Two tendencies have always competed in the Israeli army: its soldiers’ brave spirit and its top commanders’ cowardice. Ariel Sharon won the 1973 war in the face of the direct contrary orders of the hesitant General Staff, and many opposed the decision to preempt in 1967.

Israel lacks the staying power of, for example, the Iranian army. She can win only through penetrating strikes. Such operations must be necessarily daring, risky, and surprising. As such, they run against the political culture of indecision, fear of offending the Western powers, and zero loss tolerance. The Israeli army wins only when it breaks away from the political culture. That happens very rarely, though the results are spectacular. The lightning-fast and devilishly smart IDF is the exception, not the rule.

And so the Peace Now activist Perez leads the Israeli army. Consider assigning the other offices to pacifist hippies and members of Green Peace.

What strategists see as Israel’s tactical blunders in Lebanon is only the coherent implementation of her aimless politics, of the attempt to build the Jewish state without offending Arabs, and to wage a war without causing bloody reports in the media.

The IDF’s vacillation is costly. Israeli and Lebanese die, money is spent, and no end is achieved. Israel conducts a war she cannot afford in a manner that cannot bring victory. Israel does not have people to lose in urban combat or time to drag the expensive fighting out. A protracted urban war is very different from the tactics that gave Israel her spectacular victories.

Hezbollah won the battle for public opinion: it fights for the Palestinian cause even the Israeli government has accepted as right and stands firm against the Israeli enemy. Every day of fighting brings dividends to Hezbollah and further exhausts Israeli patience. Moving to Tel Aviv for a couple of weeks in the summer is one thing, a sort of vacation, but hiding in bunkers for months is different.

Hezbollah has enough rockets for another four months of shelling, and more supplies will come regardless of ridiculous Israeli operations to block the main roads—as if there were no others.

The IDF bosses order incursions into Lebanon, as if the army were going on a picnic. No war was ever conducted that way. Israel needs to move in swiftly, scorch the buffer zone, install a strong totalitarian government in Beirut, and withdraw. A protracted indecisive war will produce more losses and no victory.

Israel needs to address the causes of the confrontation. We cannot both publish in newspapers that Iran and Syria arm Hezbollah and promise that we won’t bomb Syria unless it interferes. Syria does interfere and has done for decades. Iran sold Hezbollah 210km-range Zelzal missiles with half-ton warheads whose only target is Israel. So far, Israel can easily punish Syria and significantly damage Iran. Refraining from decisive actions guarantees the guerillas’ comeback, and by that time the conflict will be on a much larger scale.