(Picture: We too have cheap lightweight - 9 kg - handheld antitank weapons. But they were of little use since Hizballah has no tanks).
After the ceasefire, we start to make sense of what happened. As we feared, Hizballah sent a fantastic quantity of missiles to Northern Israel, including Haifa - 4,000 katyushot, missiles and rockets. About 30 random civilians were killed, among them 5 or 6 Israeli Arabs, but any damage to strategic infrastructure such as the port or oil refinery was minimal. In short, unguided missiles are ineffective from a military point of view. The civil population escapes or goes underground.
When the order to the ground invasion was given, the military followed orders but the lack of coordination was evident. Some 130 Israeli soldiers were killed, many by "friendly fire". Three distinct ethnic-social groups provided the victims: (1) secular kibbutzim and moshavim, Israel's traditional elite, (2) second generation religious settlers in the Shomron, and (3) native Arab speaking soldiers of Druze, Beduin, Cherkess and plain Galilee Muslim Arabs. Since those going ahead into the battle provide the leadership cadres of the State in the next generation, we can be quite sure about the ethnic composition of Israel's political leadership in 10 years ahead. There will be two big sectors: the kibbutz leadership, which is widely considered decaying and has almost disappeared, but I presume will show a dramatic comeback, and the settler leadership, dedicated religious nationalists. And surprisingly, a loyal Arab speaking leadership will emerge, used to prosper in traditionally Jewish elite environments such the university and Golani and Parachuters elite schocktroops. Interestingly, Oriental Jews are totally absent from the list of military victims, so I dare to predict that they will play a very marginal role in Israel's next generation of leadership. The already obvious marginality problem will only grow and they are doomed to form a vast Jewish unassimilated underclass.
The military management of the land war was, apparently, poorly managed. I base my opinion in one TV documentary, of Ya El Dayan, but I think that that is enough since I am very familiar with how things work in Israel and fell that I am able to imagine what was going on. The Hamal (war room) briefly shown was a chaos, dozens (sic!) of reserve officers shouting all at the same time trying to identify where our forces were and where was the Hizbullah shooting at them, and in total amazement and panic since they had no idea what was hitting the men on the field (Russian portable antitank missiles). Then we saw a dozen elite schocktroops hidden in a small watercloset in a house in a Lebanese village, since it was considered the safest inner chamber against the unknown menace, so they spent hours there while the Hizballah was roaming outside watching and shooting. Not a nice picture. Hopefully we shall be better prepared for the next war.
All in all, the nice thing about this war is that it was the first of Israel that was managed with a poilitical aim in mind, with the military firmly subordinated to the political arm of the government. It appears that some 500 Hizbullah were killed, that is, a third of the enemy forces. Also appears that except these highly automatic, long range and very simple portable Russian missiles, the Hizballah lost in all encounters. But only in the coming weeks and months we shall know if the Hizballah is disarmed and disbanded by "others" (not us), which was the war's aim. If it is done and peace will be achieved, we shall have started to use our military courage and prowess in an intelligent way.