web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.

First Iran, Then ‘Palestine’: Israel’s Dual Imperative To Prevent Nuclear War


For the moment, fears of a nuclear war in the Middle East remain focused narrowly and correctly on Iran. In the coming months, before that country is able to deploy a fully operational nuclear capability, Israel will have to preemptively destroy essential parts of the Iranian nuclear infrastructure. Of course, in the best of all possible worlds, this expression of “anticipatory self-defense” would be taken in tandem with the United States. But – in view of several persuasive geopolitical and economic considerations – such a joint venture now seems manifestly unpalatable to Washington.

If, preempting on its own, Israel is successful in blunting Iran’s developing nuclear sword, the Jewish State will certainly be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief. After all, to face a nuclear enemy that is unambiguously genocidal and potentially even irrational – Israel must be “wiped off the map” demands Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – would represent the absolutely worst case scenario. In such dire circumstances, Iran could even become a suicide bomber writ large, dashing all reasonable hopes for sustaining a compelling Israeli strategy of nuclear deterrence.

To be sure, the Iranian nuclear threat must be dealt with by Israel, quickly and comprehensively. But even if that goal is accomplished, a new Arab state of “Palestine” would still have decidedly serious nuclear implications. Carved out of the living body of Israel, this state, although itself non-nuclear, could heighten the prospect of catastrophic nuclear war in the region.

Following an ill-conceived “Road Map,” President Bush still believes that there can be a Two-State Solution for the Middle East. Yet a Palestinian state, inevitably tied closely to a broad spectrum of terrorist groups and flanking 70 percent of Israel’s population, would eliminate Israel’s remaining strategic depth. With limited capacity to defend an already fragile land and facing a new enemy country resolutely committed to Israel’s annihilation, Jerusalem would then have to undertake even more stringent methods of counter terrorism and self-defense against aggression. Various new forms of preemption would be unavoidable. Ironically, a strong emphasis on preemption is now the recognizable core of President Bush’s national security policy for the United States.

Several additional ironies must be noted. Above all, offering Palestine as a quid pro quo for Arab support of Operation Iraqi Freedom would merely exchange one terror state for another. Further, the nuclear risks associated with a new state of Palestine would derive not from this state directly – which would assuredly be non-nuclear – but from (1) other Arab/Islamic states (excluding Iran, only if Israel had succeeded first with that particular preemption) that could now exploit Israel’s new strategic vulnerabilities; and/or (2) Israel’s own required attempts to preempt such enemy exploitations.

Because the creation of a state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel would raise the area risk of nuclear war, this very politicized measure should now be viewed with real apprehension. Indeed, its creation could even bring an Islamic “Final Solution” to the region. After all, every Arab map of the Middle East already excludes Israel. Cartographically, Israel has already been expunged. So much for the “Two-State Solution.”

Architects of the Oslo Agreements and Road Map had been suggesting all along that a Two-State Solution to the Palestinian problem would reliably reduce the risk of another major war in the Middle East. After all, they had always maintained, the problem of stateless Palestinians is the source of all problems between Israel and the Arabs. Once we have “justice” for Palestinians, the argument proceeded, Arab governments could begin to create area-wide stability and viable peace settlements. Harmony would then reign, more or less triumphantly, from the Mediterranean and Red Seas to the Persian Gulf.

But as we should have learned by now, especially from recurring Arab violations of the “peace process,” the conventional wisdom was always unwise. For the most part, Iranian and Arab state inclinations to war against Israel have had absolutely nothing to do with the Palestinians. Even if Israel had continued to make all unilateral concessions, and had continued to adhere to fully unreciprocated agreements, these irremediably belligerent inclinations would have endured, especially from Syria and Libya as well as from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

If Israel should soon face a new state of Palestine, the Jewish state’s vulnerability to armed attack by hostile neighbors will increase markedly. If this diminished safety is accompanied by the spread of unconventional weapons to certain hostile states, Israel could find itself confronting not only war, but genocide. It is also clear that Israel’s own nuclear infrastructures will become increasingly vulnerable to surprise attack from expanding Palestinian territories.

A new state of Palestine would preoccupy Israeli military forces to a much greater extent than does the recurrent “intifada”. Even if it were able to resist takeover by one of the other Islamic states in the region, a takeover accomplished either directly or by insurgent surrogates, Palestine would become a favored launching-point for unconventional terrorism against Israel. Various promises notwithstanding, Islamic insurgents would continue to celebrate frenzied violence against Israel’s women and children as the essence of “national liberation.” Drawing upon fierce Palestinian hatreds of America, a state of Palestine would also provide a sympathetic host to various terrorist enemies of the United States. This would include Al-Qaeda, which already has very close ties to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Fatah.

Recognizing an “improved” configuration of forces vis-a-vis Israel, a larger number of Islamic enemy states would calculate that they now confront a smaller, more beleaguered adversary. They would understand that a coordinated effort by certain countries that possess or are in the process of acquiring pertinent ballistic missiles could possibly endanger Israel’s very survival. Taken together with the fact that global support for Israel is always weak and that individual or combined chemical/biological/nuclear warfare capabilities could bring enormous harm to Israel, the creation of Palestine would tip the balance of power in the Middle East decisively.

It is unlikely that Israel could physically survive next to a Palestinian state, a state that always defines itself as extending “From the Sea to the River.” It is also unlikely that Palestine would prevent its territory from being used as a base of expanded Islamic terrorist operations against the United States – operations that could even involve weapons of mass destruction.

The full strategic implications of an independent Palestine should now be considered. Israel has much to fear, more than any other state on the face of the earth. The people of Israel, not the people of “Palestine,” are the only ones who could soon face organized extermination. As for the United States, it too will incur substantially increased levels of insecurity following establishment of a Palestinian state. It follows that President Bush should now consider carefully that support for Palestine is shortsighted and dangerous. A Faustian bargain, it could quickly wind up engulfing both Israel and the United States in yet another cauldron of war and terrorism.

LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D. Princeton, 1971) is the author of Security or Armageddon: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy (Lexington Books, 1986) and many other major books and articles on nuclear weapons and nuclear war. His work on strategic matters is well-known to Israel’s prime minister and to its military and intelligence communities. He is Chair of “Project Daniel,” and is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for the Jewish Press.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “First Iran, Then ‘Palestine’: Israel’s Dual Imperative To Prevent Nuclear War”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hezbollah  terror group shows off its arsenal.
Report: US Sending Indirect Military Aid to Hezbollah
Latest Indepth Stories
donny pic

The current missionary problem in Samaria is still relatively unknown throughout Israel&to most Jews

Jewish Holidays' Guide for the Perplexed

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

The New York Times building is only the cover page for what goes

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

ISIS Released Map

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Louis Rene Beres

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/first-iran-then-palestine-israels-dual-imperative-to-prevent-nuclear-war/2006/03/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: