Only a Preventative Attack on Hamas Could Have Averted the Current Crisis

November 17, 2023 | Yaakov Amidror
About the author: Yaakov Amidror is a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, and a Distinguish Fellow of JINSA’s  Gemunder Strategic Center, Washington DC. He served as national security advisor to the prime minister of Israel and the head of the National Security Council from 2011 to 2013.

Any prospects for peace will have to follow on an Israel military victory, which in turn involves learning from the mistakes that made Hamas’s initial, blood-soaked success possible. In his general evaluation of the war thus far, Yaakov Amidror urges the Jewish state to rediscover its commitment to preemption:

Over the years the defense establishment and the political leadership let go of the concept of a “preemptive strike,” let alone the notion of launching such a war.

No longer. The mood of the country has been transformed and so should the support for Israel abroad. Israel’s future leaders must restore to the tool kit of national security the understanding that wars of choice are legitimate. Israel must seriously weigh preventive action to push away the buildup of military capabilities which threaten it—not only in terms of the nuclear threat in all its manifestations, but also the removal of acute conventional threats. The “Begin Doctrine” (of preemptive strikes against nuclear targets, first in Iraq in 1981, then in Syria in 2007 and beyond) should be applied also to organizations such as Hizballah when they attempt to acquire tiebreaker technologies.

A small country such as Israel, surrounded by many threats but possessing high technology, must occasionally embark on a preventive war. This was the one measure that could have prevented the catastrophe of October 7.

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