(Editor’s Note: Jason Tudor, GCMC Public Affairs Specialist, is blogging all week from Israel. He is traveling with the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies field studies trip March 5-11. These blog entries are from his travels with the students, attending lectures and experiencing their studies first hand. Students and many lecturers cannot be identified due to the nature of their professions.)
Today we received a series of briefings from counter-terrorism experts and a handful of retired Israeli military officers. The topics ranged in discussion from how prison systems work to proportionality. One of the speakers, Dr. Boaz Ganor, had a fascinating equation for proportionality process. He emphasized that it wasn’t the only thing that should factor into the proportionality of response, but it should factor in to it. Made a lot of sense.
Avi Dichter, a member of the Israeli Knesset, also had a lot to say about proportionality. The quote I remember: “A country has the right to use an F-16 against an M-16.” Mr. Dichter also made a point about saying “there is a bottom of the barrel when it comes to acts of terrorism.”
There were also briefings recounting first-hand experiences by retired and Israeli soldiers. The most memorable for me: a reserve colonel talking about his experiences during the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The insight he provided were fascinating and I could see how the knowledge he passed along could help our PTSS counter-terror practitioners in many ways. There were so many little “insider baseball” tidbits that it made for a very entertaining and informative hour.
At the end of the day, the students were given an opportunity to explore the port town of Jaffa. I had my first shwarma. Fantastic.