Friedman: Continuing the invasion of Gaza drowns "Israel" in quagmire

Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Twitter/X)
NEW YORK – The American writer Thomas Friedman expressed his strong warning about Israel's continued ground invasion of Gaza, fearing that it could lead to perpetual entanglement and make it responsible for all the "ills" of the region. He emphasized that the worst outcome, from his perspective, is that it would tarnish the reputation of the Israeli army, which has been striving to regain the trust of its people.اضافة اعلان

As reported by Al-Ghad Newspaper, Friedman initially urged the Israeli political and military leadership to reflect, citing the famous Confucius saying, "before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves—one for your enemy and one for yourself." He pointed out that Israel's declared goal of the invasion is to retrieve its captured soldiers and permanently destroy the infrastructure of the IslamicResistance Movement (Hamas).

Friedman stated that his caution regarding the invasion was not driven by any sympathy for Hamas but rather "deep concern that Israel is acting out of blind anger" to achieve an unattainable goal: "eradicating Hamas from the face of the earth" without a plan for what comes next. He warned that persisting in this course of action could result in getting stuck in the quagmire in Gaza indefinitely.

Comparing Israel's current military operation in Gaza to the wars the United States waged in Afghanistan and Iraq after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Friedman suggested that Israel should emulate the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by establishing a "Red Team." This team would be comprised of intelligence personnel outside the direct military or political chain of command, tasked with scrutinizing war plans and goals for Gaza and subjecting them to testing with conflicting alternatives for achievable objectives in restoring security and deterrence.

Friedman clarified that his proposal goes beyond creating a Red Team for dealing with Hamas in Gaza, advocating for the establishment of a "Blue Team" as well. This team would critically assess the actions of the Red Team. According to him, Israel needs more vibrant internal discussions because it "clearly rushed into a war with multiple and conflicting objectives."

Facing the dilemma of shifting its ground war from northern to southern Gaza, Friedman advised the Israeli Red Team to adopt a "hard-line" alternative that calls on Israel to agree to a permanent ceasefire, followed by an immediate withdrawal of all its military forces from Gaza, provided that Hamas returns all remaining civilians and military prisoners, and all its dead, without receiving any Palestinian prisoners in return.

He considered this alternative a "clean deal," stating that Israel retains the right to bring top Hamas leaders who planned the "massacre" on October 7 to justice in the future. 

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