It was like an especially wild orgy: First the great intoxication of the senses, then the bitter sobering up the next morning. Within a few hours, Israel went from celebrating the assassination of Imad Mughniyah to the fear of what would follow. The “great feat of intelligence,” the “perfect execution,” the “humiliation of Bashar Assad” were replaced in the blink of an eye with a spate of fear-inducing “travel advisories” by the Counterterrorism Office – don’t travel, don’t identify yourself, don’t congregate, be careful, take every precaution – and with states of high alert on the northern border, and at all of Israel’s embassies and consulates, and Jewish community centers worldwide. If these are the dangers that lie in wait for us, one has to ask: What did we need this assassination for?
Whoever killed Mughniyah was once again playing with the most dangerous fire of all: He undermined Israel’s security. If it was Israel, one has to ask whether there was any shred of sense in this move. If it was not Israel, our famed intelligence agencies would do well to prove this quickly, before the next disaster. Was the security of Israel’s citizens improved? Was terror dealt a permanent blow? History, with its multitude of previous assassinations, teaches that the answer is no. The chain of “terrorist chieftains” liquidated by Israel, from Ali Salameh and Abu Jihad through Abbas Mussawi and Yihyeh Ayash to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi – all “operations” that we celebrated with great pomp and circumstance for one sweet and intoxicating moment – have thus far brought only harsh and painful revenge attacks against Israel and Jews throughout the world, as well as infinite replacements no less effective than their predecessors, and sometimes more so. From assassination to assassination, terror has only increased and become more sophisticated.