Netanyahu Struggles to Sell ‘Victory’ in Gaza War

Selling War Was Easy for PM, But Selling Ceasefire Not Going so Well

Two days and an ugly border shooting later, the Israel-Gaza ceasefire is still in place, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still trying to convince the Israeli public not only of the wisdom of the ceasefire, but that Israel “won” the war.

Netanyahu seems to have been spoiled by the ease with which he and his cabinet sold the public on the wisdom of the war, enjoying massive majorities of support almost immediately after it started. Polls since the war ended, however, consistently show a strong opposition to peace, and many don’t think anyone won the war.

Israeli Army Chief Benny Gantz continues to insist that all military goals were achieved, without any specifics about what those goals were, and insists Hamas will eventually realize that they lost.

With Netanyahu looking to be the big winner in the war, he may turn out to be the big loser in the peace, as the election campaign resumes and he is no longer the darling of hawkish voters, and is seeing challenges from both the center and the even farther far-right. The first post-war political polls show Likud-Beiteinu has at best broken even, and by some reckonings has lost a few seats.

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.