By Marc Switzer
Israel has been living under fire now for four years—full stop. Rockets have bombarded Israeli town and cities a ridiculous amount of times outside the context of a full scale war between two nations. In fact, I don’t believe there is precedent in history for the situation that has developed between Hamas and Israel in the last five year. A sovereign nation’s citizens are being attacked by heavy military grade weaponry on a regular basis without being in outright state of of war. The patience Israel citizens have displayed under this barrage of terror is truly astounding.
Israel under any notion of morality and/or international law has a right to defend herself from these attacks—full stop. However, that said, as sad as it is, I truly don’t believe that in defending herself militarily—(i.e. Troops on the ground and air strikes) Israel will ever be able to bring about a situation where a military deterrence alone will end the rocket and or terror attacks.
Hamas fights asymmetrically—Israel must respond asymmetrically. Strategic military goals and thinking will not work in an asymmetrical war—full stop. History in this respect has many precedents to draw on—from the Romans in Spain to the English in South Africa. Asymmetrical war demands a different type of response. What this exact response should be I don’t pretend to know, however I do think I have an idea of what the broad outline would look like. First, it would start with attacking Hamas’ power basis, the support it receives from the general public. Second, it would involve international support, countries not just from the West but East as well. Finally, it would be a war fought on ideas and conceptions of freedom and political organizations whose front line would be the educational institutions in the territories. Only an asymmetrical response will truly be effective in my opinion in ending this unbearable state for Israel and the Palestinians.