Is targeted killing an effective counterterrorism tactic? Several studies published in academic journals over the last decade differ over the answer. While some believe that it is effective as a tactic within a larger counterterrorism strategy, others believe that it has no effect or possibly a negative effect in countering terrorism. This paper argues that although current studies may be valuable for understanding the impact of targeted killing in specific case studies, they do not yet provide a basis for making general pronouncements on whether targeted killing is or is not an effective counterterrorism tactic. Problems include widely divergent definitions, a dearth of evidence, difficulties in measuring success, and the radical differences between case studies that make comparison and generalization a questionable exercise. However, while the evidence does not yet allow scholars, pundits, and policymakers to make general pronouncements on the effectiveness of targeted killing generally, it does provide grounds to begin a normative debate over whether such policies are appropriate. In addition, it suggests that researchers and policymakers should focus on gathering and improving empirical data to advance decision making on counter- terrorism tactics in the future, particularly on when targeted killing should or should not be employed.
Rabbi John Rayner was an eminent proponent of ethical Zionism. His views about Israel are related in this article to his views about Judaism and Jewish ethics. The three pillars of Judaism are: truth, justice and peace. Rabbi Rayner personified these values to a remarkable degree. The common thread that runs through his countless sermons and articles was the emphasis on the gentler and more outward-looking values of Judaism. It is by cultivating and exemplifying these values, he believed, that Jews could best help humanity find signposts to justice and peace, not only in the Middle East but everywhere. Ethical Zionism, as understood by Rabbi Rayner, is based on Jewish values. The State of Israel is the main political progeny of the Zionist movement. It follows that the State of Israel ought to reflect Jewish values in its external relations. In the event of a clash between Israeli behaviour and Jewish ethics, Rabbi Rayner invariably came down on the side of Jewish ethics. He consistently placed principle above pragmatism and morality above expediency. He was an honest and courageous man who always spoke truth to power.
In 1953 the government of the newly founded state of Israel sent an elite army unit to attack the village of Kibiyeh, just across the Jordanian border. The attack was in reprisal for violence against Jewish villages on the Israeli side of the border. Since the end of the 1948 war, armed groups from Jordanian border towns had been infiltrating Israel and terrorizing its citizens, and in one such raid on the village of Yehud, a woman and her two young children were killed. The Israeli attack on Kibiyeh was in response to that incident. Kibiyeh was chosen as the target because the perpetrators of the violence in Yehud had apparently come from there. In the Kibiyeh raid, several dozen Arabs were killed, including women and children. Condemnation of the raid from the international community was swift. Opinion in Israel was mostly supportive of the operation, though a vocal minority opposed it.
Yael Hashiloni-Dolev, A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany. International Library of Ethics, Law and the New Medicine, 34. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer, 2007.
Daniel Sperling, “Review,” Shofar 28.2 (2010): 216-219.