Photo Credit: Uri Lenz / Flash90
Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Dan Sion (R), Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Amatzya “Patzi” Hen (C) and the author taking a petition to the High Court in Jerusalem on behalf of bereaved families against the Gilad Shalit deal freeing 1,027 Palestinian.

Meir Dagan commanded the Rimon commando unit and headed the ISA.  He also understands terrorism.  But he thinks differently.  “In the end there will be a  Palestinian state,” he said to me in a private conversation in which I had tried to interest him in activity against the creation of such a thing.

I asked Dagan, a former commander of mine, how we could deal with terrorism once a Palestinian state came into being.

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“Today there are enough sophisticated ways, including from the air,” Dagan said dryly, having chased down a few terrorists in his life.

But that is a solution out of the ISA.  It works for taking out a few terrorists.  It is not adequate for bringing down a whole batallion of them.

So how is it that two commanders, two friends, take two such diametrically opposed positions?  Dagan doesn’t think a Palestinian state would be God’s gift to the world, but he spent many years inside the system.  He is a captive of standardized schemes for finding solutions within the box, and speaks the language of low-intensity conflict doctrine, with its temporary, tactical solutions.  For him, a Palestinian state is something unavoidable with which we will have to learn to live, come what may.

Patzi, meanwhile, has been outside the system for many years.  He sees matters in terms of military strategy: he thinks outside the box.  That is what makes a man with political and military vision.

Originally published in Makor Rishon.

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