President Obama's recent remarks on Israel and the 1967 lines garnered wide attention both for what he said - most notably, that Israel must remain the same size it was before 1967 - and for what he should have said, but did not - that the Palestinian refugees are an Arab problem, not Israel's.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. Soon, even the more "moderate" Palestinian forces will re-start their carefully choreographed terror attacks against Israel. Simultaneously, more or less, Hamas- even as it proceeds to a presumably formal rapprochement with Fatah - will do the same. In Lebanon, Shiite Hizbullah, steadily mentored and lavishly re-supplied by Iran, and operationally allied with Sunni Hamas, has already initiated massive preparations for the next war.
Adam Smith published his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 1776. A revolutionary book, Wealth did not aim to support the interests of any one particular class, but rather the overall well being of an entire nation. He sought, as every American high school student learns, "an invisible hand," whereby "the private interests and passions of men" will lead to "that which is most agreeable to the interest of a whole society."
Osama bin Laden was assassinated by U.S. Special Forces on May 1, 2011. Although media emphasis thus far has been focused almost entirely on the pertinent operational and political issues surrounding this "high value" killing, there are also important jurisprudential aspects to the case that require similar attention. Whether or not killing Osama was a genuinely purposeful assassination from a strategic perspective, a question that will be debated for years to come, we should now also inquire: Was it legal?
I never really cared for Tony Kushner. To bestow an honorary award to a notorious Israel critic, especially by academia, is nothing new. Honorary awards and Nobel Peace Prizes seem to be increasingly synonymous with, at best, meaningless efforts, and, at worst, anti-Semitism as a prerequisite for the recipient.
At first glance, it would appear that a modicum of justice has finally been meted out in the case of Nazi guard John Demjanjuk.
IDF planners working on an improved strategic paradigm will need to understand the following: Removing the bomb from Israel's "basement" could enhance Israel's nuclear deterrent to the extent that it would enlarge enemy perceptions of secure and capable Israeli nuclear forces. Such a calculated end to deliberate ambiguity could also underscore Israel's willingness to use these nuclear forces in reprisal for certain enemy first-strike and retaliatory attacks. From the standpoint of successful Israeli nuclear deterrence, IDF planners must proceed on the assumption that perceived willingness is always just as important as perceived capability. This, again, may bring to mind the counter intuitively presumed advantages for Israel of sometimes appearing less than fully rational.
This time of year in Israel is a time of sadness and a time of joy. We commemorate the murder of six million Jews in Nazi Europe and we commemorate the deaths of our children in times of war and the terrorist murders of our people during periods of "peace." When our sadness reaches a crescendo as the sun sets on Memorial Day, we pause, raise our flag from half mast to its highest height, and joyfully begin to celebrate Israel's Independence Day.
As we continue to focus on our Holy City of Jerusalem as the make-or-break issue in the bid for an agreement with Fatah-Hamas, it is important to note how the Arab and left-wing side of this dispute views Jews living in eastern Jerusalem.
The presence of any force multiplier may create synergy. Again, in the matter of Israel, we must acknowledge the antecedent "geometry of chaos." Understanding this more fully, IDF fighting units could conceivably become more effective than the mere sum of their respective parts.
There was a time in Israel when any yarmulka was a negative factor in attaining a senior position in a company. When I first arrived in Israel some 38 years ago, the situation for senior religious employees very much reminded me of my days in America when I was looking for a computer job 42 years ago in New York City.
By its improved use of correlation of forces thinking, Israel will need to seize every available operational initiative, including certain appropriate intelligence and counterintelligence functions, to best influence and control each enemy's particular matrix of expectations. This is a tall policy order, especially as these multiple enemies will include both state and sub-state adversaries, often with substantial and subtle interactions between them. Moreover, in an age of chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons, the consequences of certain IDF planning failures could be literally intolerable.
As we saw in our last article, northern Jerusalem is a critical front in the Arab drive to take over parts of Jerusalem and to then form yet another Arab country in the Land of Israel.
Any chaotic disintegration of the world system wouldfundamentally transform the Israeli system. Again, recalling the remarkable Swiss playwright, such a transformation could ultimately involve total or near-total destruction. In anticipation, Israel will have to orient its strategic planning to an assortment of worst-case prospects, thus focusing much more deliberately on a wide range of primarily self-help security options. This point simply cannot be overstated.
History takes no sharp corners. Despite obvious and very consequential current upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa - especially, of course, in Egypt - the core issues and principles of war and peace remain essentially unchanged. For Israel, this means keeping an ever-sharp focus on the still-underlying existential challenges. Although it is certainly correct that there will be constant, unexpected and distinctly palpable shifts in the prevailing hierarchy of particular threats, these shifts should always be understood within a much broader explanatory context of well-established strategic theory.
You were enraged by the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar. You asked how a civilized people could behave in such a way. You were shocked that the world, for the most part, didn't care, and you realized that Israel was alone. And then you were enraged by the Jaffa bus stop bombing. You asked how a civilized people could behave in such a way. You were shocked that the world, for the most part, didn't care, and you realized that Israel was alone. And yet again, you were enraged by the rogue rocket bus attack and the barrage of rocket fire on Israel from Gaza. You had the same question, emotion, and thought as you had in the first two cases.
Practically the primary front in the Arab war against Israel is Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority and its Arab allies have made no secret of their intention to turn the Jewish nation's eternal holy city into the capital of yet another Arab state - as merely the first step of their plan to render the entire area Jew-free.
Looking back, The Group had concerned itself with many complex and interpenetrating points, including the need for an expanded policy of preemption; an ongoing re-evaluation of "nuclear ambiguity;" recognizable preparations for appropriate counter-value reprisals in the case of certain WMD aggressions; adaptations to a "paradigm shift" away from classical patterns of warfare; expanded cooperation with the United States in the War Against Terror and in future inter-state conflicts in the Middle East; deployment of suitable active defense systems; avoidance of nuclear war-fighting wherever possible; and various ways to improve Israel's nuclear deterrence.
Nuclear deterrence, ambiguous or partially disclosed, is essential to Israel's physical survival. If, for whatever reason, Israel should fail to prevent enemy state nuclearization, it will have to refashion its nuclear deterrent to conform to vastly more dangerous regional and world conditions. But even if this should require purposeful disclosure of its nuclear assets and doctrine, such revelation would have to be limited solely to what would be needed to convince Israel's enemies of both its capacity and its resolve.
Yes, attention in and on Israel has been justifiably turned toward the Shomron town of Itamar, where two weeks ago ruthless Palestinian terrorists cruelly butchered most of the Fogel family preparing for sleep after an uplifting Sabbath meal.