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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Q&A with Caroline Glick

National Review Online has a question and answer session with Caroline Glick that ought to be required reading for all of us. The occasion is the publication of Glick's book, Shackled Warrior, which I will graciously accept as a gift if any of you want to buy it for me :-). I'm going to give you a teaser of the interview, but you really must read the whole thing.
Lopez: But why won’t Washington let Israel win?

Glick: For the U.S. to support an Israeli victory over its foes, Washington would have to acknowledge that the war against Israel and the war against the U.S. are one and the same. Such a U.S. move would also necessitate an acknowledgement of the nature of the war that is being waged against the U.S. Yet as the experience of the past seven years has made clear, the U.S. prefers to ignore the identity of its enemy.

It is due to this stubborn denial of the nature of the war that the U.S. has preferred to refer to the war as a “war on terror” instead of a war on jihad. And it is due to this refusal to accept the nature of the enemy that jihadist leaders and jihadist states are referred to as “extremists” or “thugs.”

Since embracing Israel as a crucial ally and not only letting Israel win but encouraging it to do so would prevent the U.S. from continuing its policy of denying the nature of the war, the U.S. has insisted on pretending that the war against Israel is completely unrelated to the war being waged against it. In short, ignoring the nature of the war against Israel is a central component of the strategy of denying the nature of the war and so avoiding the need to fight it in a coherent fashion.


Lopez: Has Europe betrayed Israel?

Glick: I think that the root of Europe’s refusal to support Israel is Europe’s refusal to accept the true lessons of the Holocaust. The lesson that Europe took from the Holocaust is that nationalism is bad. This of course, is absurd. Nationalism is neutral. Its relative badness or goodness is a direct function of how any specific nation behaves. The true lesson of the Holocaust is that nations and individuals have a responsibility to distinguish between good and evil and to support good and fight evil. Israel’s struggle against its neighbors, who refuse to accept it as a sovereign state just as Europeans refused to accept Jews as individuals in the 20th century, constitutes a moral challenge to Europe. And since Europe has refused to discard its moral relativism for moral choice, Europeans project their own moral blindness and weakness on Israel.


Lopez: How bad would a President Obama be for Israel? Why should that question matter to Americans?

Glick: Senator Barack Obama would be bad for Israel most of all because he refuses to acknowledge that there is a jihad being waged against the free world. Indeed, he refuses to acknowledge that there is such a thing as an “enemy” in international affairs. And as a consequence, he is unable to understand what an ally is. As the U.S.’s most stalwart ally in the Middle East, and as the frontline state in the global jihad, Israel will likely suffer greatly if Senator Obama is elected to the White House.

There are several reasons that Americans should care about the fact that an Obama White House will be hostile towards Israel. First, when Islamists perceive Israel as weak they become emboldened. And when they become emboldened, they tend to attack not only Israel but the U.S. as well. Indeed, some of the largest attacks against the U.S. — like the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983 — came when the U.S. was most hostile towards Israel.

Second, when the U.S. places pressure on Israel, Israel is perceived as weak by the Muslim world. And when this happens, the tendency for wars to break out is increased. So when the U.S. has in the past blamed Israel for regional instability — the Arabs and Iran — which are the actual sources of that instability — exploit the situation by attacking Israel and sending the region into a tailspin. One can for instance attribute Yassir Arafat’s decision to attack Israel in 1996 — an attack which left 15 Israelis dead — to the Clinton administration’s massive pressure on the new Netanyahu government to accept the PLO as its “peace partner.”

Finally, U.S. pressure on Israel tends to weaken Israel and as I have argued, Israel is perceived by the jihadists as the frontline state in their war, the ultimate aim of which is global domination and the destruction of the U.S. So when the U.S. weakens Israel, the U.S. appears weak. Jihadists are then emboldened to attack not only Israel, but also the U.S. This is why, for instance, Shiite violence in Iraq rose steeply after Israel was perceived as having lost the war in Lebanon with Hezbollah in 2006. And Israel ended the war when it was under tremendous pressure from Secretary Rice to accept a ceasefire that left Hezbollah fully intact and free to rebuild its forces with Iranian and Syrian assistance.

All of this happened under U.S. administrations which in their day were considered friendly towards Israel. If Sen. Obama, who is perceived as sympathetic to the jihadists, is elected, the consequences of U.S. appeasement of Iran and others at Israel’s expense will likely be more profound — both for Israel and for the U.S.
There's much, much more. Read the whole thing.


At 8:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think that standing to thwart history can no longer be the conservative answer. It must be rolled back to ensure a safer world.


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