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Sunday, September 14, 2003

COLUMN ONE: Calling the Enemy's Bluff By Caroline B. Glick

The Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2003

Speaking hours before Hamas began its Tuesday murder spree, Chief of General
Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said he ordered the air force to use
insufficient force to carry out its mission of bombing the Hamas leadership
during its meeting in Gaza on Saturday.

Ya'alon explained that he had purposely caused the mission of decapitating
the Hamas leadership to fail, because he wished to avoid killing "innocent
civilians." Not surprisingly, the anemic strike did not deter Hamas. Ahmed
Yassin immediately called for revenge. And so it was that the innocent
civilians who were killed were not Palestinians who were acting as human
shields for mass murderers. They were Jews waiting for buses and drinking
coffee.

Apparently not learning the lesson, in its strike against Hamas leader
Mahmoud al-Zahar on Wednesday the IDF again employed insufficient force to
destroy the target. The IDF announced that the mission had again been
purposely handicapped in order to avert collateral damage. Picking up on the
message of disorientation and weakness from the army, Zahar issued a
vitriolic threat to begin bombing Israeli homes.

On Thursday we learned that both of Tuesday's human bombs had been held in
administrative detention in Ketziot Military Prison until their release six
months ago. Was this part of the confidence-building measures that Israel
provided for the PA and the Bush administration to show that Israel wants
peace?

Neither of these murderers had personally been involved in murders when they
were released. Did anyone talk to these true believers while they were in
custody? Did anyone follow them once they were released? Clearly the answer
is no. And clearly, they were unimpressed by Israel's humanitarian gesture.

In his first public remarks after the Tzrifin and Jerusalem bombings, Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon told his Indian hosts that Israel wants to make peace
and is willing to make painful concessions for peace. What message did this
statement send the Palestinians? Can Sharon honestly believe that it gave
them pause as they danced and hooted in exultation for having sent Nava
Applebaum's wedding guests to the cemetery to bury her and her father
instead of to her wedding canopy to celebrate with them? What are we to make
of the murderous responses to Israeli statements of goodwill? How are these
responses to inform our future actions?"
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