WAR WITH Syria? Peace with Syria?
A big military operation against Hamas in the Gaza strip? A cease-fire with Hamas?
By Uri Avnery
".....One of the direct results was the 1973 war, which destroyed the myth of our army's invincibility. Yet without this being the intent of our government, this war had one positive result: three unusual personalities - Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter - succeeded in translating Egyptian pride over the successful crossing of the Suez Canal into a peace agreement. But the same peace could have been achieved a year earlier, without war and without the thousands of killed, if Golda Meir had not arrogantly rejected Sadat's proposal.
The First Lebanon War was, perhaps, the most hopeless and dim-witted of Israel's wars, a cocktail of arrogance, ignorance and complete lack of understanding of the opponent. Ariel Sharon intended - as he told me in advance, to - (a) destroy the PLO, (b) cause the Palestinian refugees to flee from Lebanon to Jordan, (c) drive the Syrians out of Lebanon, and (d) turn Lebanon into an Israeli protectorate. The results: (a) Arafat went to Tunis, and later, as the result of the First Intifada, returned to Palestine in triumph, (b) the Palestinian refugees remained in Lebanon, in spite of the Sabra and Shatila massacre that was intended to panic them into fleeing, (c) the Syrians remained in Lebanon for another twenty years, and (d) the Shiites, who had been downtrodden and beholden to Israel, became a powerful force in Lebanon and Israel's most determined foe.
The less said about Lebanon War II the better - its true character was obvious right from the start. Its aims were not frustrated - simply because there were no clear aims at all. Today Hizbullah is where it was, stronger and better armed, shielded from Israeli attacks by the presence of an international force.
After the First Intifada, Israel recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization and brought Arafat back to the country. After the Second Intifada, Hamas won the Palestinian elections and later took over direct control of a part of the country.
ALBERT EINSTEIN considered it a symptom of madness to repeat again and again doing something that has already failed and to expect a different result every time.
Most politicians and generals conform to this formula. Again and again they try to achieve their aims by military means and obtain contrary results. We Israelis occupy an honorable place among these madmen.
War is hell, as an American general pronounced. It also rarely achieves its aims."