Weekly Commentary: The Real Issue Is Efficacy of Rolling Quiet For Quiet
Dr. Aaron Lerner 1 March, 2017
Unfortunately, the real issue that cries out for examination in the wake of
Operation Protective Edge is being ignored.
That's the "Rolling Quiet For Quiet" policy that's been followed by a
generation of Israeli Governments.
It goes like this:
Step #1: Under a "quiet for quiet" our enemy can make any and all
preparations to attack us as long as he doesn’t shoot at us in the meantime.
Clarification: Israel can try to interdict or destroy weapons before they
reach Gaza or Southern Lebanon. But once the weapons have reached their
destination, Israel will not attempt to destroy them no matter what the
weapons may be.
Step #2: Once "quiet for quiet" is violated to the point that an Israeli
operation is required, Israel will engage in a military operation whose
primary goal is to restore the "quiet for quiet" arrangement.
Clarification: While this operation may entail considerable damage to the
enemy's infrastructure, the goal of the operation is not to in any way
prevent the enemy from restoring its military capabilities in the "quiet for
quiet" period that follows the operation. In point of fact, the expectation
is that ultimately the enemy will get stronger with each round.
Question: What is the efficacy of this policy?
Critical assumption: This policy relies on the assumption that during each
"quiet for quiet" period, Israel's capabilities improve significantly more
than the enemy's capabilities improve.
Problem: There is, unfortunately, no indication that the policy makers and
the defense establishment have seriously thought through this critical
These are people who "knew there were tunnels but weren't aware of what
Hamas would do with them".
These are people who today think at one and the same time that Hamas plans
to use to tunnels to murder a bunch of kibbutz members and then turn around
and note that the tunnels don't end under kibbutzim.
We cannot afford to continue with this "yihye bseder" (it will be ok)
We need a serious and honest evaluation.
We need some of the best and brightest to take the role of "red teams" .
Thinking and planning what they would do if they were Hamas and if they were
Only then can we get close to appreciating the ramifications of this policy.
We simply cannot continue "Rolling Quiet For Quiet" without seriously
studying its efficacy.
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