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Ben-Gurion believed in defying intimidation

Reader comment on item: What Would Ben-Gurion Do?

Submitted by Dave (United States), May 28, 2020 at 21:56

In Israel's earlier, and far more insecure days, Ben-Gurion would answer terror attacks designed to scare people away with what he called his Zionist response, which was to immediately expand Jewish settlements, often at the site of the attack. This was an effective psychological technique which helped bolster morale in that it gave people a sense of pride and strength against intimidation and overwhelming odds. It was like when US Army General Anthony McAuliffe tersely replied to a German surrender ultimatum during the Battle of the Bulge with "Nuts!".

The same old game of intimidation is still going on, and in many ways Israel is still facing overwhelming odds. Israel's enemies are counting on the same old scare tactics, coupled with skillfully applied international pressure, in order to keep Israelis scared and as bottled up and on the defensive as possible. Ben-Gurion would say nuts to that, and that a Zionist response would be warranted, and that would mean expansion. Of course, it should be done in such a way that included as few hostiles as possible, but it should also be done to show that Israel cannot be pushed around with impunity.

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