But maybe they shouldn’t. Just two years after the IDF embarrassed itself in Lebanon, Israel’s top brass have begun talking tough again. Today IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi let slip that Israel knows the precise whereabouts of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, as well as the identities of his captors. His handlers have been quick to downplay what appears to be a serious gaffe — if the IDF knows where he is and who they are, the only possible outcome of admitting it is (a) to force the captors to relocate him, and (b) to alert them to Israeli intelligence agents that have found out.
In the meantime, the new commander of the IDF’s armored corps, Agai Yehezkel, told YNet that “The process the IDF had undergone since the end of the war, mainly that of training and combat readiness, positions us in a different place that we were two years ago . . . I don’t think Hizbullah would be a match for us.” Perhaps the IDF is much better than it was two years ago, and perhaps Israel has taken better advantage of the cease-fire than has Hizbullzah. But this kind of rhetoric sounds too much like the old IDF–the one that talked tough but could not defeat its enemy in the field.