Can Hamas be deterred?

By
August 26, 2014 18:45

Possibly – but it would require a radical change in Israel’s conduct




Khaled Mashaal

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal holds a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha on July 23, rejecting a cease-fire in the Gaza battles.. (photo credit:AFP)

It’s rare for Israel’s left and right flanks to agree on anything. But last week, the party leaders of left-wing Meretz and right-wing Otzma LeYisrael were in full accord: Both declared that Hamas cannot be deterred.

Aryeh Eldad of Otzma LeYisrael devoted an entire op-ed to asserting that fanatic Jew-haters aren’t deterrable, so “The hope that our tremendous military power will deter our enemies ... must be revised.” Zahava Gal-On of Meretz espoused the same conclusion for opposite reasons: Only diplomacy can solve problems, she opined, so force can’t deter Hamas; "Deterrence is an illusion held by the attacker, but it has no basis in the behavior of the attacked.”

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