It is a dark day in Israel.
Tomorrow should be a dark day in Gaza. Today, almost all the world says it supports Israel’s right to defend itself against this unprovoked assault, the kidnapping of its citizens and the rape of its women. We suspect that unity will soon fade.
Whether the IDF destroys two buildings or two hundred in Palestinian territory, the Arab propaganda apparatus will generate the same outraged response from its global allies, and calls for a measured and proportional response will soon come from anti-Semites on the Left and Right.
We hope Israel, in this moment of existential peril, will ignore them. If Gazans wake up to piles of smoking rubble, it will demonstrate to Hamas and the rest of the Arab world the consequences of their unending war against Israel.
President Joe Biden, we understand, told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he will get whatever support he needs in the war to come, and we expect Democrats and Republicans to hold him to that.
For the past several years, Israel has treated its foes as a weakened and constrained enemy subject to unwritten but clear boundaries, "mowing the lawn" every so often with limited counterattacks: Operation Breaking Dawn, Operation Guardian of the Walls, Operation Protective Edge. That was folly. The IDF has mowed the lawn, now it is time to rip up the turf. Israel cannot exist in a world where it is subject to attack like this. As a result, the response should be extraordinary, huge, and final. Hamas must be eradicated, not taught a lesson.
Another weak and partial solution will mean that Israel declines and fades as a nation. What tech expert, executive, or highly educated person will want to live in a nation where this can happen? It will lose its most valuable citizens.
It is a precious thing for a country to have a military whose strength, intelligence, and reliability discourages war-making against it, and it would be a catastrophe if the perception and reality of Israel’s military were to be replaced by incompetence, weakness, and lack of vision.
On Israel’s 9/11, we hope the recent carelessness and frivolity of its politics and military apparatus turns on a dime, or a shekel, and that the Jewish State marshals all the forces of innovation and creative energy into a determined path to victory and unconditional surrender—not just the status quo ante.