The Post-American Age and Israel

The American debacle in Afghanistan is bad for America, and bad for Europe. The jihadists of the Middle East have received a huge gift of military equipment. They may even receive “humanitarian aid” from the US, in return for releasing some of the Americans still in Afghanistan. The Americans may call it aid, but everyone knows it is ransom for the release of hostages.

Psychologically, this is a massive boost to Islamic militants everywhere. Their belief that Allah is on their side has been confirmed. While I am probably too old to see them marching into the Vatican, unless present trends are reversed, my children probably will. Maybe they will find our Menorah, the one that Titus looted from the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE.

America’s defeat is also bad for Israel, and not just because of the American-made arms that the Taliban is selling to Iran and to every swaggering group of savages who believe they have a divine mandate to loot and rape. Even before the disaster in Afghanistan, the forces of jihad here have been feeling the wind of history at their backs, and have become drunk with their power to make demands and have them met by a government which is always willing to choose, as Churchill said, dishonor over war – and which, like Britain under Chamberlain, got war anyway.

So when six murderous terrorists from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Fatah organizations escaped from an Israeli prison on Monday, their parent organizations threatened violence. Hamas, apparently feeling left out, also made threats of escalation and launched incendiary balloons across the border. The tension has been growing for the past few weeks, as Hamas makes demands for loosening of restrictions on the entry of building materials and financial aid from Qatar, and Israel tries vainly to satisfy them with concessions.

Recently, Israel agreed to “loan” the Palestinian Authority about $150 million, in order to “strengthen the PA against Hamas.” This is a strange “loan:” the source of the money is about $186 million of funds that were collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, for Palestinian taxes on imports that pass through Israeli ports. Israel, however, withheld the money from the PA because of an Israeli law that forbids transferring money as long as it is used to pay stipends to imprisoned terrorists or the families of “martyrs.” The Palestinians have refused to stop paying their heroes, so the transfer is called a “loan” in order to bypass the law. Wrap your head around that.

I know, it’s complicated. There is the PIJ, there is Hamas, and there is the Fatah-dominated PLO which in effect constitutes the PA. But here’s a rule to make it simpler: they are all waging jihad (even Fatah, which is officially secular), they are all deploying terrorists against us, and they are all dedicated to the idea that if they kill enough Jews the rest of us will pick up and go back to Poland, or wherever they believe we come from.

The new government is not quite as dysfunctional as the preceding one, but because of the inclusion of left-wing parties and even an Arab Islamist party – that’s right, a party whose ideology is that Israel should be ruled according to the principles of Islamic sharia is part of Israel’s governing coalition – it seems to be unable to deal with the escalating chutzpah of its Palestinian enemies.

The Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, is someone with a solid right-wing ideology, at least he has always expressed himself as such, but I believe that he is not able to call the shots in a government whose majority is center-left and left. Incidentally, and I know I will get a lot of objections to this, I think he is a courageous person who has sacrificed his political career – I doubt that his party will even get into the Knesset in the next election – to extricate the country from an endless series of elections and caretaker governments. The present situation is not good, but it was worse before. For this, I am grateful to him.

But now is not the time for concessions. America is leaving the Middle East, starting with Obama’s tacit decision to allow Iran to get nuclear weapons (as long as the breakout happens after his presidency), continuing through his inaction when Bashar al-Assad crossed his “red line” by using chemical weapons, and now being concluded by the empty suit in the White House. It should be clear to every American ally in the region, especially Israel, that it is impossible to count on support from America. Of course Israel doesn’t need American troops to fight for it, or even military advisors. But political developments in America make it uncertain if it will continue to support Israel diplomatically, with military aid, or even by selling her weapons for cash.

I don’t want to be even more negative than I have to be, but there is a fundamental cultural instability in America that seems to be becoming more intense with time. I suspect that Americans will soon be concerned more with their own personal security, even their physical safety, than anything else. Maybe it looks worse from here than it is, but I visualize it as an engine revved far beyond its redline, and holding there. At any moment it will fly apart.

We are living at a major historical inflection point, with America withdrawing her influence everywhere. Unfortunately the beneficiaries of this are Iran and the Islamists of all stripes, as well as the totalitarian Chinese Communist party, nuclear-armed Pakistan and North Korea, and others.

The end of the Roman Empire was followed by the Dark Ages, which aren’t called that for nothing. It’s going to be hard for everyone.

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5 Responses to The Post-American Age and Israel

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    I believe this analysis is frighteningly correct. But what most frightens me is the implication for Israel. Without US diplomatic support Israel will be totally isolated and condemned. No matter how much destructive power we have this cannot deter the fanatical forces allied against us. If the US goes into politically correct, intersectional, progressive, decline the world will become hostile to the Jewish people as a whole, not simply Israel. I hope the US will have a kind of resilience and power of coming back it has shown many times in its history, but the trends seem to be going the other way.

  2. sabashimon says:

    Two things Vic; in my view regardless of what anyone thinks of Bibi, and I was not his biggest fan, there is no way that the situation is better under the current government than it was before. Our enemies on all sides feel Bennett’s weaknesses due to the makeup of his coalition and are pouncing as we speak on those weaknesses. And just the fact that he was able to lie in such a bald-faced manner days before the election to his supporters (like me) shows me he is anything but courageous and is simply another in a long line of self-serving not-to-be-trusted politicians we have all become far too familiar with. The second thing has to do with that revving RPM gauge happening in America. Unlike other countries that we are watching turn fascist before our eyes, such as Australia, New Zealand, and others, Americans will only take so much before we will start to see the manifestation of Thomas Jefferson’s words “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
    It’s coming.

  3. shalom-hillel says:

    I’m going to try an exercise in finding the silver lining. Now that Biden has had his debacle in Afghanistan and is being wrecked in the polls it is harder for him to dictate to Israel. He needs a win. Does that translate into a move against Iran?

    He could prove his strength by destroying the mullah regime or working with Israel towards that. The regime itself is paving the way to its own demise by playing hard to get. They may be taking it one step too far. Bennet’s seeming acquiescence to the East Jerusalem consulate and the threat against the Arugot Vineyard, viewed in this context, are a quid pro quo for what is to come. Following your thinking on Bennet, it’s occurred to me that he wanted to be in power for one important reason — to do something about Iran, because not enough was being done. Although I prefer the experienced hand of Netanyahu, I believe Bennet may be entirely focused on neutralizing Iran and he may get his chance.

    I don’t buy the argument that America is over. Get someone like Mr. Trump in again, someone with a common-sense foreign policy, and suddenly the world will look very different.

    • sabashimon says:

      If I may Shalom-Hillel, what you are neglecting to factor in with regards to Biden and his possible thinking/motives is that by all accounts and simply by the eye-test Biden is only a puppet whose strings are being manipulated by others. It is not only my opinion that foremost amongst those others is Barack Obama, along with Valerie Jarrett. Consequently there is no way, none, that Biden will ever give the order to do what needs to be done regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

      • shalom-hillel says:

        I take what you say very seriously, and you may be right, but we don’t know who ultimately controls Biden. There may be some opposing forces in the echelons of power who entertain other possibilities. Obama and Valerie Jarrett do not yet control the entire show. We are not privy to their inner machinations and rivalries. For example, they just got rid of Cuomo, a strong Democratic presidential contender. No one knows the real reason why.
        The “peace-loving” Democrats do strange things sometimes, like invading Libya and killing Qaddafi or using Drones that kill Muslim families in the Mideast.
        Never say never. Things change. People change their minds. Nations change their policies. Hashem hardened Pharaoh’s heart and then Israel walked out of Egypt The impossible becomes possible.

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