Three guys, a trailer, and Israel’s survival

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The Olmert-Livni-Barak government is apparently maneuvering to stand down on Iran, and they'd like the US to be blamed for their timidity. A careful reading of a bizarre article in Sunday's edition of Ha'aretz brings this point home clearly.

The report details Israel's recent agreement with the US to deploy the X-Band high powered early warning radar system in Israel. The system will be manned by a team of three US military personnel from a trailer somewhere in the Negev.

The US's willingness to deploy the system is largely the consequence of ardent lobbying efforts by US Congressman Mark Kirk. Kirk's successful push for the deployment of the X-Band system in Israel is a great boon for the country's defensive capabilities. The X-Band system can detect incoming missiles from 500-600 miles. Currently, Israel's early warning system is only able to detect missiles from 100 miles out. The earlier detection capacity means that in the event of an Iranian attack, Israel's Arrow missiles will be able to intercept and destroy incoming missiles before they reach Israeli territory and so even their debris will fall outside the country.

BUT ACCORDING to unnamed Israeli "defense officials" who spoke with Ha'aretz, the price that Israel will be forced to pay for this increased defensive capacity is prohibitive. Those "defense officials" claim that the US forced Israel to agree that in exchange for the X-Band system, Israel will not attack Iran either preemptively or retroactively without US permission, because were Israel to attack Iran, the three American guys and their trailer could become a target for an Iranian missile.

If Ha'aretz and the "defense officials" are right, then that means that Defense Minister Ehud Barak – who concluded the deal with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates during his visit to Washington last month – agreed to concede Israel's right to take whatever action it deems necessary to prevent its national destruction. Barak conceded Israel's right to prevent its own annihilation in exchange for three guys and a trailer and the capacity to live with a greater sense of security under Iranian nuclear threat. This sense of security will last for as long as Iran doesn't develop satellite-based warheads or for as long as Iran doesn't prove the X-Band radar or the Arrow 3 missiles incapable of actually intercepting incoming nuclear warheads.

Since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and all their colleagues in the government have been silent on the deal, it can be assumed that they back Barak's move. So again, acting on the authority of the entire Kadima-Labor-Shas government, according to "defense officials," and Ha'aretz, Barak just agreed to give up Israel's right to attack Iran's nuclear installations. And the Americans made him do it.

THE HA'ARETZ report did not include any mention of attempts to verify the "defense officials" claims with the Americans. And in a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post on Sunday night, Kirk vociferously denied their allegations.

"There is no quid pro quo," he said.

"You mean that the US did not say that in exchange for deploying the X-Band system Israel needs to receive US permission to attack Iran?"

"No, the US made no such demand," Kirk said.

"The basic idea is that a US ally getting nuked is a bad thing. The X-Band system increases the likelihood that such an attack would fail," he continued.

Moreover, far from sending a message that the US would work to block an Israeli preemptive attack against Iran, Kirk argued that the deployment of the X-Band system manned by a US crew "will send a message to Iran, that Israel has powerful political support from its ally against any Iranian threat."

Kirk also argued that the US will support a decision by Israel's government to attack Iran. As he put it, "If the Israeli government makes the difficult decision [that it must launch a preemptive attack against Iran], that is when Israel will need its allies the most. And that is when the US will be called in to show what it means to have us as an ally."

So if Kirk – the US official most responsible for the X-Band deal – flatly denies that the US is using the X-Band deployment to prevent Israel from attacking Iran, what were those unidentified "defense officials" who spoke with Ha'aretz trying to achieve by making false allegations against the US? And why did Ha'aretz's reporters not bother to call Kirk or the Pentagon to verify their amazing claims?

SADLY, THE answer is clear. Those "defense officials" were carrying out what has become standard practice for Israeli leftists over the past 15 years. They were working to demoralize the Israeli public into believing that it is inevitable that we cannot defeat our enemies or take any effective military steps to protect ourselves from their aggression.

For its part, in its unquestioning reporting of the story, Ha'aretz was doing what the Israeli media – led by Ha'aretz – has been doing since 1993. It was helping leftist politicians demoralize the public into believing that we have no option of defeating our enemies and must therefore simply try to appease them as best we can, hunker down behind high walls and shields, and hope someone else will defend us.

Since the Rabin-Peres government reversed what had been Israeli policy since 1967 and in 1993 decided to embrace the PLO – a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of the country – as a peace partner, every single leftist government has claimed that Israel has no ability to defend itself. In 1993, the government embraced the radical Left's unsubstantiated claim that it was Israel's fault the Palestinians wanted to destroy us. And two years after the IDF ended the Palestinian uprising, the government also claimed that the IDF couldn't protect us from Palestinian terror and that Yasser Arafat would do a better job of defending us than our own army.

The media supported their absurd claims and demonized their critics as warmongers, extremists and enemies of peace.

Then there was Barak's disastrous unilateral withdrawal of IDF forces from south Lebanon in May 2000. Barak embraced the factitious claims of the radical anti-Zionist Left that the only reason Hizbullah was attacking Israel was because IDF forces were deployed in south Lebanon. Like the radical Left, Barak promised that once Israel withdrew, Hizbullah would disband its army and become just another peaceful political party in Lebanon.

The media, for their part lobbied obsessively for the withdrawal. All withdrawal opponents were demonized as warmongers, extremists and enemies of peace.

THEN THERE was the Palestinian terror war which began in September 2000. For a year and a half, as the Israeli casualty count mounted daily, the Sharon-Peres government told us that we had no military option to defeat the terrorists. The US would abandon us if we attacked the Palestinian Authority and anyway, the IDF was no match for terror cells.

The media for their part pushed the narrative of Israeli helplessness. All proponents of military victory were demonized as warmongers, extremists and enemies of peace

Despite the IDF's successful defeat of terror forces in Judea and Samaria during and subsequent to Operation Defense Shield in April 2002, it took the leftist politicians and their media flacks no time to reinstate their narrative of Israeli powerlessness. Within weeks of the defeat of the terror forces in Judea and Samaria, the Labor Party, the media and later former prime minister Ariel Sharon argued that Israel could do nothing to defend against Gazan terror and therefore, should simply withdraw its forces and civilians from the Gaza Strip.

And again, those who pointed out that Israel had never really tried to defeat the terror networks in Gaza were silenced. Those who warned that Gaza would become the new south Lebanon were demonized as warmongers and extremists and enemies of peace.

Hizbullah's offensive against Israel in July 2006 was an unwelcome development for the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government and the media. It was the war their opponents had warned would come as a result of ill-conceived Israeli withdrawals. They wanted that war to go away as quickly as possible.

Refusing to fight the war with any determination, they told the public that we had no interest in winning. We didn't want to get bogged down again the Lebanese "mud," they said. There was no "military solution," they pronounced. The US, they lied, opposed an Israeli ground invasion of Lebanon. Only the UN and the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese military could defend Israel, they claimed.

So they sued for a cease-fire, which as their critics warned, paved the way for Hizbullah's takeover of Lebanon. And the media praised their wisdom and silenced their critics by castigating the latter as warmongers, extremists and enemies of peace.

THIS THEN is the historical backdrop against which the government's current attempt to demoralize the public into believing that it is futile to attempt an attack on Iran's nuclear installations is being carried out. But there is a qualitative difference between the government's newest attempt to wriggle out of its responsibility to defend the country and its previous derelictions of duty.

This is the first time that the threat the government seeks to ignore is actually capable of annihilating the country. By claiming again here that the US will abandon us if we attack, the government is telling us that we have no choice other than to live in a world where a regime openly committed to destroying our country and our people has the means to carry out their designs. And in its unquestioning parroting of the government's line, the media is collaborating with this unacceptable state of affairs.

If there was ever a situation requiring the public to take to the streets, this is it.

Since Israel's founding, there has been an unspoken social compact between the public and our government. We all understand that existential threats have to be defeated. We don't discuss these things. We simply trust our governments to protect us.

The Ha'aretz report signals that the current government is breaching this compact by preparing its case for inaction. This situation simply cannot be allowed to stand. And given that we are now in elections season, a public outcry today has the capacity to force our media to cover this story and so compel our politicians to either fulfill their part of the bargain or step down.

While the US is happy to augment our defensive capacity, the Pentagon has been clear that it will not attack Israel's enemies for us. That is our job. And we the Israeli public must compel our leaders to do their job.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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7 Comments

  • Marc Handelsman, USA 08/26/2008 at 1:17

    Israel’s survival shouldn’t depend on three guys operating the Band-Aid system from an Urban Assault Vehicle. Discerning readers know that using unsubstantiated claims from unnamed officials is sloppy journalism. It’s better to consider the source before speculating. The Jerusalem Post was correct to interview Congressman Kirk. Israel doesn’t need a permission slip before attacking any enemy. And let’s pray that when the US is called in to show what it means to be Israel’s ally that it follows through. Anything less, would be disastrous for Israel and the United States.

    Reply
  • Bill K. 08/26/2008 at 7:52

    It is a falsehood that the United States will not support Israel, if Israel does not heed the advice, orders actually, coming out of Washington D.C. Outside of the foreign policy establishment there is great admiration for Israel in this country. If Israel were truly under duress there would be an immediate hue and cry to aid our ally.
    But Israel must find the backbone to stand up to the appeasers – the Gates, the Rices and the Bushs – in the U.S. before it can defeat the enemies that surround it. Israel’s homegrown appeasers and defeatists must be discredited too.
    The appeasers in both countries assert that it is not possible to win a war against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria or Iran and co-existence is the only way out. And the appeasers are right as long as Israel attempts to fight a war on their terms. This is the “just war” doctrine that prohibits Israel from using overwhelming force and makes every civilian casualty a potential war crime. Obviously no war is winnable on these terms.
    An all out, no-holds barred war, though brutal at the time, over the long run produces far fewer casualties on both sides than a drawn out inconclusive war. Such as Israel and the United States are fighting now.
    http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-spring/just-war-theory.asp

    Reply
  • Richard 08/26/2008 at 7:56

    I find it hard to comprehend the mentality of the anti-Zionist left. For my part, I have a hunch that part of this is emulating a retreat into historical “passive” Jewish mentality. The false idea is being propagated that if Israel and Israelis stay quiet and offer no provocation, while providing a moral example of how to live, that this will somehow disarm our enemies hatreds.
    One of the aspects of seeking to begin a fightback against this mysticism of defeat must be to find a political party capable to taking the decision to defend Israel by warlike means. I would like to know: is Likud capable of this and in the long run does this require the elimination of proportional representation in the electoral system and its replacement with a First Past the Post system of individual member constiuencies?
    The other aspect of this mysticism of defeat is that is religious. I do not mean for a minute that it is tied to some nefarious aspect of Judaism, but rather like many aspects of the 21st Century West, the passions that used to be tied up in religion have been shaken loose and now attach themselves to various causes. The upside of this is that whether it is anti-Zionism, environmentalism or political correctness, totalitarian politics, possessing a religious-like fervour have been common in mainstream discourse. This manifests in the inability to consider analysis or discourse with opponents and the assumption of “truth” or absolute right. Match this with the rhetoric used by the defeatists whereby a plan is concieved, praised and defended blindly against domestic “enemies”. Indeed, the defeatists would rather defeat their poltical “enemies” (the conservative right) and thereby hand their country over to genocidal thugs than admit their plans fail in every aspect of common sense.

    Reply
  • Timothy Kriete FOR ISRAEL FOREVER MORE AMEN 08/26/2008 at 12:19

    Dear Caroline Glick My Precious Sister FOR
    ZION’S SAKE (GENESIS 12:1-3,ISAIAH 62 AMEN);
    AMEN Sis You Are TRULY A Daughter Of Zion In
    Every Sense Of The Word Caroline Glick, I Thank
    The LORD God Of ALL Flesh (Jeremiah 32:26-27)
    For Your Courage, Strength, And BOLDNESS To
    Declare The TRUTH And To RELENTLESSLY SOUND
    THE SHOFAR FOR ZION’S SAKE AMEN. I Am Heart
    Broken That Israel CONTINUES To Release The
    SWORN ENEMIES OF ISRAEL FROM JAIL, I Could Care
    Less WHY, I Just Cannot Stand The COWARDICE The
    Olmert-Livni-Barak-Peres Government Of CLOWNS!
    What On ELOHIM’s Green Earth Do They Even Dare
    Hope To Accomplish By Releasing These MURDERING
    ANIMALS FROM THE JAILS??? ALL Have Sworn To Do
    MORE OF THE SAME, Or WORSE And We ALL Know They
    Mean To At The 1ST Opportunity Given Them By
    ABU MAZEN THE FATAH TERROR CHIEF! The Only TRUE
    Difference Between Abu Mazen And ARAFAT Is Abu
    Mazen Wears A Suit Not A Rag On His Head, Same
    Is True Of Ismail Haniyeh The Hamas Terror Chief
    Sis, YOU KNOW And So Does Everyone Living In The
    Land Of Israel The LORD Our God PROMISED BY
    ETERNAL COVENANT TO THE SEED OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC,
    AND JACOB (NOT ABU MAZEN) Genesis 12:1-3 AMEN.
    I Call It Like It Is, His Name Is Abu Mazen The
    Terrorist! His Heart Has NOT Changed Nor Shall
    It Change! Please Forgive Me If I Seem BITTER
    But The Truth Is I AM HEART-BROKEN FOR ZION’S
    SAKE SIS! Exodus 18:19-23 Declares What Moses’
    Father In Law Jethro’s Counseled To Moses, I
    Truly Believe If ANY Nation, Not Just ISRAEL
    The ETERNAL APPLE OF JEHOVAH EL SHADDAI’S EYES,
    Would Follow The WORD Of God (Psalm 119:105
    AMEN) THEN God Would Surely Subdue The Enemies
    Of That Nation Or Nations Caroline. It Is My
    ETERNAL PRAYER THAT VERY VERY VERY SOON ISRAEL
    REVEALS TO THE REST OF WORLD, “WE THE ISRAELIS
    HAVE OIL, WATER, FOOD, SO EVERYONE ELSE GO FLY
    A KITE, KISS OUR BEHINDS, AND LEAVE ISRAEL
    ALONE!” HERE IS BIBLICAL TRUTH FOR EVERYONE:
    AS THE NATIONS DO TO ISRAEL, SO THE LORD OUR
    GOD DOES MUCH, MUCH WORSE TO THE NATIONS OF THE
    WORLD (AS IT SHOULD BE BY THE WAY) BOO IF YOU
    WANT! I Am TRULY Glad NOT To Be In ANY Form Of
    Government Right Now, We Shall ALL Have To
    Stand Before JEHOVAH EL SHADDAI And Give An
    Account Of ALL The Foolish Things We Have Done
    As Nations AND AS PEOPLE, I WOULD NOT WANT TO
    BE ANYONE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY RIGHT NOW
    ON THIS EARTH ESPECIALLY ALL THE CAMEL DUNG
    THAT IS BEING SHOVED DOWN THE THROATS OF THE
    PEOPLE OF ISRAEL!!! Exodus 19:4-6 Declares
    The WORD Of God Given To Moses For The CHILDREN
    OF ISRAEL, I Shall Continue To Pray The LORD
    Our God To Be Merciful To The People For ZION’S
    SAKE ISAIAH 53-63 AMEN. “Heavenly Father In The
    Name Of Yeshua The HEBREW Rabbi I Eternally
    Pray For Peace Of Jerusalem (Psalm 122) The
    ETERNAL UN-DIVIDED CAPITAL OF THY COVENANT
    PEOPLE ISRAEL THY ETERNAL COVENANT PEOPLE. I
    Lift Them ALL Up To You ELOHIM, All The Seed
    Of Abraham, Isaac, And Jacob WORLD WIDE. LORD
    Gather The LOST SHEEP Of The House Of Israel
    Unto Thy COVENANT Land You Promised Them LORD.
    Thy Servant The Hebrew Prophet Jeremiah
    Declared YOUR WORDS LORD God, Let Them Be
    Manifested Now And Forever More On Earth AS IT
    IS IN HEAVEN LORD. Smite, Confuse, Confound,
    Defeat, And TOTALLY BANKRUPT ALL ENEMIES OF
    ISRAEL LORD. ALL People That TRULY AGAPE’ LOVE
    Israel And The Jewish People World Wide, Both
    Jew And Gentile, Man And Woman, Free And
    Slave, Manifest Your Shakina Glory Through Them
    So They Can HELP YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL LORD GOD.
    Please LORD Our God, I Beg You, Forgive Thy
    People, Sanctify Them, Save Their Souls, Gather
    Them From The Ends Of The Earth (Jeremiah 31)
    And Show Them Your Great Love, Mercy, And Grace
    By Subduing Their Enemies, Healing The Land,
    And Blessing Your Covenant People With The Dew
    Of The Heavens, Send Water To Overflow But NOT
    Flood The Sea Of Galilee, Teach Thy People To
    Sow Seeds And Reap Harvests Of The Earth You
    Created, Send Forth Your Blessings Upon Thy
    People, Upon The Children, Upon The Parents,
    Upon The Land Of Israel So That The World Knows
    That JEHOVAH EL SHADDAI LIVES FOREVER ON THE
    THRONE OF GLORY IN HEAVEN WATCHING OVER HIS
    COVENANT PEOPLE ISRAEL THE APPLE OF HIS EYES.
    Fill Thy People With Thy Holy Spirit, Give Them
    All Wise And Discerning Hearts LORD, Thy Will
    Be Done On Earth As It Is IN HEAVEN In The Name
    Of Thy Only Begotten Son THE TRUEST LOVER Of ALL
    Women’s Soul The Hebrew Rabbi YESHUA The ONLY
    Messiah Of ALL Flesh I Eternally Pray AMEN”.
    Numbers 6:24-27, Habakkuk 2:1-3, Haggai 2:8,
    Amos 3:7, Malachi 3:1-12 Praise Ye The LORD 🙂

    Reply
  • Marcel Cousineau 08/26/2008 at 14:28

    Still our eyes failed us,
    Watching vainly for our help;
    In our watching we watched
    For a nation that could not save us.
    Lamentations 4:17
    Israel’s strict adherence to every jot and tittle of the U.S. Road Map has led to any and everything but peace.You’ve done everything you have been told to do,never saying no and yet peace is farther away than it has ever been.
    Can’t you snap out of the delusion ?
    The road Israel has chosen to follow gets much bumpier from here on out.
    You contuine to fail to connect the dots as it has only been since Israel capitulated to the U.S land for peace scam that Israel has returned to the past status of ghetto,diaspora Jew incapable of acting ,thinking,surviving on their own.
    You always have to run to your masters in Washington for permission to do anything and it’s clear you love it this way.
    GROW UP LITTLE CHILD,America is not your daddy !
    The reason Israel’ leaders always work against Israel’s interests and can’t think straight is that they serve other interests which are in direct opposition to Israel and it’s survival.Any way you try and spin it ,the U.S. and it’s Road Map has been a major curse on Israel and not a blessing bringing true and lasting peace. Everything but peace has come upon Israel since the cursed U.S. Peace process 0f 1993.
    Try and get a Yitzak Shamir who stood up against U.S. intimidation elected today.That would be considered national suicide by those who see the U.S. as Israel’s hope and salvation.
    Some of us know why so many terrorists ,even those with blood on thier hands were released before Secretary Rice’s arrival in Israel.
    Ghetto Jews who rule Israel today always do what they are told and never resist,always working dillignetly for acceptance and going the extra mile to please the demi-gods who rule over them.trult Israel has chosen a cursed road and it smothers the nation.

    Reply
  • MarcH 08/27/2008 at 21:23

    CG – In last week’s column you wrote the below about U.S. tugging the leash on Israel in Lebanon 2006. Not a 100% contradiction of your point in this week’s column but a strong counter-point. I wouldn’t want to fight a war where my only option was infantry assaults against dug-in Hiz fighters and strategic strikes against Lebanese infrastructure and Syrian bases were off limits. Wouldn’t that have been fighting the war Hizballah/Syria/Iran wanted?
    “The US continued to ignore Saniora’s subservience to Hizbullah during the Israel-Hizbullah war in 2006. Hoping to strengthen him, the US barred Israel from attacking Lebanese infrastructures serving Hizbullah’s war machine. That US decision made it much more difficult for Israel to prevail in the conflict. And Israel’s failure to defeat Hizbullah/Iran in 2006 paved the way for Hizbullah’s seizure of power in May”.

    Reply
  • Chanoch Ne'eman 09/01/2008 at 20:28

    This is a great survey of this trend in recent Israeli history – the trend of claiming military impotence.

    Reply

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