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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Fighting Terrorism’

Young Netanyahu: No to Independent Terror State

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Excerpts from “Fighting Terrorism”, 2001 Edition, by Benjamin Netanyahu, page 119-120.

Understandably, many Israelis do not want to see that [Gaza] base expanded twenty times to include the West Bank, thereby having an Iranian-influenced Islamic domain hovering over its major cities, and within 10 miles of the sea.

Such a PLO-Hamas state would sooner or later threaten to topple the pro-Western Hashemite regime in Jordan, the majority of whose population is composed of Palestinian Arabs, many of them susceptible to the fundamentalist message.

A Palestinian-Islamic state on the West Bank of the Jordan River might soon expand to the East Bank as well (i.e. the present state of Jordan).

Above all, a PLO-Hamas state is likely to eventually deteriorate into a new avatar of the PLO terror state in Lebanon, which was responsible for the exportation of terror far beyond the Middle East…

It might take several years for such a state to reveal its true nature. It might first wish to build up its power, adopting a relative docile outward appearance to continue receiving Western aid and Israeli concessions. But the underlying irredentist and terrorist impulses are at the core of its political ideology and raison d’etre  are unfortunately not likely to disappear.

Even now it is possible to correct the mistakes which the Labor government has made in its efforts to appease Palestinian terror.

Stability may be achieved and terrorism put on the defensive if Israel reassumes responsibility for its own security and asserts a policy of local autonomy for the Palestinian Arabs instead of the independent terror-free zones (editor:  state) now being built.

It will take some time for the rest of the world to understand what many in Israel now know: that far from producing the durable peace all Israelis yearn for, the continued expansion if an armed Palestinian domain is merely a stepping-stone to the eventual escalation of conflict and the continued march of Islamic militancy in the Middle East and beyond.

 

Netanyahu: It’s a Fundamental Mistake to Capitulate to Terrorists’ Political Demands

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Excerpt from “Fighting Terrorism”, 2001 Edition, by Benjamin Netanyahu, page 110-112.

If one needs a textbook case on how not  to fight terrorism, Gaza is it.

For if hitherto Israel had shown the world how terrorism could be fought; now it showed how terrorism could be facilitated.

From 1993 on, the Israeli government committed many of the mistakes that a state could commit in the war against terror. It’s fundamental mistake, of course, was to capitulate to the terrorists’ political  demands.

Seeking relief from PLO terrorism by giving the PLO land, it directly encouraged and emboldened a new rash of Islamic terrorism under the PLO umbrella aimed at obtaining even more land. (Later it would negotiate the trading of additional tracts of strategic land for a temporary halt in terror. Thereby practically ensuring terror will reappear once the Palestine state is established and Israeli concessions are stopped.)

In Oslo, Israel demonstrated to the PLO and its imitators that terrorism does indeed pay.

Equally, the Israeli government severely impaired its operational capacity to fight terrorism by committing no fewer than six classic blunders:

1. It tried to subcontract the job of fighting terrorism  to someone else – in the case to the terrorists themselves.

2. It tied the hands of its security forces  by denying them the right to enter or strike at terrorist havens, thus creating inviolable domains for the terrorists actions.

3. It released thousands of jailed terrorists into these domains,  many of whom promptly took up their weapons and returned to ply their trade.

4. It armed the terrorists,  by enabling the unrestricted flow of thousands of weapons in Gaza, which soon found their way into the hands of the myriad militias and terrorist gangs.

5. It promised safe passage  for terrorists by exempting PLO VIPs from inspection at the border crossings from Egypt and Jordan, thus enabling the smuggling of terrorists into Gaza and Jericho, and from there into Israel itself.

6. It betrayed its Palestinian Arab informants,  many of whom were murdered by the PLO, leaving Israel without an invaluable source of intelligence against terrorist operations in the evacuated areas.

All these errors produced one essential outcome: Gaza become a zone in which terrorism could operate without fear of retribution.

Netanyahu: Do Not Release Jailed Terrorists

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

An Excerpt from “Fighting Terrorism”, 2001 Edition, by Benjamin Netanyahu, page 144.

Among the most important policies which must be adopted in the face of terrorism is the refusal to release convicted terrorists from prisons. This is a mistake that Israel, once the leader in anti-terror techniques, has made over and over again.

Release of convicted terrorists before they have served their full sentences seems like an easy and tempting way of defusing blackmail situations in which innocent people may lose their lives. But its utility is momentary at best.

Prisoner releases only embolden terrorists by giving them the feeling that even if they are caught their punishment will be brief.

Worse, by leading terrorists to think such demands are likely to be met, they encourage precisely the kind of terrorist blackmail which they are supposed to defuse: All that Timothy McVeigh’s compatriots need to know is that the the United States government is susceptible to releasing him in exchange for the lives of innocent hostages in order to get the terrorists to make just such a demand; only the most unrelenting refusal to ever give in to such blackmail can prevent most such situations from arising.

Bean Town Blessings

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Last week was an intense time to be in the U.S. and certainly in Boston. Fresh from Israel, I was ready to talk about the story of the Jewish State, but it seemed God had other plans for me: to live a story in Boston.

So, Friday morning I was walking from the Young Israel of Brookline to the corner Kosher bakery, called Kupels, where I had breakfast every day while in Boston. I must admit I was a bit unplugged from the steady stream of breaking news tidbits and was walking around innocently, when I noticed that there were unusually few cars on the road and that stores seemed to all be closed.

I asked a young lady who was smoking nervously what was going on. “Didn’t you hear?” she said, and proceeded to fill me on everything that had happened overnight: the murder of a police officer, the shootout, the killing of the first suspect and the subsequent manhunt underway for the younger brother. Two things struck me about her tale, the first was the reality of what was happening around me and the strange providence that brought me from “dangerous” eastern Jerusalem to usually-calm Boston to be a witness to this tumultuous and historic time – and hopefully allow me to offer support as well.

The second thing that struck me was the willingness of random Bostonians to give over the whole tale; a kind, verbal kindness that seemed to come naturally to this city of universities, history and intellect.

I returned to the quaint Victorian motel on Longwood Avenue which I was staying at for the week. I began the process of checking out as originally planned but now I couldn’t leave. The city of Boston was on lockdown-manhunt mode and my speaking event had been cancelled. I had nowhere to go and the police did not want anyone going anywhere anyway. So my fellow guests and I congregated in the public kitchen, gathering in front of the television to watch the saga that was unfolding just outside.

To my right was a gentleman – let’s call him Joe. A tough old American, with a penchant for mildly anti-Semitic jokes. Another man came in from outside, bringing Old Joe a ham sandwich. Joe turned to me and said: “Hey Rabbi, you want some of this sandwich, I’ll bless it for you!” and he proceeded to cross the ham. We all laughed. Then Joe asked the other man where he got the food from. The other man, let’s call him Mike, said: “everything is closed except the Jewish deli” (the Kosher-style one where he got the pork). So Joe says: “they’ll do anything for a buck.” But Mike retorted “Na, only the Jews have guts!” Joe nodded.

No one in Boston gave me dirty looks. Nobody implied I was the source of all evil, somehow nefariously involved in the terrorism that had just struck. My Jewish genes expect to be blamed when things go wrong for the gentiles, but the average American – certainly the Bostonians that I met – looked right past my decidedly ethnic Middle Eastern appearance.

On Friday night, I had finished dinner with wonderful Jewish students at the Chabad of Boston University, when I heard merriment and revelry outside. Armed with this new understanding of this city’s willingness to talk, I ran outside and asked the first person – a happy dogwalker – to give me the lowdown. Of course, he immediately obliged, giving me the good news that police had located and captured the second terrorist. Relief was in the air for a city which had held its breath for a week.

On Shabbat day, I walked from B.U. to the Chabad of Harvard (and MIT) for prayer, great lunch, and to give a talk. That day was the 25th day of Omer (the 49-day count between the second day of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot) and the Sefira (Kabbalistic emanation which corresponds to each day of the count) was Netzach SheB’Netzach. In my talk I explained that Netzach means two things: eternity and victory, and that these represented two kinds of Jewish triumph. Eternity means that we outlast our enemies and that no matter what they do to us and how many of us they kill, we come back. We outlast the horrors inflicted upon us by Romans and the Nazis and everyone in between. But victory is different; victory is not only outlasting the evil, it is actually beating it. Our nation suffered through the long exile, and we outlasted our tormentors. But now, with the advent of the Jewish State, we are tasked with pursuing victory and helping the world be rid of those who hate peace.

The April 14 World

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

The day before the Marathon Massacre, the New York Times had scored plaudits for running an op-ed by one of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards complaining about his hard life in Guantanamo Bay.

On April 14th, the paper of broken record paid 150 bucks to an Al Qaeda member for the opportunity to complain about being force fed during his hunger strike. On April 15th the bombs went off.

The attacks of September 11 introduced a dividing line between awareness and disregard. There was the world of September 10 and the world of September 11. In one world the planes passing in the sky were a minor reminder of our technological prowess. In the other, we were at war.

There was no such clear dividing line when September 11 faded from memory and we returned to a September 10 world. Nor is there an exact date for when we will return to an April 14 world in which it is okay to pay a terrorist in exchange for his propaganda. But if the media has its way, that day can’t come soon enough.

A day after the bombings, the New York Times wrote that a decade without terror had come to an end. But the terror had never stopped or paused. The FBI and local law enforcement had gone on breaking up numerous terror plots to the skepticism and ridicule of the media which accused them of violating Muslim civil rights and manufacturing threats.

Some of those plots seemed laughable. A man setting up a car bomb near a Broadway theater where crowds waiting to see The Lion King musical, kids in tow, were lining up. A plot to detonate bombs in the Grand Central and the Times Square subway stations. Underwear bombers. Shoe bombers. It became fashionable to laugh at them. Silly crazies trying to kill people in ridiculous ways. Almost as silly as trying to hijack planes while armed only with box cutters and then ramming those planes into buildings.

Liberal urbanites stopped breathing sighs of relief every time a terror plot was broken up and turned on law enforcement. There were suspicions that these were just setups. Representatives of Muslim groups complained that law enforcement was taking confused kids and tricking them into terrorist plots that they never could have carried out on their own.

But there was only one way to find out.

Last year the Associated Press won a Pulitzer for its attack on the NYPD’s mosque surveillance program. But that was the April 14 mindset. Now after April 15, the police are once again heroes and any editorials from imprisoned terrorists complaining about the lack of new Harry Potter novels at Gitmo have temporarily been placed on hold. But the police know better than anyone that it will not take very long for them to go from the heroes to the villains. The period of consciousness after April 15 will be much shorter than after September 11.

The long spring in which Americans didn’t have to turn on the news and see bloody body parts everywhere was made possible by the dedicated work of the very people the media spent a decade undermining. The media was undermining them on April 14, but two days later it was acknowledging that the temporary peace brought about by the work of the very people they despised had made their temporary ignorance of terror possible.

We don’t know who perpetrated the Marathon Massacre, but many of the Muslim terrorist plots broken up by the authorities would have been as deadly. And there will be others like them in the future. The one thing we can be certain of is that terrorism as a tactic is here to stay.

While law enforcement pores over the wreckage, the media is examining the political fallout. It is waiting for the time when it will once again be safe to pay terrorists for their propaganda. If the bomber turns out to be anything other than a Muslim terrorist, then they can get into their limos and drive back to that Sunday, April 14, when it was safe to be pro-terrorist. If he turns out to be in any way associated with the right, then they can celebrate hitting propaganda pay dirt. But even if he’s only another Unabomber or even another Bill Ayers, the false spring of April 14 will still beckon.

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: Hitting Them Where it Hurts

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Hitting Them Where it Hurts

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the director of the non-profit organization Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, and one of the winners of the 2012 Moskowitz Prize for Zionism, joins Yishai Fleisher to discuss stopping the flow of funds to terror organizations, defending victims and families of victims of terror attacks, and educating the public about terror and terror funding.  Yishai and Darshan-Leitner talk about how governments that provide funding for terrorist organizations can be held financially responsible for the attacks they have funded.

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR INTERVIEW)))

A Nation Held Hostage

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

With Sgt. Gilad Shalit safely returned in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian terrorists and murderers, celebration – propelled by wishful avoidance – spread throughout Israel.

It was said that peace in our time, even peace now, might be imminent. The disproportionate exchange could transform the relationship between Israel and Hamas, leading to a final peace agreement. Israel’s relations with Egypt, precarious ever since President Mubarak’s overthrow, and with Turkey, frayed since the Mavi Marmara flotilla confrontation, would improve. Even Shalit himself, interviewed on Egyptian television shortly before his return, envisioned renewed prospects for peace.

But Hamas, whose charter still proclaims the destruction of the Jewish state as its goal, has other plans. It immediately called for more Israeli soldiers to be kidnapped, the better to free 5,000 Palestinian terrorists still imprisoned. A far likelier scenario than peace is the collaborative tightening of the noose around Israel by Hamas, Hizbullah, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.

There was, understandably,  widespread euphoria among Israelis over the return of Shalit. “Bring Gilad Back,” the five-year campaign run by a well-known public relations firm with unremitting media support, had succeeded. Unrelenting pressure from the Shalit family, backed by public rallies and a tent outside the prime minister’s residence, finally prevailed.

But family members of victims brutally murdered in Palestinian terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, whose perpetrators now roam free, became mourners once again. They include the relatives of fifteen children killed in the Sbarro pizzeria bombing masterminded by Ahlam Tamimi; thirty Israelis killed in the Park Hotel Passover Seder bombing planned by Nasser Yataima; twenty-one Israelis killed at a Tel Aviv nightclub and fourteen diners killed  at a Haifa restaurant, ordered by Husam Badran; and eleven Israelis killed at a Jerusalem café, orchestrated by Waled Anjes.

Now Tamimi, Yataima, Badran and Anjes, with hundreds of others, are free to murder once again.

Palestinian terrorists have a proven strategy: launch attacks; slaughter Israelis by the dozens; kidnap a soldier; and bargain for his release in exchange for prisoners who will then repeat the deadly cycle. The more fervently Israel pursues the return of a captured soldier, the greater his value in the eyes of Hamas and the higher the price that its negotiators will demand in return.

Eliad Moreh, severely wounded in the Hebrew University bombing nearly a decade ago that killed seven, said, “When the government releases these murderers…there is no justice.” Meir Schijveschuurder, whose parents and three siblings were killed in the Sbarro bombing, described the exchange as “madness” and announced the intention of surviving family members to return to Holland. “We have been betrayed,” said Sherri Mandel, mother of a murdered 13-year-old boy. “To pardon terrorists mocks our love and our pain.”

The Shalit deal climaxed forty years of exchanges in which escalating numbers of Palestinians have been released: 1 (1970); 76 (1979); 1150 (1985). Israelis claim the exchanges demonstrate their fidelity to the ancient moral obligation to redeem captives – which, however, is challenged by the Talmudic principle (in Gittin) that “We do not redeem captives for more than their worth, so that enemies will not dedicate themselves to take other people captive.”

In the past decade alone nearly two hundred Israelis have been murdered by terrorists who were released for soldiers, living or dead. The likelihood of more killings has now increased. But, as Yossi Zur suggested, now eight years after his son Asaf was among seventeen high-school students killed by a Hamas suicide bomber, “since the names and faces of the future victims are not known, it is permissible to…fantasize that nothing will happen.” Israelis are left to discover who among them will die from the Shalit exchange.

Fighting Terrorism: Perfidy And The Recurrent Lie of Israeli ‘Disproportionality’

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
            The more things change, the more they remain the same. Soon, even the more “moderate” Palestinian forces will re-start their carefully choreographed terror attacks against Israel. Simultaneously, more or less, Hamas- even as it proceeds to a presumably formal rapprochement with Fatah – will do the same. In Lebanon, Shiite Hizbullah, steadily mentored and lavishly re-supplied by Iran, and operationally allied with Sunni Hamas, has already initiated massive preparations for the next war.
            Predictably, Israel’s required efforts to defend its citizens will be met, yet again, with a sanctimonious barrage of assorted criticisms. Although international law allows any such imperiled state to use necessary force preemptively in “anticipatory self-defense,” Israel’s plainly indispensable efforts to stave off existential harm will inevitably be condemned widely by the international community.
            Humanitarian international law, or the law of armed conflict, requires that every use of force by an army orby an insurgent group meet the test of proportionality. Drawn from the basic (“peremptory”) legal principle that “the means that can be used to injure an enemy are not unlimited,” proportionality stipulates, among other things, that every resort to armed force be limited to what is absolutely necessary for operational success. More specifically, this principle of both codified and customary international law applies to all judgments of military advantage, and also to all planned reprisals.
            Proper determinations of proportionality need not be made in a geopolitical vacuum. Instead, these legal decisions may always take into proper account the precise extent to which a pertinent adversary has committed prior or ongoing violations of the law of war. In the frequently interrelated cases of Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Fatah terrorists in Gaza, and the Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon, there is ample and incontestable evidence that all of these belligerents have been guilty of repeated perfidy.
            In law, deception can be acceptable in armed conflict, but the Hague Regulations expressly disallow the placement of military assets or military personnel in any heavily populated civilian areas. Further prohibition of perfidy can be found at Protocol I of 1977, additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.  These rules are also binding on the basis of (equally authoritative) customary international law.
             Perfidy represents an especially serious violation of the law of war, one that is even identified as a “grave breach” at Article 147 of Geneva Convention No. IV. The historic legal effect of perfidy committed by Palestinian or Hizbullah terrorists, especially their predictably recurrent resort to human shields, has been to immunize Israel from legal responsibility for any inadvertent counter-terrorist harms done to Arab civilians. Significantly, even if Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Fatah and Hizbullah had not always engaged in deliberate violations, anyterrorist-created links between civilians and insurgent warfare bestowed upon Israel an unassailable legal justification for its defensive military actions.
            This is not to suggest that Israel, in the future, should have a jurisprudential carte blanche in its necessary applications of armed force, but only that the reasonableness of these critical applications should always be appraised in the special context of identifiable enemy perfidy. International law is not a suicide pact.
            Viewed against the historical background of extensive and unapologetic terrorist perfidy in both Gaza and Lebanon, Israel has been innocent of any prior disproportionality.  All combatants, including all insurgents in Gaza and Lebanon, are bound to comply with the law of war of international law. This important requirement derives not only from what is known as the “Martens Clause,” a binding paragraph which makes its first appearance in the Preamble to the 1899 Hague Convention No. II on land warfare, but additionally from Article 3, common to the four Geneva Conventions of August 12,1949.   It is also found at the two protocols to these Conventions.
           It is easy for those who are unfamiliar with international law, or who merely seek to distort that law for narrowly propagandistic benefit, to condemn Israel with insubstantial charges of disproportionality. Yet, competent legal scholars will always understand and acknowledge the vital evaluative significance of context. Capable judgments under international law are never made in isolation from germane factors.
             It is clear, until now, that any seemingly disproportionate use of force by the Israel Defense Forces had actually been the permissible outcome of antecedent perfidy, of specified crimes committed by its multiple enemies in both Gaza and Lebanon.  Undeniably, were it not for these especially egregious violations of the law of war by its terrorist adversaries, Israel would never be obliged to wage war in any fashion that could create civilian harms.
            What about recurrent charges, from war to war, that Israel had committed aggression in Lebanon?  At Lebanon’s insistence, not Israel’s, a formal state of war has continued to exist between the two countries since the very beginning; that is, since the Jewish state first came into existence in May 1948. Only an armistice agreement exists between Israel and Lebanon. Signed on March 23,1949, this was not a war-terminating agreement, but merely a pledge (one still not honored by Lebanon) to cease active hostilities temporarily.
             Legally, it is not possible for Israel to commit aggression against Lebanon. This is because the latter already considers itself in a formal condition of belligerency with the Jewish state. Israel cannot commit aggression against another state with which it is already at war.

             Faced with multiple, and sometimes cooperating enemies on several fronts who often make no secret of their (literally) genocidal intentions, Israel has nonetheless managed to display an admirable respect for the law of armed conflict. Indeed, in starkly marked contrast to the conscious indiscriminacy of its terrorist foes in both Gaza and Lebanon, Jerusalem has actually been able to adhere to this law.

             The authentic legal issue in recurrent Middle East conflict is not Israeli disproportionality, but rather a persistent enemy resort to terrorism and perfidy.

 

 LOUIS RENÉ BERES, Professor of International Law at Purdue, was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971).  He is the author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism, international law and the law of war. Dr. Beres, Strategic and Military columnist for The Jewish Press,  was born in Zürich, Switzerland, on August 31, 1945.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/fighting-terrorism-perfidy-and-the-recurrent-lie-of-israeli-disproportionality/2011/06/01/

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