Freilich introduces his comprehensive and formidable book with an epigraph from New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman: “A country that sees itself living on the lip of a volcano, or inside the eerie halls of Yad Vashem, does not plan for the future, and does not think about bold initiatives. It only holds on for dear life.”
Thankfully, the entire argument of Zion’s Dilemmas impressively proves Friedman’s empty witticism to be not only glib and insensitive but also incontestably wrong. Israel, as we can learn from Freilich, actually does far more than merely “hold on for dear life.” True, its survival plans for the future are often fraught with “pathologies,” and, yes, the boldness of its initiatives are not always complemented by commensurately thoughtful policies, but, still, somehow, it has managed to survive against all odds.
A miracle, maybe. More than likely, however, it is “by wise counsel” and even by a “multitude of councilors,” that Israel will ultimately be able to ensure an enduring victory.
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.
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