Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism

Article excerpt

A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism. By Daniel Byman. Oxford University Press, 20 1 1 . 496 pp. $34.95 .

Byman, of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, purports to analyze the challenges presented to a democracy with inherent legal and moral constraints when confronted by terrorism. His analysis contains no new insights or suggestions, instead offering the reader a confused, contradictory work, skewed to fit a left-wing perspective.

The book has a number of major flaws. It is largely based on secondary sources, mostly from leftist journalists, security experts, and foreignfunded, anti-Israel nongovernmental organizations. It clings to the delusion that Palestinian Arab leadership is willing to accept a "two-state solution" despite no supporting evidence. Isolated and negligible acts of revenge against Arabs ("Jewish terrorism") become a significant issue while the well-documented role of the Soviet Union in training, supplying, and promoting Arab terrorism is neglected. Byman swallows the fairy-tale that Yasser Arafat had renounced terrorism and turned towards peace and fails to acknowledge the crucial role played by the international community in demonizing Israel. Israel's withdrawal from Gaza is viewed as an attempt to resolve a demographic and democratic problem, rather than a political move by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his family to deflect criminal and corruption charges. Finally, the book includes no discussion of modern precision technologies used to locate and eliminate Palestinian Arab terrorists while reducing injuries and fatalities among civilians. …

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