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Posted on: January 23rd, 2013InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
When terrorists represent populations that enthusiastically support their attacks, responsibility for ensuing counter-terrorist harm must lie with the criminals.
Posted on: January 16th, 2013InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Now that the dust has settled in Gaza following Israel’s Pillar of Defense operation, it is easy yet again to feel sorry for the Palestinians. After all, as anyone already knows who clings desperately to The New York Times, the still-lingering images are so evidently palpable and painful. And the Arab suffering – the grievous suffering. Wasn't it disturbingly "one-sided" and “disproportionate”?
Posted on: January 9th, 2013InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Sometimes, pragmatism handily trumps belief. Back in the earliest days of Arab terrorism against Israel – going back to May 1948 and even earlier – many disparate groups were able to cooperate in a presumptively common war against the Jewish state.
Posted on: December 26th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Mr. President, some foreign policies need to be carefully thought through a second time.
Posted on: December 19th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Terrorism is always a crime under international law.
Posted on: December 12th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Sometimes, in complex military calculations, truth is counter-intuitive. In essence, the persuasiveness of Israel's nuclear deterrent vis-à-vis Iran will require prospective enemy perceptions of retaliatory destructiveness at both the low and high ends of the nuclear yield spectrum. Ending nuclear ambiguity at the optimal time could best allow Israel to foster precisely such needed perceptions. This point is very important and possibly overriding.
Posted on: December 5th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Steadily, Israel is strengthening its plans for ballistic missile defense, most visibly on the Arrow system and also on Iron Dome, a lower-altitude interceptor that is designed to guard against shorter-range rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza.
Posted on: November 28th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Israel's final decision concerning what to do about a nuclear Iran will depend on answers to certain core psychological questions. Is the Iranian adversary rational, valuing national survival more highly than any other preference, or combination of preferences? Or, on even a single occasion, is this enemy more apt to prove itself irrational, thereby choosing to value certain preferences more highly than the country's indispensable physical security?
Posted on: November 21st, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
For the most part, we Jews have always accepted the obligation to ward off disaster as best we can. For the most part, we generally understand that all humans have free will. Saadia Gaon included freedom of will among the most central teachings of Judaism, and Maimonides affirmed that all human beings must stand alone in the world “to know what is good and what is evil, with none to prevent him from either doing good or evil.”
Posted on: November 14th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Israel, with an understandable desperation, still seeks to discover some discernible correctness and reassuring clarity in the theatre of world politics. However, the polite diplomatic meanings with which it is pressed to "make peace" remain squalid and elusive. Ominously, these meanings continue to seethe menacingly.
Posted on: November 7th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
All things move in the midst of death, even nations and civilizations. From 1948 to the present day, certain of Israel's prime ministers, facing war, terrorism, or even genocide, have been deeply reluctant to admit core national vulnerabilities. Indeed, rather than acknowledge the plainly exterminatory intent and (increasingly) the corollary destructive capacity of determined enemies, these leaders have sometimes opted for (1) so-called terrorist exchanges; 2) utterly inexcusable deals of land for nothing; and (3) endlessly assorted surrenders of power.
Posted on: November 1st, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Nuclear weapons and nuclear war. This is not a new subject for my column in The Jewish Press. What is new is the urgent need to confront, head on, an expanding international movement to eviscerate Israel's nuclear posture – and at precisely the precarious moment when this critical posture should actually be made more visible, and hence, more compelling.
Posted on: October 24th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Whenever an insurgent group resorts to openly unjust means, its actions become incontestably terroristic. Even if the ritualistic Palestinian claim of a hostile Israeli "occupation" were somehow reasonable rather than invented, the corresponding right of entitlement to oppose Israel "by any means necessary" would be false.
Posted on: October 17th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
President Obama and Governor Romney strongly disagree on many issues but the daylight between them is especially great in the imminent matter of Palestinian statehood. For his part, the president still believes in a two-state solution, and in a corollary willingness of the Palestinian side to negotiate fairly. His opponent is unambiguous in a fully contrary insistence that the Palestinians are not interested in peace.
Posted on: October 11th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Today, conventional wisdom maintains that the George W. Bush administration had been a good friend to Israel and, unlike the Obama administration, had fought mightily against the creation of a Palestinian state. With this “wisdom” in mind, I ask readers to consider the following column of mine that originally appeared in The Jewish Press in August 2007.
Posted on: October 4th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Historically, viewed against the background of extensive and unapologetic terrorist perfidy in both Gaza and Lebanon, Israel has been innocent of any alleged disproportionality. All combatants, including all insurgents in Gaza and Lebanon, are bound to comply with the law of war of international law.
Posted on: September 25th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
For the moment, at least, a state of Palestine does not exist. Historically, of course, such a country has never existed. Nonetheless, current supporters of Palestinian statehood (sometimes Jews as well as Arabs) have discovered substantial practical benefit in persistently referring to Israel and "Palestine" as if there were some existing legal equivalence between them. Indeed, repeated again and again, ritualistically, as if it were an incantation, such propagandistic usage is already transforming "Palestine" into a jurisprudential fait accompli.
Posted on: September 21st, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
At this point in Israel’s problematic diplomatic agenda, there is really only one overriding policy question: Can any form of negotiation with the Palestinians, Fatah and/or Hamas, ever prove reasonable and productive? From the very beginning, even before formal statehood in 1948, Israel has sought courageously and reasonably to negotiate with its many unreasonable enemies. […]
Posted on: September 13th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
We wonder about the endlessly volatile markets and also (not often enough) about plainly unequal distributions of national wealth, but are the nation’s official policy responses based on correct views of classical economic theory? In particular, what about Adam Smith and his oft-quoted arguments for “free market capitalism”? More than any other classical theorist, Smith has been embraced by conservatives.
Posted on: July 18th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
The primary point of Israel's nuclear forces must be deterrence ex ante, not preemption or reprisal ex post. If, however, nuclear weapons should ever be introduced into a conflict between Israel and one or more of the several states that still wish to destroy it, some form of nuclear war fighting could ensue.
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