Friday, February 3, 2012

Strategic Israeli ineptitude

Israel continues to be unable to secure political victories. It has won 4 or 5 wars against Arab aggression, depending on how you count, but has failed to translate its military success into political terms. South Lebanon and Gaza - territories Israel has given up for peace, have become a launching ground for attack. Now the same is happening with Sinani. The peace treaty with Egypt sealing in 1979 Camp David accord, pursuant to which Israel returned Sinai, is effectively void. One of the 'liberal' leaders in Egypt, Ayman Nour, recently told a Lebanese TV station that "it’s time to revisit the treaty with Israel". That the Muslim brotherhood, which controls nearly 3/4 of the lower Parliament, feels the same way goes without saying.

Israel is tactically brilliant, but strategically inept like Hannibal Barka, who was chided by one of his lieutenants: "vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" (You know how to conquer, Hannibal, but not how to profit by your victory.)

Israel continues to play into the hands of its enemies by its inability to assert its right to defend itself politically. Their lack of confidence is explained in part by the pressure coming from its 'friends' in Europe and the US. With friends like the current occupant in the White House, who needs enemies? Of course, US leaders predating Obama with his deep personal antipathy to the Jewish state applied the same type of misguided pressure on Israel to tolerate the intolerable and negotiate with those who openly call for Israel's destruction.

Israel cannot control the actions of leadership of foreign nation, of course, but its own behavior amounts to placing a 'kick me' sign on its back. Every land-for-peace deal has been bad for Israel, from the Oslo agreement, which PLO negotiated in bad faith, to the more recent pullout from Lebanon and Gaza, which allowed takeover by Hezbollah and Hamas. Current negotiations with Palestinian Authority, which is in the process of unification with Hamas are a no-win proposition for Israel.

A more difficult question for Israel is what to do when the pressure for land-for-peace negotiations comes from White House. The Obama administration has shown its bad faith on several occasions already. When Israel agreed to Obama's call for a moratorium on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, Robert Wexler, who is a major shill for the Jewish vote for Obama, explained the reasons for hope to triumph over experience once again by saying: “I want to call their[Palestinians'] bluff. I want to see, if Israel makes substantial movement toward a credible peace process, whether they are willing to do it. And if they are not, better that we should find out five or six months into the process, before Israel is actually asked to compromise any significant position.” Rather than pressure the Arab world in the wake of Israeli concession, Obama doubled down on his pressure on Israel calling for return to the pre-1967 borders, meaning the indefensible borders of 1949.

Caroline Glick, a keen columnist who writes for the Jerusalem Post, pointed out cost of negotiations in her recent article "Fool me twice" - contrary to American promises every Israeli concession mentioned in negotiations of an becomes the starting point for the next round of negotiations. The Palestinians are even refusing to come to the table now, unless construction in Judea and Samaria is stopped again, while the Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu is offering to negotiate without preconditions (which seems foolhardy given PA-Hamas unity agreement, however that only strengthens the point).

The pathological Israeli strategic ineptitude apparently can only be cured temporarily by a deluge of rockets coming over its borders. Why can't they present a firm position about a lack of a viable partner for peace? A list of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel in 2011 shows that almost every day Israel was subjected to unprovoked bombardment. Why can't Israel demand (sic) respect for their security? There are three main forces that prevent them, the so-called liberals in the West, especially in Europe, the UN, and the liberal media and academia in Israel itself, which is desperate to ingratiate itself to the popular opinion of the elites in the West.

The ridiculous position of the liberals is evident from the headline of an article from a self-described liberal newspaper Haaretz: "Netanyahu must treat Abbas as a genuine peace partner" published late in October of last year. The harebrained newspaper doesn't even attempt to say that Abbas is a genuine peace partner - that is too much for even for die-hard liberals to believe - merely that Netanyahu must treat Abbas as one.

While Israel cannot control those outside it's borders, including its rogue academics, it is slowly waking up to what it can do within its borders. Israel denied Noam Chomsky, a virulent anti-Semite, entry into Israel and West Bank in 2010. However, that was a singular incident. The fifth columnists are still getting funding from governments hostile to Israel. At the end of last year, Israel proposed a bill to limit foreign funding of anti-Israel NGOs, however, the intense pressure from the US has caused Netanyahu to suspend the bill.

Sadly, it appears that nothing short of a catastrophic attack on Israel can shake up the system, and evict Israeli fifth-column academics and journalists from their cozy perches. Until that happens, Israeli politicians will continue to apologize for attempting to preserve the Jewish state, and engage in self-defeating negotiations.

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