Sunday, July 15, 2007

israel holding firm

THE ARROGANCE and ignorance of Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and their colleagues plays a significant role in the government's refusal to reconcile itself to reality. But their personal failings tell only part of the story. Both Israel's political leaders and its military leaders are party to a general conceptual failure that has plagued Israel since the Rabin-Peres government signed the Oslo Accords with the PLO in 1993.

To embrace the PLO, Israel had to abandon its national narrative and adopt the false narrative of peace. Only by so acting was it possible to embrace a terrorist group dedicated to its destruction. Although today Israel has no Palestinian or Syrian partner in peace, and is beset by a global jihad fueled by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Israel's policymakers continue to cling to the peace narrative.

The peace narrative assumes that Israel rather than the Arabs is responsible for the lack of peace in the region, and so Israel, rather than the Arabs must change its behavior to engender the peace it has blocked. As a result, the peace narrative negates Israel's right to defend itself from aggression, for doing so would distance the chance of peace. Even worse, an Israeli assertion of its right to self-defense would risk exposing the fact that there is no peace to be had and that Israel is not responsible for its absence.

On the military level, the attraction of an air war for generals is largely a consequence of the peace narrative. If Israel is on the verge of peace, then soldiers shouldn't be dying and control of land - which we want to give away for peace anyway - is neither necessary nor desirable. If we still are forced to fight, it is best to do so from an altitude of 20,000 feet. Boots on the ground would involve an acknowledgement that we are at war.

On the political level, the peace narrative has paralyzed strategic analysis and policy making for 14 years. If we are in a peace process, then it isn't only that we mustn't defend ourselves. We mustn't assert our sovereignty at all. We mustn't tell the UN that in accordance with Israeli law, Mount Dov is part of the State of Israel. We mustn't tell the US that Judea and Samaria are Israeli territories and that we haven't the slightest intention of giving them to our enemies. We mustn't tell the Palestinians that they have shown they cannot be trusted with international borders and we are therefore taking back the Gaza-Sinai border. We mustn't acknowledge that Fatah is our enemy or that Syria is an Iranian client state.

Tuesday, Military Intelligence asserted that the only way to avert war with Syria is to reach a peace deal with Syria. This means that Syria is about to launch a war against us. But since we have yet to discard the delusion of peace, it is unclear that anyone understood the message.

A year after the war, we still haven't found the courage to recognize that security, not peace, is our goal. Until we do, we will remain plagued by war.

Caroline Glick: The lost lessons of Lebanon
[my emphasis]

Glick's analysis is becoming clearer by the day. May Israel retain what she earned 40 years ago.


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