Israeli government learns from Winograd report. This time, the government invited Livni when deciding to… To do what? That’s neither a war, nor invasion. Israel again has decided on low-casualty, high-cost, politically correct no-war. Kassam rockets cost not even a thousand dollars a piece; Hamas members are cheap-to-free; Kassam “launching pads” are any strip of Gaza’s land Israel abandoned in 2005. Fatah receives Western money to fight Hamas; Hamas receives Iranian money and Syrian weapons to fight Israel and Fatah. Hamas is happy to lure Israel into Gaza to show its members and sponsors some action; Fatah welcomes Israel in Gaza Strip to fight the rival Hamas. Common Palestinians are sick of Israel, Fatah, Hamas, and Iran, but no one asks them.

Brainwashed Israelis won’t connect the current invasion of Gaza with the 2005 disengagement, but Olmert still hesitates to order the IDF troops into the Arab enclave. Israel Air Force pounds cars, gatehouses, and individual Hamas members with hyper-expensive air strikes. A couple of IAF helicopters downed with RPGs or a few Merkava tanks blown with C-4 explosive traps will show that modus operandi untenable. Israel cannot bring many ground troops into Gaza; there is no politically correct way to win urban fights, and Hamas will be shooting at the IDF troops from windows and alleys while using women and children as shields (Israel forgets that sharia sanctions killing of women and children in any numbers if that’s necessary to prevail against defenders). The only workable mode of war in Gaza is the police war. Shabak’s Palestinian informants and Olmert’s Palestinian friends among Fatah will deliver Hamas militants and weapons caches to Israeli forces. The Gaza operation is the Border Police’s war.

To clear a small, isolated Gaza from weapons stocks and training camps is easy. The problem is, what next? Fatah won’t reign in Hamas; at the least, Hamas is stronger and more determined than Fatah. Both are deeply interrelated: Hamas works closely with Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is Fatah’s unit. Many guerrillas enlisted in several groups simultaneously. Extended Arab families often have some members in Fatah and others – in Hamas. The same Palestinian voters elected Abu Mazen president and Hamas – the ruling party. Who will fight whom? Once Israel withdraws, Hamas will reinforce itself. Israel can keep destroying the sheds where Kassams are produced (why wasn’t that done before?), but Hamas can switch to suicide bombers, RPG attacks on Israeli vehicles, and launch terror against Fatah-affiliated Palestinians deemed Israeli collaborators.

Modern people, brought up in rationalist tradition, imagine that all problems can be solved. No. Some problems just go away – after centuries. Yitzhak Shamir realized that no Israeli actions could bring peace; the peace depends on the time passed, not on actions. Shamir, accordingly, adopted a wise do-nothing policy, but zealous Israelis pushed him to do more for the sake of peace. Nothing can be done. Nothing Israel does in Gaza will stop terrorism. Subsidized Israeli electricity or water won’t make the Palestinians to love Israel. Jews cannot make a million Gaza’s Arabs affluent and content with their lot. Even though, enough Arab zealots would feel disaffected by living in overcrowded, tiny spot of what was once their land.

Both Jews and Arabs want peace; neither wants the peace process which means formally conceding to defeat. Israel shrink from abandoning Judea and Samaria to Arabs; Arabs shrink from abandoning their homeland to Jews. Paper treaties cannot withstand the fire of enmity: Hamas and Fatah broke plenty of cease-fires between themselves, and PLO and Hamas broke several truces with Israel. State of Egypt temporarily stopped fighting the State of Israel because military consequences were too painful for Egyptian state; Hamas leaders do not identify themselves with Palestinian community and don’t care about Israeli reprisals.

Intractable enemies reconcile, then fight again. There is no permanent peace on this earth, and certainly not in the Middle East. Borders are soaked with blood. The IDF can achieve tactical victory against Hamas in Gaza. Strategically, there is no immediate solution.