After absorbing any enemy nuclear aggression, Israel would certainly respond with a nuclear retaliatory strike.
Back in August 2007, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Prime Minister Olmert's "partner in peace," named a soccer tournament after Ziyad Da'as, a Fatah-Tanzim terrorist who had been eliminated by Israel exactly five years earlier. The Palestinian Da'as was responsible for the heroic January 2002 attack in which gunmen opened fire with an M-16 at a Bat Mitzvah in Hadera, murdering six and seriously wounding thirty. With equal courage, he had also planned the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli civilians in Tulkarem in 2001.
"The horror, the horror," mumbles the Marlon Brando character in the film, Apocalypse Now. How thin, he reflects, is the veneer of our planetary civilization. How entirely inadequate, he understands, are the unsteady fences that protect us from humankind's most ruinous inclinations.
Blessed by newly anticipated changes in American foreign policy, certain of Israel's adversaries could soon attempt to bring the Jewish State into the eternal darkness, into fire, into ice. It is therefore essential for Israel's leadership to take immediate steps to ensure that a Baker-Hamilton [Iraq Study Group heads] engendered failure of Israeli deterrence will not occasion a regional nuclear war. Israel must continue to plan around the sound understanding that nuclear deterrence and conventional deterrence remain critically interrelated.
After Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation The Endless Futility Of Israel’s ‘Peace Process’ (A Column in Five...
At the end of April 2011, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas reached a formal reconciliation and unification agreement. At that time, Hamas leader Mahmoud Azhar carefully noted the still-unchanged Hamas platform - "no recognition of Israel, and no negotiation." To be sure, this refractory position will become the de jure and/or de facto position of Fatah as well.
Despite altogether unimagined transformations of weapons technologies, some ancient principles of warfare remain entirely valid. Founded upon the essentially persistent nature of human behavior in organized conflict, these principles can be ignored only at great strategic risk. For the always-imperiled state of Israel, there is especially much to be learned from certain elements of past thought. This includes the unchanging requirements of national survival.
For the most part, we Jews have always accepted the obligation to ward off disaster as best we can. For the most part, we generally understand that all humans have free will. Saadia Gaon included freedom of will among the most central teachings of Judaism, and Maimonides affirmed that all human beings must stand alone in the world “to know what is good and what is evil, with none to prevent him from either doing good or evil.”
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.
Can the Sharon government protect Israel's citizens? Clearly, "disengagement" will open the door widely to "Palestine." In consequence, once deprived of its remaining strategic depth, Israel will become an irresistibly tempting object for aggression by certain enemy states.
The story goes something like this. During World War I, a Jew loses his way along the Austro-Hungarian frontier. Wandering through the woods late at night, he is abruptly stopped in his tracks by the screaming challenge of a nervous border-guard: "Halt, or I'll shoot." The Jew blinks uncomfortably into the beam of the searchlight and retorts with obvious annoyance: "What's the matter with you? Are you meshugga (crazy)? Can't you see that this is a flesh-and-blood human being?"
Genocide has always been prohibited by international law. In the words of the Genocide Convention, a binding multilateral treaty that codified post-Nuremberg norms and that entered into force in 1951, the sorts of murderous acts long advocated by Arab/Iranian leaders and jihadist terror groups qualify very precisely as criminal. The “moderate” Fatah organization’s June 2009 congress even called openly for the eradication of Israel.
Seeking to strengthen Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after the Hamas triumph in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert now intends to free many Fatah terrorists. "As a gesture of good will towards the Palestinians," Mr. Olmert announced at the Sharm El-Sheik summit with Abbas and the leaders of Egypt and Jordan, "I will bring before the Israeli Cabinet a proposal to free 250 Fatah prisoners who do not have blood on their hands." There should be no problem, he continued, because the Fatah men "must sign a commitment not to return to violence."
Over the years, regular readers of my column in The Jewish Press may have noticed a continuing regard for the concept of time.
Israel, with an understandable desperation, still seeks to discover some discernible correctness and reassuring clarity in the theatre of world politics. However, the polite diplomatic meanings with which it is pressed to "make peace" remain squalid and elusive. Ominously, these meanings continue to seethe menacingly.
For Israel, and also its cross-pressured U.S. ally, there would be very difficult problems to solve if an enemy state such as Iran were permitted to go fully nuclear. These problems could lethally undermine the conceptually neat, but probably unrealistic, notion of balanced nuclear deterrence in the region.
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.
Televised images of Israel's recent defensive operation in Gaza suggest cruelty and indiscriminacy. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. By deliberately placing young Arab children in the front lines of armed mobs that march with lethal intent upon Israeli soldiers, it is Palestinian leaders who openly commit violations of the law of war.
Rationality, Irrationality, And Madness: Core Enemy Differences For Israeli Nuclear Deterrence (Third of Three...
What, then, might be most important to Israel's prospectively irrational enemies, potentially even more important than their own physical survival as a state? One possible answer is the avoidance of certain forms of shame and humiliation. Another would be avoidance of the potentially unendurable charge that they had somehow defiled their most sacred religious obligations. Still another would be leaders' preferred avoidance of their own violent deaths, deaths that could be attributable to Israeli strategies of targeted killing and/or regime-targeting.
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.
All things move in the midst of death, even nations and civilizations. From 1948 to the present day, certain of Israel's prime ministers, facing war, terrorism, or even genocide, have been deeply reluctant to admit core national vulnerabilities. Indeed, rather than acknowledge the plainly exterminatory intent and (increasingly) the corollary destructive capacity of determined enemies, these leaders have sometimes opted for (1) so-called terrorist exchanges; 2) utterly inexcusable deals of land for nothing; and (3) endlessly assorted surrenders of power.
It is not just our enemies who show us no mercy and who "love death" who bring us death. The triumph of the absurd (the world of Chelm or the world of Kafka?) can be found also in sober actions of the United Nations.
My parents arrived as Austrian Jewish refugees in Switzerland almost exactly sixty years ago.
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.
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.
Smugly and shamelessly, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert gives freedom to terrorists in exchange for slain Jews.
What [would be] the effect of Israel-PA agreements in bringing about a Palestinian state? Here, it is altogether probable that Israel's substantial loss of strategic depth would be recognized by Iran as a significant military liability for Tel-Aviv. Such recognition, in turn, could heat up Iranian intentions against Israel, occasioning an accelerated search for relevant capabilities and consequently a heightened risk of nuclear war initiated from Tehran.
I am a professor of international law. In my columns, therefore, I focus from time to time on distinctly legal aspects of Israel's foreign relations. Nonetheless, I am always deeply attentive to examining these particular aspects within a genuinely realistic geopolitical or geostrategic context.
The new Palestinian Authority "President" hadn't even been sworn in before he criticized the "cycle of violence" in the Middle East. An inaccuracy, to be sure. Mahmoud Abbas knew exactly what he was saying.
Ten years ago, Professor Beres - following publication of his memoir in The New York Times− was invited by Swiss Ambassador Thomas Borer to present personal testimony before the specially constituted Swiss Commission on World War II. Here, now, is that testimony - still a poignant reminder of yet other critical aspects of the Holocaust.
The explicit application of codified restrictions of the laws of war to noninternational armed conflicts dates back only as far as the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. Recalling, however, that more than treaties and conventions comprise the laws of war, it is also clear that the obligations of jus in bello (justice in war) comprise part of "the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations," and bind all categories of belligerents. Indeed, the Hague Convention IV of 1907 declares, in broad terms, that in the absence of a precisely published set of guidelines in humanitarian international law concerning "unforeseen cases," the preconventional sources of international law govern all belligerency.