IDF Intelligence Corps head Maj. Gen. Herzl (Herzi) Halevi recently made a surprising and self-revealing recommendation to the Israeli Cabinet with his annual appraisal. He recommended to the government a "solution" to the ongoing Arab terror wave; his “solution” is a ‘diplomatic process' needed to stop Abbas's terrorists from attacking. The senior intelligence officer of the I.D.F. continued and stated that "We are close to exhausting the military steps," the IDF sources were quoted as saying to the government's Security Cabinet.
The incident occurred only days after the IDF Chief of Staff was quoted saying that he would not want a soldier who is stainding behind a concrete barrier to open fire and empty a magazine clip into a 13 year old terrorist brandishing a knife or scissors (despite standing rules of engagement that allow shooting a terrorist as long as the assailant poses a threat to a soldier or others in the immediate vicinity). Despite the Prime Minister's automatic defense of the Chief of Staff, many of the government ministers questioned the judgment of that statement.
One can only be left with the unnerving feeling that Israel’s military leaders may very well be abreast of the existential threats posed by Iran, but in the Palestinian Arab theatre, they are fighting today's and tomorrow’s Palestinian Arab terror with the tactics of the terror waves of the last decade and the last century, or as we say in Israel, “stepping hard on the gas pedal while the car is in neutral”.
Making these kinds of statements in the midst of a terror wave that has raged on since last September, with little to show in terms of a successful tactical response by the IDF. makes these statements that much more intolerable, raising doubts as to whether the leadership of the IDF. fundamentally misunderstands the strategic threats posed by the current Palestinian terror wave. In today’s internet/Facebook/twitter-generated terror, Palestinian terrorists don’t stick to military doctrine or tactics, but to an objective: killing as many Jews as possible as cheaply as possible. If thwarted in one way, they quickly find another, and the IDF is expected to be one step ahead of — not behind — the terrorists. We must be
If the IDF. leadership had elected to adopt a mindset of “never again” in response to Palestinian Arab terror similar to the “never again” in response to the Yom Kippur War, then the IDF. wouldn’t be burdened with a public perception that our deterrence is ineffective and that we are losing to an enemy despite the obvious advantage in terms of IDF. preparedness, firepower, organization, and doctrine.
Yesteryears’ models of organizational success that dominated the 20th century have their roots in the industrial revolution, and, simply put, the world has changed. The pursuit of “efficiency,” getting the most with the least investment of energy, time, or money, has been superseded by a capability for responsiveness to a constantly shifting environment.
Adaptability, not efficiency, must become our principal competency for the IDF. While it is important to learn from the past, it is even more imperative to avoid the trap of preparing to face the challenges of the past.
The current Palestinian Arab terror wave also known as the “lone wolf intifada” is part and parcel of a systemic assault on Israel as a Jewish and democratic sovereign state. The current terror wave represents only one battle in the overall war of de-legitimation being waged against Israel. As a whole, the terror wave aims to demoralize and precipitate Israel’s political implosion.
The terror wave has hit us where we are most vulnerable- international media, international public opinion, and local foreign funded NGO’s associated with the left. A continuing failure on the part of the IDF. leadership to understand the goals of the forces generating incitement and the de- legitimation of Israel fueling the Palestinian Arab rage and “Martyr” syndrome behind the current terror wave will only empower those inciting to terror and to the murdering of Jews. Therefore the IDF. leadership must focus on the terror wave’s generators, and not exclusively on their high-profile terror attacks.
The Palestinian Arab Authority and the Hamas Terror organization are both located in areas and under the legal mandate of the IDF. The Palestinian Arab leadership as a whole must be held accountable for the current terror wave. Allowing these local Arab political leaders to abdicate their responsibility and allowing their continued public support of incitement challenges Israel’s sovereignty and only fuels more terror. Only a sweeping, ambitious, synchronized approach across military and legal lines against local Palestinian Arab political leaders by the IDF. will impact and inhibit the generators of the current Palestinian Arab terror wave.
The Chief of Staff would be wise to allow local commanders to decide on necessary rules of engagement in response to deadly terror and instead invest more of his time and effort in orchestrating an innovative approach to destroy, as the IDF. has done in the past, the generators behind the current terror wave.