Meirav Arlosoroff writes:
…This is an existential war and Israel should be fighting it as one. It is a war in which every possible military effort should be invested, exposing the country to the dangers of an all-out war – of soldiers being captured, of becoming embroiled in difficult battles, and of facing such perils as opening of a second front and incurring very large numbers of losses. Coping with these dangers is essential despite the fact that doing so does not guarantee achievements.
A war is not an insurance policy. Taking risks is not a sufficient condition for victory in such circumstances, but it is certainly a necessary condition – because only those who dare will succeed. Only those who are willing to dare can truly threaten the other side.
Israel cannot promise that the Hezbollah will pay an intolerable price for breaking the taboo by attacking the country’s home front. It can promise to be willing to pay a very high price in order to make Hezbollah pay a far higher one. This promise could have been the basis for its deterrence.
Israel’s willingness to fight to the death to protect its home front is the only way to make those considering attacking that front in the future think twice. To put it bluntly: Israel’s willingness to absorb hundreds of losses can prevent the deaths of thousands, and perhaps even more, in the future. This is a cold and cruel arithmetic of blood, but it is the one that will be determined in this war. And it is doubtful whether Israel has fulfilled its part in it.
The problem has never been “land for peace” or “land for recognizable borders.” The problem has always been Israel’s lack of overwhelming deterrence in the aftermath and in the middle of treaties and negotiations.
Once the carrot of “peace” is dangled just barely out of reach of the Israeli mouth, Israel continues to pursue it like an addict in desperate search of his next rock of crack cocaine, ignoring the corrosive effects both the drug and its pursuit have on him.
Peace will come when Israel’s neighbors realize there is no other option; it will endure when the alternative is more painful than peace with Israel and coexistence with Jews.