Terrorism

   One of the more important factors shaping political life in Israel has been the ever-present threat of terrorism. The prestate Yishuv was confronted with extended periods of violence perpetrated by elements of the local Arab community in Palestine. Initially, the Zionist response was a policy of "restraint" (havlagah), premised on passive defense of Jewish settlements and cooperation with the British mandatory authorities. However, the response became progressively more forceful especially during the Arab revolt of 1939 and following the Arabs' rejection of the November 1947 United Nations Palestine Partition Plan.
   Following statehood, the primary terrorism threat was posed by Palestinian fedayeen raids out of the Egyptian-controlled Gaza Strip and from the Jordanian-held West Bank. In reaction, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) undertook a policy of vigorous retaliation, the goal of which was twofold: first, to punish the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, and second, to deter neighboring Arab countries from offering the terrorists support and safe haven. In the early 1970s, much of the terrorist threat originated in southern Lebanon, where the base of operations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) shifted following its eviction from Jordan following Black September. Escalating levels of terrorism across its northern border combined with sensational attacks on Israeli targets internationally prompted major IDF offensives on PLO bases in Lebanon in 1978 (Operation Litani) and 1982 (Operation Peace for Galilee; see WAR IN LEBANON [1982]).
   The PLO evacuation from Lebanon in September 1982 shifted the focus on terrorism to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where, beginning with the outbreak of the intifada in December 1987, the IDF was confronted with widespread Palestinian violent demonstrations. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, there was a significant upswing in the number and severity of terrorist attacks on Israelis, committed in the main by Islamic extremist groups and PLO rejectionist factions opposed to reconciliation with Israel. In addition, beginning in the mid-1980s, the IDF fought a war of attrition against Iranian-backed Hezbollah and other extremist groups in southern Lebanon; although the IDF withdrawal in May 2000 resulted in an overall drop in the number of terrorist attacks from Lebanon, the continued threat posed by Hezbollah (in pursuit of its own goals as well as those of its state sponsors, Syria and Iran) remains deeply destabilizing.
   Over the decades, and especially during the Al-Aksa intifada, large numbers of Palestinian groups, sometimes assisted by regional states, have joined in anti-Israel terrorist activities designed to pursue the goal of restoring Palestine to the Palestinians. From Israel's perspective, there is a clear correlation between the prospects for achieving permanent peace and a substantial reduction in the threat to the physical security of Israelis posed by terrorism.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • terrorism — ter·ror·ism / ter ər ˌi zəm/ n 1: the unlawful use or threat of violence esp. against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion 2: violent and intimidating gang activity street terrorism ter·ror·ist / ist/ adj …   Law dictionary

  • terrorism — 1795, in specific sense of government intimidation during the Reign of Terror in France (1793 July 1794), from Fr. terrorisme (1798), from L. terror (see TERROR (Cf. terror)). If the basis of a popular government in peacetime is virtue, its basis …   Etymology dictionary

  • Terrorism — Ter ror*ism, n. [Cf. F. terrorisme.] 1. The act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; a mode of government by terror or intimidation. Jefferson. [1913 Webster] 2. The practise of coercing governments to accede to political demands by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • terrorism — [ter′ər iz΄əm] n. [Fr terrorisme] 1. the act of terrorizing; use of force or threats to demoralize, intimidate, and subjugate, esp. such use as a political weapon or policy 2. the demoralization and intimidation produced in this way terrorist n …   English World dictionary

  • Terrorism — Terrorist redirects here. For other uses, see Terrorist (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • terrorism — /ter euh riz euhm/, n. 1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes. 2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a… …   Universalium

  • terrorism —    by Rex Butler   Baudrillard s response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, The Spirit of Terrorism , was published in Le Monde on 2 November. In his article, Baudrillard urges us not to rush to conclusions …   The Baudrillard dictionary

  • terrorism — noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear • Syn: ↑act of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • terrorism —    Apart from small, professedly left wing groups like FRAP and GRAPO, the main terrorist organization in Spain since the late 1960s is ETA, which has been responsible for by far the largest number of deaths and injuries. The peak of ETA activity …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • terrorism — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ urban ▪ global, international, transnational (esp. AmE) ▪ cross border ▪ state, state sponsored …   Collocations dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.