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By David Ramati, Middle East Correspondent, July 12, 2014

The current debate today in Israel revolves around the second stage of the ongoing protective edge operation intended to neutralize the continuously reoccurring rocket attacks, which has forced millions of Israelis into bomb shelters.  The debate argues the pros and cons of sending in soldiers in what will be essentially house-to-house warfare in one of the most crowded places on earth.


Everyone seems to have accepted the necessity of bombing Gaza, both right and left shed few tears for the collateral damage to civilians who may or may not fully support their terrorist masters.  “Boots on the Ground” however, is an entirely different matter.


The role of the infantry on the battlefield is typically to close with the enemy and kill or capture him.  In such an attack on a fortified city or area with a dense civilian population, the attacking force can expect 60% or greater causalities, not to mention the civilian collateral causalities, which could be very high as well.  This is particularly true in a war in which HAMAS has no compunction about using civilian “human shields.”


No Israeli government could last for long after sending our sons into battle in which unacceptable causalities would send a shock wave through the Israeli population that would see members of parliament falling like rotten apples from a tree.


The alternative is to bomb the HAMAS into the “stone age” as General Curtis LeMay called for in the Vietnam war in which he said: “My solution to the problem would be to tell [the North Vietnamese Communists] frankly that they've got to draw in their horns and stop their aggression or we're going to bomb them into the Stone Age.  And we would shove them back into the Stone Age with Air power or Naval power—not with ground forces.”  (Sherry, Michael (September 10, 1989).  The Rise of American Air Power: The Creation of Armageddon, p. 287)


The problem is that this policy of long-range killing has never worked, neither in Kora, nor in Vietnam, nor in Iraq or in Afghanistan, and most importantly of all, in our own history in the never-ending wars with HAMAS and Hezbollah.


The difference between what America faced and what we face is the fact that Israel has always been fighting for its very survival.  This has not changed.  The question this article wishes to propose is this; are we, the Israeli people, willing to pay the price of victory or would we prefer to remain in an endless stalemated war of attrition forever?  What price are we, the Israeli people, willing to pay for our survival?

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