Israel wins the war but loses the peace

Israel certainly has achieved military gains. It wiped out most of Hamas’s rocket arsenal, and destroyed almost all of its terror tunnels before those could be used to carry out a planned large-scale attack. It killed hundreds of Hamas fighters, took out several of the group’s senior leaders, and thwarted a Hamas coup of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Hamas failed to achieve much except the needless closure of Ben-Gurion Airport.

And yet Hamas will now claim that the war was worth the devastation. It has something concrete to show for weeks of attacking Israeli civilians and exposing Palestinian civilians to death and disability. Israeli politicians are scrambling to find ways to explain that the deal is not a win for Hamas, but the cold fact is that along with letting the group survive to fight another day, Israel has once again given Hamas an incentive to stick with war.