There has not been such unity of purpose in Israel in more than forty years.

That unity of purpose in Israel stems from the current intolerable situation which finds one million Israeli citizens who now hunker in their homes and shelters, ready to run for their lives in the few seconds that they have when a siren warns that a Gaza rocket has been fired in their direction.

The people in Israel demand an end to that Gaza rocket threat. That is why polls show an overwhelming 85% of Israel’s population who demand a total military victory in the Gaza war.

Over the past three weeks, Gazans suffered hard blows – Indeed, the Gaza army of 20,000 lost at least 500 of its best fighting men – yet the Gaza army remains in tact.

The Israeli military operation leaves much work to be done.

Yet the Israeli prime minister and defense minister convened a press conference on Saturday night, to announce that Israel would declare a self-imposed cease-fire and enlist the world to stop future arms for Gaza, without uttering one word about disarming Gaza – leaving Gazans to pounce on Israel once again.

The unkindest cut of all came the next day, when the head of Israeli intelligence told the Israeli cabinet that it would only take the Gazans another two months to develop new ways to import new weapons.

Even worse, Israel’s self-imposed cease-fire occurred without the return of the one POW in the hands of Hamas, without control over the smuggling routes from Egypt, and without the disarmament of Israel’s most lethal adversaries

It therefore came as no surprise that after the Israeli government declared its unilateral ceasefire on Saturday, that Gazans fired 17 times into Israeli civilian communities on Sunday.

Contrary to the illusion that Israel is only at war with a terror group, and not with the Palestinian population, it is that very terror group which was chosen by the Palestinian people in Gaza AND in the west bank in the January 2006 elections that were encouraged and overseen by the American government.

What that means is that one people is fighting another people. For the first time in Israel’s sixty year war for independence, the Jewish state faces an enemy that is embedded in a genuinely popular movement.

That contrasts with 1948 until 1973, when Israel fought off totalitarian states.

That contrasts with 1974 until 2004, when Israel coped with a terrorist outfit operated by a corrupt pedofile.

Israel now copes with Islamic movements who operate with a popular power base, from Hizbullah to Hamas.

Israel must now cope with a civilian army that operates under the cover of a civilian population which has also trained combatants among women and school children.

In this war, it will not be enough for Israel to defeat those who are formally defined as fighters.

Sadly, this reality conflicts with solid advice given to Israel by PR people who advise Israel to always project an image of peace and reconciliation

Yet any Israeli cessation of hostilities with an ideological adversary will find still find that adversary at war.

There is no greater tenacity than the tenacity of a people who are ready to sacrifice thousands of their people in order to defeat another people.

The lesson of World War II is that when a nation wants to achieve peace with a fanatic ideologue, it must insist on total victory and unconditional surrender – and not rely on the wishful thinking of a unilateral cease fire, under the illusion that other side would stop fighting because of heavy casualties.


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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.