Please excuse me, but after avoiding political topics for so long. I cannot hold myself back any longer. Michael Oren is of course (sadly) entirely correct in his perceptions here. He argues that Israel should resort to targeted killings of those responsible for terrorist actions.

A brief excerpt of the first couple paragraphs, because I worry the link will not work (but really, read it in its entirety):

JERUSALEM--Dawn broke yesterday over the Israel-Gaza border on a surreal but not unfamiliar scene: Rows of Merkava tanks, armored personnel carriers and Humvees were assembled in preparation for an incursion into the strip. These forces--when given the green light--would punch through booby-trapped refugee camps in search of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen, while Israeli jets and helicopters hunt the terrorists from above.

By invading Gaza, Israel hopes to counter increasingly bold Palestinian attacks--such as the firing of some 1,000 Qassam rockets at Israeli border towns and the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas earlier this week. The troops will probably net a large number of terrorists and may rescue the captured soldier. But while the operation may flex its military muscle, it cannot restore Israel's deterrence power or prevent future rocket attacks and kidnappings. Indeed, the attack may well prove Pyrrhic--inflicting greater injury on Israel than on the Palestinians.

The quandary Israel confronts today originated in the unilateral withdrawal of all Israeli settlers and soldiers from Gaza last August. A sizable majority of Israelis supported disengagement, excruciating as it was, as a means of achieving a national consensus on the country's borders and of preserving its vital Jewish majority.

Yet even those Israelis most in favor of the Gaza pullout understood that many Palestinians would interpret the move as a strategic retreat and a victory for Hamas and al-Aqsa terror. "We shot at the Jews and they fled Gaza," they would say, "so let's keep shooting and they'll abandon Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem." Israel could have refuted that claim by responding immediately and massively to every infiltration and to every rocket fired, irrespective of whether the attacks caused Israeli casualties. Gaza is now a de facto independent state, Israel should have declared, and like any other state it must bear the consequences of its aggression.

I remember when I was in Kyriat Shmona, in the very northern portion of Israel right near the borders of Lebanon and Syria we could see the temporary bunkers from which “militants” would fire their Qedusha rockets at Israeli villages and towns.

I saw that “wall”—or fence—which in fact caused the crime rate in a local Israeli village to go down to nearly nothing. Previously that village had been the victim of an infamous incident in which Palestinian gunmen took over an elementary school and slaughtered all the kids.

I know that wrongs have been committed on both sides. But the Israeli army is the only military in the world that warns people to evacuate a building before they fire at it. WTF.

All this reminds me of how similarly in the United States if the government does something it is often us (pun intended)…our media, or whoever, who publicize it, agonize it and protest against it. More power to us. But, in the case of Israel, why should we any longer when it doesn’t seem like there is a real partner in this process.

Is there a price to progressive civility? I will hold myself back from making any (more) over-generalizing comments about the situation. Obviously I am biased (and currently furious)…but I am hoping for the moderates on both sides to reach some sort of consensus.

As for targeted killings, as Oren suggests. I say yes. Now. Unfortunately, there are not too many options, and those that make both sides suffer should suffer themselves.

By the way, I did remember Rantisi and Yassin. But perhaps that was a mere rhetorical question?

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