Israel and the “realists”

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Voices in America calling for downgrading US relations with Israel seem to multiply by the day. One of the new voices in the growing anti-Israel chorus is the Atlantic‘s well-respected military affairs commentator, Robert Kaplan. This week Kaplan authored a column for the magazine’s online edition titled “Losing patience with Israel.”



There he expressed his support for the US to downgrade its relations with Israel while pressuring Israel to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and to facilitate the establishment of a Judenrein Palestinian state.



Although Kaplan’s piece adds nothing new to the current pile-on against Israel, it is a relatively concise summary of the so-called “realist” view of Israel, and for that reason it is worth considering his arguments.



As Kaplan sees things, the US’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan in the eight years since the September 11 attacks have transformed America’s interests and goals in the Middle East. The frustrations in Afghanistan and the combat losses in Iraq have rendered “the search for stability, rather than democracy, paramount, and created a climate in which interests are to be valued far more than friends.”



The notion that friends and interests may actually not be in conflict is roundly rejected by Kaplan, particularly in the case of Israel. He gives three reasons why the US’s alliance with Israel no longer serves its interests. First, he repeats the familiar “realist” claim that the only way for America to build good relations with the Muslim world is by distancing itself from Israel.



Second, he argues that after September 11, the US was wrong to believe that it shares common interests with Israel. Whereas Israel’s interests would be served by preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, in Kaplan’s view, the US can afford to look on a nuclear-armed Iran with indifference. On the other hand, an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear installations can place US forces in Iraq at risk. Hence, as far as Kaplan is concerned, American interests are best served by allowing Iran to become a nuclear power and preventing Israel from doing anything to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.



The third reason why Kaplan views Israel as a strategic liability to the US in this new era of “realism” is because it is no longer a strong military power. As he put it, Israel’s failure to defeat Hizbullah and Hamas in its recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza “reduced its appeal.”



LIKE HIS anti-Israel colleagues in Washington, Kaplan claims that his is a “realist” approach to the region. But this is untrue. The realist foreign policy doctrine assumes that all nations’ foreign policies reflect their national interests rather than their sentiments. That is, in determining their foreign policies, states are not motivated by their passions, but by rational choice.



Beginning in the first Bush administration, Arabists like former US secretary of state James Baker began co-opting the realist label. In so doing, they sought to obfuscate their sentimental pro-Arab views of Israel behind the veneer of rational choice. Specifically, they popularized the anti-realist notion that due to their emotional rejection of Israel, Arab and Muslim states will not support America unless it puts the screws in Israel.



The realist foreign policy doctrine rejects this notion out of hand. Given its assertion that states base their foreign policies on unsentimental assessments of their national interests, true realists would argue that there is no rational bar to enemy states sharing the same allies if doing so advances their national interests. And they would be correct. Indeed, examples of such behavior abound.



India and Pakistan are enemies and yet they both ardently seek closer ties with the US. So too, China has massively expanded its ties to the US since 1971 despite US sponsorship of Taiwan.



The same is also the case with the Arabs and Israel. Contrary to the Arabists’ impassioned claims, the waxing and waning of America’s relations with Arab states over the years has borne little to no relation to the state of America’s relations with Israel.



The US and the Saudis have been strategic allies for upwards of 70 years. These ties have been based on their mutual interest in the free flow of Saudi oil. US-Saudi ties have been consistently maintained regardless of the vicissitudes of Washington’s views of Jerusalem, or even of Washington’s views of Saudi Arabia.



In 1972, when president Anwar Sadat kicked the Soviet military out of Egypt and began moving his country toward the US, America was rapidly expanding its strategic ties to Israel. Sadat’s decision to switch Cold War camps was a product of his own assessment of Egypt’s national interests.



In December 2003, Libya paved the way to renewing its diplomatic relations with the US by agreeing to disarm from its illicit nuclear program. Libya’s action came at a time of unprecedentedly warm US-Israel relations. Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi made his move because of the US invasion of Iraq, not because of US ties to Israel.



All of these examples disprove the Arabists’ most ardently held conviction. And the fact that this conviction is so easily refuted raises the question of why the belief that the US’s alliance with Israel harms its ability to maintain and expand its alliances with Muslim and Arab states holds such currency today. The fact that President Barack Obama and his senior foreign policy advisers are themselves Arabists no doubt is a significant contributing factor to the increased popularity of fake realism. But their hostility toward Israel doesn’t explain how Israel’s adversaries continue to successfully hide their Arabist ideology behind the “realist” label.



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.



TODAY, WITH Iran on the cusp of a nuclear arsenal, Fatah openly calling for a renewal of the Palestinian jihad against Israel, Hizbullah pointing its expanded missile arsenal at Tel Aviv and Dimona, and the Obama administration, with the help of an ever-expanding chorus of foreign policy “realists,” advocating full-blown appeasement of both Iran and the Palestinians at Israel’s expense, it is clear that the time has come for Israel to end the Arabist charade. The time has come for Israel to stop being an engine of its own demise.



The Netanyahu government has a clear choice before it. On the one hand, it has Defense Minister Ehud Barak calling for business as usual. This week Barak recommended that Israel preemptively surrender to the Obama administration and accept its demand that Israel capitulate to Fatah. On the other hand, Ministers Yuli Edelstein and Yisrael Katz pointed out that at its leadership conclave in Bethlehem, Fatah exposed itself as an implacable enemy of Israel. Both Edelstein and Katz demanded that the government stop pretending Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is a moderate who is interested in peace and expose him for the fraud that he is.



Edelstein and Katz are right. It is vital for Israel to stop catering its foreign policy rhetoric to the preferences of its Arabist camp. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must courageously acknowledge that Fatah remains a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s violent demise.



But more important than harsh words about Fatah are actions against Iran. With a growing international consensus that Teheran has passed the point of no return on its nuclear program and will produce nuclear bombs in the next six to 12 months if left to its own devices, it is clear that as far as Iran is concerned, words are of no value today. Only actions count.



Israel’s willingness and capacity to effectively strike Iran’s nuclear installations will be the ultimate proof that Arabists like Kaplan are wrong to castigate Israel as a strategic burden. By freeing itself, the region and the world from the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, Israel will strike a blow not only at Iran’s ability to wipe it off the map, but at the threefold contentions of the false realists.



An Israeli strike would prevent a regional nuclear arms race by freeing Arab states of the need to develop their own nuclear arsenals and so prove that a strong Israel enhances regional stability. An Israeli strike will rebuild Israel’s eroded deterrent posture and put paid to the notion that Israel is no longer a military power to be reckoned with. And the destruction of Iran’s nuclear capacity will weaken its military posture throughout the region and so weaken its terror proxies from Iraq to Lebanon to Gaza to Afghanistan.



In short, a successful Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear installations will demonstrate to real rather than fake realists that a strong Israel is indispensable to regional stability and international security.



In 1995, Kaplan published a critical book about the Arabist elite at the State Department in which he condemned their simplistic foreign policy outlook. No doubt an Israeli body-blow to the Arabist worldview will compel Kaplan and other new members of the anti-Israel camp to reconsider their views.



Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.


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  • Philip Safran 08/08/2009 at 1:53

    This is basically a downward spiral. As Israel shows weakness it is seen as useless in a strategic sense compared to Arab oil. As other nations become more hostile to Israsl, israelis feel weak and isolated and try harder to appease. It can only stop when Jews realize they have to rely on themselves for their survivval.

  • Bill K. 08/08/2009 at 4:13

    You have said everything that needs to be said about the necessity for Israel to attack Iran. Let’s hope that all those drills that the IAF has been practicing these past few months are being directed to that end.
    The first two of Kaplan’s points are simply ludicrous. The rational interests of the United States demand that we have an ally in the Mideast that shares our values i.e. political and economic freedom. Only Israel provides that. Every other Arab/Muslim state is either authoritarian or totalitarian. Any alliances with them should be at arms length with the understanding that if they want our protection and forbearance they had best keep the oil coming.
    Similarly, Kaplan’s insistence that the United States has nothing to worry about an Iranian nuclear weapon is madness. Besides the proliferation to other Arab states in the region that you mentioned the mullahs would be itching to try out their new weapons or use them to force a showdown for the purpose of intimidation. For example, Iran is already been meddling in the affairs of Iraq and Afghanistan to their detriment. How much further will Iran be emboldened when it has a few nukes in its arsenal? Does Kaplan think a nuclear exchange between Israel and Iran is nothing for the U.S. to be worried about?
    Kaplan’s third point illustrates that appeasement does not buy you any new friends. Your enemies despise you and believe you’ve gone soft while your erstwhile friends and allies think you have become unreliable. If Israel had steamrollered Hamas out of existence at the beginning of the year without a qualm, as it had the right and the ability to do, I doubt Kaplan, Gates and Obama would be trying put the squeeze on Israel now. Nothing impresses friend and foe more than bold, forceful and confident action in war.

  • Marcel 08/08/2009 at 7:51

    All the years of extreme loyalty and bending to U.S. pressure since the Carter administration has not made Israel the closest and most valued ally but the easiest stray dog to kick around.
    Israel has had about all the life kicked out of it by her ‘friend’ except for one derranged puppy who wants more kicking for Israel.
    Anyone remember what the Prime Minister’s beggardly defense minister said this week about Israel being quick to get on their knee’s and supplicate to Obama when his newest Mid East farce plan comes out ?
    Not even a wimper from the Zionist camp as Netanyahu allowed the enemy to hold their terrorist conference right next to Jerusalem because his Plantation Master Obama and second in charge over Israel,Hillary and Gen. Jones told him to permit this gathering of those working to erase Israel.
    There is no green light for Netanyahu to go off the Empire’s Plantation only more surrender and capitulation for the final soloution Road Map of the U.S. and Israel just keeps bending.
    When will the failed secular losers like Ehud Barak and his enabler be run out of power for good and not be returned for another debacle ?
    Soon there will be no more bending and you will have to defeat your enemies as the one who put the yoke of restraint around your neck will be broken into pieces.

  • getzel 08/08/2009 at 12:39

    Dear Caroline, Thanks for presenting an objective view.
    From Jim Baker to Obama, if one focuses on their actions, it is clear that these people have no use for Israel (Jews). Any carrots the USA is extending to Israel are only to gain access to Israel’s leaders: intelligence and thinking; which the USA then subverts.
    I have the view that:
    1) The US has done every thing it can to keep the mullahs in Iran in power. A good rogue terrorist supporting and terrorist arming state is good for the war business.
    2) Iraq was invaded to keep their second largest oil reserves off the market; maintain high prices of oil and have lots of money to extract from oil producing countries for weapons sales, Halliburton, and Bechtel. $20/bbl oil does not leave a lot for weapons purchases.
    3) OBLaden should be seen as a marketing director for various government owned weapons manufacturers parading as a religious person which h by English definition he could not be: no English definition of religious could be consistent with flying planes into buildings.
    4) The biggest challenge facing Israel, unless they let Iran blow Israel off the map, is teaching the public to recognize the truth about others intentions.
    5) For Israel to trust the USA government is like Israel trusting the government in Kuwait.
    6) Israel must adopt a policy of effectively presenting its positions and the folly of others positions.
    7) The USA et al demand a new terror state be established in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza that are identical in tenor to Iran and Afghanistan and Iran and Hezbully, and Hamas. So while the USA sends men to die fighting in Afghanistan, the USA demands a new Afghanistan be established in Israel. This appears far beyond “realist”.
    If someone does not agree with an analysis and calls the person names, they are invariably describing themselves. Refute it if you can with facts and inconsistencies that do not support the conclusions or re think your positions.

  • Ron Grandinetti 08/08/2009 at 12:48

    Caroline another great column.
    Mr. Kaplan is a knucklehead; first and foremost you don’t give up or sacrifice a true friend Israel to appease the Islam world.
    If the Arabs don’t like our relationship with Israel, tough sh-t, especially since you can trust Israel and as far as the Arab world is concerned they can’t be trusted.
    Kaplan’s assessment of Israel is in left field; for starters, Israel is our FRIEND. Maybe he should look it up in the dictionary. You can count on a FRIEND and I am sure most Americans will agree with me.
    Every one of the Arab countries have major human rights violations, they speak out of both sides of their mouths. They support terrorism and they don’t like the US as well as Israel
    Secondly the US should not recognize the present illegal government in Iran. The crooks stole the election. You want to go to bed with these bastards and kiss off Israel.
    Americans need to tell Barak Hussein Obama and Kaplan we don’t need to be kissing no Arab asses.
    The US needs to start drilling at home and go with nuclear energy and get the hell off of Arab oil.
    Another poor Kaplan assessment, Israel is a great military might that I would stack up against any Arab nation.
    If Kaplan had a brain he would be dangerous, the IDF’s have keep stability in the ME.
    Caroline I agree with you the last two wars were poorly fought and it was not your typical IDF MO.
    In each case I believe the military had their hands tied. Another example when liberal left leaning government officials start calling the shots.
    From what I gather on Israpundit a majority of Israelis are fed up with the governments continued efforts to satisfy the US.
    Israel has to take control of their government and quit listening to outside interest. The PA doesn’t want peace and until they and the rest of the Arab world recognizes Israel as a Jewish Nation they should discontinue and discussions and start reclaiming Israeli territory which includes all of Jerusalem the capital of Israel, Judea, Samaria. No freeze on construction and start dismantling all illegal Palestinian settlements. If any Palestinians wish to live in and under Israeli law that’s fine.

  • Marc Handelsman, USA 08/08/2009 at 19:34

    It is inevitable that the IAF will eventually attack Iranian nuclear sites because Iran will have the means to destroy Israel. One reason “un-realists” have lost patience with Israel is because of the weak leadership of liberal premiers. Israel cannot afford to weaken its resolve against Arab aggression. No matter what Israel does, it will not appease the wrath of Radical Islam, nor gain genuine acceptance from the West and the UN. Israel has nothing to prove to the World, and must defend its interests without apology.

  • Marcel 08/09/2009 at 8:32

    We know how the Palestinian’s (moslems) lie and twist history all the time to favor their evil plans.
    It seems that some who say they are for Israel are guilty of rewriting history to protect the friend of Israel’s enemies,the U.S.
    This is a reminder to those who are tempted to ignore the bully and only blame Israel for two recent failures which will be catastrophic for Israel soon.
    You had the opportunity to defeat Hizbollah in 2006 and instead you listend to the Bush/ Rice team and retreated.
    You had the opportunity to defeat Hamas in 2009 but instead you decided to retreat in early Jannuary as a gift of ‘peace’ to incoming enemy of Israel President Obama.
    You have failed to learn from these two tragic mistakes as you continue to play the same losing stratgedy of permission from the bully who torments you under his fraudelent peace.
    You are your own worst enemy as you exude weakness and capitulation to your enemies to please the friend of your enemies.

  • jonathan keiler 08/09/2009 at 13:05

    Caroline–excellent column as usual. The last paragraph of Kaplan’s article, instructing the US to force a settlement, largely contradicts his (probably correct) views in an earlier piece “Do the Palestinians Want a State” in which suggests (as have many others) that the Palestinians love their status as stateless victims and so by definition can’t be forced into any settlement. So twisting Israel’s arm is pointless. By the way, if you haven’t seen it you might find this article I did in Parameters of interest

  • David Custis Kimball 08/09/2009 at 14:36

    Reality is never simple, real numbers are more than integers, yet certain energy states change by jumps in energy along some simple integral step. That means you can follow them; that means that what is added can be taken away, and you will arrive at the same space or moment or some combo of the 4.
    Looking at the chain the addition and movements of the following individuals and we can all see where the problems continue to manifest. A kind of destiny, unless they are hunted down, eliminated and a connection is broken. That is a good thing, it will save lives and allow more money for food and fun, than weapons.
    Hitler’s dream of the flaming NY has been realized from his connections…. Hamas, Hezzbolah, ….. Amadinajab… and more on 9/11/2001. These connections cannot be assumed to stop… like a train … it’s purpose is only magnified by that victory’s inertia.

    ‘This new reality affirmed the unbroken line of continuity from generation to generation, an unbroken chain of terror from Adolf Hitler, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Sayyid Qutb, and Yasser Arafat to Hamas’s founder and spiritual leader. Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Sheikh.
    Omar Abd al-Rahman, and Ramzi Yousef, who planned the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, to Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta, to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the Pakistani Muslim terrorist who planned the kidnapping and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, and to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
    Of course to a liberal radical like Ward Churchill all of the above are revolutionary heros and thats what he teaches his students. Except Hitler of course. See Hitler was a national socialist while Ward is an international socialist like Stalin. The fact that Hitler’s Mein Kampf is revered by Islamists and a bestseller throughout the Arab world doesn’t mean their bad people. The important thing is that they share the same goal.’

    (Be sure to discover the full website.)
    We need to see what it is that wills to destroy us, to see what they have destroyed to believe that there is no appeasing, knowing appeasement empowers evil by incrimentally advancing their energy, focusing their minor defeat as a capitulation to some guilt, some energy drain that gives them the impression that our defeat is admitted and thereby their’s is assured.

  • BigB 08/10/2009 at 5:24

    The Israeli-Palestinian problem is increasingly becoming seen as a leftover irritant from a passing era.
    If that is the truth (which it probably is not) then nobody wll care if and when we solve the PA problem once and for all.
    Its not the fault of Israeli governments that the People of Israel keep demanding an accomodation with the arab invaders. Had the jews demanded an implementation of a plan that will drive the invaders out, the elected governments might have done something about it. The sad truth is that the jews of the 1936 Peel commision lines are still convinced these lines are sufficient, other Jews be damned. Only when the unfettered might of the PA descends on those Jews will they realize their error and demand. implore for a solution: eviction of the invaders

  • rhon 08/10/2009 at 8:39

    The day that the people of Israel remember they were not created to be a secular nation – but a chosen people, a royal priesthood – will be the day that Israel gains the only help she needs. That day will come, but at what cost? I pray for the peace of Jerusalem and am thankful for the “apple of God’s eye”.

  • George Z 08/10/2009 at 12:25

    So many words from so many people. But, you and all others, some recognized as experts with authoritive insights, blind. So what. Death is complete for all people in every generation. No one escapes death. What is the point of all the think tanks regarding Israel and its enemies? Obama is right on time. The United States has its own problems. Obama has come to finish us off. If the true issue is not spiritual, forget it. If the grave is the end of ones existence, who really cares.
    What is the end game here? Where is this headed? I cannot believe there are so many blind people who do not believe Israel is the timeclock for the world. Wake up. If people do not understand the who Abraham is, Mohammed was, the lie of Islam, the role of evil from demonic forces directing demonic people and nations, you are doomed to ignorance. You too will become Obama and his ilk. People will perish for lack of wisdom. Israel is the apple of G-d’s plan for this world. All nations now existing will be judged on their treatment of Israel and her people. Period. How long will you remain blind? What are you offering people if there is not an end to this story. By the way, it has already been told. The outcome is set. There will be no suprises. Israel must act on its own, do not fear the US or the EU, Russia, China, ect. Israel is not just another nation spinning on the planet.

  • Marcel 08/11/2009 at 3:16

    Caroline, George Z hit a home run
    Once Upon a Time
    Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a free country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.
    I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner.
    The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen
    “Sorry about that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.”
    “I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.
    “And his brother Eric is very thirsty.” said the President.
    I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I will play along. I don’t want to seem unkind.
    My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.
    “Eric’s children are also quite hungry.”
    With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood, brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.
    “And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”
    I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.
    “Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.”
    I wanted to shout- that was my coat! But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The President hadn’t moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.
    “Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement, and they need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do.”
    My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine. I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.
    “By the way,” He added, “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I’m firing you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs groveling like beggars.”
    I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his creme brulee. He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us.
    What had I done wrong?
    As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.
    “You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.
    author unknown
    The lesson of this story is that Israel has been too long at this table and is now naked with a large carving knife at her throat.

  • David Custis Kimball 08/11/2009 at 13:15

    Caroline, thanks for publishing my comment. I really want to correct it and replace the Last Paragraph with this paragraph:
    We need to see what is that wills to destroy us, to see what they have destroyed to believe that there is no appeasing, knowing appeasement empowers evil by incrementally (integer steps) advancing their energy. They then focus on any appeasement, as a victory not as a gift (we feel good seeing it as a gift), as our capitulation and inferred by them proof of our guilt, which magnifies to our larger defeat and thereby their larger victory, which can be further magnified using propaganda for their victimized population, which increases their energy and assures the impression that our defeat is admitted and thereby their ultimate unjust victory is assured. This is then transfered to our less informed persons to further the cycle of appeasement until all is kissed (as little gifts) away. Complex reality, real complexity, is traded back and forth in simple integral steps until we reach the bottom … or face the abyss. Each small step magnifies the momentum to our defeat, and notice how small the steps can be… just withhold some building in Jerusalem … and if you do …. the next step will be more bold, go farther or terror is just that more justified….Look back, see how far into peace, the return of Gaza brought Israel or the world.

  • Toni 08/14/2009 at 1:25

    Hey Caroline,
    You’ve got it right as usual. Israel either fights back or dies. That’s it, no two ways about it. What’s the worst the U.S. will do once Israel rightfully destroys Iran’s nuclear threat? Say damn it I wish you wouldn’t have? Seriously, fight back! Period!

  • John Nosser 08/26/2009 at 10:29

    In the past Israel has been so successful militarily when it fights for its land that the success defies probablity. On the other hand when Israel is willing to give up its land, complete success seems to evade Israel’s best efforts.
    Israel and its people should not be fearful of defending itself by attacking Iran before it is too late. I believe that Israel will achieve an unprecedented level of success when and if it launches forces to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability. Iran’s facilities will be obliterated, and all its defensive measures will fail miserably. Israel’s forces will return virtually intact. Iran’s nuclear ambitions will end forever.


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