Although Arab/Islamic "suicide bombing" terrorism can prove to be quite useful in political, strategic and tactical terms, its true rationale always lies elsewhere.
The April 17 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv included the usual breakdown of casualties - the steadily rising number of dead and of those casually described as "merely wounded." But what, exactly, does it mean to be in the second category? Consider just a few of the carefully documented medical answers.
Israel would be entirely correct that the Declaration of Principles (DOP) was intended to establish an "autonomy," not a state. Further (according to Ambassador Shoval), "Palestinian statehood is contingent on the Palestinians destroying their terrorist infrastructure, of which Hamas itself is an integral part." However, the Palestinians themselves will certainly understand something very helpful to their cause. That is: there are applicable norms supporting statehood that exist outside the narrow legal context of the specific Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
Israel's preemptive action could still be entirely law enforcing, even if Iran and the Arab enemies of Israel were not in a declared condition of belligerence with the Jewish state. The customary right of anticipatory self-defense has its modern origins in the Caroline incident, which concerned the unsuccessful rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada against British rule (a rebellion that aroused sympathy and support in the American border states). Following this case, the serious threat of armed attack has generally been taken to justify militarily defensive action.
At the conclusion of the recent [first] Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), the [first] Bush administration announced plans to sell Saudi Arabia, a country of six million inhabitants, an arms package. Included were over 500 tanks, 48 F-15 fighter planes, Apache helicopter gun ships, more than 30 Patriot batteries, tens of thousands of armored vehicles, multiple rocket-launchers and command/control systems.
As the continuing flow of new missiles to Iran reveals, the Bush administration (refers to first President Bush) remains committed to misconceived policies in the Middle East. Even if Israel were to yield West Bank and Gaza to create a new state of Palestine (with east Jerusalem as its capital), the government in Teheran would persist in planned aggression against the Jewish state. Altogether unconcerned with the fate of the Palestinians, this government will be satisfied only by Israel's disappearance.
Since the latest Arab attacks on the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the fashionably operative counter terrorism strategy in Israel has focused on "smashing the infrastructure of Hamas." With this in mind, the United States will now send at least $100 million of equipment to Israel for advanced bomb detection devices, X-ray systems and robotics devices, as well as for advanced thermal and radar sensors.
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.
It is exceedingly unlikely, but not entirely inconceivable, that Israel would ever decide to preempt enemy state aggression with a nuclear defensive strike. While circumstances could surely arise where such a defensive strike would be completely rational, it is enormously improbable that Israel would ever permit itself to reach such dire circumstances. To wit, and following Project Daniel, Israel will assuredly not allow Iran to proceed to the stage of an assembled nuclear weapons capacity.
The year 2006 could become a fateful one for Israel and for the entire world. Still struggling to survive in the very worst of international "neighborhoods," the always imperiled Jewish State knows only too well that nuclear war and genocide need not be mutually exclusive.
Soon, Israel will have little choice but to preemptively destroy Iran's developing capacity for nuclear weapons and nuclear war. Confronted by a declared enemy state that remains openly genocidal as it forges ahead with illegal nuclearization, Israel will face many tactical difficulties.
In calculating the Iranian threat to national survival, Israeli strategists will have to consider both enemy capabilities and enemy intentions. Yet, because such threat components are never entirely discrete, but rather interdependent, interpenetrating and interactive, these strategists will have to look closely at all pertinent relationships.
We who care desperately for Israel and for the Jewish People don't need a propaganda film to make our case. A completely truthful account - as Spielberg has given us - will always be in our interest.
Not Convinced By Plaut I always enjoy Steven Plaut's articles in The Jewish Press and until last week ("Israel's Plague of Conspiracism," front-page essay)...
Over the years, I have lectured and published widely on Israeli security matters - often with special reference to assassination and international law. Usually, in these matters, I have tried to point out the positive side of assassination, including informed support for Israel's ongoing policy of "targeted killings."
Public discussions of Israel's nuclear policy almost never delve into core questions of targeting doctrine. Yet, the actual extent to which Israel's security will be affected by its nuclear weapons will depend considerably upon the IDF's codified targets and on the precise extent to which these targets have previously been identified.
Science begins with the discovery of regularities. A regular feature of all Islamic "suicide" terrorists is a declared love of death. For us in the West, such declared affections must seem intuitively suspect. After all, they are contrary to everything we normally believe about self-preservation, reason and human behavior.
The Memorial Wall at Yad Vashem - the Wall of Holocaust and Heroism - has four sections, ranging from the Shoah to Rebirth. Magnificently designed by Naftali Bezem, it takes us movingly from an inferno in which the Holy is utterly profaned to the divine sanctuary of new Jewish generations. But these generations, symbolized by the countenance of a lion, must still shed endless tears.
Make no mistake, Israel is despised by the Palestinian populations because it is Jewish - not the other way around. In fact, Israel's unceasing pattern of capitulation to Arab terror elicits even greater Palestinian loathing, as such surrender behavior merely confirms the prevailing Islamic view of the Jew as coward.
From Arafat to Abbas, nothing fundamental has changed within the Palestinian Authority or in any of its sister terrorist organizations. In the prevailing Palestinian view, formal and informal, Israel remains the immutable focus of proposed eradication, although the language is usually more finessed and the tactics now more cleverly disguised.