I just returned from Israel where I witnessed a country at war. To say other than that matters are complicated, sad and are aching the Jewish nation, is obfuscating truth. However, the cause of this war is as just as just could be.
A war is not a moral matter; fighting a war is not moral. In a war soldiers and others die and the ultimate goal of a war is to eliminate the enemy and have victory [almost] at all cost.
Amir Avivi is a Brigadier General (Ret.) in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Combat Engineering Corps, the Founder and CEO of Ha’Bitchonistim Israel Defense & Security Forum (IDSF).
This Forum’s key conduct component is based on the belief that Israel’s security is the most basic factor to its existence as the national homeland of the Jewish people. And this message must be heard throughout the world, i.e., global media, be a feature on social networks and among policymakers.
While in Israel I met up with and set up an interview With Amir. In this interview I am bringing to focus what Ha’Bitchonistim have said and have to say about the current Swords of Iron War Israel launched and is in the midst of against the terrorist group Hamas, headquartered in the Gaza Strip.
This war is the answer to Hamas’ brutal attack on Israel’s south on October 7, 2023, in which Hamas terrorists perpetrated an unprecedented massacre on Israeli civilians in many communities in Southern Israel.
Overview of What Transpired Prior to October 7, 2023
About two years ago the IDSF prepared a national security assessment that basically indicated to the government of Israel, its army forces, the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations Mossad that a war was imminent and they thought it would break in a year or two.
Reason. At IDSF they saw the alarming global changes, i.e., the United States appeasing Iran and pushing for a new nuclear deal with this state terror-funding rogue country; the irresponsible US withdrawal from Afghanistan and Russia and China getting to closer cooperation.
They saw Iran’s build-up of forces while Iran’s proxies reached an armament peak. This enabled Iran to feel strong enough to launch a war, using its proxy forces – as we are witnessing Hamas and Hezbollah while the Iran funded Yemenite Houthis are assisting in the battle.
This assessment came up while Israel’s army and intelligence claimed the opposite. They believed the enemy of Israel is either deterred or has no interest in engineering a war. And instead of extensively preparing the army and the civil society for a possible war, or even being preemptive, the Israeli authorities and the military sat duck. They became a very easy target for an enemy to shoot at or attack.
This assessment gave Israel two options: either the 1967 Six Day War preemptive strike scenario, or the 1973 Yom Kippur War getting caught with the pants down scenario, when one is not blindfolded or is prepared for what could take place.
Since the first 1987 intifada, meaning Arab uprising in Israel, the IDSF have been motivated to solve Israel’s security matters. According to IDSF assessment, from the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 till October 7, 2023, the number of Israelis murdered at home – named the “victims of the peace process” – were ten times more than from 1948, when Israel declared its independence, to signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
Oslo Accords Changed Life in Israel
The Oslo Accords changed life in Israel. It gave the Arab population, whom Israel “gained” in 1967, the right to autonomous rule in Gaza and parts of Judea and Samaria.
With the assistance of several mistaken moves by Israel, instead of creating a productive life for the local residents over the years, Gaza, under terrorist [chairman-‘Rais’] Yasser Arafat rule and then Hamas rule, Gaza turned into a terror enclave and a missile launching pad from where Israel has been constantly attacked.
Alas, no solution was put on the table because the only solution was to go to war and retake Gaza, destroy the terror infrastructure and organizations there as well as abolish the failed Palestinian Authority (PA), the pretext to the “2-state solution.”
No Israeli government was willing to take responsibility for such a decision and consequential loss of many lives, mainly fallen soldiers.
Israelis resorted to living under demanding and damning security circumstances because if otherwise, the price to pay was the admission that the Oslo Accords was a horrendous decision and a total failure.
As we have witnessed, what should have been done to prevent it was not done. All the warnings that no one listened to resulted in October 7, 2023, an unprecedented massacre of Jews in their homeland that could only be compared to the crimes against the Jews during the Holocaust.
I for one must say that these were 100 times more vicious crimes than those perpetrated by the German Nazis during the Holocaust.
NG: “What is the current situation in Israel?”
AA: “Things are complicated; the IDF is fighting Hamas in Gaza and in our country’s north, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah is constantly firing rockets into Israel, one will say as a teaser and what can develop into a full scale war.”
NG: “The terror tunnels labyrinth the IDF discovered and continues discovering in Gaza is unprecedented. Since Hezbollah, in Lebanon, is presenting a similar danger to Israel from the north, do you think there is also a tunnel situation there as well?”
AA: “Yes. Israel knows about the tunnels Hezbollah dug and it has dealt with it, somewhat, in the past. If necessary, in time, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will have to go into Lebanon and do the same work it has done in Gaza and blow up these tunnels.”
NG: “Israel has peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt. At times it appears that they do not take these peace treaties seriously and they side with Israel’s enemy. Do you think that they might one day turn their back on Israel?”
AA: “Israel must maintain the diplomatic cordiality with these two neighboring Arab countries as well as maintain the signed peace treaties agreements with them. However, with its eyes fully opened. A peace treaty document can be shredded in a minute. Israel must also be fully vigilant and aware of their actions and activities. After all these are Arab countries and in the Middle East, even though in Israel we speak Hebrew, we must also speak Arabic.”
NG: “In your opinion, is the Swords of Iron War progressing well?”
AA: “The IDF is working extremely hard. No military in the world has yet faced such a ruthless enemy that fights from a maze of deep terror tunnels it has dug. The IDF has to fight above and below the ground. It is a very complex military operation that unfortunately at times, the IDF has to learn to fight it as they go along. But the commanders and the soldiers are determined and slowly and systematically are reaching their goals of destroying the Hams complex infrastructure, below and above the ground, its operational centers, in hospitals, schools and Gazans’ private homes, and also eliminating Hamas combat terrorists.
NG: “Will the government of Israel meet its war goals promises?”
AA: “The government, the war cabinet body, vouched to the citizens of Israel to destroy Hamas’s ability to exist militarily and personnel wise and make it safe for the citizens of the south of Israel to return to their homes and never worry about another rocket fired at them or another such invasion and massacre; also to bring home the rest of the hostages Hamas abducted to Gaza on October 7, 2023. As far as I assess the situation, the cabinet will not sway away from their promises and the war will continue until all challenges have been fully met.”
NG: “There is wide chatter in Israel about what will the day after the war ends look like. What is your opinion that day will look like?”
AA: “When Hamas has been destroyed and Gaza could be seen as cleared of its presence, Israel must be in charge of Gaza’s entire security. There will be no factor that terror can rise and then reign in Gaza again. However, has history goes, a military security control of an area eventually falls apart. Therefore a civilian population must be living there. We, at IDSF, highly recommend that Israel creates a large buffer zone between Gaza and Israel’s sovereign land and allow for Israeli-Jewish communities to be established in Gaza. This is Gaza’s final vision.”
AA: “Once the war is over, Israel will revive; its economy will recover and will become even stronger. The Middle East will be more peaceful, countries in the Middle East will forge firm cooperation and a new brighter era will begin in the Middle East.
We all hope that IDSF is correct in its assessment and prediction as it has been many times in the past.