Issues

Israel Is Learning a Better Way to Deal with Gaza

n a series of repeating images, it is the small and subtle differences that tell the true story.

This week’s spate of violence in and around the Gaza Strip mostly resembles the previous rounds—in 2021, 2019, 2014, 2012, and 2009—in the weapons used by both sides, the lopsided death tolls, and the selectively pious outrage of the self-appointed guardians of global probity.

But there were a few slight changes this time, and they reveal a great deal. The Iran-backed militant group which initiated the crisis last week by threatening an attack on Israel unless a long list of demands were met greatly overestimated its own tactical capabilities and greatly underestimated the operational and intelligence capabilities of its Israeli adversary. It also misread the domestic political situation in Israel and the regional diplomatic situation in the Middle East.

Israel, for its part, still has no effective long-term strategy for dealing with the problem of the Gaza Strip, largely because its elites are terrified of formulating an effective strategy for the problem of the West Bank. But at a tactical level, its handling of the most recent conflagration shows a limited, incremental, but nonetheless crucial process of learning.

Read More: Mosaic Magazine