Former U.S. President and Supreme Commander of the Allies during World War Two Dwight D. Eisenhower said that "Without a doubt, psychological warfare has proven its right to a place of dignity in our military arsenal."
PSYOPS (see Dr. Ron Schleifer, Psychological Operations aimed at Israel) have been incorporated in one way or another in conflicts around the world. Sometimes they are simply the use of influence operations and other times they are smaller tactical events that try and attempt to demoralize the enemy.
Over the last few weeks of Operation Iron Swords, we have seen many individual soldiers or units who have taken it on themselves to demoralize Israel's enemies, whether in Gaza or Judea and Samaria.
Many of the soldiers are acting primarily to raise the morale of the troops around them, but it is clear from Palestinian Arab social media that they are having a strong effect on the enemy.
- We witnessed early on the large amount of graffiti daubed on the walls of Gaza, recalling the purpose of this war after the October 7th pogrom, with soldiers naming areas after the kibbutzim that bore the brunt of the monstrous bloodletting, the Nova Festival, or individual people who were murdered.
- The ubiquitous "Am Yisrael Chai!" was written everywhere, and these words alone are a defiant message for ourselves, but just as importantly, a direct answer to those who seek our genocide.
- There were social media invitations to Nova festivals in Gaza, and a date to reestablish the Gush Katif Israeli towns in the Gaza Strip forcibly removed during the Disengagement of 2005.
- The festival of Hanukkah gave the IDF soldiers a great opportunity to show that the Jewish light will not be lowered, and regardless of the danger, it is clear that the chanukiyot shone brightly across the strip for all to see.
- Even more remarkably, nineteen years after the Disengagement from Gaza, the Menorah that stood above the synagogue in Netzarim was returned to its rightful geographical location.
- The images that had a profound effect on the target audiences were those of surrendering Gazans, stripped down to their underwear handing over their weapons without a fight.
There are countless other examples, but arguably the most famous took place last week with the IDF's operations in Jenin to root out the terror network there.
After taking over a mosque that had been used for terrorist purposes, one IDF soldier decided to chant the Shema Yisrael prayer over the loudspeakers that are traditionally used by the mosque's muezzim to call Muslims to prayer.
This singular moment caused such great disturbance amongst the local Arabs that they had to set off a loud alarm throughout the area to try and drown it out.
This was a moment which reverberated around the city of Jenin, a veritable viper's nest of terrorists. The Jews had come and were victorious.
The message was clear.
From the very loudspeakers that Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida was allowed to invite to terror and mass murder, the IDF soldiers were now chanting Jewish prayers in defiance and boldness.
Unfortunately, not everyone saw it that way, and after the Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry complained, the soldiers involved were court-martialed.
Of course, not everything goes in war and there need to be officialdom's boundaries.
However, all these events send a very important message of resistance to those who want the Jewish People to disappear from their ancestral and indigenous homeland. The PA, no less than Hamas, would continue massacring Jews until there are none left.
Jewish pride is a form of resistance and should be a vital part of the war effort. It is a resistance to hate, to calls for genocide, and to the hope of an ultimate Palestinian Arab victory.
This needs to be prevented, not just on the battlefield, but all around it, especially in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian Arabs.
As president of the Middle East Forum Daniel Pipes said: "Only when they (Palestinian Arabs) give up their war goal of eliminating Israel will the conflict come to an end. Israel must win and the Palestinians must lose."
This demands perseverance and the ability to win the war on different levels.
There is the military level, but there is also the psychological.
To win the war of wills, Israel must break the Palestinian Arab will to continue fighting. It must understand that it has lost in its over 100-year-old war of violent rejectionism against Jewish sovereignty.
Some commentators claim that this war can not be won, because it is a battle against an idea and not an army.
Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during the Second World War had no less fanatical ideologies. These ideas were beaten and now these peoples no longer hold irredentist fantasies.
Ideas can be beaten if they are deprived of hope.
The IDF must win on the battlefield, and defeat the command structure of Hamas.
However, it must also take steps to ensure that the majorities who support Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, or any of the other terrorist organizations are also defeated, and they are forced to give up on their genocidal ideology.
This can only be achieved by convincing them that they have lost, and the Jews have won.
That is why we must continue, alongside the fighting, to display signs and take symbolic steps in the realm of psychological warfare to convince them of an Israel victory.
Nave Dromi is director of the Middle East Forum's office in Israel and head of the Israel Victory Project. She is the author of a new book, Rifle Full of Roses, which examines how radical agendas have influenced the IDF in recent decades.