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NCJ Number: 219728 Find in a Library
Title: Explaining Israel's Misuse of Strategic Assassinations
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:30  Issue:6  Dated:June 2007  Pages:563-577
Author(s): Or Honig
Date Published: June 2007
Page Count: 15
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study shows that the effectiveness of Israel's use of strategic assassinations has been undermined by its misuse, and it identifies the causes of this systematic misuse.
Abstract: The article argues that Israel's strategic assassinations of its enemies has ebbed in its effectiveness because they have not been sufficiently discriminate. The planning and execution have not given sufficient attention to the political views and influence of the person killed, the timing of the operation and the possible political and strategic ramifications of the assassination, the target's organizational affiliation, the retaliatory capabilities of the organization, the political context and potential domestic political impact for the enemy, and the media reporting on the operation. There are a number of causes for these oversights and/or failures. They pertain to Israel's decisionmaking culture, the prevalence of false or unexamined causal stories, and the effect of norms. There are three debilitating influences in Israel's decisionmaking culture: a military-dominant organizational culture, a lack of deep historical awareness, and the influence of the "Hi-Technology Cult." The latter encourages the use of state-of-the art technology to provide surveillance of and the weaponry to kill those believed to be key enemies and attackers of Israel. False "causal stories" are collectively held beliefs about what causal mechanisms are important in political life, beliefs that usually go unchecked and unchallenged. These include a false belief in the possibility of eliminating terrorism, a blind faith in Israel's ability to dominate terrorist organizations, and the assumption that terrorists sustain a high level of motivation to attack Israel. Finally, although the norm against assassinations has existed since the 17th century, Israel flagrantly violates this norm in transparent ways that undermine its international standing as a country that respects international norms for how countries respond to their enemies. 61 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Assassination; Counter-terrorism tactics; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Foreign policies; Israel
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