The Magic Word is “Harta’a”

Many things will be written about the current war in Gaza (the press will analyze it to death, of course) but one thing is clear to me already. Israel is finally gaining back some ground that it has lost for the past 15 years.

Since the disastrous Oslo accords in the early 90’s, Israel has lost one of its most valuable “weapons”. This weapon is not a bomb, or a tank, or a rifle, or a computer program, but a more ephemeral concept. In Hebrew it is called “harta’a”. The word, in its most simple meaning, means fear. 

This is the fear felt by the enemy, when they know that if they attack they will be attacked in return. This harta’a is probably the most crucial aspect of keeping Israel safe and at peace.

Yitzchak Rabin, when trying to convince the Israeli people that it was worth giving peace a chance, was emphatic that Israel wouldn’t lose this weapon. He insisted that if the Palestinians gave us terrorism instead of peace, that we would attack them.

Unfortunately, this promise was not fulfilled. In return for terrorism, Israel has not only not atacked, but we have retreated. Time after time, including the disastrous disengagement from Gaza, where 10,000 Jews were taken from their homes in Gush Katif.

Now, I see a few signs for hope. This war seems to be breaking the recent stereotype, in a few unmistakable ways.

First, the bombing of houses of Hamas officials, even if civilians are present, are continuing. The killing of Nizar Rayan along with his family is a blow to Hamas (although those in Fatah are secretly celebrating).

Second, the Israel Air Force is bombing mosques if they have information that they contain ammunition. (Note the secondary explosions below in the video, surprisingly not taken off YouTube!).

Israel, in addition to speaking softly, has again picked up a big stick.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ezzie
    Jan 02, 2009 @ 05:28:00

    YouTube put a bunch back up, and now many just have a “flagged as inappropriate, must be 18+” on them.

    Also, check out the IDFSpokesperson blog, another nice new step.

  2. Ben-David
    Jan 02, 2009 @ 07:58:39

    The literal translation of harta’a is “deterrence”.

    Peace comes when war is too painful an option – not when aggressors are catered to.

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