It was 50 years ago to the day, when Israel was surprised and caught unprepared for the Yom Kippur War that ended after nineteen days leaving the nation traumatized yet ending with Israel’s military victory over combined Arab forces from the south and the north, with IDF forces reaching the entrances of Damascus and Cairo. Over the past 24 hours we have experienced a sense of “Déjà vu”. The mighty IDF was caught again unprepared enabling Hamas terrorists to enter Israel freely on land, from the air, and from the sea; opening fire and indiscriminately killing civilians in their homes, on the streets, in cities, in kibbutzim, and succeeding in taking dozens of Israeli captives - including numerous women, children and elders – who are believed to have been taken as hostages back into the Gaza Strip.
Today, we began our Shabbat with services of Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah. We spent the morning hours and midday in our synagogue praying and then it began. News began to trickle into our shul and as we saw young worshippers being sporadically being called out and instructed to leave and join their military units immediately. No different than 50 years ago.
As of 23:00 Saturday evening, multiple heavy barrages of rockets were fired since the morning hours towards southern Israel, the center of the country and as north as the Netanya area with multiple interceptions of the Iron Dome missile defense system heard far and wide. Authorities have confirmed that as of this hour, more than 250 civilians have been murdered and dozens others were captured in a “blitz offensive” by Hamas on southern and on central Israel. At least 1,500 have been wounded, many seriously. The numbers of killed and wounded are expected to continue their upward spiral.
"We have no idea how this could have happened", is the response that Frank Gardner, a BBC security correspondent received from unnamed officials today when after asking how, with all its vast resources, “Israeli intelligence did not see this attack coming. With the combined efforts of Shin Bet, Israeli domestic intelligence, Mossad, its external spy agency and all the assets of the Israel Defense Forces, it is frankly astounding that nobody saw this coming. Or if they did, they failed to act on it.”
Prior to today’s attacks by Hamas, the long held military and security concepts of "containment" and "mowing the lawn" that have been the guiding light of the military and the progressive deep state has fallen apart and proven once again that the military and the progressive deep state (including major security and defense officials) cannot be trusted in their ability to make strategic decisions on behalf of Israel and have brought over the years, terror to our front door. We saw after the signing of the Oslo agreement 30 years ago (Labor party - Rabin and Peres), we saw this in 2000 when the IDF abruptly left and abandoned southern Lebanon (Labor Party - Ehud Barak) resulting in the Second intifada with thousands murdered and wounded; remember their use of the term "victims of peace". Then in 2003 when the Army had to respond against its self-imposed indoctrination and re-took control of the West Bank (Defense Shield) due to the terror as a result of the second intifada ( Kadima - Ariel Sharon); in 2005 with the disengagement (Kadima - Ariel Sharon) from the Gaza Strip and allowing Hamas take over; we saw this in 2006 during the second Lebanon Was (Kadima - Ehud Olmert and Dan Halutz – then the IDF Chief of Staff), the very same names that are part of the leadership of the anti-Judicial reform and supporters of pilots and soldiers refusing to serve. Their efforts have distracted the IDF over the past 9 months from its central task of preparing and training the military. Instead the IDF has had to deal with subordination and refusal to serve.
The government will decide according to defense commentators, to end the rule of Hamas over the Gaza Strip by military means: what was will no longer be. There is no backing down, the whole Muslim world is watching how we respond, there are many hostages including soldiers and civilians, many of them from a Kibbutz in the south, taken back into Gaza, the story will have a bloody ending and a very high price of human life, there is no other choice here