Israel’s 9/11 Moment
In the wake of Hamas’s October 7 attack, US President Joe Biden has cautioned Israelis against being blinded by rage, citing the strategic mistakes that America made a generation ago. As it conducts its military campaign in Gaza, Israel should implement four lessons that the US learned the hard way.
WASHINGTON, DC – In the wake of the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7, Israel has every right and reason to pursue a sustained military campaign aimed at dismantling the terrorist group. And Israelis appear determined to do so.
Yet they also need to heed US President Joe Biden’s words of caution. During his visit to Tel Aviv on October 18, Biden empathized with the rage Israelis feel. “I understand, and many Americans understand,” he said. But Biden also advised Israelis not to be consumed by their fury. “After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States,” he warned, “and while we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes.” Two days later, in a primetime television address, Biden reiterated his call for the government of Israel “not to be blinded by rage.”
What would it look like in practice for Israel to follow Biden’s advice? Which lessons should the Israeli government draw from the strategic mistakes that the US made after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks?