Friday, January 06, 2006

Cycle of Violence

Does Steven Speilberg get the Wall Street Journal?

Mr. Sharon ended the Palestinian intifada, despite the endlessly repeated mantra that there is no "military solution" to terrorism. In 2002, the year Mr. Sharon ordered an invasion of the West Bank, 452 Israelis were killed by Palestinian bombers and gunmen. That number was halved in 2003 and halved again in 2004. Last year the figure was 45. Palestinian losses to Israel also declined by 75% during the same period, as fewer terrorist attacks elicited fewer reprisals.

This was not achieved because of Palestinian restraint -- even now, the number of attempted terror attacks has scarcely abated. It came about through a combination of large-scale Israeli military actions, targeted killings of Hamas leaders such as Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Rantissi, the arrest and incarceration of suspected Palestinian terrorists, and the building of the security barrier in the West Bank. All these actions were fiercely denounced, particularly in Europe, as illegal, immoral and counterproductive. Yet they effectively blunted a terrorist tsunami that would likely resume the moment Israeli pressure lets up.


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