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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Israel's Arabists

Caroline Glick explains why so many people in Washington now see Israel as a strategic liability rather than a strategic asset:
THE SAD truth is that for the past 16 years, the greatest champion of the view that Israel is a strategic liability rather than a strategic asset for the US, and that the US gains more from a weak Israel than a strong Israel, has been Israel itself. Successive governments in Jerusalem, from the Rabin-Peres government to the Barak, Sharon and Olmert governments, all embraced the Arabist view that regional stability and hence Israeli security is enhanced by a weakened Israel.

Ehud Olmert's much-derided 2005 assertion that "we are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies," was simply a whiny affirmation of Israel's leaders' embrace of the Arabist worldview.

Kaplan cited Israel's incompetent handling of the war with Hizbullah in 2006 and its bungling of the campaign against Hamas in Gaza this past December and January as proof of the Arabist claim that it is a strategic burden.

What he failed to recognize was that the Olmert government made a clear decision not to win those wars. Doing so would have exposed as folly the government's central assertion that Israel is better off being weak than strong. In light of this, it is obvious that the Arabist desire to see Israel weakened is not supported by Israel's performance in Lebanon and Gaza. Israel's performance in Lebanon and Gaza was a consequence of its leaders' adoption of the Arabist worldview. Had they rejected it, the results of those wars would likely have been much different.

So too, Israel's leaders' adoption of the Arabist view caused the Rabin-Peres government to empower and legitimize terrorists from Fatah and the PLO in the 1993 Oslo Accord. It similarly convinced the Barak government to surrender south Lebanon to Hizbullah in 2000, and it persuaded the Sharon government to surrender Gaza to Hamas in 2005.

In each case, buying into the Arabist view that stability is enhanced through Israeli weakness rather than strength, Israel exacerbated regional instability and imperiled its own citizens by empowering its enemies at its own expense. Most devastatingly, the Sharon and Olmert governments imperiled Israel's very survival by deciding from 2003 through 2008 to trust the US, Europe and the UN to prevent Iran from acquiring the means to destroy the Jewish state.
And the way to turn it around? By destroying Iran's nuclear capability.

Read the whole thing.


At 5:50 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

We'll have to wait to see if the Netanyahu government can escape the Arabist grip on Israel policy. 16 years of folly should be enough!


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