Yes, Israel Can Win in Gaza

[Wall Street Journal] Edward N. Luttwak - Most of the West's news reporters and pundits agree with Islamists everywhere that an Israeli victory in Gaza is impossible. And they echo Hizbullah's claim that it won a great victory in Lebanon in 2006. In fact, Hizbullah was thoroughly shocked by the Israeli bombing campaign, and its supporters, who mostly live in southern Lebanon, are not likely to tolerate another wave of destruction caused by another Hizbullah attack. When three rockets were fired at Israel from inside Lebanon on Thursday, Hizbullah wasted no time assuring the Israelis that it had nothing to do with it, and that it did not even have that type of rocket in their inventory. Israel has conducted an extremely accurate bombing campaign. Few Hamas objectives were classic "high-contrast" targets such as bunkers or headquarters. Most targets were small groups of people in civilian vehicles that blend in with traffic, or inside unremarkable buildings. So how did Israel do it? The only possible explanation is that people in Gaza have been informing the Israelis exactly where Hamas fighters and leaders are hiding, and where weapons are stored. Hamas will claim a win no matter what happens, but then so did Hizbullah in 2006. Yet the Israeli northern border with Lebanon remains quiet. If Israel can achieve the same with Hamas in Gaza, it would be a significant victory. The writer is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

2009-01-09 06:00:00

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