Monday, September 26, 2005

What does the word deterrence mean?

I am confused.

I thought I knew what the word deter meant, but now I am not so sure...

Ha'aretz reports:
The Israel Air Force launched new air strikes on the Gaza Strip Monday afternoon, targeting open spaces to deter Palestinian militants from firing Qassam rockets at Israeli communities.

Clearly, the State of Israel's understanding of the word deterrence is different from the traditional definition.

The word deterrence can be defined in the following ways:
1) The inhibition of criminal behavior by fear esp. of punishment
2) The act or process of discouraging actions or preventing occurrences by instilling fear or doubt or anxiety
3) Measures taken by a state or an alliance of states to prevent hostile action by another state

Seemingly, the measures undertaken by the State of Israel, meant to deter Arab terrorists from raining rockets down on Jewish communities in Israel, meets none of the above definitions.

The only message that Israel is sending by bombing open fields in Gaza is that we have powerful weapons which we are not prepared to really use, only serves to embolden those who seek to destroy the Jewish State, making it crystal clear, that unless they decide, for some senseless reason, to launch their attacks from open fields, Israel is not prepared to strike at them with full force (certainly not if these attacks originate from civilian population centers).

Perhaps Israel should seek an agreement with these terrorists groups whereby they will only launch their attacks against the Jewish State from places where Israel feels able to respond.

Biur Chametz and IRIS share similar sentiments.


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