We all already understand that modern physics has witnessed revolutionary breakthroughs in the meanings of space and time. These stunning changes remain distant from the related worlds of diplomacy and international relations. Ironically, however, much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs is plainly about space. Not so obvious, but certainly just as important, is that this struggle is also about time.
Swiss playwright Friedrich Durrenmatt was certainly not thinking about Israel's national security when he wrote these words in A Dangerous Game, but his argument still fits perfectly in understanding the Jewish State's prospects for survival. Indeed, and not without considerable irony, unless Israel soon begins to fashion its essential strategic doctrine with a view to including various absurdities, it will never be able to find real safety in the Middle East. There, in what is arguably one of the world's very worst "neighborhoods," unreason often reins triumphant, and chaos is never far away.
The list of PA violations of Oslo goes on and on. There is the incontestable failure to prevent incitement (codified at Annex 1, Art. II, 35); harassment of suspected former collaborators (codified at Art. XVI); failure to provide information on Israeli MIAs (codified at Art. XXVIII of the Interim Agreement and at Art. XIX of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement); the failure to change the PLO Covenant (codified at Art. XXXII), a failure that means that the PA (let alone Hamas) has still not renounced its intent to annihilate the Jewish State; the abuse of human rights and the rule of law (codified at Art. XIX); the failure to control PApolice activity in eastern Jerusalem (codified at Annex I of both agreements - the Gaza-Jericho Accord and the Interim Agreement - which carefully delineate the areas in which the Palestinian security forces may operate).
In the 2554 years between 587 B.C.E. and 1967 C.E., Jerusalem was conquered more than twenty times, and, as part of many empires, was ruled from different and distant capital cities. Only for the Jews (for more than 650 years), for the Crusaders (for 188 years), and for the State of Israel (since 1949) has Jerusalem served as a capital city.
The State of Israel came into being on May 14, 1948. The five Arab armies of Egypt, Syria, Trans Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq immediately invaded the new microstate. Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, expressed their combined intention publicly: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentousmassacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." In terms of international law, the Arab League thus spoke from the beginning in unhidden support of genocide. This is hardly surprising, especially in view of their candid and warm personalcooperation with Hitler and the Axis against the Allies in World War II.
We may also consider some very recent postings from the Muslim Brotherhood Children's Website (based in Egypt, a country allegedly "at peace" with Israel):
Oddly, Israel and the United States remain intent upon committing gigantic and possibly lethal errors in world affairs. Unimpressed by history, and determinedly indifferent to glaring facts on the ground, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama now proceed more or less smugly on the twisting road to "Palestine." Along the way, the United States continues to equip and train Palestinian Authority (PA) "security forces," a disjointed band of armed criminals that represents little more than the grotesque vanguard of future anti-Israel and anti-American terrorism.
President Obama, imprisoned by clichés, still seeks to follow the so-called "Road Map" to Middle East peace. At the core of this fictionalized cartography is a deceptively pleasing image of two states, one Arab, the other Jewish, living gently side-by-side. In reality, the birth of "Palestine" would signal the unambiguous beginning of a "One State Solution."
The following article appears exactly as it was written by Professor Beres 21 years ago. It is especially important to reconsider at this moment when U.S. President Barack Obama, still-embracing the so-called Road Map, pushes Israel to accept a Palestinian state via the five-part Mitchell Plan.
The following article appears exactly as it was written by Professor Beres 21 years ago. It is especially important to reconsider at this moment, when U.S. President Barack Obama, still-embracing the so-called Road Map, pushes Israel to accept a Palestinian state via the five-part Mitchell Plan.
After absorbing any enemy nuclear aggression, Israel would certainly respond with a nuclear retaliatory strike. Although nothing is publicly known about Israel's precise targeting doctrine, such a reprisal would likely be launched against the aggressor's capital city and/or against similarly high-value urban targets. There would be absolutely no assurances, in response to this sort of genocidal aggression, that Israel would limit itself to striking back against exclusively military targets. This point should not be lost on the principal decision makers in Tehran.
There is a little recognized but noteworthy irony in the still-ongoing (when and how will it end?) matter of Iranian nuclearization.From the standpoint of President Ahmadinejad in Tehran, any prospect of hastening the Shiite apocalypse may naturally be welcomed. In the United States and Israel, on the other hand, any conscious encouragement of a Final Battle is strenuously rejected. Whatever Scriptural expectations of End Times may be found embedded in Judaism and Christianity and however seriously they may be accepted among particular American and Israeli populations, these expressly apocalyptic visions have always beenrejected as plausible policy options.
The core of Israel's active defense plan remains the phased Arrow anti-ballistic missile program. Designed to intercept medium and short-range ballistic missiles, the various operationalized forms of Arrow (Hetz in Hebrew) are expected todeal especially with Iran's surface-to-surface missile threat. Basically a high stratospheric system, Arrow is also capable of low-altitude and multi-tactical ballistic missile interceptions.
Some truths are counter-intuitive. At first, it would seem plain that a world without nuclear weapons must be preferable to one with such weapons. Upon reflection, however, it becomes evident that there are some countries for whom nuclear arms are indispensable to their physical survival. For these imperiled nations, surrendering nuclear status could effectively be an invitation to genocide. The most obvious case in point is Israel.
It will seem strange to see a column of mine in The Jewish Press about Woodrow Wilson, but there was very considerable "Jewish wisdom" in this Presbyterian former American president. Wilson first came to my attention in 1967, when I entered Princeton as a graduate student. He had been, after all, a Princeton Professor of Politics, and also a Princeton President before entering the White House.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already indicated approval of a Palestinian state, subject, however, to some codified and verifiable forms of "demilitarization." Leaving aside the inherent infeasibility of this declared contingency -no Palestinian leader will ever accept a condition of fundamentally abridged sovereignty - there is also an overriding and antecedent policy question: Can any form of diplomacy with the Palestinians, Fatah and/or Hamas, prove reasonable and productive? Although, on the surface, such a stark and cynical question may appear distinctly odd or foolish or even needlessly bellicose, there may in fact be no clear benefits for Israel to proceed diplomatically.
With his December 1, 2009 speech at West Point, U.S. President Barack Obama repeated his lofty goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons." Although such an eloquent plea will surely resonate intuitively with all who would seek peace, it is, in fact, not only unattainable (something altogether obvious), but also undesirable. In the case of U.S. ally Israel, for example, worldwide denuclearization could open the doors to another Jewish genocide.
Under long-standing international law, every state has a primary obligation to protect its citizens. Yet, it appears that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may soon be prepared to exchange Palestinian terrorists for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Any such exchange, however humane to Shalit and his family, would imperil thousands of other Israelis.
In all world politics, but especially in the Islamic Middle East, the ultimate form of power is power over death. Directed toward Jews, the violence of Palestinian terrorism is always "sacred" violence, and it is always oriented to eternal life for the terrorist. Unlike most other terrorists, the Palestinian movement fighters openly aspire to immortality. Paradoxically, that is why they enthusiastically commit uniquely homicidal forms of suicide.
After Palestine, conditions in the Middle East would be markedly less favorable to both Israel and the United States. The only credible way for Israel to deter large-scale conventional attacks following Palestinian statehood would be by maintaining visible and increasingly large-scale conventional capabilities. Naturally, enemy states contemplating first-strike attacks upon Israel using chemical and/or biological weapons would be apt to take more seriously Israel's nuclear deterrent. Whether or not this nuclear deterrent had remained undisclosed (the so-called "bomb in the basement") could also affect Israel's deterrent credibility and, thereby, U.S. security.
However unwittingly, President Obama is now setting the stage for Israel's dismemberment. Almost certainly, his fixed and unwavering commitment to a Palestinian state stems from the purest and most sensible of motives. Surely this principled commitment is drawn from some deeply personal and historic sense of justice and fairness, and not from any sort of insidious anti-Israel bias. The problem, however, is that this seemingly well-intentioned presidential interest in fair play is starkly at odds with an asymmetrically brutal geopolitical reality in the Middle East.
Iran continues to play a cat and mouse game with the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and with the United States. Early in October, when another secret site for enriching uranium was discovered, Tehran "magnanimously" agreed to certain future international inspections. To be sure, the actual promise of any such inspections, which was quickly and naively praised by both IAEA head Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei and U.S. President Barack Obama, will be effectively meaningless.
In the 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel’s military strategy and tactics displayed some notable strengths, but also some considerable weaknesses. Of course, in the years ahead, Israel is apt to find itself confronted with a far greater threat of belligerency. This is the unrelieved prospect of a nuclear Iran – a possibly irremediable enemy state, and one with well-established ties both to Hezbollah and to an already nuclear North Korea. It follows, at every level of possible threat confrontation, that Israel’s military doctrine will now need to be informed by an improved and appropriately expanded body of pertinent understanding. This, in turn, will require a more refined and updated intellectual orientation to national strategic studies.
Following his early June speech delivered in Cairo, U.S. President Obama pretty much gave the final green light to Tehran. More precisely, with regard to ongoing Iranian nuclearization, the president signaled plainly that further economic sanctions, and not any defensive military action, were the only remaining option. In Jerusalem, one must presume, Prime Minister Netanyahu understood immediately the substantially changing drift of American foreign policy toward the Middle East. For Israel, therefore, a new plan for dealing with an unprecedented strategic menace would now be necessary. This plan would somehow have to be based on "living with Iran."
As U.S. President Barack Obama stubbornly proceeds with his deeply flawed resurrection of a "Two-State Solution" in the Middle East, he will bring substantial harm to the United States as well as to Israel. In this connection, Mr. Obama should quickly recognize that thecore rationale of Jihadist terror has little if anything to do with politics or with military strategy and tactics. Rather, this rationale is, and will surely remain, fundamentally, a sincere expression of religious sacrifice.