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
Over the course of several weeks in 1967, anti-Israeli rhetoric comprised of threats of annihilation of the small Jewish state was spewed by Arab leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, and Syria, as well as Palestinian leaders. This rhetoric was followed by the massing of Arab troops on Israeli borders in the Sinai, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. Egypt sent 100,000 troops into the Sinai, blockaded Israel’s southern port, and demanded the withdrawal of the U.N. Emergency Force, while Syria staged its forces in the Golan Heights, and Jordan in the West Bank.
Israel launched a preemptive attack on and quickly crushed Egyptian forces in the Sinai and Gaza. A Syrian air attack was quashed by the Israelis on the first day of the war. Jordanian troops then launched an offensive from the West Bank. After six days of fierce fighting, Israel had routed the Arab forces and expelled them from their staging areas (now known as the Occupied Territories.)
War of Attrition 1968-1970
Egypt, seeking to recapture the Sinai, launched artillery attacks against Israeli Defense Forces on the east bank of the Suez. Israel responded with a cross border commando attack that knocked out the main source of electricity for Egypt. President Nasser spent the next few months fortifying strategic targets in Egypt before again escalating the conflict. In the interim, Israel had refortified its positions along the Suez which came to be known as the Bar Lev Line.
In February 1969, Nasser ordered a massive artillery and air attack against the Bar Lev Line, resulting in heavy Israeli casualties. Israel again responded with cross border attacks deep into Egyptian territory. In July, Israel launched a massive air assault that continued into December and destroyed Egyptian anti-aircraft defenses.
With nothing standing between Egypt and the Israeli Air Force, Nasser appealed to the Soviet Union for assistance in the form of arms and troops. The United States, fearing superpower involvement could lead to a nuclear confrontation, then became involved in cease-fire negotiations and Israel accepted the U.S. brokered cease-fire agreement in July of 1970.
Yom Kippur War 1973
On the holiest day of the Jewish calender, The Day of Atonement–October 6, 1973, this attack caught the Israeli Defense Forces totally off guard and the initial action went heavily for the attacking Syrian and Egyptian forces. Egypt launched an all out attack on the Sinai coordinated with a similar attack by the Syrians in the Golan Heights. Israel’s 500 troops in the Suez Canal zone faced an 80,000 strong Egyptian force while 150 Israeli tanks battled 1,400 Syrian tanks in the North.
Though Egypt and Syria bore the brunt of the campaign, they had help from many of Israel’s Arab enemies. Iraq supplied the Syrian force with 18,000 troops, which were further bolstered by two Jordanian armored brigades. Libya and Iraq had previously supplied Egypt with Russian-built MIG and French-built Mirage fighter jets which were employed in the campaign. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait financed much of the operation. In a sense, Israel was once again fighting the entire Arab world.
Caught totally unaware of the impending attack, the first two days of the war were disastrous for Israel. Egypt had marched 15 miles into the Sinai and Syria had taken the Golan Heights by the 7th of October. However, Israel’s geographic disadvantage of being surrounded by its enemies and the numerous wars fought before had left it in a heightened alert status, always ready to respond quickly to enemy activity.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were quickly mobilized and reserves called up. On October 8, this small, isolated Jewish nation lauched a counterrattack that rapidly forced the Egyptian forces back across the Suez and expelled the Syrian forces from the Golan Heights. The IDF marched to within 65 miles of Cairo and 35 miles of Damascus before a U.N. brokered cease-fire interrupted the Israeli rout of its enemies on October 24. A peacekeeping force of 1,200 U.N. troops was sent to the Golan Heights and Israel maintained control of the Sinai.
Once again, the outnumbered Israeli forces had defeated a numerically superior force of allied Arab enemies in a few short days.
Operation Peace for Galilee–1982
Palestinian terror groups, most notably the Palestinian Liberation Organization, had sprung up since before the Six Day War and had expanded their base of operations to include southern Lebanon. Israel had launched smaller scale attacks against these bases prior to 1982, like Operation Litani in 1978 in response to a terror attack on civilian buses that killed 37 and wounded another 76.
In response to an assassination attempt on the Israeli ambassador to Britain in 1982, the IDF once again attacked the terror bases in southern Lebanon. This time, the mission was expanded an Israel captured the capital city of Beirut. The Syrians interceded in June. Though Israel’s success against Syrian ground forces came with a high price, this small Jewish state dominated in the skies. Syrian anti-aircraft batteries were quickly destroyed which allowed the superior Israeli Air Force to down 29 Syrian aircraft in one day without a single loss of its own.
The Gulf War–1991
During the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq, Israel obliged American requests to not become actively engaged. However, Saddam Hussein, facing an international coalition devoted to wresting recently conquered Kuwait from Iraqi hands, ordered Scud missile attacks against Israel in an effort to garner support of Arab members of the coalition. More than 80 Scud missiles resulted in 31 Israeli fatalities. These Israeli citizens died at the hand of the Arab state of Iraq even though Israel was not in any way involved in the war.
By July 2006, the Palestinian terror organization Hezbollah had established bases in Lebanon once again. An IDF patrol was attacked, inside Israeli territory, by Hezbollah terrorists who killed three and captured two Israeli troops. This attack coincided with coordinated rocket and mortar bombardments of Israeli settlements and military installations in the north.
Israel then launched a counterattack against Hezbollah positions throughout Lebanon. Once again, the international community revealed its hypocrisy in criticism of Israel’s disproportionate use of force. The war concluded on August 14 with a U.N. brokered cease-fire.
Once again, Israel is forced to respond to unprovoked attacks by terrorist organizations funded and supported by its Arab enemies. And, once again the world is condemning Israel for responding too harshly.
If the United States and the rest of the international community will stand aside and let the Israelis finish this, the Palestinian problem will be resolved. Either there will be no terrorists left, or they will come to realize that failure to recognize Israel’s right to exist can only lead to their annihilation.
The Israelis knows how to deal with this. We need to let them finish it.
Human Sacrifice in the Pit of Hell–by Cassandra at Politeia
Liveblogging Israel’s operation against Hamas–Michelle Malkin