Friday, June 30, 2006
Back to the RRH Doctrine
1. Back to the RRH doctrine?
Three days of intensive military action in Gaza with virtually no
terrorists killed? Battling Kassams by making sonic booms? More
"signalling that Israel is deadly serious"?
Yes, we are back to the RRH doctrine.
Here is an earlier piece of mine on this doctrine:
I've long suspected that it is the Israeli grand strategy to defeat the
Palestinians by forcing them to laugh themselves to death.
That seems to be the only possible way to understand the latest
resuscitation of the RRH Doctrine, which has dominated Israeli policy
toward the Palestinians and the Arab states since the early 1990`s.
The RRH Doctrine was invented in the early days of Oslo and stands for
"Really, Really Hard." Israeli governments would make deals to hand over
most of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the PLO, while reassuring Israelis
that there was no reason for worry - if the Palestinians misbehaved,
Israel would hit back at them "Really, Really Hard."
The boy who cried wolf was a far more credible strategist.
Even if perchance anyone ever took the RRH threats seriously, by the
mid-1990`s the RRH was little more than an overly-long-running joke. Rabin
and Peres had threatened it during the early days of Oslo. Later, Prime
Minister Netanyahu, after each and every act of terrorism, would loudly
invoke RRH, but then did little, if anything, to retaliate. After
Netanyahu came Barak, who once again threatened RRH regularly. But his
only implementation of it consisted of chopper attacks on empty
Palestinian buildings - and only after the PLO was given advance
notification so that all humans and terrorists could be evacuated.
RRH was also used by Barak (and other prime ministers) to threaten
Hizbullah in Lebanon and their Syrian puppet masters. After each Hizbullah
attack on Israeli towns and on Israeli forces inside southern Lebanon,
Israel threatened the most serious RRH. But, in the end, the only
manifestation of RRH implemented by Barak consisted of a panicked
unilateral capitulation and withdrawal from southern Lebanon, which left
Hizbullah sitting smack dab on Israel's border, with thousands of its
rockets aimed at northern Israel and with Haifa in range.
When Ariel Sharon first revealed his "Gaza Disengagement Plan" after
winning the Israeli election, it too was accompanied by empty threats of
RRH. Israel could not get the PLO to make any concessions in exchange for
surrender of the Gaza Strip and the eviction of the Jewish population
there; Sharon nevertheless decided to implement the Mitzna Plan, against
which he had campaigned, and withdraw without any quid pro quo. He would
just go ahead with unilateral capitulation, whether the PLO liked it or
not. And if the PLO failed to contain Hamas and prevent terror attacks
against Israel after the withdrawal, why, then, Sharon's government would
order the Israeli Defense Forces to respond with serious RRH.
Hours after the Gaza capitulation was completed and all Israeli troops and
settlers had been removed, the rocket and mortar attacks on the Negev
began. The PLO was calling Sharon's bluff.
Almost as old as the RRH Doctrine is the "Who Could Have Ever Predicted
That" Syndrome. Since Oslo, every new Israeli concession resulted in
escalated Palestinian violence. And the Israeli chattering classes would
sigh and ask rhetorically, "Who could have possibly foreseen this?"
Likewise after each violation of the Oslo Accords by the PLO, the media
and the left-wing politicians would pout, "Who could have predicted that?"
After years of daily proof that the entire Oslo concept was unworkable,
its advocates were still responding to each new failure with total
The Israeli media could not foresee any failures of the Oslo capitulations
and appeasements because the media are by and large the occupied
territories of Israel's radical Left. The overseas media were even less
capable of foreseeing the consequences of Oslo because they were far more
interested in bashing Israel than understanding anything about the Middle
The answer to the rhetorical question of "Who could have foreseen the
failures of Oslo?" is "Anyone not blinded by ideology." A few weeks after
the handshake on the White House lawn in 1993, I published my first
article predicting the complete failure of the Rabin-Peres Oslo initiative
- in fact, it was the first such article published in North America. I
predicted that the PLO would simply use any territory turned over to it by
Israel to build terror infrastructure and launch attacks on Israel, and I
wrote of future rocket attacks and sniper fire against Israeli towns from
the PLO-controlled areas years before they actually began in earnest. And
I was hardly alone in 20-20 foresight.
It was not particularly difficult in 1993 to see why Oslo would fail. It
is even easier now, with 12 years of disastrous "peace process"
experience, to understand why Sharon.s Gaza disengagement will result in
an enormous escalation of violence, not in any relaxation of tensions.
Let's give the Arabs some credit. Israel has been making so many threats
of RRH ever since the Oslo "peace process" began that a Palestinian leader
would have to be learning-disabled to take any of them seriously. If I
consider them a joke, why should Abu Mazen believe them?
The Oslo Accords produced the greatest escalation in Palestinian terrorism
and atrocities in modern Israeli history. At their most severe, Israeli
retaliations took the form of some targeted assassinations of Hamas and
PLO terror leaders. More often than not, Israeli retaliations consisted of
meaningless gestures like bombing the aforementioned empty buildings or
making sonic booms over terrorist concentrations, and of course the ever
louder empty threats of RRH.
On Israel's northern border, virtually no retaliations against Hizbullah
took place, even after Hizbullah kidnapped and murdered three Israeli army
officers and fired rockets into Israel.
All of this brings us to the latest rocket attacks by the PLO on Sderot a
few days ago. The main effect of the Gaza capitulation is that the PLO can
now import unlimited supplies of weaponry from Egypt, with no ability by
Israel to interfere. Israeli troops are no longer on the ground inside the
We already see the results and we can clearly foresee the "unexpected"
consequences that will be taking place in the near future. The PLO and its
affiliates now have all the freedom they need to upgrade their rockets.
The new improved Kassam rockets are already able to hit Ashkelon from
Gaza. Sharon's Gaza capitulation will turn the Negev town of Sderot into
When the rockets now hit Sderot after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza,
Olmert and his people respond mainly with a new round of RRH. The
laughter from Ramallah was deafening. Let's note that, back before 1993,
when Israel held Gaza tightly with on-the-ground military rule, there were
no Kassam rockets in Gaza. The Palestinian savages threw stones at Jews
because real weapons were hard to procure.
The PLO knows what we all know; namely, that Olmert is afraid to take the
only action that, in the end, can end the shooting of Kassam rockets into
Jewish homes - R&D, or Re-Occupation and DeNazification. Let's hope his
successor will be less pusillanimous.
2. Jewish Assimilationist Liberuhs in action:
3. Taken hostage
By Yossi Klein Halevi
Why Israel's attack on Gaza isn't enough
The New Republic on Line: June 29, 2006
JERUSALEM . What's the news?" we ask each other, and everyone understands
that the question refers to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped by
Hamas. Though the old socialist Israel is barely a memory, in times of
crisis we again become collectivized.
Nothing unites Israelis in outrage more than the seizure of hostages. Next
week, on July 4, Israel will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Entebbe
operation that freed over a hundred Israeli hostages, and little has
changed since then in the national ethos of rescue. The last Zionist ideal
still shared by most Israelis is the determination to fight back. An
Israeli soldier held hostage is a taunt against the Zionist promise of
self-defense, an unbearable reminder of Jewish helplessness.
Our obsession with hostages is a tactical weakness but a strategic
strength. It allows terrorists a stunning psychological advantage: With a
single random kidnapping, they hold an entire society emotionally hostage.
Strategically, though, hostage-taking only strengthens Israeli resolve.
And resolve is precisely what the public now expects of its government. So
far, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has responded well. He began by issuing
two policy guidelines in dealing with the hostage crisis. The first is
that Israel won't negotiate over Gilad's release and won't exchange
prisoners. The second is that Hamas leaders . "political" as well as
"military" . will be held personally accountable for the fate of Gilad.
If Olmert's government hopes to retain its credibility among Israelis, it
needs to maintain those two principles.
In recent months, the public has become increasingly disillusioned with
the government's failure to adequately respond to the almost daily rocket
attacks on Israeli towns and villages, especially Sderot. No Israeli town
within the 1967 borders has experienced the kind of relentless attacks
that Sderot has suffered. Even Hizbollah's Katyusha rocket attacks on the
northern town of Kiryat Shmona in the early 1980s occurred in waves, with
periods of reprieve between them. In the ten months since the Israeli
withdrawal from Gaza, though, Sderot has barely known a day of peace.
After the withdrawal, Israelis expected the government to enforce a policy
of zero-tolerance for Palestinian attacks emanating from Gaza, even for
attacks that didn't cause fatalities. Instead, the government responded
unevenly, often ignoring rocket attacks that caused no damage.
Many Israelis see Hamas's raid on an Israeli military post within the 1967
borders as a result of the weakness Israel has projected. In yesterday's
letters column in the daily Maariv, for example, the hardline consensus
was almost unanimous. "We told you so," wrote one reader who identified
himself as "right wing." "Why doesn't Israel shut off electricity and
water to Gaza?" demanded another reader. "Enough words, it's time to act,"
insisted a third.
That perception of weakness could have far-reaching domestic consequences.
The premise of Olmert's centrist party, Kadima, is that only a hawkish
approach on security will convince Israelis to implement a dovish policy
on territory. Given the Sderot precedent, though, Olmert is failing to
uphold that centrist doctrine. For Olmert to win the public's agreement
for another unilateral withdrawal, he needs to begin proving that he is
capable of defending Tel Aviv from Palestinian rockets. And the place to
begin convincing Israelis is Gaza.
The military invasion of Gaza that began last night, and whose purpose is
to surround the area where Gilad is presumably being held, must only be
the first step. A brief invasion, a "show of force," is hardly adequate.
Instead, Israel needs to resume its policy of systematically targeting
Hamas leaders, just as it did several years ago, culminating in the
assassination of Sheik Yassin. That policy drove most of Hamas deep
underground and led to the cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian
Resuming assassinations against Hamas's political echelon is, of course, a
declaration of war against the Hamas regime. But given its official
sanctioning of kidnapping, Hamas has already declared war against Israel.
Hamas's adoption of the tactics of Al Qaeda in Iraq comes as no surprise.
After the killing of Zarqawi, Hamas issued a statement mourning his death
and urging continued "resistance," thereby making the Hamas regime the
world's only openly pro-Al Qaeda government. Unfortunately, the
international media missed the significance of that moment.
That lapse in media judgment is worth recalling in the coming days, when
much of the media will be presenting the "prisoners' document" . a set of
demands drawn up by Hamas and Fatah members imprisoned in Israel . as a
historic Hamas concession, offering "tacit" recognition of Israel. In
fact, the document does nothing of the sort. Nowhere does the document
recognize the right of Israel to exist. Instead, it calls for Israeli
withdrawal to the 1967 borders, followed by the "right" of Palestinian
refugees to resettle in Israel and demographically overwhelm the Jewish
state. The prisoners' document, in other words, is a plan for the phased
destruction of Israel . precisely why Hamas can endorse it.
Driving on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, I saw this graffiti: "Olmert,
gadol alecha" . which roughly translates as, "Olmert, the job is bigger
than you are." For Olmert to disprove that growing suspicion among
Israelis, he must commit himself to the destruction of the Hamas regime.
Sooner or later, Israel will have no choice but to adopt that policy. The
only question is whether Olmert will still be prime minister when that