By Alan Caruba
On Thursday Jews in Israel and around the world will celebrate Passover. It is devoted to the story of their escape from slavery in ancient Egypt.
It took three millennia for the Jews to reestablish Israel as their homeland and they have not enjoyed a day of true peace in sixty years. The world shuns the Israelis, but they have learned the true meaning of “Never again” and it is a lesson the world needs to learn as well.
In December 2008 Hamas felt the sting of retaliation for firing more than six thousand rockets into Israel from Gaza over a period of several years. Then, of course, they declared victory.
To the north, Hezbollah has brought ruin to Beirut and parts of Lebanon by taking on Israel in 2006. Though the Israelis did not perform up to their usual standard, they nonetheless inflicted enough damage to discourage further attacks since then. The exercise in Gaza was masterful, demonstrating they had learned some new tactics.
Both Hamas and Hezbollah have reason to fear Israel.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, also known as Fatah, is kept alive by the Israelis in order to have someone with whom to negotiate, but Fatah, headquartered on the West Bank, barely escaped alive from your typical internecine Arab warfare when Hamas kicked it out of Gaza.
Iran, long on fiery and provocative rhetoric will soon get a taste of what happens when you threaten Israel with nuclear annihilation.
When Syria tried to build some kind of nuclear facility, the Israelis made a parking lot out of the place in September 2007, but Iran’s ayatollahs and its annoying president, Mamoud Ahmadinejad, probably think Israel will not attack their nuclear facilities.
Iran should fear Israel.
The United States will not be consulted, primarily because it cannot be trusted not to tip off the Iranians or anyone else for that matter. The latest blather out of Foggy Bottom, otherwise known as the State Department, is the same old sad stuff about not building more settlements on the West Bank and working harder with Fatah for a two-state solution.
Well, it’s a new day in Israel and two men in particular are going to write some history together. One, of course, is the estimable Benjamin Netanyahu, the new prime minister, and the other is Avigdor Lieberman, the new foreign minister. These are two Jews of a generation that grew up during the many early wars that Israel had to fight for its very survival. They have a very different world view.
In taking his new office, Lieberman said, “The fact that we say the word ‘peace’ twenty times a day will not bring peace any closer.”
Lieberman had some advice for the free world. “The Westphalia order of states is dead, replaced by a modern system that includes states, semi-states, and irrational international players.” That is as neat a summation of the way things are as you will hear from any statesman.
As for the irrational players, one has little doubt he is referring to al Qaeda and Iran.
Almost always ignored in any comments directed at Israel are the herculean efforts it has made over decades to engage the Palestinians in an effort to achieve peace and a two-state solution of which the Oslo Accords are perhaps the best known.
Lieberman and Netanyahu are no fans of concessions. They saw what happened after Israel pulled out of South Lebanon and after the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. It did not bring peace. From Lieberman’s point of view, the only thing concessions have brought Israel is further isolation on the world stage and more death to Israelis.
Masterminding and leading that isolation has been the United Nations. We shall watch it in action during Durban II later in April. The first such conference was infamous for its anti-Semitism and the second is likely to be a repeat.
Of the entire world’s population, the Jews represent about 0.03 percent. Israel, a tiny spot on the map of the Middle East with some seven million Jews (and more than a million Muslim citizens as well) will do what it must to survive against enemies that deny the Holocaust, defile them daily with rank condemnation, and want them all dead.
When the Israelis are through ensuring their safety and the smoke clears, the world will pay attention. The most fundamental right of individuals and nations is self-defense.