The Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, has stated that Israel has a military option to defeat terrorism and bring it down very close to zero. In a detailed interview, Halutz disagrees with the tired argument that there is no military solution to the problem of terrorism. He has said that only Israeli counter-terrorism, not political factors, have reduced terrorism from the much higher levels of the first years of the terrorist war that began in 2000 and that the Israel Defense Forces can reduce it further to the very lowest level. (Jerusalem Post, October 7). Excerpts from Gen. Halutzs interview:
- The army can reduce terror to very close to zero … In contrast to the theory that the army cannot eliminate terrorism, I believe the army can reduce terrorism to the very lowest level.
- There are examples worldwide where the army did beat terror. In Malaysia, for instance, at the time of the British [half a century ago and more recently in Ireland]. They exterminated terrorism.
- Only because the IDF has been acting in the way it has, the level of terror from Judea and Samaria has declined.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein says, It is very important for people to know that the highest military figure in Israel , the Chief of Staff, has stated unequivocally that there is a military solution to terrorism. This contrasts completely with the view one often hears that terrorism is the result of political grievances and can therefore be solved only politically.
As we noted only yesterday, President Bush was correct to assert in a recent speech on the global war on Islamist terrorism that, Were not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed … no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder. Israel is in the same situation with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and all the other Palestinian terrorist groups. There are also those who say that exercising a military option risks a much larger war, but Halutz disagrees — he believes the chance of an all-out war has never been lower than at any time in Israels 57-year history.