This is not the only false indictment. Israel is condemned as racist; it’s regarded as the latest incarnation of Nazism—mostly by those who are practicing that exact feat. But minimizing the efforts Israel is allocating for the peace process with its neighbors is also voiced by Israel’s friends. And that’s why it requires a different treatment, a more educated dealing. It requires an intelligent, truth teaching, since the accusation is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of the special circumstances faced by the Jewish state.
The ones pressuring Israel to do more, to concede further for the sake of peace, are those who view the world via their own secure setting.
America is not under the threat of genocide, neither does it face a (high) probability of costly war on its own soil where there is no place to hide — not even in the remote suburbs of the state of Wyoming, Oregon or Nebraska.
When a U.S. leader takes a chance on security, committing a blunder in consequence, he or she pays a price, but the world does not end. The lesson learned makes America stronger and safer. On the other hand, when an Israeli leader falls for a false promise, fake guarantees by conceding security measures or territory for the sake of fictitious peace, the result could be disastrous. It could even metastasize into a catastrophe, another Holocaust, an end to the Jewish state.
You might say that I am paranoid. But history is my compass.
Following the 1956 war between Israel and Egypt, then-President Eisenhower bore down on Israel. He made its forces withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula while restricting Egyptian military from building up its forces there. Hhe also provided security guarantees in the form of American military involvement in case Egypt violated the non-militarized nature of the Sinai buffer zone.
In 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser braced himself for a final solution to the Jewish state. He ordered the removal of the UN peace force from the Sinai (with which the UN complied straight away), marched his military onto the peninsula and, with the help of the Soviet Union, made preparations for transforming the Jewish state into the next Auschwitz. All this while President Johnson failed to stir up memories of his predecessor’s guarantees.
The only act preventing another Holocaust was Israel’s decision not to take any chances, even at the price of being referred to as the aggressor, by launching a first and overwhelming strike.
In 1973, Israel’s military intelligence assigned low probability to a coordinated Syrian-Egyptian attack, even when all raw intelligence pointed out to its coming. The Israeli intelligence chief blocked out the fact that even low probability for a recurrence of a Holocaust requires some form of life insurance.
What’s more, several hours before it had grown evident that a Syrian-Egyptian attack was imminent, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir rejected launching a preemptive strike or even the calling up of the military reserve units for fear that the international community would deem such an act an aggression.
These grave errors in judgment brought about a catastrophe that threatened the existence of the Jewish state. As it was, Israel survived. But in the aftermath, there were 2,500 Israelis dead. In a country with a Jewish population amounting, then, to a little over two million, the number of war-dead represented 0.125%, which is equivalent to having over 310,000 American casualties in a single three-week war.
This history illustrates that risk-taking for the sake of peace may carry either a painful, but manageable lesson for a country like the U.S., or a catastrophe with the possibility of no comeback for a country like Israel.
Given the dichotomy associated with potential risk-taking consequences, it’s no wonder that Israeli leaders must be more risk-averters than any others in the world today.
It has been shown that when the Arabs lose a war to Israel, they view it as a temporary setback to their eternal struggle of Islamizing the Holy Land. In contrast, should Israel lose, it will cease to exist.
When world leaders, the politically left media and the rest of the ignorant public begin to understand the logic that guides decision-making in the face of potential consequences, they will peter out their unjustified criticism of the Israeli government’s unbending, stubborn insistence on security measures. These measures include but not limited to the following conditions:
Ending the conflict by having Arabs’ recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, demilitarizing the West Bank if it becomes a Palestinian state, assuming Israeli control over the Jordan Valley in case a Palestinian state in the West Bank is established and forbidding Iran from having access to nuclear weapons. These must be fulfilled before any peace concessions are mulled over.
Unfortunately, the only logic guiding world leaders today is Machiavellian. Objective reasoning is an ideal reserved for poetry, or maybe not even that. The world will continue to “misunderstand” the Israeli perspective, the risk involved in making bold concessions for the sake of a promise, where consequences have the potential of turning catastrophic.
You may understand Israel’s special conditions if you can imagine living with your family and young children in a neighborhood infested with child molesters who insist on not being recognized as such, or not being monitored. These brutes with their criminal past may even announce their sick intentions by claiming their right to free speech; they may even demand that you make concessions. That you let your young children play in the street, hopefully unaccompanied, so as to fashion a seeming ordinary setting.
If you can imagine that, chances are you will understand. You will then break off criticizing the Jewish state for being too cautious, for not relying on the unreliable, for not paving the road to a national suicide.