi and anyone-but-Bibi.’


‘The war in Gaza may well be remembered as the one in which the dominance of the messianic streams in the infantry units, in both the regular army and the reserves, was intensified; there are no few combat troops who, after the experiences in Gaza, will look for ways out of the country.’

Read the article here.

If we look at Vietnam and Algeria tactical achievements means nothing, just a lot of bloodshed.
What the 1982 Lebanon war achieved is also unclear, it was one of he reasons that Hezbollah came into existence, but that’s hardly an achievement.

Also, war unites a country for a bit, after that often it divides the country. Plenty of examples in this article. With a leader like Bibi the divisions become only bigger and more bitter.

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