Israel knows how to win a war
Israel continues to pound away at Hamas targets in Gaza while it amasses troops on the border in preparation for a possible ground attack.
The typical response from the international community is coming in as well. Iran is calling for volunteer Muslims around the world to fight in Palestine. French President Sarkozy has condemned the Israeli attacks as disproportionate to the Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilian targets. The Egyptian foreign minister referred to Israel’s military response as “blind military action” in the same breath in which he extended his condolences to the Palestinian “victims.” Protests throughout the Arab world are calling for more agressive action against Israel and America.
Such hypocrisy has come to be expected anytime Israel responds to Palestinian or Arab aggression. But, Israel knows how to take care of itself. Since the United Nations created the State of Israel in 1948, the geographically tiny and isolated country has fought and won several wars with its surrounding Arab neighbors.
War of Independence 1947-1949
During the War of Independence from 1947-49, the tiny state fought and defeated an Arab coalition consisting of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. Troops of these nations were supplemented by Palestinian and Sudanese contingents as well. Over 6,000 Israeli troops lost their lives to defeat the Arab aggressors who greatly outnumbered the fledgling nation’s armed forces.
This was not to be the war to end all wars however, as Israel’s neighbors retreated to lick their wounds and develop new strategies. During this time, Palestinian terrorism was born as Egypt funded suicide troops who operated from bases in Jordan. The U.N. Security Council condemned every Israeli response to this terror, but condemnation of the Arab’s who sponsored violence against Israel was blocked by the Soviet Union’s veto.
Sinai Campaign of 1956
In 1956, Israel launched an offensive against Egyptian forces in the Sinai Desert in response to the Arab nation’s stockpiling of Soviet arms in preparation for war against the tiny Jewish state. When Egytptian President Nasser blockaded the Suez Canal, Britain and France backed the Israeli action. Israel launched the campaign with paratroops who quickly conquered the Egyptian airfields in the Sinai and cleared the path for Israeli ground forces to march to the Suez Canal.
The United States sponsored a Security Council resolution demanding an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Sinai that was subsequently vetoed by Britain and France. The next day, these two countries launched air attacks against Egyptian airfields along the canal allowing Israeli ground troops to pummel their opponents. These operations resulted in the capture of the Gaza Strip, along with virtually the entire Sinai Desert. It had taken this tiny, isolated Jewish nation only 8 days to relieve Egypt of the heavily fortified Sinai.
Both the United States and the Soviet Union condemned the Israeli assault and demanded it remove its troops to pre-war borders. Israel complied after 6 months of negotiations produced a U.N. agreement to take control of the Gaza Strip and station a U.N. Emergency Force in the Sinai to protect Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Aquaba and Suez Canal.
The Arab states were surprised by Israel’s quick victory, but not ready to accept its right to exist. This war was not yet over.
The Six Day War–1967