The drums of war are heard again in Israel and they are sounded because once more Israel’s invincibility is in question. Despite the triumphant rhetoric in the various media commemorative reports, two years after ‘Cast Lead’, the sense is that that campaign was as much of a failure as was the second Lebanon war of 2006. Unfortunately, leaders, generals and the public at large in the Jewish State know only one way of dealing with military debacles and fiascos. They can be redeemed only by another successful operation or war but one which has to be carried out with more force and be more ruthless than the previous one with the hope for better results in the next round.
Force and might, so explained leading commentators in the local media (parroting what they hear from the generals in the army), is needed in order to ‘deter’, to ‘teach a lesson’ and to ‘weaken’ the enemy. There is no new plan for Gaza – there is no real desire to occupy it and put in under direct Israeli rule. What is suggested is to pound the Strip and its people once more, but with more brutality and for a shorter time. One might ask, why would this bear different fruits than the ‘Cast Lead Operation’? But this is the wrong question. The right question is what else can the present political and military elite of Israel (which includes the government and the main opposition parties) do?