Thursday, November 01, 2018

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

Much is made of the idea of asymmetric warfare, in which the side that is weaker in a traditional military sense manages to inflict harm on its enemy by the use of simple weapons and tactics involving small units, hit and run attacks, human waves, and often complete disregard for the traditional law of armed combat – human shields, attacks on civilians, and child soldiers may be employed. In addition, it may be accompanied by advanced cognitive and psychological warfare, including subversion of media, faking enemy atrocities, and propaganda techniques far more sophisticated than the methods of kinetic warfare at their disposal.

Although asymmetric warfare can be a way for culture with a low level of technology to defeat (or at least seriously wound) an enemy with better technology or a stronger army, sometimes even a relatively advanced country can use it to their advantage. So Iran, a country on the verge of reaching the pinnacle of military technology, nuclear weapons, effectively deploys its asymmetric proxy, Hezbollah, around the world, in order to support Iranian political goals by means of terrorism. And of course Hezbollah directly confronts Israel on behalf of Iran.

I divide Israel’s enemies into hard and soft enemies. The hard ones, like Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO, employ all forms of asymmetric warfare, especially including terrorism, but also such low-tech weapons as large numbers of inaccurate rockets, incendiary balloons and kites, attack tunnels, and so on. At the same time, they use friendly and/or easily duped media as part of a continuing cognitive, diplomatic, and legal battle against the Jewish state.

The soft enemies, primarily the European Union countries, support the hard ones while maintaining enough distance to deny responsibility for wars or terrorism; but they take part enthusiastically in the cognitive, diplomatic, and legal battles against Israel.

What is often ignored by those discussing the asymmetric warfare that characterizes the multi-front, alternately hot and cold, never-ending war against the Jewish state, is that not only are the meansof fighting asymmetric, so are the goals of the combatants.

Historically, the aims of warring combatants are diverse. They include such motivations as obtaining booty and slaves, conquering territory, getting access to natural resources or trade routes, building an empire and collecting tribute, religious or ideological conflict, and simple self-defense.

I don’t think that any reasonable person can deny that Israel’s motives are 100 percent self-defense. There is no enemy territory that Israel wants to conquer, no resources or booty she wants, and certainly no desire to create an empire. Her opponents are another story.

The motive of her Muslim enemies can be expressed in one word: jihad. In general all of them believe that they are obliged to fight to regain land lost by Islam, and in particular to one of the historic enemies of Mohammad, the Jews. In the case of Iran, there is also the long-term goal of creating an empire, a Shiite caliphate, and Israel – in addition to being that abomination, a sovereign Jewish state in the Muslim Middle East – is seen as an outpost of the West, an agent of the US, and an obstacle to the establishment of the caliphate.

Jihad has historically been very destructive to the conquered non-Muslim populations. For one thing, there is the so-called win-win proposition that motivates Muslims to engage in jihad. They are told that if they defeat their enemies, they can take whatever they want from the civilian population, including valuables and women, who are raped and enslaved (most of the male population is killed). The behavior of Islamic State fighters has followed this pattern in the present day. Judging by the behavior of PLO, Hezbollah, and Hamas terrorists so far, there is no reason to believe they would not act similarly if they had the opportunity.

The asymmetry of goals in turn produces an asymmetry of means, with Israel tending to defensive strategies (e.g., Iron Dome and other antimissile systems, barriers, non-lethal crowd control means, bombing empty installations, and so on), while her Muslim enemies emphasize offensive operations – terrorism, invasion, rocket barrages, and so on. 

Israel also employs defensive strategies because she is deterred from more aggressive ones by the coordinated international diplomatic and legal campaign waged by both her hard and soft enemies. As a result of the reliance on (imperfect) defensive measures, Israeli morale is damaged by the appearance that she is content to partly ward off the blows of the enemy without striking back. Her enemies, on the other hand, are encouraged by her apparent weakness.

My contention is that a primarily defensive posture – even if Israel’s objective is self-defense – is inadequate to deter asymmetric attacks. Her enemies respond by escalating the attacks of proxy forces, while keeping them below the level that will force Israel to change to an offensive posture. The result is an escalating war of attrition, of which the attacking forces have complete control. In the meantime, the morale of Israelis is damaged, that of the attackers boosted, and the attacking proxy forces, supplied by Iran, have time to stockpile weapons and improve fortifications, develop tactics, and generally prepare for the final war on multiple fronts. 

At that stage, Israel’s enemies hope that her lack of strategic depth, combined with a large number of simultaneous attacks, will allow for a successful invasion of Israeli territory by numerous militia forces from the north, south and east. In such a case, Israel will have difficulty in deploying its powerful air force and artillery, leading to (they hope) a complete collapse or at least a cease-fire that will leave Israel critically wounded.

The way to overcome this threat is to force the confrontation to take a different form. One way to do this would be to take control of the developing war of attrition ourselves by taking the offensive, escalating disproportionate responses to asymmetric proxy provocations, with an objective of ending  the fighting ability of the proxies. At the same time, visible preparations should be made to use our most powerful weapons directly against the source of the aggression, Iran. Then Iran could be put on notice not to interfere.

There is no doubt that stepped-up attacks on Hamas and Hezbollah, which will necessarily cause civilian casualties in Gaza and Lebanon, will be met with a massive propaganda, diplomatic, and legal attack orchestrated by our European soft enemies. This is where our American ally, which still has great leverage in Europe, could step in. 

But we’d better act fast, before Iran goes nuclear – and while we still have a friend in the White House.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive