by Zvika Fogel
The search for a less intimidating name for terrorism has become all the rage lately. It started with the term "low-intensity conflict," meant to differentiate the war on terror from a full-scale war with an organized enemy's army, and has recently settled on the term the "battle between the wars."
Is there anyone out there who believes the soldiers on the ground -- those whose mission it is to storm terrorists -- care about the euphemisms used by politicians and generals? Field commanders and the troops on the ground know exactly what it is -- a war for the very future of the State of Israel.
According to reports made public by the Shin Bet security agency, the past year has seen more than 100 terror attacks a month in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Not attempted attacks or intended attacks, but actual terror attacks, which included planting explosives, the use of Molotov cocktails, and shooting and stabbing attacks.
The operations and intelligence efforts security forces pursue are neither a "low-intensity conflict" nor a "battle between wars." It is a daily battle against an enemy that is trying to destroy us, and it has a name -- it is called a struggle for survival.
The recent operation in Jenin, like the interception of the arms shipment at sea, thousands of miles from Israel's shores, and the various airstrikes in Sudan and Syrian that foreign media sources have attributed to Israel, are acts of war perpetrated in self-defense.
The Iranian and Syrian weapons bound for radical terror groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida are not meant to rust away on a shelf somewhere -- they are meant to inflict harm on Israel, to strike the greater Tel Aviv area, the Gaza Strip border communities, and the Israeli communities adjacent to the northern border.
The terror groups fostered by the Palestinian Authority are hardly dovish. They spend their time recruiting suicide bombers and collecting intelligence with aim of abducting and killing Israelis. These individuals are not armed with good intentions, but with guns and rockets launchers.
The only thing we can do to prevent a terror attack from hitting close to home is to target our enemies in their beds. That is the essence of defense. Those who wish to avoid the dubious pleasure of having a rocket explode in their backyard or a Palestinian suicide bomber explode on their street would do better to support and encourage those who tirelessly work to keep such threats at bay.
Those who speak of peace would do better to listen to the words of Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, who, while speaking at a rally honoring Hamas co-founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, vowed to "make Tel Aviv quiver." If he truly means that, then I must ask: Are we going to sit around and let it happen?
Brig. Gen. (res.) Zvika Fogel is a former chief of staff of the IDF Southern Command.
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