A Tough Reaction to Terrorism Works

(Ha'aretz) Amir Oren - In a talk he delivered in Washington two months ago, former Israeli security chief Avi Dichter said that Israel, along with the U.S., Britain and other countries, had erred in believing that a tough reaction to terrorism would heighten suicide bombings and other attacks. The determining variable, according to Dichter, is intelligence. In the absence of good intelligence, terror will strike first. If the reaction to the first terrorist attack is flaccid, the next attack will be even more vicious. In order to cripple the infrastructure and forge deterrence, Dichter believes, there must be no recoil from the use of massive means, including warplanes. Hamas' agreement to a cease-fire was obtained after its leaders were targeted in a no-holds-barred fashion, using all available methods; states under attack must not make do with delicate rules of balance and "fair play." IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz shared this school of thought and implemented it in the form of Operation First Rain, which restrained Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

2005-11-25 00:00:00

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