Destroying Hamas is the only act that would return our deterrence and make our other enemies sit up and take notice. BY ODED FORER
Wars end, the historical record shows, not through goodwill but through defeat. He who does not win loses,” wrote Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes.
It is clear that in the over 100 years of violent rejectionism against sovereignty for the Jewish people in its historical, ancestral and indigenous homeland, the Palestinians have yet to fully feel defeated.
Pipes explains that “wars usually end when failure causes one side to despair, when that side has abandoned its war aims and accepted defeat, and when that defeat has exhausted its will to fight.”
Hamas and other violent rejectionists on our borders have yet to abandon their war aims of destroying the Jewish state. This is a simple fact that must be addressed, if Israel is ever to achieve true long-term peace and security.
That is why we need bold thinking and courage to end this war once and for all.
We have been told for some time now that Hamas is readying itself for the next confrontation. Sadly, our recent policy of preparing for the next bloody confrontation is to strengthen it financially while allowing it to strengthen militarily.
In November, after trying for many months to convince his colleagues in the security cabinet to deliver a mortal blow to Hamas, then-defense minister Avigdor Liberman quit the government.
After 500 rockets had been fired at Israeli civilian centers, our only response was to rush to a ceasefire and to pay “protection money” to Hamas, through Qatari largesse, for a meaningless promise to stop the rocket fire.
This was, as Liberman put it at the time, a capitulation to terrorism. There is no other way of explaining it.
As defense minister, Liberman had spent the previous few years reorienting the defense establishment away from merely policing or maintaining the conflict to one that is ready to win again. However, with this weapon locked and loaded, and with Hamas in its crosshairs, members of the security cabinet decided to lay it down at their feet, throw their arms in the air and walk away.
Thankfully, the electorate now has a choice between those who have supported capitulation, concession and defeat and those who support a path to victory.
It is clear to those of us who choose the path of victory that the next confrontation with Hamas must be the last. We must strike a hard and disproportionate blow against Hamas, completely break its willpower to continue fighting against us and destroy its belief that it could ever defeat us.
WE CAN do this by taking various steps.
Israel must return immediately to a policy of targeted assassinations of the terrorist leadership. The State of Israel has a full and unequivocal jus ad bellum to conduct these types of operations against those who not only openly and proudly call for our destruction but lead and direct the forces who would carry out this vision.
We must completely demolish the apparatus of terrorism. We must destroy its ability to threaten our population and our territory, and not stop until this has been operationally completed.
We must stand strong against diplomatic and international pressure to drive us to a ceasefire that leaves Hamas intact and even strengthened, as it was recently. We must no longer gamble with the lives of our residents for the negligible gains of a slightly less partisan resolution at the United Nations.
Israel has been sold this deal before, and it was proven to be utterly illusory.
The operation should end only when the white flag of surrender is raised and we are able to impose our conditions and security needs.
Wars have historically ended when one side wins, and one loses. We know what a Hamas victory looks like; the terrorist group says it over and over again. It seeks the full and utter destruction of the State of Israel and massive bloodshed and annihilation for its citizens.
How can our political leaders dare strengthen such an organization by providing it with funds, gas, oil and cement? By doing so, we are building and contributing toward our own destruction.
No leadership in the history of modern warfare has acted in such a manner.
Nevertheless, we can stop this immoral, unconscionable and self-destructive policy with our ballots on April 9.
Do not listen to those who say victory over Hamas is not attainable. Similar voices said the same about ISIS, and we now see that it has been physically routed and has been defeated in every way, shape and form.
It is clear that the likes of Iran, Hezbollah and others are watching us and sensing weakness. They saw our recent capitulation and are sharpening their knives for much tougher confrontations.
Destroying Hamas is the only act that would return our deterrence and make our other enemies sit up and take notice.
Citizens can send the message that the Israel of tomorrow is no longer prepared to tolerate a genocidal organization sending its rockets and murderers onto our territory, without severe and irrevocable repercussions.
The decision on who will be victorious and who will be defeated is ours and ours alone to make. Let us choose wisely.
The writer is a member of Knesset for Yisrael Beytenu and chairman of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus.