Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 8, 2007 / 22 Sivan, 5766

Bush administration forcing Israel to endanger itself

By Caroline B. Glick


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article


Time for friends of the Jewish state — especially Christian Zionists — to make their voices heard

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ahead of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's trip to the White House on June 19, the Bush administration is pressuring Israel to endanger itself on at least two fronts.

First the Americans are pressuring the Olmert government to agree to Palestinian Authority and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas's request to bring millions of bullets, thousands of Kalashnikov assault rifles, RPGs, anti-tank missiles and armored personnel carriers into Gaza from Egypt.

The government has yet to respond to the request. Those who oppose it argue that Fatah forces in Gaza are too weak and incompetent to battle Hamas forces and so any weaponry transferred to Fatah militias will likely end up in Hamas's hands.

This logic is correct, but incomplete. It is true that Fatah forces are unwilling and presumably unable to defeat Hamas forces. But it is also true that Fatah forces use their arms to attack Israel. So even if there was no chance of Hamas laying its hands on the weapons, allowing Fatah to receive them would still endanger Israel.

The same limited logic informs Israel's strenuous objection to the Pentagon's intention to sell Saudi Arabia Joint Direct Attack Munition satellite-guided "smart bombs" or JDAMS. The government claims that while it has no truck with the Saudis, it fears for the stability of the regime. If the House of Saud falls, Osama bin Laden would get the bombs.

Yet like Fatah, the Saudis aren't simply vulnerable. They are culpable. In addition to being the creators of al Qaida and Hamas's largest financial backers, the Saudis themselves directly threaten Israel.

In direct contravention of their commitment to the US, (and the US's commitment to Israel), the Saudis have deployed F-15 fighter jets at Tabuk air base located 150 km from Eilat. On May 13th, the Saudi Air Force held an air show at Tabuk for the benefit of King Abdullah and senior princes where the F-15s where ostentatiously shown.

The timing of the show was interesting. It took place the day before Abdullah hosted Vice President Richard Cheney at Tabuk.

The administration is not just asking Israel to facilitate the arming of its enemies. It is also placing restrictions on Israel's ability to arm itself. As The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday, the Pentagon has yet to respond to Israel's request to purchase the F-22 stealth bomber. Moreover, the US seems to be torpedoing Israel's acquisition of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon recently voiced its objection to Israel's plan to install Israeli technology in the jets that are to be supplied starting in 2014. Israel's installation of its own electronic warfare systems in its F-16s and F-15s is how it has managed to maintain the IAF's qualitative edge over Arab states that have also purchased the aircraft.

The administration's hostility towards Israel is unfortunately not an aberration. It is the result of a policy shift within the administration which occurred immediately after the Republican Party's defeat in the Congressional elections last November.

After the Republican defeat, the administration embraced former secretary of state James Baker's foreign policy paradigm which is based on the belief that it is possible and desirable to reach a stable balance of power in the Middle East. As Baker sees it, the balance can be reached by forcing Israel to shrink to its "natural" proportions and assisting supposedly moderate and stable states like Egypt and Saudi Arabia to grow into their "natural" proportions. Once the states of the region (including Syria and Iran which Baker wishes to appease) have settled into their proper proportions, stability will be ensured.

Baker fleshed on his view in the Iraq Study Group's recommendations which were published immediately after the elections. Although President George W. Bush rejected the ISG's recommendations, the day after the elections he sacked defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and replaced him with Robert Gates who served on the ISG. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a disciple of Baker's ally former national security advisor Brent Scowcroft.

The problem with the Baker paradigm is that it has never been borne out by reality. It collapsed during the Cold War both as the Soviet Union worked tirelessly to destabilize countries allied with the US and when the states of East-Central Europe revolted against the teetering empire and gained their freedom with its collapse.

In the 1990s, Baker's stability paradigm failed to foresee the post-nationalist movements that swept through Western Europe and the Muslim world and embraced the Soviet goal of weakening the US. Baker still denies the phenomenon and ignores its policy implications.

Today, the notion that stability is a realistic aim is even more far fetched. Specifically, the willingness of Muslim secularists to form strategic relations with jihadists and the willingness of Shiites to form strategic partnerships with Sunnis was unimaginable twenty years ago. Aside from that, the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran throws a monkey wrench into any thought of regional stability. A look around the region shows just how absurd Baker's notions truly are.

In Lebanon today, Fatah al Islam, which is apparently allied with al Qaida, is fighting the Lebanese army in a bid to bring down the Siniora government at the behest of its sponsor — the secular Ba'athist regime in Damascus. Fatah al Islam is also aligned with Hizbullah, which shares its goal of bringing down the Lebanese government and with Iran which gives the Syrians their marching orders.

This state of affairs is also the name of the game in Iraq where Iran and Syria support both Muqtada al Sadr's Shiite Mehdi army and al Qaida's Sunni death squads. It repeats itself in Afghanistan where Iran is arming the Taliban and in the Palestinian Authority.

Furthermore, the paragons of moderation and stability in Egypt and Saudi Arabia which Baker and his followers are so keen to strengthen are neither stable nor moderate. Both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah are old men of uncertain health. To "stabilize" their regimes they wrought unholy alliances with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahabis which are the only forces in Egyptian and Saudi societies that have not been flattened under their jackboots.

This week Channel 10 reported that the Bush administration recently informed Israel and the Gulf states that it has no intention of launching military strikes against Iran's nuclear installations. The Americans explained that they need Iranian assistance in stabilizing Iraq to pave the way for an American withdrawal from the country before Bush leaves office. Under Baker's regency, the administration apparently now subscribes to the belief that they will be better off out of Iraq with a nuclear-armed Iran than in Iraq without a nuclear-armed Iran.

For their part, the Arabs have demonstrated clearly that they do not share the administration's newfound faith that a nuclear-armed Iran will reach a stable equilibrium in a Bakeresque Middle Eastern balance of powers. Their stated aim to build nuclear reactors is a clear sign that they recognize the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran. The administration's support the Arabs' quest for nuclear reactors makes clear that it is now willing to have a Middle Eastern nuclear arms race.

This brings us back to Israel, which is situated smack in the middle of the regional chaos. How is Israel contending with this threatening state of affairs?

For its part, the IDF seems to be contending with it fairly well, at least with regard to Syria and Lebanon. The IDF's decision have television crews film IDF soldiers fighting in mock-up Syrian villages this week, like Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's announcement that the IDF is prepared to fight on two fronts simultaneously are signs that the IDF recognizes that its only safe bet is to prepare for all contingencies. Were the IDF to complement these actions with warnings to Iran and operational plans to attack Iran's nuclear installations and distribute gas masks to the public, the General Staff would go a long way towards proving that it is adopting the only reasonable strategic posture available given the cards Israel has been dealt.

Yet not only is the IDF not warning Iran, the Olmert government is undermining the IDF's correct posture towards Syria and Lebanon. Indeed, on every front, including towards Israel itself, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has himself adopted Baker's failed paradigm.

Rather than publicly explain that in light of Syria's position as an Iranian client state in Lebanon, Iraq and Israel, there is nothing for Israel to talk to Syria about, Wednesday Olmert announced that he wishes to open negotiations on the Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights with the Syrians.

The Syrians for their part cornered Olmert Thursday by agreeing to his offer. As Karl Moor and David Rivkin explained Thursday in The Jerusalem Post, it is not true, as Olmert and his minions claim that Israel has nothing to lose by negotiating with Syria. Given Israel's perceived weakness in the wake of last summer's war and Syria's perceived strength, speaking to Syria about an Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights will only encourage Syrian belligerence.

And as with the Syrians, so too with the Palestinians, the Olmert government acts as Baker's water boy. Rather than waging a rational military campaign to defeat the jihadist front that has seeded itself in Gaza, Olmert issues near daily statements telling the Palestinians that Israel will cause them no harm. He defends this policy by declaiming on the importance of strengthening the "stability" of the Palestinian Authority.

Then there is the daily brown nosing Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni engage in towards the Egyptians and Saudis. Israel praises both as "moderates" while Egypt vows publicly not to take action to stop the transfer of weapons from Sinai to Gaza and the Saudis bankroll Hamas and demand that Israel implement their "peace plan" which calls for Israel's destruction.

Yet all of this incompetent bumbling pales in comparison to Israel's weakness towards Iran. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz's assertion this week to the Post that he does not "think it is right today to talk about military options" towards Iran because he thinks that sanctions can still convince the mullahs to give up their nuclear ambitions comes dangerously close to an Israeli collapse in the face of an existential threat. The fact that Mofaz made this statement the same week that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had crossed the nuclear threshold only exacerbates the perception of Israeli strategic disarray.

Sooner or later the US will pay a price for the Bush administration's decision to embrace the delusion of stability as its strategic goal. With jihadist forces growing stronger around the globe, if the Americans leave Iraq without victory, there is no doubt that Iraq (and Iran and Syria) will come to them. But whatever the consequences of America's behavior for America, the price that Israel will pay for embracing Baker's myths of stability will be unspeakable.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking here.

Up

© 2007, Caroline B. Glick