Opinion |

Netanyahu, Gantz and Kochavi Are Failing Us

Amos Schocken
Amos Schocken
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center), Chief of General Staff Aviv Kochavi (right) and Defense Minister Benny Gantz (left) at the Israeli air force offices during a military airstrike overnight Friday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center), Chief of General Staff Aviv Kochavi (right) and Defense Minister Benny Gantz (left) at the Israeli air force offices during a military airstrike Friday.Credit: Kobe Gideon / GPO
Amos Schocken
Amos Schocken

At least 210 Palestinians had been killed as of Tuesday, among them 59 children and who knows how many women and elderly people. Thirteen people have been killed in Israel, among them Yigal Yehoshua, who died after being attacked by Israeli Arabs.

When will the next round be? How many Palestinian children and women will be killed then? This is the strategy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Chief of General Staff Aviv Kochavi: Firing at densely populated areas, which necessarily leads to the killing of innocents.

If Israel were focused on defense, one could speak of success in this war. But the choice of an offensive is a strategic failure.

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The correct strategy, in my opinion, would be to focus solely on improving our defense and avoiding attacks. Israeli leaders have to explain to their citizens that Israel is not prepared to kill women, children and old people, and that this is exactly what will happen if we attack. Instead, Israel must work in the political and diplomatic arena to cause Hamas to hold its fire; in any case they will fire fewer missiles if Israel doesn’t attack.

A move like this should be accompanied by a local and worldwide campaign, whose most appropriate spokesman would be Netanyahu. Such a campaign would generate much admiration for Israel in the world and pride among Israel’s Palestinian citizens and among Palestinians in the territories.

Such a move would also prevent a rift between Israel and the vast majority of American Jews, and lead the American president and the Democratic party to stand by our side. Israel will no longer be a bone of contention between the parties in Congress. The move would also embarrass Hamas and might even spur it to speak to us and come to an arrangement.

We must recognize that this war is a failure by Netanyahu, Gantz and Kochavi. Let us hope that the posts of prime minister and defense minister will be filled by people with a different strategy.

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