Hamas leader killed: Good policy for Israel?

It appears the Israeli’s have just killed the spiritual leader of Hamas Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

This will surely lead directly to the murder of innocent Israel citizens. Is this policy of assassination a good one for Israel?

This is extremely bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if it precipitates regional war.

A civil war between the Palestinians? Because surely you don’t mean a conventional war between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Oh, come on now. A regional war? Nobody in the region has the minerals to take on Israel in a conventional conflict, given the beatings doled out in 56, 67, and 73. (And Bekaa in the early 80’s). But more importantly, why would any sane leader go to war to avenge the death of a founder of a terrorist group? I know, I know, they see them as freedom fighters (courageously taking out buses and pizza cafes!), but can you really see Egypt pissing off its largest backer (America) to avenge that old bastard?

Nah, Israel scored a moral victory, and the hotheads will use this whip some young dumbass (and aren’t all the suicide bombers young?) Palestinian into a anti-pizza cafe fervor, or something along those lines.

It will cause large scale unrest in the territories. Support for Hamas is huge in the territories – I will dig up some numbers. There is huge support in Jordan (where the majority of the population identifies as Palestinian), and the Syrians and Lebanese are nothing but sympathetic.

Large scale unrest in the territories, especially with the inevitable suicide attacks that will follow, could mean full scale reoccupation and invasion by Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a lot of cross-border support from Syria and Jordan, even if it is not with government approval.

I consider this regional war. Israel has given a lot of lip service to a unilateral Gaza withdrawal. I can’t see how this action will make that withdrawal easier or more likely.

As an Israel supporter, I believe Sharon has really crossed the line. I believe he has, with this one action, made life a lot more precarious for the average Israeli. My brother got back from there today; my parents got back last week – they described the country coming out of a recession and people becoming less afraid of terror, a much different situation from when I was last there in December 2002. I believe this erases those gains.

Let me just clarify that Yasin was a bastard of the highest order and certainly did not deserve life. But with the current situation in the territories, killing a symbolic leader by targeted assasination will only facilitate his replacement with someone twice as violent and twice as bent on revenge.

Fair enough, and I could agree with that to an extent. I assumed you meant ‘Regional War’ as in various states in the region ‘officially’ going to war with each other.

On the contarary - whacking Yassin was directly in line with the withdrawal policy.

There’s a belief in Israel that our hasty withdrawal from Lebanon in Jusne 2000 was the direct cause of the current hostilities, that started four months later. The Palestinians seemed to infer that we had been driven out by force of arms, and that terrorist activities on their behalf would similarly send us running from the Territories with our tails between our legs.

Now that Sharon plans on leaving Gaza wthout a peace agreement, we have to prove to them that it’s because we want to, not because we have to, and thus they should not consider it a success for terror. Think of it as a bit of pinpoint “scorched earth”. The Palestinians will always hate us (there’s nothing we can do about that), but we can make sure that they don’t despise us. We’re going to leave Gaza, but we don’t want them to feel to good about it.

Besides, I don’t think that there can be much more animosity towards Israel on behalf of the Palestinians than there alrady is. The question is not what they’re willing to do (the answer to that is anything), but rather what they’re cabale of doing - which is entirely based on our ability to stop them. There’ll probably be an upsurge of terrorist attempts over the next few weeks, but it the long term I thing we’ve given them a major blow.

Alessan
I only hope you are right. If you are going to take Ashdod as an aberration for the efficacy of the Gaza Security Fence, then perhaps it won’t be as rough as I worry. Israel can sit back and play goalie for the next couple of months. Only problem is with the uptick in attacks from the West Bank – I would be real nervous eating in a restaurant in Netanya or Kfar Saba for the next few months.

I just don’t see how this helps Israel’s long term or short term prospects. Whatever the perception of Lebanon is in the Sharon government, the facts are that the Lebanon withdrawal has been nearly a complete success. Attacks across the northern border are much more rare, and shelling of Sheba’a Farms is condemned by the UN. As to the withdrawal’s effect on the psychology of Palestinians, well, IMHO Sharon is wrong to worry about that. A withdrawal will be spun by Hamas and IJ and the rest of the PA as a sign of weakness brought about by terrorism no matter what Israel does. Israel could raze Gaza into small chunks of rubble and then withdraw; the Palestinians would claim that “martyrdom operations” would be the cause and that it was a victory. Reflect on what you know about past Arab propaganda; IIRC Egypt and Syria claim victory in the Six Day War.

To me this seems like an invitation to terror and unrest. With Gaza, it is perhaps OK because it is nearly hermetically sealed. With the West Bank, it seems very, very foolish. What is even more dangerous than the attitudes in the territories is the attitudes in the neighboring countries. I fear that the assasination of a spiritual leader of an Islamic fundamentalist group is a proverbial spark in a keg of gunpowder in that region. Syria is trying to put down Kurdish unrest and probably doesn’t want to deal with Islamist unrest as well. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have a hard enough time keeping a lid on those aspects of their populations. The US is trying to somehow corral the religious Iraqis into a coalition government and hardly needs more agitation on the streets, especially when the source of the agitation, Israel, is seen as synonymous with the US. King Abdallah, the best friend of Israel in the region, deals with a population who is mostly Palestinian and mostly sympathetic to the cause.

I seriously don’t see nation vs. nation war here. But if there is anything the past 4 years has taught us, it is that the nation vs. nation war seems to be passe given the efficacy of terror.

In the short term, this is a Bad Thing. In the long term, the absence of Yassin may result in a reduction of anti-Israel rhetoric and a chance that cooler heads will prevail.

Really Not All That Bright, you took the words right out of my mouth. I agree 100% Bad for the short term, may have hope for the long term.

I see that Alessan has already made most of my points… just a recap, plus a few more:

[ol]
[li]As Alessan said, this is probably a harbinger of a shortly-to-come withdrawal from much or all of the Gaza Strip. Two goals are accomplished here: Silence, or at least tone down, the Palestinian “sense of victory” at our withdrawal, and, on the other side, silence, or at least tone down, the Israeli Right-wing resistance to the withdrawal.[/li][li]A reminder to Arafat and other Palestinian leaders that Strategic Targets (such as the Ashdod port) will not be tolerated - even if they basicly failed this time (“only” 10 innocent civilian victims, no damage to infrastructure)[/li][li]Probably the single most decisive factor - A window of opportunity showed itself, and was taken… It isn’t easy to locate any of the Palestinian leaders in anything resembling a “clear” position (that is - outside of a throng of civilians, being used as human shields). Following the latest occurences, the civilian loss of life was taken as “acceptable” for the result achieved.[/li][/ol]

I know that the last point will most likely earn me a Pitting… and I sincerely do regret innocent loss of life on the Palestinian side. But given the hie-and-seek tactics of their so-called “leaders”, I honestly see no way of avoiding more loss of life on the Israeli side without paying the terrible moral price of taking lives on the Palestinian side.
I suppose some might say that morally, we have to be pure and make sure we fight cleanly, even at the cost of our own security. I can intellectually see the point, and I know it is made vis-a-vis, for example, American forces in Iraq, as well - so we aren’t being singled out here. But IRL I, and other Israelis, have to make the moral choice, and we choose to be alive rather than completely moral.
And in any cas, this is still a far cry from wholesale murder of civilains for its own sake, as the Palestinian terrorists do. This is a nation making a (at least for me) difficult decision in a real moral dilemma. You may choose to disagree with it, but please see it as it is - an uneasy choice between morals and life, with life winning. Not a murderous rampage.

Dani

I listened to a Brigadier in the IDF say that killing Yassin would result in fewer suicide bombers in the future.

Tell that to the families of the victims of the new wave of suicide bombers that will hit Israel because of this move.

Stay safe Alessan, Sharon has just put you in the firing line again, by the order of multitudes.

No-one Special

I strongly disagree with your conclusion. However I greatly appreciate you putting the case as you did.

One point only. I see such actions as outright surrender of Israel’s aspiration to be the light of the world and instead view it as emphatically cast in the same mold as all other nations resting on military force.

From BBC NEWS | Middle East | Hamas chief killed in air strike

[quote]
The killing triggered unrest and calls for revenge from Palestinians, as tens of thousands took part in a funeral.

Hamas said Israel had “opened the gates of hell” - but the army said the Sheikh had been “personally responsible” for the killing of Israelis.

…snip…

The BBC’s David Chazan in Gaza says the grief and anger is not limited to Hamas supporters, and further attacks and suicide bombings appear inevitable.

[quote]
Stay safe Israei Dopers it looks like you’re in the deep end once again :frowning:

By the By

Good shooting.

From BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Hamas chief killed in air strike

Stay safe Israeli Dopers it looks like you’re in the deep end once again :frowning:

By the By

Good shooting.

I haven’t read the link yet, but was anyone else killed in the attack? It seems kind of inevitable that some bystanders are going to get killed if you fire a missile into a crowded street.

7 dead many injured according to the link.

OK - fair enough, I suppose. I can see why you disagree with me. I only wonder what might happen if you (or others) are put in the same “hot seat” as we are constantly. I humbly suggest that at least many who think as you do may act differently if it becomes their own personal lives (and families) on the line… Not that I blame anyone for their current view, nor for any change that may occur - it’s only human to act differently when things hit close to home. A corrolary of the NIMBY syndrome, I guess.

I’m not looking for Israel to be “A light unto nations”. I’m looking to live in a normal, secure country, where I can send my kids to school without being afraid they’ll be blown up on the way. This will take a lot of work on both sides - and is waaaay beyond the scope of this discussion (not to mention has been discussed here to death on many occasions). But in the meanwhile, whoever tries to murder us wholesale will be sought out and taken out - and I think rightfully so. And the innocent dead on the Palestinian side is the price they (and we, too!) pay for my own life and that of my loved ones going on - or at least a better chance of it being so. It’s the choice I’m up against, and it’s the choice that I have to and do accept, frightfully self-centered as it is.

Dani

I’d suggest the vast majority of Palestinians are looking for that too.