Bradley Burston is a senior editor at Haaretz; his blog is A Special Place in Hell
The Second Gaza War : Israel lost at sea
We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege, which is itself becoming Israel's Vietnam.
A war tells a people terrible truths about itself. That is why it is so difficult to listen.
We were determined to avoid an honest look at the first Gaza war. Now, in international waters and having opened fire on an international group of humanitarian aid workers and activists, we are fighting and losing the second. For Israel, in the end, this Second Gaza War could be far more costly and painful than the first.
In going to war in Gaza in late 2008, Israeli military and political leaders hoped to teach Hamas a lesson. They succeeded. Hamas learned that the best way to fight Israel is to let Israel do what it has begun to do naturally: bluster, blunder, stonewall, and fume.
Hamas, and no less, Iran and Hezbollah, learned early on that Israel's own embargo against Hamas-ruled Gaza was the most sophisticated and powerful weapon they could have deployed against the Jewish state.
Here in Israel, we have still yet to learn the lesson: We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege. The siege itself is becoming Israel's Vietnam.