Friday, May 4, 2018

Gaza Border Fence Riots Require New Israeli Thinking and Action

Gershon Hacohen,

Image from article, with caption: Unrest on the Israel-Gaza Strip border on Friday, April 27, 2018.

When it comes to defending the Gaza border against physical threats, the responsibility of the IDF’s chief of staff and the commander of Southern Command is clear-cut and well fulfilled. That, however, does not constitute a sufficient response to Hamas’ effort to turn the border fence events into a strategic achievement. ...

A strategic threat requires a strategic response, one that entails preparations for a multidimensional campaign that is waged at the national level, with the state of Israel’s full resources and capabilities. A strategic response of this kind must address four basic aspects of the situation ... [among them:]

While the responsibility of the chief of staff and the commander of Southern Command is clear-cut and ably fulfilled, the organizational approach must be adapted to the demands of the psychological arena, with all its legal, diplomatic, and public-diplomacy [JB emphasis] aspects. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the Foreign Ministry, and the public-diplomacy apparatus in the Prime Minister’s Office can, of course, retain responsibility for the domain of perception. Yet, as the challenge intensifies, a special new organization is required for mobilizing Israel’s full range of capabilities for an effort at the national level. ...

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