Thursday, April 21, 2016

 
 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


I read in today’s [Wednesday] newspaper that Israel will be building a sophisticated barrier along the border with Gaza. Sensors, underground walls and who knows what secret systems to detect tunneling and infiltration. The cost is estimated in billions of shekels (a shekel today is about US$ 0.26). We are continuing to develop and deploy a multi-tiered antimissile defense that also will cost billions. 

Meanwhile, the US State Department, Germany, the EU and the Arab League all insist that the Golan heights belong to the non-country of Syria. "No state can claim the right to annex another state's territory just like that," say the Germans, while they advocate ‘Palestine’ doing exactly that.

In the US, Joe Biden spoke to the anti-Zionist J Street organization and expressed his “overwhelming frustration” with Israel’s government, and called for the Left to return to power in Israel. Such respect for democracy he has.

And of course the inimitable Bernie Sanders continues to call Israel’s responses to attacks from Gaza “disproportionate.”

In the opinion of the West, Israel can defend itself as long as its defensive measures aren’t too effective, like the security barrier in Judea and Samaria, and as long as they are completely passive, like Iron Dome. It is not permissible for Israel to kill any Arabs in the process; even wounded terrorists must be protected and given medical treatment. It doesn’t matter if no other country has a better record of reducing collateral damage in any recent conflict – any civilian casualties are grounds for condemnation.

The West believes that no strategic considerations such as the fact that the Golan, the Jordan Valley and the high ground of Judea and Samaria are essential for Israel’s defense can override the desires of the ‘Palestinians’ for a state, or the ‘rights’ of the Butcher of Damascus, Hezbollah, IS or whoever will rule the remnants of Syria. On the other hand, it does not accept Israel’s rights under international law.

The West agrees that exploding buses are bad. But it blames them on Israel controlling territory that she shouldn’t, security measures inconvenient for the Arabs and disproportionate responses. If we stop doing these things, it suggests that there will be no more terrorism. 

This position is either extremely stupid or hypocritical. In the case of Bernie Sanders, I vote for stupid; but the State Department, Germany and the EU (and others that I haven’t mentioned) are hypocrites: they say they believe we have a right to self-defense, while aware that what they want is for Israel to be unable to defend herself. 

Are the Arabs our worst enemies? Possibly not. Arguably, the West has done more damage to Israel’s chances for survival by diplomatic pressure for concessions and by financing the PA, Hamas (via UNWRA) and countless anti-Zionist NGOs and UN agencies, than Palestinian terrorists with their suicide belts. Think about that.

Israel’s response has been to play along. 

We agree to ‘negotiate’ with the PLO – the terrorist organization that has killed more Israeli Jews since its inception than any other – over serious proposals to give them control over vital strategic locations, our holiest places and half our capital. Luckily for us, they have always demanded too much.

We say that we want a ‘two-state solution’ and hint that we will expel hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes in return for a paper promise from ‘leaders’ who may not be in power next week, and don’t insist on our rights under international law.

We commit to massive expenditures in passive defense, Iron Domes above and below ground, in order to avoid carrying out the simplest and most effective procedure for self-defense: crushing our enemies.

We fight limited wars – that is, wars that are limited to pushing our enemies back but never destroying them – and then we give them time and, in the case of Hamas, even supply them so they can rebuild their offensive capabilities for the next round.

We punish our young soldiers severely for killing the enemy in time of war, and then expect them to keep coming back for more victory-limited wars.

We do all these things because we want to be a member of the Western ‘enlightened’ club, the same one that is presently being eaten alive by Islam in Europe and threatened by political insanity in North America, instead of the Middle Eastern nation that we are.

Israel’s Jewish population comes from Africa and Asia, the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and many other places. A bit fewer than half of us are descended from people who lived in Muslim countries until relatively recently. Why should we expect to be like Norway, Belgium or the US? Israel must define herself as a sovereign, independent Jewish and democratic nation, and explicate those terms in the light of the history and future of the Jewish people, not as dictated by Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. 

And we don’t need to imitate the US – or, God forbid, Europe.


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