Israel abandoning 'preemptive strike doctrine'

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Top former Israeli military commanders said last week that Israel is abandoning its "preemptive strike doctrine" in favor of a policy that would see the Jewish state hide from its enemies behind a sophisticated missile shield.

Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem on joint US-Israeli missile defense strategies, the retired commanders said that in a world steeped in "political correctness" Israel no longer has the option of launching devastating preemptive strikes on enemies like Iran, Syria or even Gaza-based Hamas forces.

"As a democracy and Western-oriented country, we have no option of launching harsh strikes on the enemy in which civilians are harmed," former Israel Air Force commander Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Herzle Bodinger was quoted by World Tribune as telling the October 22 gathering.

Another former air force chief, David Ivry, noted that preemptive military action remains the correct approach, but lamented the fact that modern political considerations make it "virtually unfeasible."

An unnamed official told World Tribune that much of Israel's perceived inability to act decisively against its enemies as in the past is linked to the belief of today's leadership that Israel cannot act without approval from Washington.

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