Israel Scored a Tactical Victory

[Wall Street Journal] Bret Stephens - The top echelons of Israel's political and military establishment think that Israel has re-established a reputation for invincibility tarnished in the 2006 war with Hizbullah; that they bloodied and humiliated Hamas while taking few casualties; that they called overdue international attention to the tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle its arsenal; and, with the unilateral cease-fire, that they put the onus to end the violence squarely back on Hamas' shoulders. For years, Egypt took an ambivalent view of Hamas: partly worried by the threat it poses to its own secular regime, partly delighted by the trouble it causes Israel. Now the Mubarak government at last understands that Hamas is also a strategic threat to Egypt. "An Iranian base can play against Egypt the same way it played against Israel," says the official. He adds that the timing of Israel's operation in Gaza was dictated in part by the assessment that Hamas was just months away from obtaining longer-range missiles that could reach Cairo as easily as Tel Aviv.

2009-01-20 06:00:00

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