The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, March 20, 2006
The Jericho Raid
All the hoopla surrounding the IDF's raid of the Jericho prison last week seems rather exaggerated.
To be sure, the raid was an impressive feat by the IDF. There were no Israeli casualties, the PFLP terrorists who murdered Rehavam Zeevi were captured, and Israel avoided a humiliating spectacle in which the Hamas-led PA was to release those terrorists.
However, all the talk about the raid "restoring Israel's glory" sounds very out of place, and serves as a reminder of how far Israel's deterrent ability has fallen.
I remember covering a Rangers game for The Jerusalem Post two or three nights before the 1991 Gulf War. At the time, there was concern that Israel would respond to any Iraqi attack with massive force, potentially interfering with U.S. military operations. In the press room during an intermission, reporters were debating whether Israel would have the right to respond in that manner to an Iraqi attack. Ultimately, one fellow said something like, "It doesn't matter what we think. The bottom line is that the Israelis are crazy. If Saddam Hussein attacks them, they'll probably nuke Iraq. We'll just have to deal with whatever the Israelis decide to do."
Of course, Saddam sent 39 Scud missiles into Israel, without any Israeli response. After Oslo, suicide bombers attacked Israel time after time. After Ehud Barak's withdrawal from Lebanon, he warned Hezbollah that if they dared to attack Israel, it would respond with disproportionate force. Instead, Barak did nothing when, a few months later, Hezbollah kidnapped and murdered three IDF soldiers. When Zeevi was murdered, Israel acquiesced to an arrangement in which his murderers were protected by the PA.
The excitement about Jericho is primarily relief that Israel was not yet again humiliated, that it finally acted preemptively and caught the enemy off guard.
The Jericho operation was a success for the IDF, but Israel still has a very long way to go to restore the fear it once stirred in its enemies.