Unsatisfied with ‘Swords of Iron’ as name of Gaza war, Netanyahu floats alternatives

PM said to be considering changing name of war with Hamas to ‘Genesis War,’ ‘Simchat Torah War,’ or simply ‘Gaza War’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military HQ in Tel Aviv on December 17, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military HQ in Tel Aviv on December 17, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly unhappy with the army’s official name for the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza and is pushing for it to be changed.

Netanyahu complained to cabinet ministers on Sunday about the name “Swords of Iron,” saying that while it was fit for a military operation, it was an insufficient name for a war, the Kan public broadcaster reported.

He suggested the names “Genesis War,” “Gaza War” and “Simchat Torah War,” as replacements, the report said.

Both “Genesis War” and “Simchat Torah War” refer directly to the day that thousands of Hamas-led terrorists stormed into Israel on October 7, slaughtering around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seizing some 240 hostages as they unleashed destruction on more than 20 communities in southern Israel.

The shock onslaught was carried out on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, during which the first part of the Torah portion of Bereshit, or Genesis, is read.

According to the report, Netanyahu appeared to favor the name “Genesis War” as the replacement for “Swords of Iron.”

The name “Swords of Iron” was announced by the military on the day of the Hamas onslaught, shortly after Netanyahu’s declaration that Israel was at war.

Over the last two and a half months of war, the IDF has carried out an intense aerial campaign and ground operation that began in the north of Gaza before widening to encompass almost the entirety of the Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave bordered by Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean some 41 kilometers (25 miles) in length.

Israeli troops operate in the Gaza Strip in a handout photo released December 18, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)

According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, some 18,800 people have been killed since the start of the war, a number that cannot be independently verified and does not differentiate between combatants and civilians.

Israel estimates that more than 7,000 Hamas and Hamas-affiliated operatives are included in the death toll, in addition to civilians killed by misfired Palestinian rockets.

While military operations fought by Israel have often been given names such as Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021 or Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the formally recognized wars are given more straightforward names, such as the Six Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

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