Opinion: Containment is No Longer an Option
The goal of Israel’s war against Hamas — which has systematically and deliberately launched missiles at civilians — must not culminate in yet another cease-fire, but rather the devastation of the entire infrastructure of Hamas’ capability — logistically, operationally, financially, educationally and politically.
The goal of Israel’s war against Hamas, which has grown in power following each round of violence and subsequent cease-fire, must not be to end to the current cycle of violence, but to end the cyclical pattern of violence by destroying Hamas’ terrorist capabilities.
Israel’s war against Hamas directly impacts Israel’s confrontation with Iran, regional Islamic terrorism, Hezbollah and other enemies, and its goal must be to restore Israel’s power of deterrence, which has been severely undermined by the 21-year-old Oslo-driven policy of engagement and containment toward the dramatically expanding Palestinian and Hezbollah infrastructures of hate education, terrorism in general, and missile capabilities in particular. Israel’s deterrence has also been crippled by putting up with systematic Palestinian non-compliance, while rewarding Palestinian belligerence and terrorism with territorial, diplomatic and economic concessions; tolerating the deliberate and extensive Palestinian destruction of Temple Mount archaeology; and the massive release of Palestinian arch-terrorists.
Israel’s power of deterrence constitutes the most crucial component of Israel’s national security in the face of the rising tide of Islamic terrorism, the Arab tsunami and increasingly violent Muslim intolerance towards the “infidel” Christians and Jews, contending that the Middle East (as well as Spain, Portugal, Southern France, Sicily and parts of Italy’s mainland) is divinely ordained to Muslims.
Israel’s power of deterrence is doubly crucial in the Middle East, the world’s leading breeding ground of terrorism, where compromise, concession, retreat and compromise are perceived by the Muslim/Arab street as indecisiveness, insecurity and weakness, fueling further radicalism, violence, terrorism and war.
The murder of almost 3,000 Americans on 9/11 was ignited by the frail U.S. response to a systematic campaign of Islamic terrorism, beginning with the 1983 murder of 300 U.S. Marines at the U.S. Embassy and Marines Headquarters in Beirut (while the U.S. brutally opposed Israel’s war on the PLO); the 1988 murder of 270 Pan Am Flight 103 passengers (a few months after the U.S. recognition of the PLO); the 1993 murder of six and injury of over 1,000 Americans in the first attempt to blow up the Twin Towers; the 1995 failed attempt to simultaneously blow up 11 U.S. airliners over the Pacific; the 1995-1996 murder of 19 U.S. soldiers in Riyadh and Khobar Towers (while then-President Bill Clinton courted PLO chief Yasser Arafat); the 1998 murder of 257 people at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (while Clinton pressured then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu); and the October 2000 murder of 17 USS Cole sailors (when Clinton brokered unprecedented Israeli concessions to the Palestinians).
Hamas’ current unprecedented firepower — including underground missile-manufacturing capabilities — was facilitated by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, which catapulted Hamas to power and drastically undermined Israel’s personal and national security, holding millions of Israelis hostage under Hamas’ terrorism.
The unprecedented boost to Hezbollah’s terrorist infrastructures, including missiles capabilities, the October 2000 Israeli-Arab violence, and the subsequent wave of Palestinian terrorism known as the Second Intifada were triggered by then Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s May 2000 reckless flight from southern Lebanon, exacerbated by the unprecedented concessions he offered to Arafat at Camp David in July 2000.
The unparalleled scope of Palestinian terrorism, hate-education and non-compliance has been the result of a series of groundbreaking Israeli ideological and territorial concessions since the launching of the 1993 Oslo process. These concessions transferred most Palestinian terrorists from Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Syria and Lebanon to Judea, Samaria and Gaza, while transforming Israel’s policy from “no Palestinian state” to the “two-state solution” and from security-driven peace to the delusional peace-driven security state of mind. The Oslo process also introduced a restrained unilateral Israeli political/military action, while seeking political/military coordination with the Palestinian Authority and the U.S. This paved the road to Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, and potential domination of Judea and Samaria as well.
The well-intentioned Oslo-driven peace process has been hijacked by Palestinian terrorists, while Israeli and American policy makers subordinate national security in general, and specifically the war on terrorism, to self-destructive oversimplification and wishful thinking. Thus, it has promoted the gullible notion that “talking minimizes shooting.”
An effective war on terrorism must be offensive and military rather than defensive and diplomatic; pre-emptive and preventive, not retaliatory; comprehensive, disproportionate and sustained, not surgical, restrained and limited; aimed at preventing the gun from reaching the hand, not waiting for a smoking gun; long-term security-oriented, not short-term convenience-driven; overriding and facilitating the peace process, not subordinated by the “peace process”; at any price and not deterred by the price (no pain, no gain); operating at the breeding ground of terrorism, not through remote-control; in defiance of global pressure and condemnation, not subdued by Western policy and public opinion; a war pursued until total submission by terrorists, not a war of attrition. Containment is no longer an option.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.