Israel Lost the War of Perception
Israel has lost the war of perception. As the dust settles, Israel must reassess its strategy toward Iran and the Arab states, and reestablish its military credibility, not only for its own sake, but for the sake of its enemies to prevent their making a tragic miscalculation, based on recent events.
Whether because of tactical reasons, a leadership inexperienced in military matters, or a miscalculated reliance on an air campaign, Israel’s inability to claim total victory against Hezbollah will continue to reverberate in the Arab and Muslim world. Israel’s failure will embolden Iran to challenge it at a different time and circumstance, while Syria may resort to more aggressive tactics to regain the Golan Heights. Hamas's resolve to resist Israel may harden, and Hezbollah has already emerged as triumphant may be emboldened to lie in wait for the next confrontation.
It may be impossible for the Olmert government to overcome the loss of the war of perception. An Israel that is, rightly or wrongly, perceived as weak, will simply invite more serious military challenges because Israel’s real enemies like Iran are relentless, and now they smell blood.