Israel's Netanyahu Poised to Take Out Iran's Nuclear Sites

Monday, 16 Aug 2010 09:43 AM

By George Will

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
When Israel declared independence in 1948, it had to use mostly small arms to repel attacks by six Arab armies. Today, however, Israel feels, and is, more menaced than it was then, or has been since. Hence the potentially world-shaking decision that will be made here, probably within two years.

To understand the man who will make it, begin with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's belief that stopping Iran's nuclear weapons program is integral to stopping the worldwide campaign to reverse 1948. It is, he says, a campaign to "put the Jew back to the status of a being that couldn't defend himself — a perfect victim."

Today's Middle East, he says, reflects two developments. One is the rise of Iran and militant Islam since the 1979 revolution, which led to al-Qaida, Hamas, and Hezbollah. The other development is the multiplying threat of missile warfare.

Now Israel faces a third threat, the campaign to delegitimize it in order to extinguish its capacity for self-defense.

After two uniquely perilous millennia for Jews, the creation of Israel meant, Netanyahu says, "the capacity for self-defense restored to the Jewish people." But note, he says, the reflexive worldwide chorus of condemnation when Israel responded with force to rocket barrages from Gaza and from southern Lebanon. There is, he believes, a crystallizing consensus that "Israel is not allowed to exercise self-defense."

From 1948 through 1973, he says, enemies tried to "eliminate Israel by conventional warfare." Having failed, they tried to demoralize and paralyze Israel with suicide bombers and other terrorism. "We put up a fence," Netanyahu says. "Now they have rockets that go over the fence." Israel's military, which has stressed offense as a solution to the nation's lack of strategic depth, now stresses missile defense.

That, however, cannot cope with Hamas' tens of thousands of rockets in Gaza and Hezbollah's 60,000 in southern Lebanon. There, U.N. resolution 1701, promulgated after the 2006 war, has been predictably farcical. This was supposed to inhibit the arming of Hezbollah and prevent its operations south of the Litani River.

Since 2006, Hezbollah's rocket arsenal has tripled and its operations mock resolution 1701. Hezbollah, learning from Hamas, now places rockets near schools and hospitals, certain that Israel's next response to indiscriminate aggression will turn the world media into a force multiplier for the aggressors.

Any Israeli self-defense anywhere is automatically judged "disproportionate." Israel knows this as it watches Iran.

Last year was Barack Obama's wasted year of "engaging" Iran. This led to sanctions that are unlikely to ever become sufficiently potent. With Russia, China, and Turkey being uncooperative, Iran is hardly "isolated." The Iranian democracy movement probably cannot quickly achieve regime change. It took Solidarity 10 years to do so against a Polish regime less brutally repressive than Iran's.

Hillary Clinton's words about extending a "defense umbrella over the region" imply, to Israelis, fatalism about a nuclear Iran. As for deterrence working against a nuclear-armed regime steeped in an ideology of martyrdom, remember: In 1980, Ayatollah Khomeini said: "We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world."

You say, that was long ago? Israel says, this is now:

Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, says Israel is the "enemy of God." Tehran, proclaiming that the Holocaust never happened and vowing to complete it, sent an ambassador to Poland who in 2006 wanted to measure the ovens at Auschwitz to prove them inadequate for genocide. Iran's former president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is considered a "moderate" by people for whom believing is seeing, calls Israel a "one-bomb country."

If Iran were to "wipe the Zionist entity off the map," as it vows to do, it would, Netanyahu believes, achieve a regional "dominance not seen since Alexander." Netanyahu does not say Israel will, if necessary, act alone to prevent this. Or does he?

He says CIA Director Leon Panetta is "about right" in saying Iran can be a nuclear power in two years. He says 1948 meant this: "For the first time in 2,000 years, a sovereign Jewish people could defend itself against attack." And he says: "The tragic history of the powerlessness of our people explains why the Jewish people need a sovereign power of self-defense." If Israel strikes Iran, the world will not be able to say it was not warned.


George Will's e-mail address is georgewill@washpost.com.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

The Constitution Limits Majority Rule

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 10:50 AM

In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is "basically about" one word — "democra . . .

Female GOP Candidates Counter 'War on Women'

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 16:58 PM

Robert Griffin, now 90, who rose to be second in the Republican U.S. Senate leadership, was defeated in 1978. Since then . . .

Tax Reform Is Always an Uphill Push

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 09:49 AM

The Sisyphean task of tax reform should be tried only by someone who will not flinch from igniting some highly flammable . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved