Islamic State Said to Kill 150 Captured Syrian Troops - Ben Hubbard (New York Times)
Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are said to have
killed 150 captured soldiers from the Tabqa air base in northern Syria
in the last two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring
group said on Thursday.
Video images posted online appeared to show men being marched
through the desert in their underwear by the extremists and then lying
dead in the sand.
IS has often distributed graphic images of its dead adversaries, to enlarge its reputation and terrify its enemies.
The video sent shock waves through Syrian communities that support
Assad. Walid al-Moallem, Syria's foreign minister, had conceded that
the base had been lost but claimed that all troops and aircraft had
See also Report: Syria Airstrike Kills Islamic State Commanders (Reuters)
A Syrian government airstrike killed commanders of the Islamic State
group in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor on Thursday, including
Syrians, Arabs and foreigners, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
It said Syrian war planes had struck a building used as a
headquarters by Islamic State while a meeting of its commanders was
U.S. Identifies Citizens Joining Rebels in Syria, Including ISIS - Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Schmitt (New York Times)
American intelligence and law enforcement agencies have identified
nearly a dozen Americans who have traveled to Syria to fight for the
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said by the Obama administration to be
the greatest threat to the U.S. since al-Qaeda.
ISIS has become more attractive to would-be militants because,
unlike al-Qaeda, it has seized territory that it rules by strict Islamic
American intelligence officials said the number of Americans who
have joined rebel groups in Syria had nearly doubled since January.
More than 100 Americans have fought alongside groups there since the
civil war began three years ago.
UN Peacekeepers Caught in the Crossfire in Syria - Rick Noack (Washington Post)
43 Fijian peacekeepers serving in the Golan Heights along the
Syrian-Israeli border were detained by Syrian rebels on Thursday,
according to the UN. An additional 81 peacekeepers from the Philippines
were trapped by the fighting.
Peacekeeping missions always come with risks and over the years many confrontations have had deadly outcomes. Here are the countries whose soldiers have suffered the most casualties while serving as UN peacekeeping forces.
There are currently 16 UN peacekeeping operations and one special political mission spread over four continents.
Found: The Islamic State's Terror Laptop of Doom - Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa (Foreign Policyi)
Abu Ali, a commander of a moderate Syrian rebel group,
shows a black laptop. "We took it this year from an ISIS hideout," he says.
Buried in the "hidden files" section of the computer were 146
gigabytes of material, including practical training on how to carry
out the Islamic State's deadly campaigns.
They include videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make
bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use
The documents also suggest that the laptop's owner was teaching
himself about the use of biological weaponry. The ISIS laptop contains a
19-page document in Arabic on how to develop biological weapons and how
to weaponize bubonic plague from infected animals.
Nothing on the ISIS laptop, of course, suggests that the jihadists already possess these dangerous weapons.
Poll: More Express Sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians (Pew Research Center)
As a cease-fire ends more than seven weeks of fighting in Gaza, 66%
of Americans express sympathy for Israel while 27% do not, and 46%
express sympathy for the Palestinians while 47% do not, according to a
Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 20-24.
34% say they sympathize with Israel "a lot," while 11% sympathize with Palestinians "a lot."
Natural Gas Power Generation in Israel Reaches Peak - Sharon Udasin (Jerusalem Post)
On Wednesday, natural gas accounted for 57% of the country's
electricity consumption, the Israel Electric Corporation announced
Ever since natural gas from Israel's Tamar reservoir began to flow
in March 2013, there has been a considerable change in the fuel mix for
the country's electricity production, with a major reduction in the use
of polluting fuel oils.
Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Boycott? - Adam Reuter (Ynet News)
It's time to calm down. Israeli exports are not affected by the
present economic boycott, nor will they be affected in the future.
This is not because certain European consumer groups are not
trying - it is because the unique nature of Israel's exports simply does
not allow for it.
Many Israeli companies operate in niche areas. Moreover, 95% of
Israel's exports do not involve individual end consumers but rather
business-to-business trade, with firms that are only interested in the
best product or service at the most competitive price.
The Continuing Menace of Anti-Semitism - Michael Gerson (Washington Post)
Many seem to think that traditional anti-Jewish attitudes have
faded and that the memory of the Holocaust is overplayed. Few take note
of the genocidal promises of the Hamas charter or of Iranian clerics.
If you live entirely in the present, the State of Israel may seem more
Goliath than David. If you have some sense of the past, it is a
beleaguered island in a historical and geographical sea of violence.
Detached from its story, Israel is a quarrelsome, flawed democracy
on the edge of the Mediterranean. But Israel is its story - the story of
slavery, statehood, expulsion, scattering, near-extermination and
return - after having been unfairly chosen for more than 2,000 years for
persecution and murder.
An Israeli Ambassador in an "Israel-Free Zone" (Jewish News-UK)
Israeli UK Ambassador Daniel Taub travelled to Bradford after MP George Galloway declared it an "Israel-free zone."
Taub said: "I feel I've had the chance to hear the real voice of
Bradford....This real Bradford has a great deal to teach the world about
a multicultural city where Christians, Muslims, and Jews live, work,
and cooperate together. Here, the historic synagogue thrives thanks to
the support of the Muslim community."
Israel to Build Water Desalination Plants in Tanzania - Sylivester Domasa (Guardian-Tanzania)
Water authorities in Dar es Salaam will work with an Israeli consortium
in constructing two desalination plants to alleviate water shortage,
the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (Dawasco) Chief
Executive Officer, Eng. Jackson Midala, said Sunday.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Israel Stakes Out Firm Stance for Upcoming Gaza Negotiations - Diane Desobeau
Millions in and around Gaza enjoyed a welcome day of peace on Wednesday
during which there were no strikes on Gaza, nor Palestinian rockets
fired at Israel, the Israeli army said. Under the cease-fire deal,
negotiators will return to Cairo within the coming month. Ahead of the
Cairo talks, Israel staked out a firm stance on how it will approach the
"There will be no port, no airport and no entry of materials that could
be used to produce rockets or build tunnels," said deputy foreign
minister Tzahi Hanegbi. "That will be our position which we will present
at the negotiations in Cairo." Former national security adviser
Yaakov Amidror said Hamas must choose. "Either they will give up
reconstruction, or if they want it, they have to give up the dream of
being a military force on the ground." (AFP)
- In Israel's South, Families Worry about the Future of Life near Gaza - Isabel Kershner
Some parents of young children are questioning whether they want to
continue living in Kibbutz Nahal Oz next to the border with Gaza, and in
Israel's traumatized south. Nahal Oz was founded in the early 1950s,
soon after the establishment of the State of Israel, as the first line
In this latest Gaza conflict, the third in less than six years,
thousands of rockets paralyzed life and the local economy, while
residents bore the psychological brunt.
Though the physical damage from rockets was minimized by Israel's
Iron Dome antimissile defense system, there is no technological solution
yet for the short-range mortars that took a much heavier toll on
soldiers and civilians. The mortars now pose an existential threat to
communities like Nahal Oz, closest to the border fence. (New York Times)
See also Gaza Border Kibbutzim Fear for Their Future in Wake of Truce - Danna Harman and Judy Maltz
Residents of communities along the border with Gaza - the majority of
them kibbutzim - said they welcomed the cease-fire, but at the same time
expressed concern that it was a stopgap measure that would provide only
- Gaza Begins to Pick Up Pieces after "Worst War" - Harriet Sherwood
Gaza began the long process of picking up the pieces of shattered lives
and homes on Wednesday after 50 days of bloodshed and destruction.
In the neighborhood of Shujai'iya, the Musabeh family was picking
through the debris of their home. "There is nothing left, we lost
everything," said Naima Musabeh, 49. "Where is the good from this?"
Her son Ali, 29, was bitter about the outcome of the conflict. "This war
was for nothing. Yesterday they were giving out sweets in the street
and shooting [in celebration], but I was crying when they said it was a
- With Gaza War, Movement to Boycott Israel Gains Momentum in Europe - Steven Erlanger
The war in Gaza and its aftermath have inflamed opinion in Europe and,
experts and analysts say, are likely to increase support for the
movement to boycott, disinvest from and sanction Israel, known as BDS.
But for all the new attention around the BDS movement, the economic
impact has been small, experts say.
The EU does not support the idea. Instead, the Europeans are
drawing a legal distinction between Israel within its 1967 boundaries
and Israeli towns and settlements that are beyond them. Israel says its
settlement activity is consistent with international law, and that
all will be resolved as part of a final deal with the Palestinians. (New York Times)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Hamas Leader: We Will Go Back to War Against Israel If Upcoming Truce Talks Fail - Jack Khoury
Hamas leader Khaled Meshal said Thursday that Hamas still has rockets
and tunnels at its disposal, and will not hesitate to use them against
Israel again if the negotiations for a long-term truce fail.
"This military campaign revived resistance as a realistic possibility
for the Palestinian people," he added. "This is not the end of the
battle to liberate the land." (Ha'aretz)
- 62 Soldiers Wounded in Gaza Still Hospitalized - Meital Yasur Beit-Or
62 IDF soldiers wounded during the Gaza war remain hospitalized, 7
in serious condition. 5 injured civilians are still hospitalized as
well, 1 in serious condition. Magen David Adom emergency services
paramedics treated 842 civilians during the war. The MDA blood bank
provided civilian and military hospitals nationwide with 58,156 units of
- Video: How a Father Shielded His Wife and Child from Hamas Rockets
Jehan Berman immigrated to Israel from Belgium and now lives on
Israel's border with Gaza. Last week, during a birthday party for his
3-year-old son, a mortar landed just outside the kindergarten where they
were celebrating. Unable to make it to the bomb shelter, Jehan
shielded his wife and child with his body as the rocket fell, and was
wounded by shrapnel. (Israel Defense Forces)
- Hamas Rounds Up 15 More Suspected Collaborators - Justin Jalil
15 Gazans accused of spying for Israel were rounded up Wednesday
morning by Hamas internal security. Over 50 suspected Palestinian
collaborators with Israel have been killed by Hamas in the past two
months. (Times of Israel)
The Gaza War
- Israel Gained Upper Hand in Final Days of Gaza War - Asmaa al-Ghoul
The Gaza war took a different course during its last four days as
Israeli aircraft started targeting middle- and upper-class
neighborhoods. Aug. 26 ended with a cease-fire; its beginning was
completely different. Gazans were traumatized as Israeli forces targeted
two residential buildings - the Italian Complex and Basha Tower - in
the early morning hours, in the most vital areas of Gaza.
The headquarters of Sawt El Shaab radio station in Basha Tower, as well
as several other press offices, turned into rubble.
The radio station's editor, Shady Abu Shadak, said Israeli forces warned
everyone to get out because they were going to strike in 20 minutes.
"We started calling all the families...as well as all journalists to
leave the building and we ran as far as we could." He added that the
aircraft launched two guided rockets as they stood and watched.
The Italian Complex in al-Nasr neighborhood is considered one of the
highest towers in Gaza. Part of the tower is still standing.
Planes launched two rockets at the foundations of the 14-story Zafer 4
tower in the modern neighborhood of Tal al-Hawa in broad daylight on
Aug. 23, and no Gazan could ever forget the image of it crumbling.
Political analyst Akram Atallah sees the targeting of residential
towers as a wakeup call for the Palestinians to realize what Israel is
capable of doing and as a message. "The destruction of the towers did
not affect the battle as much as it affected Palestinian public
opinion," he said.
"When the ground battles stopped, Israel started to regain the
upper hand....This affected the Palestinians and the resistance
"When Israel carried out the ground operation, coffins were being sent
out to Israel on a daily basis. However, after the ground withdrawal,
there were no coffins anymore, which made people sense that the
resistance was witnessing a setback, after initially advancing."
Referring to the targeted killing of the southern leadership of Hamas'
Al-Qassam Brigades, he added, "The fact that Israel received such
accurate information concerning Qassam leadership allowed it to gain
ground in the battle." Atallah confirmed that impressions changed after
that moment; Israel was more prone to use aircraft and it multiplied
its strikes, which led to the decrease of the number and range of the
resistance's rockets as the battle dragged on and reinforcement
potential weakened. "In the end, Israel became the decision-maker in the
truce agreement," he concluded. (Al-Monitor)
- IDF Intelligence: In Hamas' Bunkers, They Talk About Defeat - Ben Caspit
A member of the IDF's General Staff, who took part in building up the
army's forces and in directing Operation Protective Edge, said that
Hamas "counted on the assumption that Israel wouldn't touch a 14-story
residential building filled with civilians on floors three to 14, while
the three lowest floors are occupied by Hamas headquarters. In this,
they erred. We felled nine such high-rises in the last days of the
operation. We evacuated the population, the civilians understood that we
were serious about this, and we downed those towers so that it would be
clear that we would not accept terror in any form."
"Hamas emerges from this story with their hands on their heads,
without a single achievement....According to all our intelligence
reports, the atmosphere around them is gloomy. In their bunkers, they
talk about defeat, about damage. They know that it will be hard for them
to explain to their nation, for what purpose did they destroy Gaza?
What exactly did they receive in exchange?" (Al-Monitor)
- Is the Gaza War Really Over? - Khaled Abu Toameh
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in Gaza were under
the false impression that it was all about improving the living
conditions of the Palestinians by opening border crossings and
building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that
once the demands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would
pave the way for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Yet they failed to take into consideration the context of the conflict.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad stated both before and after the war that
their real goal is to "liberate all Palestine." It is obvious that
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are now more determined than ever to pursue
their fight to eliminate Israel.
The Egypt-brokered cease-fire may achieve some calm for the
foreseeable future. But Hamas and its allies will continue to raise new
generations of Palestinians on glorification of terrorism and jihad.
Only days before the war, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said: "We will
continue to educate and call for the liberation of all Palestine and the
establishment of a Palestinian state on all the land of Palestine."
What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders
and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next
war against Israel." (Gatestone Institute)
- Israelis Know that the IDF Does Not Deliberately Kill Civilians - Yossi Klein Halevi
Israelis know that the IDF does not deliberately kill civilians. We know
this because we are the IDF - because our sons, our neighbors' sons,
have been fighting in Gaza. We know that dead Palestinian civilians
serve the interests only of Hamas, not Israel, whose military operations
in the past were either curtailed or halted altogether by an errant
shell that exploded in a classroom or a refugee shelter.
We know that houses in Gaza were booby-trapped, that schools and
mosques concealed arms caches and entrances to tunnels and were
repeatedly used as launching pads for rockets.
And we knew, from previous experience, that the Hamas figures of
civilian casualties would turn out to be lies. The good news is that
we've once again surprised ourselves with our resilience.
The writer is a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
- Why Israel Has an Absolute Right to Defend Its People -
In the twisted narrative of the anti-Israel brigade, the Hamas rulers of
Gaza are battling for their oppressed people against a brutal, racist
But this is a complete moral inversion of reality. In truth, Israel is a
bulwark of democracy forced by the lethal forces of anti-Semitic
Islamism to fight for survival.
Far from representing liberation and progress, as many progressives
absurdly claim, Hamas is a brutal organization that aims to impose
totalitarian Islamic rule. Along with other jihadist outfits like
the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Boko Haram in Nigeria, or the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria, it forms part of a monstrous theocratic death
cult that wants to destroy our civilization. Genocidal aggression
towards the non-believer is a key element of this cult.
Visceral loathing for the Jewish state is the central impetus behind
Hamas, reflected in its relentless barrage of indiscriminate rocket
attacks against civilian targets in Israel. But it is Hamas, in all its
Islamist addiction to persecution, violence, misogyny and racial hatred,
that should be the real pariah.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren Defends Israeli Shelling of Gaza Schools, Hospitals - Ryan Grim and Zach Carter
The Israeli military has the right to attack Palestinian hospitals and
schools in self-defense if Hamas has put rocket launchers next to them,
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said last week at a local town hall,
according to the Cape Cod Times. Warren said she thinks civilian
casualties are the "last thing Israel wants. But when Hamas puts its
rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they're using their
civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe
Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself."
Warren argued that Israel's use of force was justified: "Israel
lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world
where there aren't many liberal democracies and democracies that are
controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that
part of the world." (Huffington Post)
Military Lessons from the Gaza War
- The IDF's "Canopy of Fire" System - Lilach Shoval
The IDF Gaza Division's Canopy of Fire offensive system, combining
intelligence and aerial capabilities, struck between 40 and 50
terrorists in Gaza in the past week. According to a Gaza Division
officer, Canopy of Fire is "a system that combines intelligence with
firepower, and was created to hit every type of high-trajectory threat
An officer with the rank of lieutenant-colonel is always present in
the operations center for the purpose of authorizing a strike. Under
extraordinary circumstances, when sensitive structures such as schools
are located in the vicinity of a target, a series of authorizations are
required. "There is quite a bit of fire from places such as schools or
cemeteries. What is unique is the ability to do this very quickly and
hit as few uninvolved bystanders as possible along the way. The moment
that people who are shooting are identified, they are kept under
observation and we decide on what means to employ - from the air or
ground." (Israel Hayom)
- IDF Wants More Namer APCs and Trophy Protection Systems - Yaakov Lappin
Senior army officials hope that the IDF will acquire better-protected
Namer APCs and more active protection systems (APS) such as the Trophy,
which they credit with defending Merkava Mk 4 tanks against more than a
dozen anti-tank missiles.
"There are no armored vehicles like them in the world," a source said.
The officer said that the IDF's current armor inventory was sufficient
for an "unstoppable" offensive in Gaza, but "we will need large
quantities of [new] armored vehicles [to take on Hizbullah]."
He said that in Gaza the Trophy system had "pleasantly surprised us
with its extreme precision, and unique operational capability. It
answered the threat.
Of course we will want to expand this." (IHS Jane's Defence Weekly)
- Israel - A Weapons Research Lab - Markus Becker
Israel has been in a perpetual state of conflict with its neighbors
since the country's founding. It feels threatened from all sides; it is
small and doesn't possess a massive army. "Innovative military
technologies, rather than a massive army, have been viewed as
strategically crucial for Israel given its relatively small size," says
Dan Peled, a business professor at the University of Haifa.
Data from the Stockholm institute SIPRI shows that Israeli weapons
exports more than doubled between 2001 and 2012. "'Proven combat
performance' is still one of Israel's strongest military technology
sales promotions," says Peled. The label "combat proven" translates
directly into healthy global sales of firearms, drones and rockets "Made
The vast majority of Israelis view the development of new weapons
as a simple necessity in order to ensure their safety and their
country's very existence. Defense industry officials even present their
technologies as promoting peace. They argue that precise weaponry can
prevent collateral damage, and that the Iron Dome rocket defense system
makes milder responses to missile attacks from Gaza possible.
Jane's reported that Israel sold more drones than the U.S.
in 2013. It is estimated that it will export twice as many as the U.S.
in 2014. "Surprisingly, given its modest resources, Israel's defense
R&D community succeeds in developing state-of-the-art weapon
systems, often the first of their kind in the world," a study conducted
by the University of South Wales in Australia concluded.
- When It Comes to ISIS, Iranian Help Is Useless and Dangerous - Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
A U.S. alliance with Shi'ite Iran against ISIS would push Sunni
moderates to align with terrorist organizations. This would be the worst
possible scenario because Sunnis are the majority of the 1 billion
Muslims across the world. It would make the U.S. a target in a sectarian
war, and it would bolster the position of terrorist groups.
During the previous war against the Sunni al-Qaeda between 2001 and
2010, the U.S.'s major allies were Sunni-majority countries such as
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan. This represents a logical approach in
international relations. The writer is general manager of Al-Arabiya television.
- Don't Forget Iran's Ballistic Missiles - Behnam Ben Taleblu
Last month, the P5+1 and Iran extended for four months the Joint Plan
of Action (JPOA), the interim nuclear deal that was agreed to in
as the parties continue to seek a comprehensive solution. Remarkably
absent from the text of the JPOA, however, is a reference to the status
of Iran's ballistic missile program. The omission of ballistic missiles
from the current P5+1 negotiations runs contrary to numerous UN
Security Council resolutions which deliberately target the missile
program and those who seek to aid it.
By not openly pursuing limits on Iran's ballistic missile progress -
with a focus on design, payload, or range - negotiators risk sweeping
these UN resolutions under the rug. Consequently, the West risks making
the entire issue subject to Iran's interpretation. The writer is an Iran research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
(War on the Rocks)
- The Barrier to Peace - Mortimer B. Zuckerman
The Palestinians won't accept any land-for-peace deal. They want the
land without the peace. They want sovereignty for themselves without a
reciprocal recognition of the sovereignty of the Jewish state. They want
statehood without negotiation and an independent Palestine that can
continue its war with Israel. Palestinians believe the West will always
offer more if they are intransigent, and so their leadership radicalizes
public opinion. The barrier to peace is a Palestinian Authority that
still dreams of annihilating Israel, and Hamas, which is committed to
its pledge to murder Jews.
(New York Daily News)
- Declare Yom Kippur a UN Holiday - Daniel S. Mariaschin and David J. Michaels
The UN charter affirms the "equal rights" of "nations large and small."
But in the "family of nations," some members are more equal than
The State of Israel was created, in the Jewish ancestral homeland, as a
result of a UN resolution. Israel tries to contribute to international
peace in every area in which it can help, from disaster relief to
medical innovation to agricultural technology. But over time, Israel has
been a target for exceptional mistreatment at the UN and is routinely
condemned by the body's Human Rights Council more than any other member
The UN is headquartered in New York City, which has the single
largest Jewish population in the diaspora. In 1997, the General Assembly
added two Muslim holidays (Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr) to the official
calendar of the UN headquarters. Two of the 10 holidays are Christian
(Good Friday and Christmas) and the other six are American federal
holidays. None is Jewish. Important UN events - even, sometimes,
meetings related to Israel - have repeatedly been scheduled on major
Last month, 32 nations - including Argentina, Canada, Israel,
Nigeria and the U.S. - declared their support for adding Yom Kippur to
the UN calendar. The Yom Kippur proposal is a nonpolitical one and a
test of inclusiveness. All 193 UN members should support it. Daniel
S. Mariaschin is executive vice president, and David J. Michaels is
director of UN and intercommunal affairs, at B'nai B'rith International.
(New York Times)
- What Makes Some British Muslims Become Jihadis? - Daniel Hannan
An alarming number of our young men - born and brought up in the UK -
are involved with extremist paramilitaries in Syria, Iraq and
Afghanistan. There are credible estimates that more British Muslims are
fighting with Islamic State than serving in the British Armed Forces.
Experts who have studied Western-born Islamic militants say each
has found a cause that validates his anti-social tendencies - a doctrine
that teaches him that he is angry, not because there's something wrong
with him, but because there's something wrong with everyone else.
Islamic State thugs, like Baader-Meinhof gangsters, IRA gunmen, Red
Brigaders or 19th century anarchists, are convinced that they can see
things more keenly than others, and that this clarity of vision elevates
and ennobles their aggression.
For a start, we can stop taking these losers at their own
estimation. Let's treat them, not as soldiers, but as common criminals.
Instead of making documentaries about powerful, shadowy terrorist
networks, let's laugh at the pitiable numpties who end up in our courts.
Let's mock their underpants bombs and their attempts to set fire to
glass and steel airports by driving into them and their tendency to blow
themselves up in error. At the same time, let's stop teaching the
children of immigrants to despise the British state.
Israel Has Emerged Stronger from the Gaza War - Daniel Polisar (Times of Israel)
- Though there was uncertainty as to when the fighting between Israel
and Hamas would end, there was little doubt what would happen
immediately afterwards: Hamas leaders would declare victory and bring
Gazans into the streets to celebrate, and Israelis would engage in
public hand-wringing over whether our situation had become bleaker - as
we have done following every military conflict since the Yom Kippur War
four decades ago.
- Israel emerged from the war strengthened in the areas that
matter most. Despite sadness at our losses and concern about
uncertainties that remain, Israelis and those who support us should face
the future with a sense of accomplishment and heightened confidence.
- First and foremost, Israeli society was strengthened over the
last seven weeks. The unity, solidarity, and resolve Israelis showed
during the war was of an unprecedented nature. Israelis in the millions
maintained normal lives in the most abnormal of circumstances, showered
soldiers with moral and material support, demonstrated gritty
determination to continue the ground war despite the large number of IDF
casualties, and bolstered the spirits of those most in need. One symbol
was the sign placed near the grave of ex-Californian infantry fighter
Max Steinberg, "There is no such thing as a lone soldier in Israel."
- Such acts etched into the hearts of Israelis that we are a
people capable of great courage, compassion, and commitment when it
matters most. When the dust settles, it will be this sense that will
remain and will instill in Israelis the conviction we have what it takes
to survive and thrive, come what may.
Dr. Daniel Polisar is provost of Shalem College in Jerusalem.