Limits of hard power

A month into Operation Protective Edge, the limits of hard power in general and of Israel’s vast military force in specific are apparent.

By
August 17, 2014 21:58
2 minute read.
IDF

Religious IDF soldiers pray near the Gaza border on July 23.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

This summer has been a mess. Our region is in turmoil. Reports of the atrocities of ISIS forces in Syria and Iraq are pouring in alongside photos of Gaza’s ruins further to the current round of violence between Israel and the Hamas. This isn’t a great neighborhood to be in. But this is where we Israelis are rooted. And the time has come for Israel to take charge of its own fate.

In Gaza, Hamas is caught between Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s Muslim Brotherhood-hating Egypt and Israel: two powerful neighbors that are hostile towards it.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


This, coupled with Gaza’s dire economic situation, and the threat of further deterioration, has Hamas with its back against the wall. What Israel may not have internalized is that when our neighbor is in a “lose-lose situation,” we stand to lose too.

The paradigm under which Israel and the United States have been working – to crush Hamas economically and wait for the citizens of Gaza to rebel and overthrow their leadership – has not reaped fruit for over a decade. Contrary to Israel’s assumptions, the poverty-stricken and emotionally broken citizens of Gaza who make up the vast majority struggling daily to feed their families, did not rise up against Hamas. This, despite the fact that the latter is a terrorist organization which cynically channeled cement ear-tagged for building Gaza’s schools and hospitals,to tunnels dug to destroy Israel. After Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense and now Protective Edge, it is safe to assume that Hamas is not leaving the neighborhood.

What Israel can and must do is to turn the current paradigm on its head. It must render Hamas politically impotent by forming a coalition with the moderate Arab world and by actively pursuing the involvement of international forces. The fragile indirect negotiations in Cairo need to be backed up by more than the conflicting parties and a biased mediator. This is the time to dust off the The Arab League Initiative; to bring in moderate Arab players with similar interests to us; and to catalyze upon our relations with Jordan, in addition to Egypt.

The international community, namely Germany, France and Britain, are said to have presented Israel with an initiative to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip, subject to an international supervision apparatus that will prevent the rearmament of Hamas and other terror groups in the Strip. These opportunities need to be ceased with both hands.

Most importantly – it is high-time to end the Israeli- Palestinian conflict with the Palestinian people’s legitimate elected leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Israel’s policy to draw a separation between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank – which has ultimately grounded the claim that peace is not possible because no one address unifies our Palestinian neighbor – needs to be revisited. Clearly, Palestinian unification can be an asset to Israel if its serves to constrain Hamas’s power and create more favorable conditions towards a two-state solution.

A month into Operation Protective Edge, the limits of hard power in general and of Israel’s vast military force in specific are apparent. Against the background of the anticipated UN-commissioned Schabas report – the mandate of which is almost too absurd to be considered seriously – Israel now needs to invest time and talent in the regional and international arenas, and in so doing to take the lead in determining what this neighborhood is going to look like.

The writer is a PhD candidate at the Tel Aviv University researching stigmatization of states in the international arena.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Avigdor Liberman on a visit to Azerbaijan, visiting the Eternal Fire memorial in Baku
September 18, 2018
Liberman’s visit signals strengthening relations between Israel and Azerbaijan

By ARYE GUT