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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Israel's Shattered Dream of Peace

The recent war has shattered Israel's dream of being a 'normal country,' according to the American Thinker. But it doesn't mean we have to give up completely on our dreams of living in peace.

Hat Tip: Gershon in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York
But there is an obvious choice: It is for civilized nations to keep a strong military and cultural edge over their reactionary challengers, like Khomeinist Iran and Saudi Arabia. Civilized morality is very important, but not as important as sheer survival. Yet military strength seems more frightening than the dream of permanent peace. In a nuclear age, it means risking potential destruction to preserve an armed standoff. And yet nuclear weapons do keep the peace among rational nations.

There is in fact a clear way forward for Israel and the civilized world, but it will be difficult to achieve. It is to deal with the strategic challenge of the Khomeini cult in Iran, and thereby defang its surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah. In the Hezbo War, Israel flinched from that challenge. The reasons are obvious. In terms of population, Iran’s seventy million is far out of proportion to Israel’s five million Jews. In terms of fanaticism and willingness to kill and die, the Khomeini cult has no equivalent in the civilized world at all. Yet Israel is technologically far ahead of Iran, for all its oil wealth. Its armed forces are formidable, even given its commitment to avoiding civilian casualties among its enemies. Its nuclear arsenal is said to amount to 200 bombs, mountable on missiles, jets and submarines.

The jihadi advantage is largely psychological so far; it all goes back to Israel’s fervent wish for a permanent peace, an end to all the trouble, forever and ever, amen. Muslims dwell under no such illusion. Just as Britain cannot rid itself of 1200 known terrorists because they can claim legal asylum, Israel is unwilling to simply invade Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon, and tell their populations to pack up and leave. That would be “ethnic cleansing,” a loudly declared sin during the Clinton years.

Morally flexible as always, the Left has now decided that ethnic cleansing is a very good solution for the very existence of Israel. However, Israel will not agree.

It is not a pleasant thing to contemplate, but the time may come when Israel will feel compelled to move enemy populations out of the neighboring territories. That will not happen until a deep re-evaluation takes place. It will not happen until Europe and America are too scared and preoccupied by the jihadist threat to care. But for sane and rational leaders, it is a sensible long-term goal. Neutralizing jihadi populations will not lead to an everlasting peace, but it is a rational option for the future. It may purchase some safety and security for a period of years. That is all any nation can hope for.
Read the whole thing.


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