Don't Push Israel Too Far

Popular wisdom has conditioned us to expect endless Israeli restraint in the face of the most extreme barbarism aimed at Israel's ultimate annihilation. Past instances of restraint brought no tangible support or benefits from world opinion, and even a measured Israeli response to mass murder of their innocent civilians has Colin Powell barking at Israel, while other voices express outrage that Isr

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Rachel Neuwirth,

Rachel Neuwirth
Rachel Neuwirth
INN:RW
Popular wisdom has conditioned us to expect endless Israeli restraint in the face of the most extreme barbarism aimed at Israel's ultimate annihilation. Past instances of restraint brought no tangible support or benefits from world opinion, and even a measured Israeli response to mass murder of their innocent civilians has Colin Powell barking at Israel, while other voices express outrage that Israel had the nerve to even defend herself. The nations apply a cynical double standard in demanding that Israel always exercise the kind of restraint that no other nation, including America, has ever observed. It is time to carefully revisit this pattern and draw some sober conclusions.

During nearly 2,000 years of Diaspora existence, Jews were weak and vulnerable to enemies and paid a frightful cost in lives lost, even prior to the Holocaust. That very weakness acted as a temptation for enemies to persecute and attack us, because the risk of retaliation was very low. Today, Israel contains only 5.5 million Jews surrounded by massively-armed Arab nations with over 250 million people. And with backing by other world powers, Israel's enemies remain tempted to seek a total victory to finally eliminate the Jewish state. That threat is certainly no secret. Only Israel's present strength makes them hesitate -- until they feel the time is right.

Arab governments and their supporters have been hostile to the existence of a Jewish state from the beginning. Arab armies attempted to destroy Israel at its re-birth, with no opposition whatsoever from any country, including America. Had they succeeded in 1948, the toll would have been 600,000 more dead Jews to add to the Six Million. At that time, the rest of the world would have been little affected or concerned.

The opposition to Israel's existence continues today in the form of relentless pressure to make critical, even suicidal, territorial concessions, without any assurance of true peace or security. At the same time, Arab enemies are racing to acquire weapons of mass destruction, even as they remain implacably hostile and scarcely hide their murderous intentions.

"If one day, the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel's possession -- on that day this method of global arrogance would come to an end. This is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground; whereas, it will only damage the world of Islam." -- Former Iranian President Rafsanjani, December 14, 2001.

Although this genocidal Iranian threat has been made on more than one occasion, the U.S. has never publicly voiced its strong objection. At this writing, it also remains unclear whether the U.S. will act decisively, and in time, to block Iran, and now even Syria, from going nuclear. America has mutual defense treaty obligations with scores of countries, including newly independent countries in Eastern Europe, but no treaty obligation to come to Israel's defense.

Israelis also recall bitterly how America and England during WWII failed to make the slightest material effort, aside from cynically empty pronouncements, to intervene on behalf of Hitler's Jewish victims, even while Allied aid was going to non-Jewish victims. And at Israel's re-birth, America imposed an arms embargo on the Middle East, but Arab attackers were already well-armed, so only Israeli defenders were adversely affected. Meanwhile England, America's close ally, was preventing Holocaust survivors from reaching Israel, while they were also disarming Jewish defenders and handing those weapons to the Arab invaders. Read The Secret War Against the Jews by John Loftus to learn how American and British intelligence tried to prevent the re-birth of Israel.

But now things are very different than in 1948, and the world had better take note. Many nations remain quite willing to appease the Arabs regardless of the dire consequences for Israel. The Arabs sense that this time they might finally succeed in crushing Israel if they unite in one supreme effort. In war, Israel must be lucky every time, but the Arabs need to get lucky just once. Making all this even more dangerous and unstable is that, unlike the former Soviet Union, the Arab regimes may not be deterred by the threat of retaliation and the prospect of mass death of their own people; especially as the side that shoots first has a huge advantage.

The West may assume that Israel will remain restrained while her enemies become capable of destroying her. What the nations all forget is that if mortally wounded, or even if facing a sufficient threat, Israel may choose not to expire quietly. Sensing the specter of another Holocaust, feeling abandoned and betrayed, Israelis may be driven, in hopeless desperation and righteous blind rage, to massively invoke their very extensive 'Samson option' that would promptly turn the Middle East, including the oil fields, into a radioactive wasteland. Once Israel feels in sufficient danger, she may preempt without warning, and decide it is better to forgo half measures and to actually go for broke, also eliminating the region's oil wells in the process, along with possible destruction of enemy population centers. "In for a penny, in for a pound," as the old saying goes.

It is estimated that two thirds of the world's oil reserves are located in the Middle East and many Western economies are critically dependent on a steady flow of oil from that region. A sudden cut in Middle Eastern oil supplies could well trigger an economic convulsion of unprecedented magnitude because of existing economic vulnerabilities. Such a drastic cut in oil supplies could trigger inflation, interruption in food supplies, unemployment, general paralysis and chaos and a domino effect that could well shred social fabric and weaken internal security. Waiting to eagerly take full advantage of the situation are Islamic terror cells, which thrive on chaos and destruction and that already seek to topple Western governments. And that grim scenario 'optimistically' assumes no additional negative surprises.

This is how the unthinkable could happen if we do not radically change course, and soon. Any threat to Israel's survival must now become solidly linked into an automatic and comparable threat to vital Western interests. We must all be in this together. (This is reminiscent of the old MAD doctrine that the U.S. and Russia employed during the Cold War; and it worked!)

It is in the enlightened self-interest of the Western nations, therefore, to avoid pushing Israel too far, and to neutralize the Arab threats against Israel before things spin out of control.





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