As Israel Rules Out Peace, Exit Strategy Remains Elusive

Israel Waiting for Reality to Change to Its Liking, War Will Continue Until Then

10 days into its attacks on the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government seems to have painted itself into a rather unpleasant corner. Regime change isn’t the goal, the government says it has no intention of occupying the Gaza Strip with its thousands of invading soldiers. Today Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni likewise ruled out any truce with Hamas, seemingly ever, adding “a necessary war on terror does not end with an agreement.”

But how does it end? While Israelis remains hugely united behind the attacks, that’s not an easy answer. Israeli officials continue to talk about a fundamental change in reality that will portend the end of the invasion, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the war must continue because the military hasn’t achieved its aims yet.

Yet how will this ever happen? Analysts say there is no military victory to be had in these operations, and Israel seems unwilling to even consider any other strategy. Much of the world struggles to get Israel to consider a truce, even if just a brief one for humanitarian reasons, but the government repeats its determination to keep the war going, and continues to insist that the humanitarian crisis is a myth. If they have an endgame in mind, short of hoping the world magically changes to a more palatable reality, they haven’t shown it.

In the end, Israel may just keep this war going: it is popular, after all. The troops will continue to kill and die, the rockets will continue to fall on the south, the world will continue to be outraged as the humanitarian situation worsens, until war exhaustion forces the nation to rethink its options.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.