Restraint Be Damned

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The Bush administration is urging Israel to exercise “restraint” in its retaliation against recent terrorist attacks launched from Lebanon and Gaza. Meanwhile, European leaders and United Nations officials are denouncing Israel’s retaliation as “disproportionate.”

But the problem with Israel’s retaliation is not that it is too forceful–it is that it is not forceful enough. And the problem with Israel’s strategy is not that it shows too little restraint, but that it shows too much.


Israel is the victim of sixty years of Arab aggression — and it has the right to do whatever is necessary to defend itself.

Israel’s restraint — often exercised under pressure from the United States and other Western nations — is directly responsible for the continuing attacks it has suffered. Israel’s enemies perceive restraint as weakness — and are thus encouraged to step up their hostilities and terrorist attacks.

Israel has the military capability to inflict massive destruction on Hezbollah and Hamas, on the populations that support them, and on the terrorist states of Syria and Iran, which sponsor their existence. But so far Israel has limited its attacks to pinprick strikes in Southern Lebanon and Gaza.

If Israel is to safeguard the security of its people, it must be prepared to use all of its military power — restraint be damned.

”’David Holcberg is with the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, CA”’

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