Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 24, 2006 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5766

Israel Should Hit Syria First: A preemptive-war policy keeps the enemy from fighting on its own terms

By Max Boot


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "We are walking with open eyes into our next war."


The pessimism of a senior Israeli official who made that comment on Aug. 13 was striking because he had just finished telling a group of security analysts brought to Israel by the American Jewish Committee that the United Nations-brokered cease-fire had achieved many of Israel's goals. But he had no illusions that this would represent anything more than a temporary halt in the fight between Israel and the Quartet of Evil seeking to dominate the Middle East — Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah.


The war wasn't a total loss for Israel. But it was far from a victory. Hezbollah lost more than 500 fighters as well as most of its medium- and long-range missiles and its bunker network in southern Lebanon, while inflicting scant damage on Israel. Israeli intelligence analysts are convinced that Tehran isn't happy about this turn of events because it was holding Hezbollah's rockets in reserve for a possible retaliatory strike if Israel or the U.S. hit Iran's nuclear weapons complex.


But rockets are easily replaced, and Iran and Syria will now undertake a massive effort to make good Hezbollah's losses, and then some.


From the perspective of the Quartet of Evil, this conflict demonstrated the power of their rockets to blunt Israel's military superiority. Antitank missiles inflicted substantial losses on Israeli armor and infantry. A cruise missile badly damaged an Israeli warship that didn't have its defensive systems turned on. And Hezbollah was able to keep firing hundreds of Katyusha rockets a day into northern Israeli right up until the cease-fire.


Israel had managed to defeat the terrorists' previous wonder-weapon, the suicide bomber, by walling off the Gaza Strip and West Bank. But a fence won't stop missiles. Israel will now be loath to retreat any further from the West Bank. Hamas, for its part, will have strong incentive to stockpile rockets in its Gaza redoubt and launch a "third intifada," as suggested by a columnist in the Hamas newspaper Al Risala.


Israel had hoped that this conflict would reestablish its deterrence, but, if anything, the unsatisfactory outcome will only embolden its enemies. The problem is that wars of attrition against fanatical jihadists who do not fear death and who hide among civilians negate to some extent the Israeli Defense Forces' superior firepower. Additionally, Iran, the ultimate source of terrorist money and arms, is too far away for effective Israeli retaliation.


Syria, however, is a weak link in the quartet.


Syria's importance as an advance base for Iran — the two countries concluded a formal alliance on June 16 — cannot be exaggerated. It is the go-between for most of the munitions flowing to Hezbollah. It is the sanctuary of Hamas honcho Khaled Meshaal. It is also, according to Israeli intelligence sources, the home of a new Iranian-Syrian intelligence center that tracks Israeli military movements and relays that information to terrorist proxies.


State Department optimists dream that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad can be weaned from Iran through concessions from the United States and Israel, such as the return of the Golan Heights. But since the early 1990s, the United States has tried repeatedly to strike a deal with Syria and never gotten anywhere. More economic pressure, especially from Europe, would be helpful, but it could probably be offset by increased subsidies from Iran.


History suggests that only force, or the threat of force, can win substantial concessions from Syria. In 1998, Turkey threatened military action unless Syria stopped supporting Kurdish terrorists. Damascus promptly complied. Israel may have no choice but to follow the Turkish example.


Indeed, Shlomo Avineri, a former director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, argues that his country fought the wrong war: Instead of targeting Lebanon, it should have gone after Syria. The Syrian armed forces are less motivated than Hezbollah, and they offer many more targets for Israeli airpower.


It is, of course, hard for a liberal democracy such as Israel to contemplate war if it hasn't been attacked directly — and Syria has been careful to avoid direct attacks on Israel. (It prefers to fight to the last Lebanese.) Israelis naturally prefer peace. But the choice they face isn't between war and peace. It is between war sooner and on their own terms, or war later and on the enemy's terms. Ignoring the threat and hoping that it goes away isn't a serious option. That's the mistake Israel made with Hezbollah over the last six years.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

BOOT'S LATEST
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power  

The book was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history. Sales help fund JWR.



Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. To comment, please click here.


Archives

© 2006, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles