About Us

IMRA
IMRA
IMRA

 

Subscribe

Search


...................................................................................................................................................


Saturday, July 15, 2006
[Most embarrassing column?] Aluf Benn endorses Nasrallah days before attack

We need a Nasrallah
By Aluf Benn Haaretz 6 July 2006 [IMRA: A week before the war]
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/735153.html

What is more frightening: a Syrian Scud missile with a chemical warhead that
can hit Tel Aviv and kill thousands of people with poison gas, or a
Palestinian Qassam missile full of primitive explosives, which hits Sderot
and sometimes Ashkelon, and causes a small amount of damage? The destructive
power of the Syrian missile is far greater, and yet few, if any, Israelis
think about its existence. The Qassam, however, is seen as a serious
security threat, which is of concern to the prime minister, the security
services, the media and the Israeli public.

There is a simple explanation for the inverse ratio between the performance
capability of the enemy's missiles and the level of anxiety about them: The
security threat does not stem from the technology of weapons systems, but
from the finger on the trigger. Israel's leaders portray Syrian President
Bashar Assad as the principal inciter of terror in the region and as the
person responsible for the kidnapping of soldier Gilad Shalit. But they were
not afraid Assad would launch Scuds, even after Israeli warplanes buzzed his
palace. He may be a terrorist, but he is not crazy. If he presses the launch
button, he will risk a harsh reaction from Israel that will endanger his
rule and his country. That is why Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense
Minister Amir Peretz can irritate him without fear.

As opposed to Assad, the Qassam operators in Gaza cannot be deterred by an
F-16 fighter plane, and their hand does not tremble when they launch another
missile over the fence. Their strength stems from the weakness of the
Palestinian Authority and from the absence of a central security force in
Gaza.

Israel has suffered from this problem since its earliest days: Terror
develops in a place where the Arab government is weak. That was the case in
Jordan in the 1950s and 1960s, in Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s, and now in
the PA. Centralized governments with a strong army, like Syria, Egypt and
Jordan today, are able to ensure quiet on the border, and their behavior is
predictable. Wherever there is chaos, there are problems of "ongoing
security."

It is enough to see what is happening in Lebanon. The moment Hezbollah took
control over the south of the country and armed itself with thousands of
Katyushas and other rockets, a stable balance of deterrence was created on
both sides of the border. The withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces from
Lebanon in 2000 was made possible not only because of the daring of then
prime minister Ehud Barak, but also thanks to Hezbollah leader Hassan
Nasrallah, who conducts a policy of "one law and one weapon" on the other
side.

Nasrallah hates Israel and Zionism no less than do the Hamas leaders,
Shalit's kidnappers and the Qassam squads. But as opposed to them - he has
authority and responsibility, and therefore his behavior is rational and
reasonably predictable. Under the present conditions, that's the best
possible situation. Hezbollah is doing a better job of maintaining quiet in
the Galilee than did the pro-Israeli South Lebanese Army.

In the territories there is no such Nasrallah today. PA Chair Mahmoud Abbas
(Abu Mazen) is opposed to terror and wants diplomatic negotiations, but he
operates as a tortured intellectual and a commentator, rather than as an
authoritative leader. The Hamas government, which at first showed promising
signs of organization and discipline, has behaved like him and shrugged its
shoulders during the kidnapping crisis. The weapons in Gaza are split among
organizations, gangs and clans, which Israel has difficulty deterring.

The events of the past weeks in Gaza have once again demonstrated that the
essential condition for a quiet border is a responsible finger on the
trigger on the other side. The conclusion we must come to is that until the
appearance of a factor that will take control of security and weapons on the
West Bank - Israel will not be able to withdraw from there. Negotiations
with Abbas are not sufficient, nor is an agreement with him. It is more
important that his statement about "one law and one weapon" be implemented
on the ground. Even if it is implemented by a Palestinian Nasrallah.

Search For An Article
....................................................................................................

Contact Us

POB 982 Kfar Sava
Tel 972-9-7604719
Fax 972-3-7255730
email:imra@netvision.net.il IMRA is now also on Twitter
http://twitter.com/IMRA_UPDATES

image004.jpg (8687 bytes)