All posts tagged: long-term agreement

Is the Destruction of Gaza Making Israel Any Safer?

Is the Destruction of Gaza Making Israel Any Safer?

Israeli forces are killing thousands of innocent civilians and badly damaging their country’s standing with its most important partners, including the United States. Israel has also no doubt severely degraded Hamas’s military capabilities, but the question needs to be asked: Is the country’s furious response to the Hamas invasion of October 7 making Israel any safer? At best, it’s still too soon to say—but on balance, what I see worries me. It sometimes takes years to fully appreciate the strategic significance of a conflict. Great victories look more ambiguous in hindsight, and catastrophic defeats sometimes have silver linings. That seems especially true for Israel. In 2006, Israel fought a 34-day war with Hezbollah that most observers at the time classed as a decisive victory for the Iranian-sponsored Lebanese militant group. Eighteen years later, that conflict looks instead like the moment when Israel reestablished a measure of cross-border deterrence that it had lost when it withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000. The Israeli ground onslaught in 2006 may have been disjointed and underwhelming, but the aerial …