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‘Apathetic’ Tel Aviv v. Israel’s Bombarded South

Israel’s papers blame the city for its ‘apathy’ as fighting commences

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To hear the Israeli media tell it, the real war that just broke out in the Holy Land is between the country’s beleaguered and bombarded south and its arch-enemy, Tel Aviv.

Calling the metropolitan “apathetic,” Yediot Ahraonot ran a persnickety story about its residents being unfazed by Hamas’ promises of imminent attacks, and took pains to inform its readers that Tel Avivis—among the city’s residents that were interviewed was a 20-year-old student with the unimprovable name Lear—felt no sense of camaraderie with their bombarded brethren down south and continued to live life in their city, unharmed by bombs, as if it was, in fact, unharmed by bombs.

Not to be outdone, Ma’ariv made the war between town and country personal, running an op-ed by a resident of a southern kibbutz who is disgusted by them city slickers and their lack of empathy. Stressing that some of her best friends live in Tel Aviv, the writer nonetheless called on “the state of Tel Aviv” to “wake up” lest the rest of Israel become convinced that the first Hebrew city housed nothing but radical leftists who took some sort of perverse joy in the suffering of the less fortunate.

But whereas Tel Aviv’s urbanites were the villains, the IDF and its soldiers were the heroes. Knowing from experience that it’s all downhill after the first strike, the media fawned over the hit on Jabari like a high school sophomore reliving a first kiss. The IAF’s video of the assassination received endless play, and previous assassinations were sweetly recalled. Dan Margalit, one of the nation’s most prominent journalists, captured the nostalgic mood in Yisrael Hayom; “For a moment,” he wrote, “the good old Israel popped up, cunning and quick and not cumbersome.” That it’s easy to be all of these things when hitting a dude in a car, and very, very hard when mounting a full-scale ground offensive, did not seem to cross Margalit’s mind.

It’s perfectly understandable, of course, that with the nation on the cusp of combat, its media would rally around the flag. But it’s also not too much to ask that among the din of the tum-tums, journalists deliver more sober assessments of what lies ahead. As usual, this job falls to Ha’aretz, and to it alone. In a terrific piece, the newspaper’s editor, Aluf Benn, reminded his readers that Israeli prime ministers have a habit of mounting major military operations a few months before they are up for re-election—Ehud Olmert, for example, did it in 2009 with Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and Shimon Peres in 1996 with Operation Grapes of Wrath in Lebanon—and that such operations, historically, have a way of yielding very little results except for crushing political defeats to those who orchestrated them. That, at least, is the view from Tel Aviv.

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Everybody knows that Tel Aviv is not so much a city as it is a resort.

bill levy says:

Jews are dying once more and Israelis are going to bear the brunt of Arab rockets targeting civilian centers. That’s what they do and they know the world doesn’t care. Jews are terribly un-united so our haters know they can do anything to Jews and Jews won’t fight back. Think about 600,000 German Jews, many with war experience in WW I and not finding even 1,000 German Jews to kill Hitler in the early 1920′s when he already revealed what he planned to do to Jews. Aren’t you ashamed of being so weak when we are the greatest and most productive people in the world.
zev57@aol.com

ליאל חביבי, קצת יותר עומק . Liel my friend, a bit more depth.
You write:
“…such operations, historically, have a way of yielding very little results…” You might consider reading the article by Martin Van Creveld in Infinity Journal , volume 1 Issue 3
https://www.infinityjournal.com/article/18/The_Second_Lebanon_War_A_Reassessment/
(requires free registration)
As I’m sure you know Van Creveld is an Israeli strategist of the left-wing persuasion.
As the blurb states at the beginning of the article “Martin van Creveld is an internationally recognized authority on military history and strategy. He was the only non-American author on the U.S. Army’s required reading list for officers, and the only person—foreign or American—to have two books on that list.”
Van Creveld states that the second Lebanon war of 2006 succeeding in restoring strategic deterrence vis-a-vis Hezbollah, despite the poor performance of the IDF ground troops.
In order to analyze the intent of that war and the current campaign , one must be familiar with basic concepts of strategy.Theoretically Israel has 4 possible strategies vis-a-vis Hamas:
1. Annihilation- the meaning is self evident. Israel is militarily capable of adopting this strategy but it is politically and morally impossible. In the simplest terms dropping an A-bomb on Gaza is militarily possible but politically and morally impossible.
2. Occupation and Control- i.e. controlling the ground of Gaza and it’s population by long-term occupation by ground troops. We’ve done this since 1967 until the recent withdrawal. Possible – but the Israeli government decided to abandon this strategy. Said strategy has pluses and minuses. Occupation and control doesn’t give complete control but it gives the maximum control. Downside is the exposure of ground troops to attack by the local population and the political price. Since Israel was unwilling to pay the price in political terms or the price in casualties it adopted the third strategy i.e. DETERRENCE AND COERCION.
3. DETERRENCE AND COERCION- in simple terms – hurt them enough and they will hesitate to attack you. Upside – you don’t pay the price of OCCUPATION. Downside you have to reuse it after enough time has passed because you’re enemy keeps testing you. The price- the injuries to your civilians and soldiers until you decide to use it. The injuries to your soldiers and civilians when you do use it.
4. PEACE – when both sides are interested in living peacefully side-by-side. Example – U.S. and CANADA. Impossible for the forseable between Israel and most of it’s neighbors. One should note that it took European nations centuries before the historical circumstances developed such that they could actually live together in peace for extended periods of time. It shouldn’t surprise you that after only 100 years since the Jewish settlement of Palestine started Israel and the Arabs can’t make peace. It is not a territorial question. Even if Israel gave up every square centimeter of land conquered in 1967 there would be no peace because the GRAND STRATEGIES of the parties are fundamentally opposed, i.e. Israel’s Grand Strategy is to continue to exist as a Jewish state. The Arab’s Grand Strategy is to destroy Israel. The Arabs see Israeli Jews as a tiny minority in an overwhelming sea of Arabs and Moslems. In their view , the Jewish presence is only temporary and in time they will be overwhelmed. Under such circumstances why should they give up on their goals?
Since Strategy 1 and 4 are impossible. Only Strategy 2 and 3 are left.
Unless Israel goes back to Strategy 2 it’s only option is to use Strategy 3 and reapply it whenever necessary until the historical circumstances change enough to cause the Arabs to be willing to adopt Strategy 4 – otherwise known as PEACE.
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem
Aharon

Salomon says:

WHAT ABOUT STRATEGIES FROM THE POINT OF OF THE ARABS?
ISLAMIST OR SALAFIST: WE FIGHT IN NAME OF ALLAH, WE FIGHT THE INFIDEL, WE FIGHT THOSE OF THE KOR´AN CALL PIGS AND APES…THEY CAN BE STONGER IN FIREPOWER, BUT WE ARE STRONGER IN WILL. IT´S NOT ONLY OUR LEADERSHIP, THE COMMON MAN OF THE STREET AND EVEN THE CHILDREN WILL DO SACRIFICES TO ATTAIN OUR GOAL IN NAME OF ALLAH…WE CAN LOOSE 1000 OR 10000 OR EVEN MILLIONS BUT IF THE JEWS LOOSE TENTH THEY BECOME DESPERATE…WE HAVE ALWAYS THE INITIAVE IN THE COMBAT…WHEN TO ATTACK AND WHEN TO ASK FOR A LULL…THAT MAKE THE JEWS MAD…BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO STOMACH OR WILL TO ANNIHILATE THEIR ENNEMY AS WE DO HAVE…MAYBE WE COULD STOP FIGHTING THE JEWS IF WE SUFFER A DEVASTATING BLOW, AN UNFORGETABLE BLOW…BUT THIS THE JEWS DON´T DO…THEY ARE CRIPPLED BY COMPLEXES…BESIDES, IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA WE HAVE ON OUR SIDE, MANY COUNTRIES, THE MIDIA, AND EVEN IN ISRAEL WE RECKON ON THE USEFUL IDIOTS AND USE THEIR DEMOCRACY TO DEMORALIZE THE ELECTED GOVERNMENT…ALL THE ACES ARE IN OUR HANDS….

What are you actually suggesting in specific concrete terms?

Hopefully you noticed that I wrote that most of Israel’s Arab neighbors are for the forseeable future interested in destroying her so you don’t really have to convince me.

Salomon says:

Indeed, it is up to the Israelis to establish what´s the best strategy to survive! AS I am a jew kicked out from an Arab country, I know how they think and how they behave… All the israeli seeking peacee with neighbors strategy did not work, or had only a time of validity… I would suggest to israelis, don´t think about nor beg anymore peace with the Arabs… Nor being kind and accept Plas in israeli hospitals…they see it not as a sign of frienship but of weakness… From enemy one needs to gain respect and fear, not love!

MichaelTLV says:

Everyone knows you’re an idiot and that Tel Aviv is the cultural and economic capital as well as the headquarters for many of the country’s important institutions, like the military.

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‘Apathetic’ Tel Aviv v. Israel’s Bombarded South

Israel’s papers blame the city for its ‘apathy’ as fighting commences

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