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In the past I have written about global anarchy and its strategic implications for Israel. Today, I want to assess something far more specific and ominous: global chaotic disintegration. Such an unraveling is already an evident fact of life in several different parts of the world. Moreover, substantial and sudden extensions of this perilous condition to other far-flung parts of our planet are both plausible and probable.
Only a selective end to its nuclear ambiguity would allow Israel to exploit the potentially considerable benefits of a Samson Option. Should Israel choose to keep its Bomb in the "basement," therefore, it could not make any use of the Samson Option.
The Israeli policy of an undeclared nuclear capacity will not work indefinitely. Left unrevised, this policy will fail. The most obvious locus of failure would be Iran.
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.
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.
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."
To be sure, it's a theme that I have already pursued in this column on several occasions, but nonetheless one that still seems to warrant further emphasis and elucidation. We all seem to know what Jihadistterrorists are after, yet our pertinent U.S. foreign policies remain founded upon altogether contrary assumptions. The most obvious example of such confusion, perhaps, is this country's continuing support of Palestinian statehood, an outcome that would, prima facie, undermine America's war on terror.
As we asked last week, why then must Israel remain a nuclear power? We continue with the detailed and complete answer that Prime Minister Netanyahu should prepare to transmit to President Obama.
Finally, Vice President Biden has acknowledged what has been argued in this column and elsewhere for several years. Speaking for the president, to be sure, Biden asserted that Israel, as a "sovereign nation," has every right to protect itself against a nuclearizing Iran. Understood in terms of international law, the precise preemptive action that Mr. Biden has in mind is called "anticipatory self-defense." Today, however, the real problem is less a matter of law than of operational cost and complexity. Although the vice president is correct about Israel's legal right to stay alive, it is already very late in the game to make preemption work.
Some things never change. Even (or especially) more-or-less apocalyptic threats recur. "It is in the thick of a calamity," says Albert Camus in The Plague, "that one gets hardened to the truth, in other words, to silence." As my faithful readers here in The Jewish Press already know, "silence" is what we shall soon become hardened to in Iran.
Until now, the strategic issue of Israel's nuclear ambiguity - the so-called "bomb in the basement" - has been kept squarely on the back burner. Today, however, time is quickly running out for the Jewish State, and Israel's new/old prime minister absolutely must reconsider this burning issue. From the standpoint of urgency, of course, the immediate problem is Iran.
In many ways, Iran is now the Islamic terrorist writ large, the individual murderer in macrocosm. Although military analysts are certainly correct in pointing out that Iran is the major sponsor of Hamas and related Islamic terrorist groups (e.g., Hezbollah), it is as a direct threat to Israel that its terrors are most ominous.
Iran may be a state like no other. Founded upon the particular Islamic promise of conquering death - a promise bestowing ultimate power upon those who "submit" - it may ultimately do whatever it must to divert death in other directions. As an object for this existentially critical diversion, Israel, the Jewish State, is assuredly the perfect doctrinal choice.
In Washington, there has been little learned from lessons of the past.
Jewish Law is democratic in the sense that it belongs to all of the people, a principle reflected in the Talmudic position that each individual can approach G-d in prayer without priestly intercessions.
In the Jewish tradition, the principle of a Higher Law is not only well established; it is the very foundation of all legal order.
In recent months, Israel's Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, has issued several administrative expulsion orders.
After absorbing any enemy nuclear aggression, Israel would certainly respond with a nuclear retaliatory strike.