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Minister Yaalon: Best Defense is Offense

Minister for Strategic Affairs says Israel must show terror groups that it can respond forcefully to any attempt to use terror against it.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/17/2010, 7:37 PM / Last Update: 2/17/2010, 7:34 PM

Issaschar Roas / J'lem Conference

Israel must preserve its deterrent strength vis-a-vis terror organizations, Minister for Strategic Affairs, former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, said Wednesday at the Jerusalem Conference.

"We must make it clear that we have the ability to respond forcefully to every attempt to use terror against us, and that we will not hesitate to do so,” Yaalon said. “In this context, we must cling to the principle that the best defense is offense.”

"We have proven that terror can be defeated,” Yaalon said. “We proved this in the early 1970s in the face of a terror wave in the Gaza Strip. We proved it in the early 1990s in the face of the phenomenon of fugitives in Judea and Samaria. We proved it in Operation Defensive Shield and to this day, in facing the suicide terror wave of the early 2000s. This does not mean that the conflict is over and that a new wave of terror might not erupt.”

How to attain victory
"These victories over terror can be defined as operative victories, but not strategic ones. But just as an accumulation of tactical victories lead to an operative victory, so an accumulation of operative victories and non-surrender to terror will lead to a strategic victory. If we stick to these principles, and show determination, patience and perseverance, we will be able to succeed in the demanding and complex struggle against terror and attain victory over it.”

“We must not 'lose our head' in the face of baseless and biased documents like the Goldstone Report, which are influenced by vile prejudices and written by elements of dubious professionalism and intentions,” the minister said. “The government and the IDF must check every claim regarding improper behavior – for our own good, regardless of demands by some foreign element – and they must act decisively against those who did not behave as they were required to, if such people exist. We must refute the false accusations against us... and commence a planned and organized struggle for improving Israel's image in the world, through coordinated activity in the diplomatic, communications, legal, educational and economic spheres.”