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Israel’s no-win war strategy



A modified F-15 squadron of the Israel Air Force. Israel once seemed to know how to deal with enemies. Still, one cannot pursue security at the expense of the virtues that can truly bring it. Sadly, fear of losing democratic respectability, stops Israel from relying on her greatest strength. Her strength will come from a Tzadik level of statecraft.

How strange! Israel has been constantly at war since her rebirth in 1948, and has never been guided by a winning war strategy, as articulated by such great military scientists as Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.

A war college head who hadn’t read von Clausewitz?

Indeed, I had a student in one of my classes at Bar-Ilan University who never read Clausewitz’s masterpiece On War. With some difficulty he was able to find a Hebrew translation of the book in Israel, which he needed but only because I deliberately and ironically assigned him to write a paper on that great military scientist and practitioner.

Israel, Judea-Samaria, and Gaza. All won in war, but ironically by a country without a war winning strategy.

Israel, its neighbors, and disputed territories. Graphic: Central Intelligence Agency

What made this all the more strange is that General Y. Harkabi, the brain of Shimon Peres, was the director of Israel’s “war college” (if I may call it that) – the college that graduated Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak, war heroes that became Israeli Prime Ministers.

As a measly 2nd lieutenant in the United States Air Force having no combat experience in the Korean War, I was not equipped to judge of the generalship of those Israeli hot shots, although I had read enough to know they were not military geniuses comparable to General Douglas MacArthur and Dwight Eisenhower.

To win, call things what they are

In any event, one of my duties was to give “Troop Information Lectures” about America’s enemy, the Soviet Union, which I described as a vicious tyranny bent on America’s destruction. (No moral equivalence or relativism from 2nd Lt. Eidelberg.) I painted the USSR as black, just as I have been painting Islam and the Palestinian Authority black – although the facts speak for themselves despite the moral relativism of Prof. Harkabi and, more recently, of Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., historian Michael Oren.

Since one can hardly talk peace with Arabs described as barbarians, it was only logical that the ambassador to the U.S. be a cultural relativist – a tendency of American historians and of Israeli-educated historians lacking a normative Jewish education. Apparently, Bibi knew what he was doing sending Oren to Washington.

But let’s get serious. Given the preceding backdrop, how can Israel wage war against her enemies with the vigor of moral conviction when Israeli leaders are loath to use pejorative language to describe Israel’s enemies with whom Israel is supposed to be engaging in peace talks?  It’s all make-believe – a charade, a deadly charade, and no one dares call the king naked.

It’s obvious that Israel’s government will therefore send soldiers to fight and die in one indecisive war after another, for the goal of these wars will never be victory. Victory would leave the enemy disarmed and incapable of waging another war against Israel.☼

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[…] further encouraged to do so, since Israeli Prime Ministers shudder at the thought of pursuing a war-winning strategy involving the utter defeat and disarming of the […]

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[…] facts speak for themselves about “Palestinians” and their breaches of the peace. The moral relativism of academics and […]


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