On Thursday Israel’s Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, was quoted as saying that he was aware a majority of Israelis wanted the IDF to launch a ground operation into Gaza, but, he said, “We cannot always carry out what the Israeli public wants in these matters. The leadership must make the decisions. The leadership has all the means at its disposal to see the big picture and must act with the necessary responsibility and seriousness. The time is not right for us to go in and conquer Gaza. We may though reach that point at another time.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman seemed to come to the same conclusion with this statement: “It is clear that most people supported a continuation of the operation. But I am proud of the leaders who were able to make decisions that negated the will of those who elected them. Power does not always involve the ability to strike, but also to know when to exercise self-restraint. The operation in Gaza is over for now, but has not necessarily ended in the long run. I am sure that under the circumstances, we made the best decision we could have made. We cannot share all of our considerations with the public.”
As has been reported many Israelis were displeased by the ceasefire announcement on Wednesday between Israel and Hamas, instead wanting Israel to continue its operation to route out Hamas and its weapons cache. Some even went so far as to voice their displeasure on Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook page.