We have seen that, among several other essential purposes, Israel could conceivably need nuclear weapons for nuclear war fighting.
We have seen that, among other purposes, Israel needs nuclear weapons to undertake and/or to support various forms of preemption.
We have seen (in last week's list of reasons, numbers 1 and 2) that Israel needs nuclear weapons, among other purposes, to deter large conventional attacks and all levels of unconventional attack by enemy states.
According to a May 1, 2008 article by Aaron Klein in WorldNetDaily, Joseph Cirincione, director of nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress, and an adviser on nuclear issues to Senator Barack Obama, has essentially urged Israel to give up its nuclear weapons.
Senator Barak Obama has displayed basic intelligence and understanding on many complex policy issues, and his "debate promises" in support of Israel were forthright and plausibly meaningful.
Every four years America looks to a new president as a source of real hope. And every four years the code word of each yelling aspirant is "change."
Horace was born in 65 BCE, and died in 8 BCE. His ode (I, 14) on the "Ship of State" pertains to ancient Rome, but it might just as well refer to Israel after "Palestine".
Protecting Israel from terrorism is, at least in part, an intellectual task. Let us, therefore, now think very deliberately about terrorism.
Over the years, regular readers of my column in The Jewish Press may have noticed a continuing regard for the concept of time.
Pain can sometimes be sanitized by language, but it can never be truly anesthetized.
Facing imminent existential attacks, Israel could decide to preempt enemy aggression with conventional forces.
"In a dark time," says the poet Theodore Roethke, "the eye begins to see." Today, with improving sight, the Iranian nuclear threat should remain bright in our visual field. Despite a recent U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that effectively supports Tehran's multiple lies and deceptions, this unconventional threat remains existential. It follows that an Israeli and/or American preemptive strike against certain Iranian nuclear assets and infrastructures should still not be ruled out.
My readers in The Jewish Press are accustomed to reading my articles on timely strategic and jurisprudential issues. For the most part, these columns have explored various dangers of terrorism, war and genocide. But sometimes we are imperiled by a very different sort of terror. There is, of course, the "usual" threat of terror violence (the terror "outside"), but there is also a serious specter of interior terror that arises from our willful abandonment of individuality (the terror "within").
Some years ago, following one of the devastating suicide bombings in which small Jewish children were blown to bits, prominent Palestinian columnist Fahd al-Rimawi - then writing with obvious approval of Nobel Peace laureate Yassir Arafat in Amman's al-Majd newspaper, gleefully celebrated the monstrous act of terror:
The recent Annapolis "peace" conference - and President Bush's subsequent visit to the Middle East - shows that where Israel is concerned, there is still nothing new under the sun. Once again, fundamental Israeli rights were shamelessly subordinated to the presumed rights of all others, including even of openly Arab defiant terrorists now conveniently disguised as an "Authority." Once again, it seems, Israel had been called upon to offer land for nothing.
It is easy to feel sorry for the Palestinians in Gaza. Televised and print images of their apparently unrelieved misery suggest Israeli cruelty in the creation of shortages and in the use of armed force. Exactly the opposite is true. The moment that flagrantly illegal Hamas rocket attacks upon Israeli noncombatants cease, no harms of any kind will be imposed by Israel.
From a national survival standpoint, the candidate debates remain pretty much beside the point. Not a single presidential aspirant has answered (or even attempted to answer) a very important question: Are we Americans now involved in a merely tactical struggle against particular terror groups and individuals, or are we, instead, embroiled in something much larger? Should we now be focusing on assorted political, military and logistical issues (the effective position, more or less, of all candidates), or upon the much wider religious and cultural context from which our principal terror enemies are spawned?
For Jews, free will must always be oriented toward life, to the blessing, not to the curse. Our binding charge is to strive in this obligatory direction of individual and collective self-preservation by using our intelligence and by exercising our essentially disciplined acts of will. In circumstances where such striving is consciously rejected, the outcome - however catastrophic - can never rise to the dignified level of tragedy.
True life, it seems, can never be brought purposefully before the judgment seat of Reason. Much as we might wish it were otherwise, absurd narratives now best mirror the deteriorating situation of life on earth. Still living an elaborate pantomime of right and wrong, justice and punishment, we humans desperately want the unfolding world-drama to develop with both fairness and sensibility. Generally, we witness something quite different.
Notwithstanding all of the alleged "progress" in combating Islamist terrorism, our leaders have yet to really understand the core Jihadist rallying cry. "We love death," the murderers shout ecstatically - and they always shout in chorus, for terrorism is a collective activity - but we seem to think this apparent necrophilia is merely perverse, that operationally it is beside the point. No judgment could be further from the truth. In fact, correctly interpreting this openly lurid affection is ultimately the key to fashioning a genuinely effective strategy of counter-terrorism.