Recently Israel assassinated both the founder and successor of the most dangerous and deadly Palestinian terrorist organization. Sheik Ahmen Yassin and Abdel Rantissi were leaders of Hamas, the terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of nearly 400 innocent Israelis. Yassin and Rantissi also preached the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel. However, many world leaders criticized both killings, saying that they will only inflame the situation and lead to more violence.
To understand the action Israel has taken, one must understand the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel has learned many lessons from its 56 years of war with its Arab neighbors, starting when five Arab countries attacked only two days after statehood. The most important lesson that Israel has learned is that appeasement only makes the aggressor grow stronger. If Israel sits by idly as terrorists continue to murder, the entire Arab world will see this inaction as weakness, and terrorists will continue to kill Israelis.
In 1982 Israel took control of southern Lebanon to keep the terrorist group Hezbollah from attacking northern Israel. In 2000 Israel unilaterally withdrew due to the relentless attacks on Israeli soldiers and to comply with UNSC Resolution 425. Israel’s withdrawal had dire consequences. Now missiles are fired regularly into northern Israel as a provocation, and it’s no coincidence that recent Palestinian terrorism started in 2000.
This was also the same year that, at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Barak offered the Palestinians their own state, including all of Gaza and 97 percent of the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Arafat declined and resorted to terror. The terrorists saw the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and the Camp David proposal as weakness and felt emboldened to keep killing innocent Israelis in hopes of squeezing out more concessions. Israeli appeasement has led to a deadly four-year campaign of violence against Israel.
In the spring of 2002, Israel conducted a military operation into the West Bank to eradicate the terrorist threat. Before the operation, there were 119 innocent Israelis murdered in March. After the operation, the numbers declined to 15 killed in August and only 10 in September. Why was there this lull in terror attacks? Were the terrorists not mad anymore? They were probably angrier than ever. Did Israel get rid of every terrorist? According to many world leaders this would have created more terrorists. The reason terrorism subsided was because the terrorists understood that Israel isn’t going to run away from its historic homeland. Terrorism is not going to defeat the Israeli resolve. Unfortunately, it takes military action to show the Arab world that Israel isn’t weak and will stand and fight for what is its own.
David Abroms can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.