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Yoram Kaniuk Photo: Michael Kramer
Yoram Kaniuk Photo: Michael Kramer
 
 

Lower your expectations

Fighter jets cannot eliminate Islamic terrorism; tactical win is best we can hope for

Yoram Kaniuk
Published: 01.15.09, 19:21 / Israel Opinion

No state has been able to defeat zealous Islamic terrorists thus far. America, with all its resources, did not defeat bin Laden in Iraq or in Afghanistan. There is no way to defeat zealous ideologies, because their leaders are willing to hide behind their children.

 

Back in the 10th Century already, a woman in Syria was overjoyed when our son was killed as a martyr, and now it is happening in Gaza as well. The Russians butchered half of Chechnya, yet the other half is patiently waiting. Syria killed tens of thousands of Islamic Brotherhood members, yet the rest are still waiting in the form of Hizbullah, which will eventually punish Damascus for it. The Egyptians have also engaged in a brutal struggle against the same Islamic group, yet they can only defeat them for certain periods of time.

 

Hamas is their direct descendent more than it is a Palestinian liberation group. It is not a product of the occupation yet it is a party to the struggle against it. Meanwhile, Shiite Islam, which is the mother and father of Islamic terror, is able to survive everything. No F-16 fighter jets can defeat it.

 

It is only possible to secure tactical wins, and a ceasefire that everyone knows will be temporary. It will hold several months or years. However, terror is the weapon of the weak, in England, in America, and here. Those who view themselves as oppressed even when their brothers in countries like Saudi Arabia are among the richest in the world will not surrender completely.

 

At this time, the campaign is managed by Ehud Barak. I am not one of his close associates or admirers, yet I believe that he is doing an exceptional job in this campaign. He is the IDF’s most proper soldier. People forget, yet I will never forget, that he did want to undertake a great act, and as opposed to what the critics say he did offer Arafat more than 90% of the territories. Some say it was 97%. However, Arafat did not continue to negotiate in order to get more, but rather, started the Intifada, which among other things sealed Barak’s political fate.

 

Without being there I am certain that Barak, as opposed to the “wise” Ehud Olmert, realizes there is no victory on the horizon, and we merely need to bring about a few easier years. This is how we’ve been living here since 1921. As a wise British man said a long time ago, there is no chance for peace between Arabs and Jews on the basis of the Balfour Declaration.

 

I am not smart enough to offer advice about what should be done. Yet I understand that it is impossible to eliminate Arab terror in Iraq, in the US, or in Afghanistan via war. We can only undertake operations like the one in Gaza. Perhaps we shouldn’t have destroyed a school by mistake, and there is no power in the world that would allow even our zealot Jews to target Gaza’s Shifa hospital, whose basement is used as a hideout for Islam’s glorious heroes.

 

This is democracy’s greatest advantage and drawback: It is truly difficult for us to undertake the kind of genocide which the critics claim we are committing in Gaza.

 

I sometimes read about people who struggle against cancer. I want to say what every doctor knows, and I know it too from personal experience: There is no struggle against cancer. Nobody can fight it. We can restrain it for some time. Just like terrorism, it’s stronger than us because it doesn’t mind sacrificing all its cells so that I or someone else would die. 

 

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