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Knesset Israel Victory Caucus says Israel ‘abandoned concept of victory'; calls for return to pre-Oslo strategy

Group calls for Israel to see ‘decisive victory’ rather than ‘managing status quo’

Knesset Israel Victory Caucus (KIVC) Members of Knesset Ohad Tal, Evgeny Sova, Sharon Nir, and MEF Director Gregg Roman (Photo: Michael Katz)

The Knesset Israel Victory Caucus (KIVC) members gathered recently to discuss a change in the mentality of Israel's current leadership, which they believe has led to the current state of endless political conflict.

The goal of the caucus – made up of members from both the coalition and opposition – is “to raise and promote awareness in Israel and abroad that the victory of Israel over its enemies means the victory of the Zionist idea and recognition that the State of Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people.”

According to members of the caucus, Israeli leadership since the Oslo agreements “forgot how to win.”

The meeting, “How Should Israel Win the Next War?” took place as part of the group's initiative to discuss and promote a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that "will bring real peace, prosperity, progress and a better future to the region as a whole."

Israel's Deputy Knesset Speaker Zvi Hauser of the New Hope Party said Israel has become satisfied with the “appearance of victory.”

“In the Middle East, in this difficult neighborhood, we need actual victory in order to ensure our survival here,” he said.

During a meeting last year, then-Knesset member Yuval Steinitz of the right-wing Likud party said Israel’s military changed its strategy.

“From 1948 to 1989, Israel adopted the Western way of war, which meant the destruction of their enemies. It then abandoned it for a concept in which Israel aspires only to the ‘appearance of victory,’” Steinitz said.

Steinitz referred to a book called “Carnage and Culture” by classicist and military historian Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, argues that Western military superiority is directly related to a style of warfare adopted from ancient Greece, in which armies sought to completely eliminate their enemies.

Steinitz said that up through the First Lebanon War, Israel fought to achieve “decisive victory, the encirclement of their enemies on the field of battle," and he called for Israel to return to that strategy.

Settlements and National Missions Minister Orit Struck concurred with Steinitz's sentiment during a recent caucus meeting.

“Our enemies are striving to defeat us, they are not satisfied with sharing,” Struck said. “In today’s reality, it is time to talk about victory. For too long we have talked about managing, it is time for our country to focus on victory and defeating our enemies.”

Ohad Tal, from the Religious Zionism party, said in the 1948 and 1967 wars, “everyone knew that Israel had won and that the Arabs had lost.”

“Since the Oslo Accords, Israel’s mentality changed. We stopped demanding of ourselves to win,” Tal said. “But wars only end with a winner and a loser, and we need to stop acting like our existence here is questionable.”

Knesset Member Evgeny Sova of the Yisrael Beytenu party, who was the co-chair of the caucus along with Tal, said this return to the previous strategy would have broad support.

“There should be no difference between the coalition and opposition on this issue,” said Sova. “The moment this issue will be debated in the Knesset committees, you will find the full support of the opposition, at least with our party Yisrael Beytenu.”

Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and daughters were killed in a terror attack earlier this year, told the caucus that the government needed to stop giving support to the Palestinian Authority.

Dee said that terrorists who kill Israelis are glorified, including the terrorists who killed his family members.

Dee called on world leaders to stop giving financial and political support to the Palestinian Authority.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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