Israel: March 29, 2002

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Israel has again sent the army in to try and destroy the terrorist network that continues to stage attacks on Israeli civilians. Today, a female suicide bomber killed herself and wounded eight in an Israeli supermarket. Meanwhile, troops began taking the headquarters in Ramallah. Apparently they want to capture Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. But Ararfat says he will not be taken alive.

The Palestinians feel they are winning their war against Israel, if not in the short term, then in the long terms. Israel has long been concerned with their low birth rate versus the Palestinians. Because of this, eventually, Jews would be a minority in Israel. The Palestinians see Israel as similar to the medieval European Crusader kingdoms. These only lasted a few generations, although the Crusaders were always fewer in number (relative to Moslem) than modern day Israelis. And the Crusaders didn't have nuclear weapons. But the Palestinians see the Israelis as outsiders and take heart from the Israeli retreat from south Lebanon in the face of persistent Hizbollah attacks. 

None of the Israeli options are good. They can sweep through Palestinian areas, searching for bomb making material, weapons and suspected terrorists. This will hurt the terrorist operations, but won't stop them. They can go further and revive the ancient practice of punishing the families of suicide bombers. In ancient times, the family of a notorious criminal would be executed, or heavily fined and have family members taken hostage. At present, the Palestinian Authority, and foreign benefactors like Iraq, give monetary rewards and much praise to the families of suicide bombers. Israel is desperate to dry up the supply of suicide bomber recruits and will be imaginative, and desperate, to make some progress here. 

 

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