These Honored Dead

The battle at Gettysburg took place 150 years ago: a blink of an eye in the millennia since Sinai. Such uncanny intimacy with the far past is what Jewish culture brings to American history.

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More about: American Civil War, American Jewish Heritage Month, American Jewish History, Gettysburg, July 4

 

Was the Second Lebanon War Worth It?

Reflecting on the ten-year anniversary of Israel’s second Lebanon war, Moshe Arens assesses its outcome. To its credit in his view is the fact that it lasted for 33 days and was followed by ten years of quiet on the northern border. Israel, he notes, has fought four such inconclusive wars with its neighbors, interspersed with similar periods of quiet before they finally gave up their goal of destroying it. But can such a strategy work against Hizballah?

[T]he behavior of terrorists and their leaders differs from that of Arab rulers, whose primary concern is their political survival. Terrorists, who think in messianic terms and on a messianic time scale, are prepared to lose many battles, confident that in due time victory will be theirs. [Furthermore], the acquisition of ballistic rockets and missiles by terrorist organizations has introduced a new dimension into their conflicts with Israel, providing them, despite being much weaker militarily, with a deterrent capability that Jerusalem must take into account. . . .

The ten years after the second Lebanon war were a period of mutual deterrence, also influenced by Hizballah’s deep involvement in the fighting in Syria. But they were also years of massive increase of Hizballah’s rocket and missile arsenal. Hizballah will come to the next confrontation with Israel far better prepared and more capable of bringing destruction to Israel’s cities. The lesson is clear: another round of fighting that does not put an end to the terrorists’ military capability means they will come back for more, better prepared than ever.

Read more at Moshe Arens

More about: Hamas, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Second Lebanon War