Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Israel must destroy Hamas

Pinpoint strikes and limited retaliation won't end the terror from Gaza, writes one of Israel's leading columnists. Only the total destruction of Hamas will allow Israel to live in peace.

Yoram Ettinger, writing in Israel Hayom a few days after terror attacks in Israel killed seven people, says that "co-existence" is not a viable option when dealing with terrorists groups.

A decisive defeat of terrorism requires a victory over – and not coexistence or ceasefire agreements with – terrorism. We need to uproot – not just stop – terrorism. Any response to terrorism that falls short of devastating the ideological, political, financial, logistic and operational terrorist infrastructures only serves to reassure terrorists that they are immune to annihilation.

Moreover, it nurtures their hope-driven terrorism. They hope to destroy Israel’s defiance, wreck Israel’s steadfastness, and sustain the momentum of sweeping Israeli ideological and territorial retreats between the years 1993-2011.

And the more defensive -- rather than offensive -- Israel becomes, the more terrorists are emboldened.

Limited response has also been implemented in order to soothe international public opinion - which is never satisfied with Israeli concessions - thus recklessly subordinating national security to public diplomacy considerations. Sometimes it yields a false sense of security and enhances short-term tactical popularity.

However, limited response always undermines long-term strategic interests and international respect towards Israel, unleashing more pressure on Israel, radicalizing Palestinian terrorism and distancing the region from peace.

Whether Israel decides to live with terrorism or destroy it will become apparent in the days to come.


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