[Freemanlist2] Dr. Aaron Lerner Commentary: Ideology aside - time to consider deterrent potential of

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Thu Mar 3 03:35:41 CST 2016


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Weekly Commentary: Ideology aside - time to consider deterrent potential of 
construction as response to terror
Dr. Aaron Lerner 2 March 2016

In light of the urgent need for effective and appropriate tools to prevent 
terrorist attacks it would be appropriate for the relevant ministers 
(including, of course, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu) to ask the 
relevant security-intelligence groups to report on their assessment of the 
mid-term deterrent efficacy of Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria in 
response to attacks.

It could very well be that the security-intelligence groups will conclude 
that after an initial spike of additional violence in reaction to such a 
program, that in the mid-term, the Palestinian street would conclude that 
terrorists who carry out attacks that then lead to more Jewish construction 
are idiots rather than heroes.

It should be emphasized that these security-intelligence groups should be 
instructed that they are to limit their report and conclusions solely to 
Palestinian reactions.

These security-intelligence groups should be advised that they are not being 
asked to render an opinion about the reaction of third parties (US, UN, 
etc.) to Jewish construction.

By the same token, these security-intelligence groups are not being asked to 
share their views regarding the ideological-political propriety of making a 
connection between Jewish construction and terror.

There is a time and a place for consideration of all of these matters.

But first we need to know if construction in response to terror does indeed 
have a deterrent potential.

If the conclusion is reached that the odds are close to zero that Jewish 
construction can have a deterrent effect then there is no reason for the 
Security Cabinet or some other forum of ministers to discuss it.

I would note that a very senior former security official remarked to me a 
few months ago that he believed Jewish construction had a 50:50 chance of 
being an effective deterrent. And while he opposed linking Jewish 
construction to terror on ideological grounds I would daresay that 50:50 are 
extremely good odds as compared to other ideas being floated around today.

The proposal to expel the families of terrorists, for example, has probably 
much lower odds of deterring anyone, especially given the very significant 
likelihood that if such a program is ever implemented that in at least some 
cases the Supreme Court will rule against the expulsion.

if it turns out that senior intelligence analysts indeed believe there is a 
50% chance that Jewish construction would be an effective deterrent then it 
would be not only appropriate but also necessary to discuss this idea 
seriously.

Of course, those discussions will take into account a variety of things, but 
at least then the decision would be carried out after examining the issue in 
depth.

Yes. I am well aware that the Government of Israel has adopted a 
construction freeze that will continue as long as there is the potential 
that the United States will decline to veto a United Nations Security 
Council resolution in response to Jewish construction.

In point of fact, it is conceivable that the decision makers conclude that 
fear of an anti-Israel UNSC resolution not vetoed by America  trumps the 
deterrent effect of Jewish construction in response to terror.

But at least, if that's the case, we will get some credit for literally 
"dying to keep the White House happy".
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