The Military Solution
War is not good for children and other living things!
Violence never solves anything!
War is not the answer!
Except, of course, that sometimes it is: The ‘military solution’ works.
In the intifada’s grim second year, from October 2001 through September 2002, Palestinians killed 449 Israelis and foreigners present on Israeli soil, including both civilians and soldiers. Yet for the year that ended last week, this figure was down 47 percent, to 240.
On a monthly basis, the comparison is even more dramatic. Never again has there been a month even approaching the horror of March 2002, the month before Operation Defensive Shield. The 134 Israelis killed that month is more than three times the death toll during the worst month of the past year, and almost 2.5 times the 58 people killed in the second-worst month of the intifada (June 2002, the month after the army withdrew from Palestinian territory following Defensive Shield. It was this renewed surge of killing that persuaded the government to send the troops back and this time, to keep them there).
Furthermore, two of the worst months of the past year were months in which military activity was drastically curtailed: June 2003, with 32 deaths, and August 2003, with 29. June was the month of the road map “peace process,” during which Israel largely suspended military operations so as not to disrupt the “momentum toward peace.” August was the month of the famous Palestinian cease-fire, to which Israel responded by restricting its own military activity. (In fact, the death toll that August was higher than in 22 of the 34 months without a truce!) One could thus reasonably assume that had Israel maintained the military pressure over the summer, the year’s death toll would have been even lower.