Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Put Hamas on notice NOW
From Word from Jerusalem, March 13, 2012, by Isi Leibler:
Last Friday, the IDF struck out against the Iranian controlled Popular Resistance Committees which our intelligence discovered were orchestrating another attack on the Egyptian border. Zuhair al Qaisi, the Secretary-General of the PRC (who had orchestrated the previous terror attack a few months on the Egyptian border near Eilat) and his collaborator Mahmoud Hanani, recently released in the course of the Schalit exchange, were both killed.
Gaza terror groups immediately responded and in the space of a few days over 200 rockets were launched against the South, one grad missile reaching as far as Gedera, only 40 kilometers from Tel-Aviv. Scores of Israelis throughout the South were injured. One rocket In Beer Sheva landed in an empty school courtyard, narrowly missing an apartment building. Subsequent Israeli responses destroyed numerous rocket launching cells and killed scores of terrorists.
We can take pride in the fact that our Iron Dome interceptor missiles have been extraordinarily successful and intercepted 90% of missiles directed towards the major cities. But even setting aside the immense cost of $50,000 for each intercept, at this stage Iron Dome is still far from foolproof and it only takes one missile to penetrate and cause tragic civilian casualties.
...it is outrageous to enable the terrorists from Gaza, at their discretion, to have the ability to force over a million inhabitants in the South in major cities like Beer Sheva, Ashkelon , Ashdod, and other regional councils from constantly to become hostages to their whim and obliged to disrupt their lives, effectively living for days on end underground and closing schools involving over 250,000 children.
...our government ...must be willing to take drastic action to deter even a single rocket being deliberately launched. Otherwise we doom ourselves to a new war of attrition and destroy the quality of life of increasing numbers of our citizens.
... the reality is that our government is being derelict in its duty if it continues to restrain itself and responds "proportionately" to rocket launches on its citizens, awaiting a catastrophe before employing genuine deterrence (which by definition cannot be “proportionate”).
...What is currently required are not threats and bluster but a clear warning from the government that if Hamas fails to control terrorist initiatives against us stemming from the region under its jurisdiction, we will protect our civilians by responding far more harshly than killing a few terrorists. We will state that that rocket attacks which oblige large numbers of Israelis to live in shelters are totally unacceptable and emphasize that we are no longer going to play the game of tit-for-tat and will exercise maximum deterrence.
And if deterrence does not work it will be in our interests to confront the problem now rather than in the future and eliminate the rockets and weapons in Gaza that were obviously assembled for use against us at a time best suited for the genocidal Hamas bent on our destruction.
Our embassies should be clearly outlining our position in advance, especially in the United States and Europe.
By any logic or comparison such a position is unassailable. There is no other country in the world which would be displaying "restraint" or applying principles of proportionality when their neighbors provide a safe haven and enable terrorists to launch hundreds of potentially lethal rockets against our citizens. They would find it difficult to deny the reality that a state which enables missiles to be launched against its neighbor would under any circumstances be deemed to have effectively declared war.
I have no doubt that if we acted resolutely in this manner the US Congress and all open-minded people would overwhelmingly endorse our position.