Face it, to a good part of the Western and non Western world, any Israeli (or for that matter American) attempt to defend itself against Islamic aggression will be denounced as “disproportionate” so the best thing for them to do is to ignore the carping critics and vigorously go after those who seek to harm you. Winners never make apologies and only those who have doubts about the rightness of their cause seek to constantly explain and plead for understanding.
For whatever shortcomings he may have, Benjamin Netanyahu is everything that Obama is not. He is a capitalist, a patriot, and resolute in the face of his nations enemies. No wonder he makes Obama uncomfortable.
by Isi Leibler
A recent editorial in Haaretz reprimanded the IDF for cutting down a tree inside Israeli territory near the Lebanese border on the absurd grounds that the authorities should have been more restrained and sensitive to the political tension in Lebanon.
If this approach were adopted by our government, it would result in a total collapse of Israel’s deterrence. Rather than discouraging our enemies from conducting acts of aggression and terror out of fear of reprisal, we ourselves would become reluctant to take any defensive measures out of concern that they could be construed as aggressive acts or provocations by our hostile neighbors. In such a bizarre climate, we would be failing to carry out the minimal steps required to maintain the security of our borders and the welfare of our citizens.
A FEW days before the unprovoked attack by the Lebanese army, a grad rocket had been launched from the Gaza Strip which could easily have led to major loss of life in the heart of Ashkelon. Subsequently, missiles were launched on Eilat, again fortunately not resulting in Israeli casualties but killing an innocent Jordanian.
These terrorist attacks took place shortly after we agreed, under enormous pressure from the Obama administration, to participate in a UN investigation of May 31’s flotilla incident when Turkish Islamic extremists sought to break our legitimate naval blockade of Gaza.
Ironically, that took place simultaneously with widespread media coverage of classified documents released by WikiLeaks about the inadvertent killing of civilians by US and allied forces in Afghanistan.
Needless to say, there were no calls from UN Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon for an inquiry or any suggestion that the death of these innocent civilians were war crimes.
OVERALL, IT would seem that we have still not internalized the lessons of the past. We live in a region of scorpions, in which compromise and goodwill extended in the face of aggression has time and again encouraged our enemies to intensify their acts of terror until a full-scale war erupts.
We should surely have absorbed the lessons of the Kassams. Those who belittled their impact and derisively referred to them as primitive “Kassam Shmassams,” failed to appreciate that our failure to respond vigorously allowed the world to view such attacks as part of the Middle East routine.
Had we responded initially with vigor, the attacks would not have escalated and we may well have avoided the Gaza war.
If we respond swiftly and demonstrate that Hamas and Hizbullah will pay a major price if they attack us, we will almost certainly incur the wrath of the UN, Europe and regrettably, probably also the US. Yet the lessons of the past decade demonstrate that Hamas and Hizbullah are afraid of being held responsible by the people they rule for any suffering inflicted on them as a result of unprovoked aggression against Israel. This is a brutal area in which alas, paradoxically, might and swift reprisal against terror attacks are far more likely to avert a full-blown war than vacuous dialogue and restraint.
Our deterrent policy should be spelled out.
Netanyahu must avoid repeating the hollow threats of reprisals that transformed us into loudmouthed bluffers and a regional laughing stock over the past decade. He must proclaim that we will respond vigorously to any threats against our civilian population and, unlike his predecessors, commit himself to implementing such a policy.
We no longer have any illusions. The world does not accept our right to defend ourselves, but we cannot afford to await intervention or retribution from third parties when our civilians are endangered. It will represent a continuation of former government follies if we stand by with folded arms and fail to immediately respond to acts of terror. On the other hand, if we convey a strong message to our foes that if they deliberately spill Israeli blood there is a major price to pay, we may in fact avert the worst scenario of another brutal all-out war.
Read the rest here: Restraint or deterrence
George Will notes that Benjamin Netanyahu is the anti-Obama
by George F. Will
Two photographs adorn the office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Together they illuminate a portentous fact: No two leaders of democracies are less alike — in life experiences, temperaments and political philosophies — than Netanyahu, the former commando and fierce nationalist, and Barack Obama, the former professor and post-nationalist.
One photograph is of Theodor Herzl, born 150 years ago. Dismayed by the eruption of anti-Semitism in France during the Dreyfus Affair at the end of the 19th century, Herzl became Zionism’s founding father. Long before the Holocaust, he concluded that Jews could find safety only in a national homeland.
The other photograph is of Winston Churchill, who considered himself “one of the authors” of Britain’s embrace of Zionism. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 stated: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” Beginning in 1923, Britain would govern Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.
Netanyahu, his focus firmly on Iran, honors Churchill because he did not flinch from facts about gathering storms. Obama returned to the British Embassy in Washington the bust of Churchill that was in the Oval Office when he got there.
The Cairo speech came 10 months after Obama’s Berlin speech, in which he declared himself a “citizen of the world.” That was an oxymoronic boast, given that citizenship connotes allegiance to a particular polity, its laws and political processes. But the boast resonated in Europe.
The European Union was born from the flight of Europe’s elites from what terrifies them — Europeans. The first Thirty Years’ War ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia, which ratified the system of nation-states. The second Thirty Years’ War, which ended in 1945, convinced European elites that the continent’s nearly fatal disease was nationalism, the cure for which must be the steady attenuation of nationalities. Hence the high value placed on “pooling” sovereignty, never mind the cost in diminished self-government.
Israel, with its deep sense of nationhood, is beyond unintelligible to such Europeans; it is a stench in their nostrils. Transnational progressivism is, as much as welfare state social democracy, an element of European politics that American progressives will emulate as much as American politics will permit. It is perverse that the European Union, a semi-fictional political entity, serves — with the United States, the reliably anti-Israel United Nations and Russia — as part of the “quartet” that supposedly will broker peace in our time between Israel and the Palestinians.
Arguably the most left-wing administration in American history is trying to knead and soften the most right-wing coalition in Israel’s history. The former shows no understanding of the latter, which thinks it understands the former all too well.
No one is less a transnational progressive, less a post-nationalist, than Binyamin Netanyahu, whose first name is that of a son of Jacob, who lived perhaps 4,000 years ago. Netanyahu, whom no one ever called cuddly, once said to a U.S. diplomat 10 words that should warn U.S. policymakers who hope to make Netanyahu malleable: “You live in Chevy Chase. Don’t play with our future.”
Read the rest here: Netanyahu, the anti Obama