For 45 years, 1948-93, Israel’s strategic vision, tactical brilliance, technological innovation, and logistical cleverness won it a deterrence capability. A deep understanding of the country’s predicament, complemented by money, will power, and dedication, enabled the Israeli state systematically to burnish its reputation for toughness.
The leadership focused on the enemy’s mind and mood, adopting policies designed to degrade his morale, with the goal of inducing a sense of defeat, a realization that the Jewish state is permanent and cannot be undone. As a result, whoever attacked the Israel state paid for that mistake with captured terrorists, dead soldiers, stalled economies, and toppled regimes.
By 1993, this record of success imbued Israelis with a sense of overconfidence. They concluded they had won, ignoring the inconvenient fact that Palestinians and other enemies had not yet given up their goal of eliminating Israel. Two emotions long held in check, fatigue and hubris, came flooding out. Deciding that (1) they had enough of war and (2) they could end the war on their own terms, Israelis experimented with such exotica as “the peace process” and “disengagement.” They permitted their enemies to create a quasi-governmental structure (the “Palestinian Authority”) and to amass hoards of armaments (Hizbullah’s nearly 12,000 Katyushas in southern Lebanon). They shamelessly traded captured terrorists for hostages.
Jul 19, 2006
Pipes: Israeli appeasement led to the current situation
I have to agree with this assessment: