Israel Must Fight Fire With Fire

The Jewish people are an incredibly compassionate, charitable, and peaceful people; actually, we are known as “the people of the book.” Yes, we’re sort of intellectual eggheads. We like to learn and we like to do the right thing. It’s basically our biblical mission of “Naaseh V’nishma”–to do and to listen. However, if we’ve learned anything from the ashes of the Holocaust is that when attacked, we must defend ourselves!

For many months now, there has been an ongoing wave of attacks by Hamas in Gaza using not only missiles but also fire kites and balloons indiscriminately against civilian targets in Israel. Interestingly enough, the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against civilians.  Yet the UN that is so quick and constant to condemn Israel, has nothing but deafening silence about these terror attacks with missiles and fire emanating and ongoing from Gaza.

These terror attacks have caused raging fires in Israel’s south that have devastated 8,000 acres already, including farms, nature reserves, and their wildlife, so we need to find new solutions to counter these arson attacks.

The Torah teaches us about responding with proportionality, “measure for measure.” And there is similarly, an age-old saying, that “You fight fire with fire.” So for example, if the Hamas terrorists want to set the State of Israel ablaze, and they will not stop, why do we not consider giving the terrorists a taste of their own medicine?

Certainly, there are incendiary devices, which go back thousands of year in use and in fact, have been used extensively by multiple nations in World War I and II, in Vietnam, and even in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Moreover, the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) that sets off a massive pressure wave and a fireball was used against ISIS in Afghanistan just last year, and it was anticipated to have a substantial psychological impact on the terrorists.

Similarly, we must fight fire with fire, but like with smart bombs, we can do it “smartly” and with pinpoint accuracy, so that we target the terrorists specifically, and create a teaching moment for them. If the terrorists don’t stop playing with fire, eventually they will get burnt, and then they will learn not to play with fire anymore.

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is business and technology leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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