Israel suffered 13 dead soldiers in one day's operation in Gaza this weekend. The cumulative loss to the IDF is higher, and sadly, will grow even more before operations against Hamas are concluded.
Based upon population size, Israel's loss of 13 troops in one day is the equivalent of the US losing 500 soldiers. That is a full Batallion being wiped out in one day.
The US has lost some 3,500 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. We mourn them while watching as Obama squanders their sacrifice for his own political expediency.I would ask you to consider, if at all possible, what the headlines would have been had the US ever suffered such a one day loss in the last 12 years...what they would have been had that loss been 50, and not 500.
Israel, since its birth, has fought three wars against the Arab world, for its very existence. Those casualty figures are horrific.
Yet the Israeli leadership deemed the threat posed by the Hamas rockets and tunnels.... the increasing levels of terrorism...to be so dangerous to Israel that the military option was their only recourse.....that they are willing to suffer and endure the price....the lives of their soldiers, to protect the Israeli people. Especially since now stockpiles of WMDs are floating around all over the mid east. If you haven't thought about it..a tunnel into Israel is a perfect delivery method for such an attack.
One gets the sense that this time, finally, Netanyahu understands that Israeli will NEVER win the battle of world opinion. Yes, he forcefully , and cogently makes his case; but it's not what worries him. Rather, he's determined to significantly degrade Hamas.
In 1981, the Israeli took out the Iraq nuclear site at Osirik. The world wailed for a few days....but secretly, most of the western world was thrilled. One suspects that Israel's actions in Gaza will follow the same pattern. And given Obama's just-announced mini-surrender to Iran..pushing any decision back until after the mid-term elections; the probability of an Israeli strike against the Iranian nuclear sites seems greater.
And in the end, if the Israelis are successful, the cost in lives to IDF forces, and both Israeli AND Palestinian civilians may save more lives in future years.
Author's note: As events in Gaza escalated over the last week. I was reminded of the brilliant, long-ago quote by Abba Eban, the Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister from 1966-1974:
"The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
We tend to view world events in sweeping, broad patterns. Yet they are measured in lives lost. That Israel believes that such a sacrifice is absolutely necessary, right now, at this time, say it all..for those who are willing to honestly understand, and assess the world we live in today.