These are the arguments that are currently being discussed in the Israeli public domain against any large-scale Israeli military operation in Gaza:

1. The Lebanon trauma: Fear of an entanglement. One knows how operations of that sort begin, but one doesn’t always know how they end.

2. High casualty figures: Hamas is well prepared. According to every scenario, a major incursion into the Gaza Strip will result in numerous Israeli military and civilian casualties.

3. International Pressure: Israel knows that the world will not sit idly by in the event of a major operation in Gaza, certainly not after the first mishap in which children are killed.

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4. Israeli POW Gilad Shalit: Security officials are worried that Shalit’s captors might bring harm to him in the event of an IDF invasion of Gaza.

5. Ineffectiveness: What will happen after the major operation is over? Firing Kassam rockets is simple and it is almost impossible to prevent it.

These are the arguments currently being discussed in the Israeli public domain in favor of a large-scale operation in Gaza:

1. Suffering Israeli population: How much longer can the residents of
Sderot and other Gaza periphery communities be expected to live under
the threat of Kassam rocket and mortar shell fire?

2. Israeli deterrence: Hamas has violated the truce agreement, has been
firing Kassam rockets with impunity, while the IDF is perceived as an
army that is afraid to act.

3. Future casualties: We needn’t wait until a Kassam rocket actually
kills a lot of people. The decision to act can be made now.

4. The U.S. administration: Israel would do well were it to begin an operation while President Bush is still in office rather than pose a challenge to Barack Obama, who will assume office on Jan. 20.

5. The right to sovereignty: There probably isn’t a country in the world
that would permit a terror organization to fire rockets into its
sovereign territory. 

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.