Is it possible that Israel could win a military victory in Gaza and still lose the war?
I understand the reason for Israel’s invasion of Gaza to destroy Hamas, which carried out a hideous terrorist attack murdering more than 1,000 civilians in one day. Any government would have done the same, especially since Hamas, which favors the destruction of Israel and all the Jews within, has publicly called for more such attacks.
Yet even if Israel achieves military success — meaning the destruction of Hamas infrastructure and leadership and release of hostages — what comes afterward will define whether Israel has strengthened its security, or paved the way for the next version of Hamas.
The definition of victory in Gaza cannot be measured just in military terms.
Why so? I agree with Ami Ayalon, who headed Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, from 1995-2000. “Hamas is not just a military capability; it is an ide...