Iron Dome won´t save Israel (HAŽARETZ NEWS OP-ED) By Israel Harel 03/15/12)
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Our leaders declare that "We´ve taught them a lesson." True. For many
years now, the terrorist leaders are saying to themselves, we´ve
disrupted life in southern Israel - and recently, on the outskirts of
central Israel as well. Yet despite having one of the world´s best-
equipped armies, Israel is incapable of stopping us. The Zionist
army, which in the past was noted for its courage and originality,
has lost both courage and originality. It is pinning its faith, and
exhausting its budget, on expensive interceptor missiles to use
against our primitive rockets.
The terrorist leaders watch television and conclude that the Zionist
state´s southern residents are depressed and disappointed. What has
been is what will be, the terrorists hear them saying.
After the latest round, too, the Israeli government will continue to
accept the ongoing, almost daily launching of mortar shells and
Qassam rockets. ("If the firing continues," warned the Israel Defense
Forces chief of staff after the latest truce was announced, "we´ll
respond just as we responded previously." ) And when the army
spokesman once again declares, "There were no casualties and no
damage," he signals that Israel will continue to contain itself
(after all, "containment" is their strategy, not seizing the
offensive and winning ) in the face of the nonstop assaults on its
sovereignty, the disruption of its citizens´ lives and the
destruction of their sense of security.
The Israelis know quite well, say the terrorists, that only a ground
operations could end our rockets. But ground operations entail
soldier casualties, and for Israelis avoiding soldier casualties
takes precedence over freeing mothers and fathers from having to fear
for their young children, for their property and for their dignity.
And so, in the long run we will wear them down.
Missile defense technology, however impressive it may be, is still
defensive. The south will be saved by offense, not defense - by
preemptive strikes, not by ex post facto interceptions. By the
audacity of its statesmen, commanders and soldiers, not by awe at the
accuracy of the Iron Dome antimissile batteries. As long as
technology assists the fighters, it´s a blessing. But when it
replaces them, the result is more than a dozen years of enduring
injury to life, property, morale and deterrence.
Who needs tanks and planes, the terrorist leaders say to themselves,
when every explosive-filled pipe sends hundreds of thousands of
Zionists into bomb shelters and causes them to use up the stock of
expensive Iron Dome missiles in which they place their faith?
Terrorist leaders in the south, like Hezbollah in the north, reached
these conclusions - which they have tested over and over - many years
ago. In every round, just as we did this week, we have opted
for "containment" rather than victory. The prime minister, defense
minister, chief of staff, generals, mayors and party leaders who
declared that we won this last round are misled and misleading.
A significant blow to the terrorists´ infrastructure and leadership
cannot be delivered using drones. The rockets must be detroyed before
they are launched. Only ground operations can achieve victory - and
even then, only on condition they aren´t stopped almost as soon as
they begin, as Operation Cast Lead was in 2009.
The IDF, which has failed in recent years to grant residents of
Israel true relief from the terror of rockets, must return to the
sources of the spirit, daring, sense of mission and uniqueness that
guided it in its first decades. Iron Dome won´t save us, and
breathtaking surgical strikes won´t defeat terror. Only the daring
and resourcefulness of the soldier who seizes the offensive (along
with the daring of those who send him into battle ), the soldier who
seeks engagement with the enemy and makes every effort to locate the
rocket stores and destroy them, is capable - with sophisticated
technology in the supporting role of providing protection and
direction - of actually winning the battle. (© Copyright 2012
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