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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Tishrei 25, 5768, 10/7/2007

      Turn the Tables on Gaza's Terrorists



      Israel should launch a large-scale and prolonged ground offensive into Gaza with the aim of uprooting the terrorist infrastructure once and for all. The longer we wait, the greater the chances are that a stray Palestinian rocket will kill untold numbers of Israelis.
      For the second time in the past year, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired a longer-range missile into Israel. And for the second time in the past year, Israel's government failed to respond.

      In today's incident, a group called the Popular Resistance Committee fired a Russian-made Grad missile from Gaza toward the southern Israeli town of Netivot, which is located some 11 kilometers away. Last year, a Grad missile struck the marina at Ashkelon.

      Just four months ago, it was reported in the media that IDF intelligence believes that Hamas and its terrorist cohorts have 50-odd such Grad rockets in Gaza, which have a range of up to 22 kilometers. This of course is in addition to the Qassam rockets, mortar shells and other projectiles that the terrorists have been firing at the Jewish state on a near-daily basis.

      Today's attack marks a serious escalation, and it can not be allowed to pass without a response. The government's failure to react not only undermines Israel's deterrence posture (or the little that remains of it...), but it also invites the terrorists to continue with their assaults, secure in the knowledge that they can act with virtual impunity.

      Israel should launch a large-scale and prolonged ground offensive into Gaza with the aim of uprooting the terrorist infrastructure once and for all. The longer we wait, the greater the chances are that a stray Palestinian rocket will kill untold numbers of Israelis.

      Sadly, the people suffering the most are the tens of thousands of Israelis living in the south of the country. Their daily life has become infused with terror and trauma. It is time to change all that, and to turn the tables on our foes. If anyone should be living in fear, it is the terrorists who fire the projectiles, rather than those who are their targets.