Israel’s Asymmetric Wars

  • Authors
  • Samy Cohen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    1. Samy Cohen
      Pages 1-8
  3. A Genealogy of “Disproportionate Response”

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Samy Cohen
      Pages 27-42
  4. The Handling of the Second Intifada

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. Samy Cohen
      Pages 73-91
    3. Samy Cohen
      Pages 93-108
    4. Samy Cohen
      Pages 127-138
    5. Samy Cohen
      Pages 139-150
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 167-196

About this book


This book is devoted to Israel's asymmetric wars, those conducted against irregular armed groups that have attacked it. It seeks to understand the Israeli strategy in the fight against terrorists acting under the guise of civilians or using the population as human shields. The army has implemented a loosely devised, if not simplistic, doctrine of "disproportionate response" since Israel's founding. The results have been mediocre, nearly always leading to the death of innocent Arab civilians and exacerbating anti-Israeli sentiment. Each time it has led to an escalation that is difficult to control and thrown the entire country into an increasingly inextricable situation. Practically every time it has made Israel, the aggressed party, look like the aggressor. What explains such perseverance? This research is based on vast documentation collected in Israel as well as on more than 60 in-depth interviews with officers and simple soldiers, senior counterterrorism officials, politicians, journalists and NGOs.


army democracy Guerilla Intifada Peace terrorism

Bibliographic information