Since its inception as an independent state, Israel has been living with what it euphemistically calls “The Palestine Problem”. Generations of Israelis have come to accept Palestinian hostility as a fact of life and one that is probably never going to go away. They have tried everything – they have fought and won three wars with neighboring states; they have retaliated with ten times the force to every armed transgression by the Palestinians and their sponsor states; they have even tried peace talks. The result? The intensity of attacks and suicide bombings may have lessened, but every Israeli man or woman is acutely aware that when he or she leaves home, there is no guarantee that they will return in one piece.
India has “The Pakistan Problem”, which in some ways is similar to the Israeli experience. We have fought wars and major skirmishes with an intransigent neighbour; and we have tried to talk peace. But the hostility from the other side has been relentless and unyielding. Until now, the element that was missing was forceful retaliation; and now we have done that – although in very small measure. Will it change the situation on the ground? Don’t hold your breath. Continue reading