Between terrorism and outright warfare, Israel has developed a good deal of finesse in dealing with crisis. Such finesse can be seen both in the policies of the government and its officials and, more importantly, in the resilience of the citizenry. Tevi Troy draws some lessons for America and its leaders:
First, resilience is not a given; it can and should be built and enhanced continuously in advance [of disaster]. . . . [S]trong societal resilience provides the primary leverage for countering terror and attenuating its intended impact.
The preparation and thought Israel puts into resilience means that the kind of citywide shutdowns that took place after the Boston marathon bombings would be unthinkable in Israel. Attacks take place, and far too often, but the citizens move on. The American president must lead by example and make sure that even if the U.S. is attacked, life goes on, and [show] that terror cannot defeat the will to live, and to fight.
Cyber-attacks are another reality of modern life—and of disaster preparedness. A massive cyber-attack on America’s power grid or transportation network could have devastating consequences nationwide. Here again, Israel can provide a model. Israel regularly experiences attempted cyber disruptions during flare-ups in conflicts with terror groups like Hamas. . . . The Israeli Defense Forces even have a division specifically dedicated to cyber defense. According to the unnamed head of that division, in [the 2014 Gaza war], “for the first time, there was an organized cyber-defense effort alongside combat operations in the field. This was a new reality.”