haass160_ Majdi FathiNurPhoto via Getty Images_gazaisrael Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An Israeli Dilemma

While there must be a military component to Israel’s response to its security challenge, there is no solely military answer. A diplomatic component will need to be introduced into the equation, including a credible Israeli plan for bringing about a viable Palestinian state.

NEW YORK – The history of Israel has often been a history of conflict. A partial list includes the 1948 Arab-Israeli War that followed Israel’s birth; the Israeli-British-French attempt in 1956 to seize the Suez Canal and topple Egypt’s Arab nationalist leader; the 1967 Six-Day War; the 1973 Yom Kippur War; and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. There are also the two Palestinian intifadas and numerous smaller conflicts.

To this list must now be added Hamas’s October 2023 invasion of Israel. Thousands of short-range rockets were launched from Hamas-controlled Gaza against towns and cities in western Israel. Hundreds if not thousands of Hamas fighters crossed into Israel by breaking through defensive barriers, flying over them, or sailing around them.

The human toll of these attacks is enormous and growing. More than 900 Israelis have lost their lives. Several thousand have been injured. Some two hundred Israelis attending a concert were killed in cold blood. Nearly the same number have been abducted. It was terror – the intentional harming of innocents by a non-state actor – on a large scale.