Infinity Journal Volume 2, Issue 2, Spring 2012 - page 24

Volume 2, Issue 2, Spring 2012
Infinity Journal
Page 22
being morally corrupt. At the same time, an examination of
Jewish history in general and of Zionism in the last century
in particular, indicates precisely the opposite.The Jews have
always withstood extremely harsh conditions over time and
have managed to survive!
The second element views the very act of resistance as a
value and an expression of the strength of the resistor. The
believer views the fact that he is defying the opposing
forces, as a victory, regardless of the immediate gain that the
resistance achieves.
A strategy of resistance is not required to describe the rational
course of events on the way to attaining its principal objective.
Hence, this strategy too is not examined periodically in terms
of the situation it has reached on the way to attaining the
ends.Rather,it primarily examines itself in terms of its capability
of surviving, namely, resisting. It is interesting to note that from
time to time a
evaluation is made of a strategy of
resistance by Palestinian elements, who generally reach the
conclusion that this strategy is undermining the attainment
of the ends of the Palestinian people. This conflict between
the various evaluations of the effectiveness of the strategy of
resistance results from the use of rational tools to evaluate an
irrational strategy,and not only from the evaluator’s worldview.
The strategy of resistance belongs to the family of, what can
be called, “asymmetric strategies”. An asymmetric strategy
is characterized by its attempt to confront the opponent
that are different from those used by him. The
asymmetry may be at the most basic tactical level – such
as an anti-aircraft setup constructed in response to superior
air power. The response may be at a higher level, such as
irregular warfare against regular military forces, or it can
occur at the highest level, such as confrontation by an entity
having no territory or statehoodagainst a state.All asymmetric
strategies attempt to confront the opponent not through
direct confrontation against its force, with similar force, but by
relocation of the conflict to a different arena, attempting to
eliminate some of the other party’s advantages.
When two forces confront oneanother with similar operational
weapons, it is reasonable to assume that the stronger or
larger party, or at least the better-trained party, will win. If
one of the parties estimates that it does not stand a chance
in a symmetric confrontation since it is inferior in terms of
the above parameters, it is likely to attempt to change the
character of the confrontation. A party that succeeds in
relocating the confrontation to an arena, in which its tactical
situation improves, will increase its chances of victory.
Asymmetricwars have takenplace throughout history andare
not especially characteristic of recent years. However, during
recent decades (and particularly since the end of World War
II) an asymmetric strategy of resistance has developed. This
strategy has a number of unique characteristics:
1. The resistor employs tools of terror.
The operational tools
of terror have changed over the years.At first,terrorismwas
based on attacks using small arms, and subsequently
employed explosive charges and suicide bombers.
Rocket weaponry has gained ground in recent years but
was used for terrorist purposes as early as in World War
II.The major motif served by all these operational tools is
the creation of fear and terror among civilians. The tools
of terror are militarily ineffective and do not significantly
jeopardize military activities.
2. The resistor abandons defense of its civilians and
leaves the role of their protection to the other party.
resistance does not attempt to prevent its opponents
from gaining control of its territory and civilians. The
major shield for the population is the restraints that the
stronger party imposes upon itself. These restraints may
derive from the values of the other party or from its fear
of international repercussions. However, clearly, such
protection is not achieved by classical means of defense
and security (prevention of occupation).
3. The resistor makes use of its civilians as a shield for
its terrorist forces.
The resistor’s firepower is deliberately
and knowingly deployed in populated areas in order to
make it difficult to attack it. If the other party nevertheless
attacks, then, for propaganda purposes, use will be
made of civilians who were unintentionally injured. An
interesting reversal of roles occurs, where the symmetric
party attempts to protect the civilians of the other party,
while the resisting party exploits the damage to its
civilians for its own benefit (in strategic terms).[i]
Hamas’ strategy of resistance in Gaza is, accordingly,
irrational and asymmetric in nature, attempting to employ
terrorism to attack the Israeli side, while relying on Israeli
restraints to prevent harm to civilians in Gaza, and at the very
least exploits the unavoidable damage to the Gaza civilians
for the purpose of strategic leverage.
Israeli Strategy against Hamas
Israel’s sought political condition, its policy, is to develop and
establish itself as the national home of the Jewish People,and
as a democratic state. Since the establishment of the state,
emphasis has been placed on ensuring its existence, and
has subsequently been directed at social and economic
development with the decreased existential threat against
Israel encounters difficulty in formulating a single coherent
strategy that will meet the challenge of the resistance from
Gaza and the political process with the Palestinian Authority.
The split in the Palestinian camp, in fact, necessitates a
corresponding split in the Israeli strategy in order to confront
them. Some claim that Israel is cynically exploiting this
split so that it will not be required to advance the political
process. This essay does not address such discussions but
rather focuses on the strategy
Hamas, in which
there is greater agreement in Israel itself and amongst the
international community.
The political conditions that Israel seeks to establish regarding
The tools of terror are militarily
ineffective and do not significantly
jeopardize military activities.
The Amorites Iniquity – A Comparative Analysis of Israeli and Hamas Strategies in Gaza
Gur Laish
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