Here’s a fascinating document from December 13th 1955, in which the Ministers’ Committee for Security and Foreign Affairs discussed a clash which had taken place two nights earlier on the north-eastern coast of the Sea of Galillee: IDF infantry units had assaulted the Syrian positions the length of the coast (about ten kilometers), killing some 50 Syrian troops and capturing 30; six Israelis had been killed in the action. The commander of the action had been a young Lt. Colonel named Ariel Sharon; there are lots of pictures of the event here, and further details in Hebrew are here.
There are many interesting themes in the document, and I expect to come back to some of them in the next few days. Today I’d like to look at Ben Gurion’s explanation for the background of the action:
We’re in a difficult situation with the Arabs, because when they wish to destroy or murder, they don’t have to kill hundreds of us at a time. Instead, they make our life miserable day by day. Maybe they can’t do otherwise, since they’re afraid to send an entire military unit against us. So they send a small squad, and the squad crosses the border and waits for nightfall. Under cover of darkness they wander around until they find an object or a person, and they destroy it or kill the person. Their intention is to do this for years and wear us down…
We can’t do what they do, even if we wished to, because we can’t kill civillians, say to start killing Arab civilians we meet along the way…
So we have two options. We can resign ourselves to this situation, or we can not resign ourselves to it. This government was created to not resign itself to such a situation.
Not much has changed. It’s never been about the 1967 borders, and it isn’t today. It’s about the elimination of Israel and wearing Israel down over time.
That’s the context in which you need to view anti-Israeli Lawfare, boycotts, rocket fire, and U.N. votes.
Update/Related: West Bank university celebrates terrorism in “art exhibit”