Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ Israel should respect Islamic terrorists ] [ Next ]


Attack governments and civilians who support anti-Israeli terrorists

The Islamic terrorists are few, but they depend on many. With American and Arab support, the Afghan mujahedin defeated the Soviets. Without such support the Afghan Taliban lost, if temporarily, in three weeks. Hezbollah, Hamas, and PIJ are relatively inexpensive ventures, though their budgets run into tens of millions annually. Israel traces not only much of the terrorists income but also some of their expenses, like the annuities paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Islamic terrorists need a large pool of followers to troll for suicide bombers, for hideouts, for funds. Supporters of Islamic terrorists are not innocent Muslim civilians; they are the home front. Israel should not tolearet newspapers that incite people to kill Israelis, anti-Israeli demonstrations, American and European Islamic fundamentalist charities that collect and donate to militant Islamic causes, and hate-mongering Muslim politicians. Freedom of speech stops when it costs Jewish lives. Israel should blow identified Islamists supporters’ offices and businesses up right along with them. Wherever possible, Israel should seek cooperation from Islamic governments, friendly or hostile, by persuasion, assistance, threat, or blackmail. Failing that, Israel should not shy from confrontation. Western governments rarely protest when someone does a dirty job they want to but can’t. Offering rewards would invite criminals to do the Israeli job. Offering the incentives from Israel is useless. A requirement to betray their dearest principles to the Israeli enemy would reduce the number of Arab volunteers. Instead, such offers should come from organizations ostensibly connected to the Egyptian or Saudi government; Shiites might seek to eliminate bin Laden. Israeli disguise need not be believable to reasonable people and should only provide Muslim thugs with an excuse for treason. Muslims’ loyalty to the Islamic leaders is not unqualified: a two million dollar bounty for Abdul Basit (Ramzi Yousef), who organized the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, generated a flood of leads. The rewards should be kept realistic: the tens of millions offered for senior Al Qaeda staff look fantastic for poor Muslims and are unconsciously disregarded. A hundred thousand would snare a poor Arab or a gang of them as quickly as twenty-five million. Israel and America could pay smaller amounts for non-crucial information. Muslims might be readier to betray the Islamic terrorists in seemingly unimportant ways, such as details of recent actions or bin Laden’s location yesterday. Eventually, Muslim collaborators would agree to provide critical information to Israel for a jackpot reward.

Israel should expel all Israeli Arabs who support Israel's Islamic enemy. Muslims who participates in a pro-Palestinian demonstration should be loaded onto Israeli buses and driven from Israel straight to Jordan. Donors to Islamic charities should be identified among Israeli and American Arabs and, where possible, expelled, jailed—or demonstratively assassinated by Israelis to offer an example to others compassionate with Islamist causes. Most self-styled Islamic charities are connected with Islamic terrorists.

Muslims who support Islamic terrorists safely from afar are a greater threat than the weary Palestinians. Few Muslims respond to appeals for jihad, but they are supporters and donors of Islamic terrorists. That irritating crowd of Muslim spectators is fertile soil for grassroots Islamic terrorists. Israeli retaliation would scare most away before they become participants. Some might join the Islamic terrorists in retaliation, but Israeli objective is not to prevent recruitment but rather to eradicate the Islamic terrorists’ indispensable support base.

The ancient Assassins, some of the earliest known terrorists, held out for centuries in mountainous regions; fighting terrorists on their own turf is futile. Urban warfare conducted by Israel is even more complicated than war in the mountains. The same was true of the Sicarii. There are not many ways to isolate Islamic terrorists who hide out among the Muslim population. Fences or land mines stop some. Turncoats finger some. Most Arab terrorists vanish in Israeli retaliation raids, along with peaceful Arabs unlucky enough to reside nearby. Some unlucky Israelis boarded the buses blown up.

Israel attacking Islamic terrorist bases, their sponsors, or bystanders among the Israeli Arab population may generate Muslim support for them and intensify their actions, unless Israel shows she means to root them all out.[4] People tolerate casualties in wartime so long as they believe victory is possible but lose resolve if those casualties are not answered. The will to fight deteriorates over time, so Israel should escalate and resolve the Middle East conflict. The side that shows greatest resolve wins, and it must be Israel.

Calling the war a conflict or any other euphemism weakens Israeli resolve. War is about the will to fight.Advantages in arms, population, and strategic depth overcome will power. Yet Israel enjoys none of them. The Arabs are more populous, indoctrinated, and ready to die than the Israelis. Arabs have more weapons and could re-supply from Russian and China on demand. The superior will to fight is indispensable for Israel. At their current pace, Israelis would likely accept the partition of Jerusalem and the right of return to Israel for Arabs. A weak Israeli economy and political turmoil further sap resolve. Israel must gird her loins for war if Israel hopes to achieve lasting Arab-Israeli peace.

Egypt and Syria, which fight Islamic terrorists with torture and execution, laugh at Israel’s impotence. In a notable example, Egypt rooted out radicals by combing the neighborhood with thousands of troops, searching every house for people, literature, and weapons, arresting and interrogating a multitude. After the 9/11 attack, some Arab governments dealt harshly with local Islamic terrorists, quietly destroyed terrorist infrastructure, and extradited many to the United States.

Israel’s centralized security agencies are hard put to detect tiny Islamic terrorist groups. A better idea would be to create a vertical Israeli organization like the F.B.I. with agents in the state police, local police departments, on the beat in every precinct. To this end, Israel needs to seek cooperation from Muslim governments to comb their territories for Islamic terrorists. Local Muslim citizens are more like to betray Islamic terrorists to their own police than to Israeli agents.

American protection did not prevent Saudi Arabia from fomenting anti-American groups until they threatened the Saudi establishment. Sanctions did not stop Iran from supporting the Islamic terrorists. The carrot of statehood did not induce Arafat to corner Hamas and PIJ. Bureaucrats taking bribes do not feel obliged by them but to preserve self-esteem take them as a favor to the suborner, feeling no gratitude and goodwill. Unless America wants to bribe the Arabs with ever-increasing sops, paying for their every move against Islamic terrorists and expecting the cooperation to cease when the bribes are reduced, only force will make Arabs cooperate against terrorists. Arabs could forgo possible profits, like assistance, but not lose their assets in Israeli retaliation.

[4] The Soviet population in the occupied territories was submissive, because the Nazis carried out summary executions. People often turned partisans in. Too soft policy encourages rebels; extremely harsh treatment causes bravery of desperation. Arabs must understand Israel is not bent on extermination, yet will cruelly punish prohibited behavior.