Israel’s former military chief of staff, Moshe Yaalon, told The Jerusalem Post that his successor, Dan Halutz, and Defense Minister Amir Peretz should resign. Yaalon has been a consistent and frequent critic of the Gaza pullout and the concept of unilateral disengagements, arguing that they only serve to embolden Islamic fundamentalists.
Much of the credit for Israel’s success in curbing Palestinian terrorist attacks several years ago went to Ya’alon, rumored to be considering a run for leadership of the Likud, and the man who was then heading the Shin Bet, Avi Dichter. These days, Yaalon is generally viewed as a hawk, while Dichter is seen as a relative dove (he recently called for talks with Syria). With that in mind, take a look at this superb article in The Washington Post about Israel’s policy of targeted killings. Yaalon may be the one chumming around with Neocons in America and Israel these days, but read this passage and decide which security head would fit in better on Fox News:
Immediately, Dichter and Yaalon began to argue. Dichter favored the heavy bomb; Yaalon wanted to abort the operation [to strike a Hamas leadership meeting]. They both had worked for decades in counter-terrorism, had served in the same secret commando unit and had, as Dichter put it, “traveled together without passports deep into Arab lands.” But they had emerged with different conclusions. For Dichter, “the barrel of terrorism has a bottom.” If you captured or killed enough terrorists, Dichter believed, the problem would be solved. “They deserved a bomb that would send the dream team to hell,” Dichter said. “I said, ‘If we miss this opportunity, more Israelis will die.’ “ Yaalon disagreed: “We won’t get to the bottom of the barrel by killing terrorists. We’ll get there through education. Dichter thinks we’ll kill, kill, kill, kill, kill. That’s it — we’ve won. I don’t accept that.” While Yaalon said the army had to consider the support of the Israeli public — unlikely to favor civilian deaths — and international legitimacy, Dichter said that from an operational point of view, a one-ton bomb made sense. “There is no fair fight against terrorists,” Dichter said. “Never has been. Never will be.” The debate lasted for hours, observers said, and grew louder and larger. The prime minister’s adviser, Gallant, sided with Dichter. The defense minister, Mofaz, sided with Yaalon. Dichter recalled: “If you didn’t have a strong heart, you’d have a heart attack.” “How can we look in the eyes of our pilots if they kill innocent people?” Yaalon argued. “And if the terrorists walk out alive, and tomorrow another bus explodes, how do we explain it to our people?” Dichter said.