Israel Cannot Sit and Wait for a Second Holocaust

They say that the world is divided between optimists, and those who were optimists and sobered up. The optimists tell me that the Chief of Joint Staffs of the US Army, General Martin Dempsey, is arriving in Israel for the final coordination of the combined American-Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. As a well known pessimist of many years, I tend to accept the pessimists’ version – General Dempsey is arriving in Israel to personally convey to its political leaders and military commanders President Obama’s most stark warning to date: “Don’t you dare to act against Iran without our approval.”

One has to face the truth. Obama is a political rookie who demonstrated during the last three years a total lack of basic understanding and sound judgement as far as the Middle East and the events taking place in it are concerned. I would like to believe that his enthusiastic support for the demolishing of Hosni Mubarak’s stable and western leaning regime, which brought about the fall of Egypt into the hands of extremist Islamises, stemmed from his ignorance and lack of comprehension and not from other motives, darker and much more worrying. There are American commentators who know a thing or two about the goings-on in Washington who say that in his heart of hearts, Obama would not be too sorry to see Israel destroyed – as long as he could wash his hands and say that it was not him who spilled the blood. Unfortunately, at least in the near future, Obama is the president that Israel will have to live with. They say that in politics, a week is a long time. A year therefore is a very long time. By next January, when a Republican president will probably enter the White House, many events will have already taken place in the Middle East – it is highly likely that the Iranian nuclear crisis and the regional war it will bring will be behind us, and that the conversation with the new American president will be about the rebuilding of the IDF’s strength, the reconstruction of war damaged infrastructure and the new alignment of forces in the Middle East.

As to what is taking place within Israel – election enthusiasts can calm down. There will be no elections in 2012. For good or bad, Israel will have to face the national challenges that the coming year will bring under the leadership of Binyamin Netanyahu. Yes, Netanyahu has many weaknesses and this is not the place to list them all, but he is the leader that the Israeli people produced and with all his shortcomings, I cannot see on the Israeli political horizon any other potential leader that would be able to deal with the Iranian nuclear challenge better than he could. Despite the non-stop screaming of the Israeli and international media and the frustrated heads of the opposition parties, Netanyahu clearly prefers, at least for now, Israel’s survival to President Obama’s political and economic interests, and for this only, the people of Israel must unite behind him at this critical hour. To those who want to settle their disagreements with him – there will be time to do this in the future. As I wrote in a previous article, the British voters kicked Winston Churchill out of office soon after the Second World War ended in Europe.

We may never know what General Dempsey’s personal opinion on the right way to treat the Iranian nuclear threat is. American military commanders at this level understood many times Israel’s security needs and its contribution to the United States’ national security far better than their masters who were sitting in the White House at the time. The late General Alexander Haig, NATO’s commander and later US secretary of states, said once: “Israel is the largest American aircraft carrier in the world that cannot be sunk, does not carry even one American soldier, and is located in a critical region for American national security.” Israel must ensure at any cost that the message General Dempsey will take back with him to Washington will be clear and unequivocal. Israel cannot sit and wait for a second holocaust.

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2 Responses to Israel Cannot Sit and Wait for a Second Holocaust

  1. I must say, I totally disagree with the characterization of President Obama as being described in this article. I believe that Obama is a great president of the USA, with great capacities and ideals for peace and prosperity. His whole philosophy of bringing peace to the middle-east is based on openness and freedoms that democracy can provide, in order to diffuse irrational and extreme religious tendencies. That was his opening shot in the Cairo speech soon after he came to office.

    To achieve this, it is the right time to get rid of the old brutal regimes that are (or were) ruling these countries. It could not have been done all at once but, as it turned out, is still a work in progress.

    The immidiate results of Islamists gainning power initially, is expected but not necessarily are declarations of war. Time will tell if those new democracies will be willing to scrifice their freedoms and prosperities.

    I think that Obama’s support of Israel has been strong and sincere so far. He made acouple of mistakes, demanding Israel to stop building in the ‘occupied territories’ the second time after the initial 10-months, and to accept the 67 line as a starting pre-condition. Those demands, I believe, were the result of influential bad advisers at the whitehouse that are gone now. It seems, he got down from this tree lately.

    Obama’s realization that peace between Israel and the Palestinias is realy hinge on one factor – the IRAN factor. Teheran today is really the core of most of the problems in the middle-east. There’s a need to remove the nuclear threat as well as the extreme millitant Muslem regime. To do that Obama needs to show to the world that he took all peacefull measures to resolve this problem, and only after these efforts are exhosted, only then apply the hammer. One way or another, I feel, we’ll see action this coming April. And no, there will not be elections in Israel this year, mostlikely.

  2. Much Courage and Peace says:

    Good morning Eitan and thank you for your thoughtful and considered response. Disagreements are good as they spark a lively debate!

    To your points: The problem with Obama and with several previous presidents before him, Is that like the missionaries of time gone by, who travelled to the wildest jungles and islands to bring morality and the fear of God to the natives, he is attempting to apply 21st century democratic ideals to societies of which 70% of the population still live in the 10th century. In many respects Obama resembles President Carter, who carries a heavy responsibility for the fall of the Shah and the state of present day Iran. When we look at Iran 33 years later, we can see where the all the good intentions ended. Egypt is on the same track. The sad truth is – most Arab nations are far from ready for democracy and the gaps created by the fall of their dictators are inevitably filled with extremist Islam. I can assure you that many Egyptians who supported the revolution with the hope of creating a democratic state now wish Mubarak was back. Even in Iraq you hear time and again people saying that their lives were much better and safer under Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime.

    In Arab countries, only strength is respected. Obama is perceived as a weak president who will not take decisive action. And as for the building around Jerusalem – it has already been said that Obama needs his head examined as he is more worried about a Jew building a house in Jerusalem than about an Iranian building a nuclear bomb in Tehran.

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