Active self-defense is a preemptive act designed to thwart impending aggression by enemy forces. Examples of aggressive self-defense are numerous, but the ones dear to my heart have to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict. The first one that comes to mind is the preemptive Israeli strike on the Egyptian and Syrian airfields at the dawn of the six-day-war in 1967. On the eve of that historic week, Egypt and Syria massed their heavily armed troops along their Israeli borders, declared their objective of annihilating the Jewish state, closed the straights of Tiran to Israeli shipping, while announcing hourly threats of violence and genocide. The preemptive strike by Israel changed the map, and turned the death threat into secured living. On the eve of the Yom Kippur war in 1973, hours before the Egyptian and Syrian invasion (of the Sinai and the Golan Heights respectively), Israel learned of that plan. Golda Meir, (the Israeli prime minister at the time), made the fatal decision of not to preempt that attack, and not to call its reserve units in time, for fear that that action would be interpreted by the international community as an Israeli aggression. It was a huge mistake; it cost many Israeli lives. When the war was over, Golda was forced to resign.
Useful idiots, single move chess players, and hypocritical politicians interpret active self-defense, as an act of aggression. A country like Israel, always under the threat of annihilation, while being isolated by a UN majority of Islamic states, left-leaning thinking, and other anti-Semitic regimes, is naturally sensitive to public opinion. It tries to avoid a perception of an aggressor; it thinks twice and even more than twice, before resorting to a policy of active self-defense. And when active self-defense is exercised, it is a last resort.
This was the case of the “Humanitarian” flotilla. Israel has no choice but to impose a blockade on the Gaza strip. Hamas, the rulers of the strip, declared war on Israel. They have been practicing their form of Jihad against the Jewish population. Hamas showered Israeli towns with thousands of missiles prior to Israel’s active self-defense act of Operation Cast-Lead in 2009. Although that operation contributed to a relative calm in its aftermath, the International community condemned Israel for exercising its right to defend itself.
Many international leaders support Israel’s right to defend itself. They say so on TV. But when Israel exericuses that right, the same leaders cry—“Aggression!” They do so because it seems politically convenient. Speaking from both sides of their mouth on an emotional issue helps with popular support. This is especially true since the majority of the world’s population and its leaders hate the Jewish people, hate the Jewish state, must maintain economic growth that require steady, uninterrupted flow of oil, believe in the rights of the Palestinians to the land (this is another myth that I will write about), etc.
International rules of law must be modified and clarified to recognize that active self-defense is self-defense. It is an act designed to thwart aggression rather than to exercise it. The blockade on the Gaza strip is precisely that kind of an act.
It is self-defense.
Dr. A. Perry