"It could always deteriorate further," or some similar formulation is often heard from senior security officials when justifying a lack of a stronger reaction in the face of unrelenting terrorism.
This idea that a strong, robust and extensive military action or even reaction will be met by an even greater surge in violence has rarely and truly been tested.
It is an excuse almost as old as the State of Israel.
Unfortunately, this theme was reportedly regurgitated by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant who responded to calls for the adoption of strict measures against the Palestinians in the wake of recent terrorist murders. "There is a danger of friction and we need to pay attention to it. Once it was a few dozen and today it is already hundreds. One event leads to another," Gallant was reported to have said.
The State of Israel is facing a wave of terrorism which, while far from the worst in its history, appears to be increasing.
Of course, it is fueled by hate, incitement and the incentivization of murder from within the Palestinian Authority.
However, it is also driven by a sense that Israel is no longer formidable and enduring.
A recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Palestinian areas during June found that two-thirds of Palestinians believe that Israel will not celebrate the centenary of its establishment, and a clear majority believes all of 'Palestine' will be recovered.
It is this belief which fuels the violence and not Israel's attempts to rein it in.
In other words, it is precisely the inaction or lack of a proper response which increases the violence and not the other way around, as some would have it.
Perhaps it is time to truly put this hypothesis to the test.
The State of Israel and its security forces need to return deterrence and rid the Palestinians of their belief that the Jewish State will not survive the violence meted out to it.
It needs to destroy and defeat any pretensions the Palestinian Arabs have that their over 100-year war against Jewish sovereignty will be victorious.
It is no simple task, but one long overdue.
It won't be one or two military operations that will disavow the Palestinian Arabs of this belief, but sustained actions that will amply demonstrate to those intent on destroying it that the State of Israel is impregnable.
This is simply how wars are won, by convincing one's enemies that they can not achieve their war aims.
It is how conflicts have ended historically.
Once this is achieved, compromise, peace and prosperity can be achieved for both sides, but not before.
As Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes has written, the Palestinian Arabs will have to "pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with its attendant deprivation, destruction, and despair. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut."
This means victory for Israel and defeat for the Palestinian Arabs.
This can only be achieved by taking the necessary measures, like imposing closures on Palestinian Authority towns and cities with heightened terrorist activities. It means stopping all payments to the Palestinian Authority and not propping it up, at least until deadly incitement and Pay for Slay programs are permanently halted. It means a series of measures to squeeze the desire for victory out of the Palestinian society and leave it with the understanding that Israel will not just reach its 100th anniversary but is getting stronger.
This is what will reduce terrorism, because if the motivation is lacking, the attacks will lessen.
Defense Minister Gallant can change the long-standing and failed paradigm once and for all. He can push aside those constantly whispering in his ear that the situation can deteriorate further, and thus a lack of concerted action is always preferable.
He can start to listen to a growing number of Israelis who say that they are prepared to undergo some short-term pain if it means the Israel-Palestinian conflict will finally end with an Israel victory.
It is time to end the excuses and win.
Alex Nachumson is a writer for the Israel Victory Project and CEO of Mivtachi Israel, an organization of former senior IDF officers.