Israel: Terror Can Be Conquered Only With Greater Terror

By Alexander G. Markovsky, AMERICAN THINKER    22 April 2024

Image: Berlin in 1945/Public Domain

On October 7, 2023, the grisly gangs of Hamas terrorists launched a violent assault on Israel, indiscriminately raping and killing women and children, torturing its soldiers, and taking hostages. The sheer brutality of the attack stunned Israel. Despite Israel’s subsequent massive bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza, six months later, the Israeli-stated objectives of eradicating Hamas and releasing hostages remain as elusive as ever.

This situation prompts inquiries into how Hamas could manage to plan and carry out an attack right under the nose of the Israeli intelligence services, as well as why the once formidable Israeli army that, in the past, successfully defeated well-trained Arab armies with superior manpower and equipment struggles to eradicate a much smaller terrorist force.

The country’s military leadership has become too politically oriented to trouble itself with the security of the country. Since the beginning of the Hamas attack, the descendants of Moshe Dayan and Ariel Sharon seem to be overwhelmed by confusion and indecisiveness when it comes to military planning and execution.

The indiscriminate bombing of Gaza appeared more as an act of desperation rather than a well-planned military campaign. It looked effective on TV screens but was often ineffective as a practical matter, particularly since the terrorists were hidden in underground tunnels. The nation’s political leadership displays a lack of maturity with its continuing efforts to replace Netanyahu and an absence of unity even among the Prime Minister’s supporters.

It became evident that despite decades of fighting terrorists, Israel has failed at the critical distinction that a war with terrorists differs from conventional wars, as does the definition of victory. In a conventional war, the army loses if it does not win; in a war with terrorists, terrorists win if they do not lose. And it’s easy for them not to lose because, at a fundamental level, they have nothing to lose. Terrorism’s purpose is to terrorize, to break the will, and to paralyze society into submission.

Therefore, terror cannot be defeated through conventional warfare. The terror can be conquered only with greater terror. Unless the Israelis learn this well-established fact, they will never attain a sense of true security.

It is a reality of warfare that soldiers are expected to die. However, the deaths of women and children bring the horror close to home and demoralize the combatants and the entire society. Targeting civilians had been a common practice during WWII.

As Winston Churchill declared, “We will continue bombing until every home, factory, shipyard, and hospital is reduced to ruins.” Cologne, Hamburg, and Dresden were, in fact, reduced to ruins, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. The United States also targeted civilians when they dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to instill an overwhelming sense of fear among the Japanese population.

To destroy Hamas and prevent even greater tragedy in the future, Israelis must demonstrate unrestrained ruthlessness and unwavering determination.

When it comes to Gaza, this task is straightforward because the Hamas militants do not wear uniforms, deliberately blurring the line between terrorists and civilians, whether to depict all Gazans as militants or all militants as civilians.

In fact, terrorism in Gaza is a family affair. The non-combatants are the terrorists’ mothers, fathers, brothers, and children. They provide moral, financial, and logistical support to those engaged in combat against Israel and play a vital role by supplying necessities such as food, clothing, and medical aid and constructing military infrastructure such as tunnels.

In fact, their involvement extends far beyond mere support. They are complicit accomplices holding and torturing Israeli hostages in their residences and willingly serving as a human shield for the terrorists, exploiting Israel’s obsession with avoiding civilian casualties. Thus, even for the most liberal Jews, the matter of targeting these ostensible “civilians” should not be a point of contention.

There is also a court of public opinion. Recent events, such as the bombing of Yugoslavia, the invasion of Iraq, and other NATO-led wars around the world resulting in millions of casualties, highlight the fact that international outrage seems only to surface when Israel accidentally kills seven volunteers who knowingly entered a war zone at their own peril.

Given this context, Israel shall keep in mind that friends will support it, while the international community will condemn Israel anyway. Therefore, as Nixon’s maxim goes, one pays the same price for doing something halfheartedly as for doing it completely.

The ongoing conflict is a product of the Jewish liberal culture of appeasement. We all remember the ridiculous and offensive quote of Golda Meir, “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”

This cultural trait is deeply rooted in the Jewish identity and is further reinforced by external influences and legal institutions. Despite experiencing numerous wars, Israelis have failed to grasp that forgiven enemies driven by absolutes of religious fanaticism will never become their friends.

Above all, Israelis must comprehend that placing the safety of Gazans above that of their soldiers and allowing them virtually unlimited humanitarian aid renders this conflict unwinnable. To emerge victorious, Israelis must acquire the psychological stamina to bring terror back to where it came from.

The initial step involves doing as Churchill did: Continuing to bomb “until every home, factory, shipyard, and hospital is reduced to ruins,” and halting the irrational influx of humanitarian assistance, thereby increasing casualties while depriving the terrorists of vital resources such as sustenance, water, medical supplies, and weaponry. The second step is to offer these necessities only in exchange for the release of hostages. Ultimately, without hostages as an insurance policy and/or bargaining chip and lacking material support, the resistance will inevitably crumble.

Alexander G. Markovsky is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think tank that examines national security, energy, risk analysis, and other public policy issues. He is the author of Anatomy of a Bolshevik and Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It. Mr. Markovsky is the owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services, LLC. He can be reached at

April 22, 2024 | 7 Comments »

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  1. The appeasement attitude is from the the cowardly soulless West. Judaism is all for complete eradication of the enemy without showing them an iota of mercy. Take a look at how Moses, Joshua, David and the Maccabees handled their enemies. Moses killed girls as young as 9 in the Midanite battle for participating in getting the Israeites to sin. Joshua chopped off the arms and legs of Adonibezeq. David eradicated all this enemies and his Psalms are full of statements that he will utterly destroy his enemies. Same for the Maccabees. When Jews in Israel return to their roots and their law, they will stop making the stupid mistakes they have been making for 70 years. Famous Jewish statement: Who is merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to the merciful.

  2. True but Israel hasn’t done that. Israel has been more scrupulous about trying to avoid the deaths of non-combatants than any army in history using targeted precision bombing that has taken out Hamas fighters, commanders, and infrastructure, and with such superb intelligence, they know exactly who they are taking out. This is an author who should know that. But, even doing it this way, Israel will win if Bibi doesn’t bow down too Biden and goes into Rafah, which it looks like he will do after Pesach* since they’ve ordered tens of thousands of tents and may Rafahns have left already.

    *Gut Pesach Y’all

  3. Ken makes a very clear reasoned and rational statement. War with rules is evil, except all parties agree and abide by all the rules. (which does not happen) War is a game. Played like any other game. Baseball, football, Nascar, Hockey…… The people making all the money care nothing for the pawns fed into the meat grinder. It’s time to end war once and for all even if it takes a death toll of 2 /3rds of the world’s population.

  4. Quite right. Make the delivery of “humanitarian help” dependent on the release of the hostages. Otherwise, we will never get them back, neither dead nor alive. This is also much easier than bombing everything back to sand and cheaper. Also, let our so-called friends and willing helpers know that they need not expect protection from Israel and if they happen to be in the way, whether intentionally or not, they might get hurt. If they try to use the courts, they may still get hurt on the ground because they cannot require Israeli soldiers to endanger themselves to watch out for them. This has to be 100% clear and deployed. This does not mean that they will be intentionally targetted – but if they get in the way although they are operating in a war zone, the bomb will kill them too.

  5. There are times when we hope and we pray that things will change in our lives and daily existence, for the better.
    When we do our part to enact those changes, to no avail, then we must rethink our choices.
    We are all familiar with the old adage that defines insanity, yet we continue to repeat the same mistakes again and again.
    Mr. Markovsky is correct in his views on the matter of fighting terror with terror.
    Arabs only fear opposing forces of other Arabs for just that reason.
    Yes, I believe in rules of engagement, but only if all sides abide by the same rules, which never happens in the Arab world.
    They feel entitled, because of their religious book and the declarations of their Clerics, and fear no civilized authorities.
    Fear is always a key factor in the enforcement and adjudication of crime, whether in the streets or on a battlefield.
    If we continue, as we have, the time will eventually come when chaos and anarchy will rule on every continent.
    Whether we like it or not we must change our attitude towards war and aggression in in any form and fight fire with fire.
    I hate seeing and hearing about dead children of any parentage, but the parents of those innocent Arab children are the ones responsible for their deaths.
    Palestine is a geographic word, not the root word for an indigenous people.
    They are all Arabs!
    You do not need to shout, “Death to Islam”, in the streets but you had better become accustomed to thinking it, or we will be overwhelmed with true hell on earth until every last man, woman, and child is converted to Islam, enslaved or dead.