You don’t win wars until you know who the enemy is or what you are fighting for. Sometimes it’s not clear, even when the war you are called on to fight is one of self-defense. We are presently engaged in what could be called Israel’s second war of independence, or as I prefer, the War of Survival. We are fighting in at least two different theaters of warfare.
In one we are confronting Iran and its Hizballah proxy. This is hard to do but not hard to understand: they have lots of missiles and will have nuclear weapons. We need to destroy these capabilities while protecting ourselves. This will be a painful and difficult struggle, but it is a struggle whose dimensions our leaders grasp and are preparing for. It is job for the IDF, and we can only provide it with resources and hope that it succeeds.
The other enemy, one might say, is the ‘Palestinians’, in the form of the PLO, Hamas and other factions. But this is inaccurate. The Palestinian Arabs do not have the ability to directly challenge Israel, much as they would like to. They, like Hizballah, are a proxy. I’ve called them “the point of the spear.” The real enemies that we are confronting in the Palestinian theater of the War of Survival are the much more powerful forces that fund and support the Palestinians while carrying out diplomatic warfare to weaken Israel and make it harder to defend in the military stages of the conflict.
Yes, I am talking about Europe and the Obama Administration. And yes, I am quite consciously calling them ‘enemies’ because that is what they are.
None of our enemies are stupid. The Iranians are smart enough to develop nuclear weapons while pretending to negotiate a deal that theoretically would prevent them from doing so. And the Obama Administration is smart enough to use carrots as well as sticks in its campaign to weaken Israel.
Our Western enemies understand that a sovereign Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would be a strategic disaster for Israel. They understand that the geography of the land is such that Israel must control the Jordan Valley, the high ground overlooking its population centers, and the airspace from the river to the sea in order to protect itself (watch this short video). So they do their best to create a sovereign Palestinian state there.
They also understand the importance of Jerusalem as Israel’s spiritual center. So they do their best to divide our capital city and place the most important holy places in the hands of the Arabs. And they support the Arabs in their efforts to weaken our sovereignty there.
They know that Israel couldn’t expect another 6-day war-type miracle if forced to give up its strategic depth. And they know that the Arabs would not respect the Jewish holy places or allow Jews to visit them once they had control.
They know these things and they continue their diplomatic warfare because they do not want a Jewish state to exist any more than the Arabs or Iranians do. And this is despite the fact, which they also know, that Israel is the last outpost of Western civilization in the Middle East!
You may well ask why. The Europeans, in my opinion, are driven by a deep psychological dysfunction that springs from their colonialist history and the complicity of many non-Nazis throughout the continent with Hitler’s program. Only the complete disappearance of the Jews will entirely solve their problem, but eliminating our state would go a long way.
The Obama Administration, on the other hand, has simply accepted the narrative pushed by the KGB in the 1960s that portrays Israel as colonialist, racist and anti-human rights. This is exactly the opposite of the truth, but the university environments in which these folks came of age emphasized ‘Ethnic Studies’ and similar ‘relevant’ disciplines more than old-fashioned History. Of course the European Left bought the KGB story too.
There are also other factors at work, like a US State Department which still sides with George Marshall over Harry Truman about the desirability of a Jewish state.
At this time, the Palestinian theater isn’t at the stage of open warfare, although it is at a simmering boil with a huge upsurge in small-scale but remarkably ugly terrorism. How should Israel respond?
Naturally, Israel has no choice but to do its best to implement security measures against terrorism. But on a strategic level it is also necessary to oppose the initiatives of its enemies in Europe and America.
The policy of pretending to pursue an unobtainable ‘peace’ with the PLO plays directly into their hands. It enables Israel to be caught between the pincers of Arab terrorism and Western pressure to make concessions to the same terrorists (which the US and Europe pretend are not the same). The intention is to chip away at Jewish sovereignty. Other tactics include legal and media pressure from EU-funded NGOs, various UN activities, interference in Israeli internal affairs, etc.
The best way to fight any war is to take the offensive, as every good general knows. This means that Israel should aggressively assert its sovereignty in all the places where it is being challenged: in Judea and Samaria (at least in Area C where Jewish communities are located and almost no Arabs live), in Jerusalem — particularly on the Temple Mount — and in the Arab towns inside the Green Line where almost any pretext is taken for violent riots. As I suggested yesterday, passing a Basic Law defining Israel as the state of the Jewish people would be a good start.
I said that the war with Hizballah and Iran would be painful, and the diplomatic war with Europe and the Obama administration will be so as well. The Europeans already have a plan for sanctions against Israel if it will not do their bidding. The Obama Administration has a whole laundry list of ways it can punish Israel, as we saw during Operation Protective Edge. Nevertheless we can’t win this kind of war when nobody knows what we are fighting for.
The answer is a fully sovereign Jewish state.
Great post and a terrible truth. What to do with the Fifth Column inside Israel, the left and the Arab parties?
Let us hope that there is a core of responsible people in Defense and the polity that take every word you have written to heart, and have been making plans based upon its validity for a long time.
The positive talk in Commentary about the fifth column vdorta mentioned is that even though the murderers were Israeli Arabs, there have not been many Israeli Arabs taking this path, recognizing rather their own betterment in Israel’s strength… in this one has the Caroline Glick one-state solution where Israel keeps its Arab citizens. I don’t know what the balance point is that must be crossed before the Martin Sherman solution–mass deportation–must be tried. Someone tell me, please, where that line is.