Opinion

Opinion

World wants to leave Israel defenseless

June 4, 2010

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— The world is outraged at Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers.

But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel — a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.

In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded (“quarantined”) Cuba. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.

Oh, but weren’t the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel’s offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza — as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.

Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel’s inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.

Israel has already twice intercepted weapons-laden ships from Iran destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?

But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because, blockade is Israel’s fallback as the world systematically delegitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself — forward and active defense.

(1) Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense — fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai and Golan Heights) rather than its own.

Where possible (Sinai, for example) Israel has traded territory for peace. But where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southern Lebanon to protect the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza, rather than expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks.

But under overwhelming outside pressure, Israel gave it up. The Israelis were told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel insurgencies — and therefore withdrawal, by removing the cause, would bring peace.

Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land — evacuating South Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. What did it get? An intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting rocket attack.

(2) Active defense: Israel then had to switch to active defense — military action to disrupt, dismantle and defeat (to borrow President Obama’s description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida) the newly armed terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew.

The result? The Lebanon war of 2006 and Gaza operation of 2008-09. They were met with yet another avalanche of opprobrium and calumny by the same international community that had demanded the land-for-peace Israeli withdrawals in the first place. Worse, the U.N. Goldstone report, which essentially criminalized Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza while whitewashing the casus belli — the preceding and unprovoked Hamas rocket war — effectively delegitimized any active Israeli defense against its self-declared terror enemies.

(3) Passive defense. Without forward or active defense, Israel is left with but the most passive and benign of all defenses — a blockade to simply prevent enemy rearmament. Yet, as we speak, this too is headed for international delegitimation.

But, if none of these are permissible, what’s left?

Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.

The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group. letters@charleskrauthammer.com

Comments

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Israel leadership is more on the level of a terrorist and has been for several years.... the bottom line.

======================================================== Below is an example of special interest USA tax dollar spending as our military people are forced to KILL innocent people all for oil pipelines!!!

Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad.

The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.

Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and solving Israel's energy crisis at a stroke.

It would also create an end less and easily accessible source of cheap Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia - a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially since 11 September 2001.

Until 1948, the pipeline ran from the Kurdish-controlled city of Mosul to the Israeli port of Haifa, on its northern Mediterranean coast.

The revival of the pipeline was first discussed openly by the Israeli Minister for National Infrastructures, Joseph Paritzky, according to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz .

The paper quotes Paritzky as saying that the pipeline would cut Israel's energy bill drastically - probably by more than 25 per cent - since the country is currently largely dependent on expensive imports from Russia.

US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project has been discussed. One former senior CIA official said: 'It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving this administration [of President George W. Bush] and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's energy supply as well as that of the United States.

'The Haifa pipeline was something that existed, was resurrected as a dream and is now a viable project - albeit with a lot of building to do.'

The editor-in-chief of the Middle East Economic Review , Walid Khadduri, says in the current issue of Jane's Foreign Report that 'there's not a metre of it left, at least in Arab territory'.

To resurrect the pipeline would need the backing of whatever government the US is to put in place in Iraq, and has been discussed - according to Western diplomatic sources - con't http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/apr/20/israelandthepalestinians.oil

igby 4 years, 11 months ago

America, can invade another country like Iraq, to protect it's interest and national security and when the Jew's get attacked by terrorist on either side they bomb the crap out of them and the world blames the Jews. The Jews can bomb them until the cows come home, and search these ships for weapons.

jaywalker 4 years, 11 months ago

Damned if they do, damned if they don't....

jaywalker 4 years, 11 months ago

"beobachter (anonymous) replies… Tom, maybe we all would be a lot better off with no jews. After all, there so-called "god" is nothing more than desert tribal tales. Passed down verbally." June 2, 2010 at 6:43 p.m. • permalink

Where are all the usual suspects, like beatrice or ivalueamerica, when it comes to calling out racists? Hypocrites, all of ya.
And beo, you're a fool who's yet to offer anything of substance - EVER - on these boards. You're a miracle of unintelligence; one might figure the law of averages would dictate that you'd have to post something worthwhile - if only by accident - but ....bupkiss.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 11 months ago

If it has done nothing else, this business has let several posters on this board let their true colors come shining through.

Mixolydian 4 years, 11 months ago

True. Beobatcher previously stated that he wished Hitler had succeeded in wiping out the jews. He is a worthless piece of foulness.

cowboy 4 years, 11 months ago

The only people who can solve this is the state of Israel. Find a peace , there will have to be concessions and pain. Only Israel can make the deal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

So by Chuck's logic (OK, I know, there is no logic involved,) Palestinians should be blockading Israel.

But why aren't they doing so? Because they are held hostage in ghettos of Israel's making, thanks to $3 billion in US tax dollars every year.

Brent Garner 4 years, 11 months ago

So the Gaza residents are held hostage? Yes, you are right. They are held hostage. But, not by Israel but by the very people they elected--you do recall that Hamas was elected to the leadership of Gaza? And so the very terrorists they elected now do all they can to restrict the local population and hold them under control. They also launch rockets from the midst of civilians, mount weapons in people's homes, build bunkers underneath residential buildings. All this so that the Israel's will hesitate to strike back. Meanwhile, Hamas and its allies fire rocket after rocket at Israeli communites near Gaza.

You know, as Krauthammer points out, Israel agreed to withdraw from Gaza under the premise that doing so would bring peace at least along that border. It did not. It brought greater violence.

So, Bozo, just what is it you think Israel should do that would make the Arabs/Palestinians/Persians/Islamics like them? National suicde perhaps?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

Israel elected a government that murders Palestinians by the thousands, bulldozes their houses, factories and farms, builds walls around their towns, and attacks any ships trying to deliver the basic stuff of existence.

So, for Palestinians to commit "national suicide" would be redundant, since Israel is slowing but surely killing them.

md 4 years, 11 months ago

The liberal bigots are out in force today!

Ralph Reed 4 years, 11 months ago

@Tom. re: you. 0759. I case you've forgotten, you've all but said, "I'm a racist," in other posts. So essentially, beobachter is simply saying, "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and smells like a duck, then it must be a duck." An example is seen in my response to a statement you made a on another thread. /*/ @Tom, re your 1440: You said, "...getting back at well-off/wealthy/wealthier white folk seems to be the "transformation" Obama spoke of on the campaign trail." // (My response) This, unfortunately, shows your real feelings regarding President Obama. It's not that he's a Democrat and a Liberal (more centrist, but anyway ...), but it's the fact that he's not white, read that as "Black." I won't say you're racist, but the above quote points directly to that fact. Too bad. May 2, 2010 at 10:58 p.m. (http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/may/02/miss-him-bushs-reputation-might-be-ready-rebound) /****/ As I remember, you took issue with my centrist comment, but said nothing to try and refute the rest of the comment.

Brent Garner 4 years, 11 months ago

To follow your logic, RalphReed, it would appear that if you oppose the Great Usurper then you are automatically a racist? How intriguing! So we can't dislike him because we think he is dangerous? We can't possibly base our opposition on the fact that we think what he is doing undermines the US and freedom? We can't possibly base our resistence on the fact that all that he has done has seemed to give the government greater and greater control of the economy and our lives? No, if we oppose the Great Usurper we must be racists! Is that what you think?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"Great Usurper"

What does that mean? What did he "usurp?"

usurp |yoōˈsərp| verb [ trans. ] take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force : Richard usurped the throne. • take the place of (someone in a position of power) illegally: supplant : the Hanoverian dynasty had usurped the Stuarts. • [ intrans. ] ( usurp on/upon) archaic encroach or infringe upon (someone's rights) : the Church had usurped upon the domain of the state.

jonas_opines 4 years, 11 months ago

"To follow your logic, RalphReed, it would appear that if you oppose the Great Usurper then you are automatically a racist?"

No, I think it appears to be more that if you say that Obama is just getting back at whitey that you are likely a racist. Nice try, though.

Well, okay, not really, but we can't really expect much more from you at this point.

Don't you have a thread to go visit and claim that you have asked for evidence on homosexuality being a choice and it's never been provided to you?

jonas_opines 4 years, 11 months ago

"The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution."

Say what you will about the entire situation with Israel, but this paragraph is sheer babbling idiocy.

RogueThrill 4 years, 11 months ago

Sometimes I think Andrew Sullivan is the only person on the planet who has the balls to say what needs to be said.

coolmom 4 years, 11 months ago

Israel deserves to be able to protect itself, It is a small country surrounded by hostility. I for one admire the get up and go.

Corey Williams 4 years, 11 months ago

I fully support the state of Israel. As far as I'm concerned, they can do what they want. As long as they do it without our money.

RogueThrill 4 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I would be ok with them doing whatever they want without our explicit backing. We make a bad enough name for ourselves without the Israelis adding to it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

" I for one admire the get up and go."

How do you feel about the thousands of dead women and children that are a direct result of their "get up and go" (and billions of US tax dollars and weaponry.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

What was your Marine position? Could you observe Bennett from there? (and could you see Russia, too?)

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

It makes sense to me...as our world gets more and more wicked and dark, or course they are going to turn against God's chosen people. Hitler and most (notice I didn't say "all") muslims had/have the option that the children of Israel have no right to exist. (Sounds like it's straight out of satan's mouth to me.) Christians owe a huge debt to the Jews, Jesus was a Jew, Mary was a Jew, the Disciples were Jews, our Bible was written by Jews (under God's influence.) God even says that he will bless them that bless Israel, and curse them that curse Israel. (I think I'd rather be on the "bless" side!!)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

Yet another testimonial to the godliness of murdering Palestinians by the thousands.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

Correction: "They" didn't say it, God did... Starting with Abraham.

No offense, but your god sounds pretty goofy. Keep him to yourself please.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"No offense, but your god sounds pretty goofy."

I believe you may be catching on-- all gods are bozos, especially yours.

(and all bozos are gods-- we just lack that omnipotence/omniscient thing.)

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

Did your god ride the short bus to god-school perhaps?

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

"My god says..." Don't worry, I'll leave your god alone now. I don't want to be labeled intolerant of your faith. May your own god bless you if he is capable. (Sorry just kinda slipped out.)

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

.....just as pointless as "Prove there isn't a God'. That's your free choice. (A God-given choice I might add.)

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

Me. The Bible does say upon Jesus return he will rule from Jerusalem; so I guess you could say one day that will be the capitol of this planet.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

I guess we'll just have to wait and see...this is still something that is about 1,000 years away (subject to when the "rapture" of the church takes place.)

igby 4 years, 11 months ago

I've thought a lot about this statement in the Bible and researched many text and it's possible that "Jerusalem" could mean the Zionist nations abroad and not the specific place of Jerusalem.

independant1 4 years, 11 months ago

Israel is about 8% of the original 118K sq. km. of the British Mandate for Palestine. The end of WWI and the mandate ended 4 centruies of Turk-Ottoman rule and the beginning of 30 years of British rule.

The 8 sq. km. of the Palestine Territory was for the establishment of a jewish homeland. The Jewish Agency was established in 1929 to facilitate immigration.

Jewish settlement was excluded from most of the greater Palestine Mandate. This was to appease the Arabs. So 110K sq. km. not for jews, 8k sq. km. for jewish homeland.

Today: Israel is 75% Jewish and 20% Arab. Jordan is 98% Arab Jewish 0%. Syria 90% Muslim Arab, 10% Christian Arab, Jewish 0%.
Lebanon 95% Arab, 4% Armenian, jewish 0%. Egypt 99% Egytptian, Jewish 0%

It was approved by the League of Nations in 1922.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since 1922.

The Zionists wrote equal rights into their constitution.

Yup, I think we should support this democracy.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 11 months ago

First of all... There is no such thing as democracy in this world and you would not want to see it live. Secondly... This seems to indicate that you support the rights of indigenous peoples. It does! Really!~) Do you really want to go there? Israel is a reservation for Jewish peoples. It is supported by people like you. It is supported by agenda laden tribes. Do you really want to go there? The self-fulfilling prophecy may be a MANdate. Do you really want to go there?~)

independant1 4 years, 11 months ago

As a modern democracy (not the pure democracy you fear) Israel deserves our support both morally and strategically.

True, Israel is a reservaton for jewish peoples. A very small speck of land. (Oh so small when compared to the contribution jews have made to the sciences and the arts.)

And since you brought it up, the indiginous peoples analogy does fit the jews, one can argue they got the rawest of deals, just like my american indian ancesters.

The Palestinians? Those that remained during the '48 war(s) prospered compared to those that fled when arabs came to murder all jews. They own land, they participate in Israeli democratic institutions.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Maps/Story574.html

"As of 1914, Jews in Palestine (who were mostly persecuted European Jews) were under 8% of the total population and owned under 2% of the total land. Despite active British support for settling of even more persecuted European Jews in Palestine, as of 1947 Jews constituted only 33% of the total population (only one third of them gained Palestinian Citizenship). Scroll to the end of the page for the source and for a more detailed tabular break down of population distribution.

It should be noted that many of these persecuted European Jews were illegal immigrants according to the Government of Palestine, which ceased to exist as of May 14th, 1948."

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

The history of Israel is one of terrorism and ethnic cleansing.

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story448.html

Here's an interesting excerpt, quoting Ben-Gurion, first prime minister of Israel.

"I don't understand your optimism.," Ben-Gurion declared. "Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations' time, but for the moment there is no chance. So it's simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipes us out".

independant1 4 years, 11 months ago

Then why is Palestinian population in Israel prospering? Prosperous especially when compared to the Palestinians that reside in neighboring arab countries. The arabs have not been kind to the descendants of those who left Israel (temporarily) when they attacked to wipe out all jews in '48.

That's the recurring theme "wipe out the jews". That is why we are morally required to support our best ally in the region. That is the ethnic cleansing on the table here.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

How can the sixth largest nuke power in the world be left defenseless?

independant1 4 years, 11 months ago

Israel is the only democratic country in the middle east. There are Arab citizens in Israel. Their rights are protected under the Israeli constitution.

You will not find the converse in neighboring arab countries. That picture refutes your anti semitism.

When Palestinians and arabs in general retract their goal of wiping all jews out then there can be a solution to the problem.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

The notion that Arabs in Israel have any power whatsoever in the politics of the country is laughable. Jewish Israelis will never allow themselves to be in the political minority, even though in greater Israel/Palestine, they are outnumbered 2-1 by Arabs. (BTW, that was the ratio in 1948, and remains so today.)

This is why they've engaged in quite blatant ethnic cleansing over the last 60 plus years, and why it continues, and explains why 1.5 million Palestinians are held in the Gaza Ghetto, and walls are built around Arab towns outside of Gaza-- nothing more than apartheid, Israeli style.

But I understand that your mentality is purely one of partisanship. You're perfectly OK with violence and mass destruction as long as it's done by "your team."

Unfortunately, there are many Israelis and Palestinians who think the same way you do, meaning that the status quo has a very long life expectancy.

independant1 4 years, 11 months ago

It's called rights of ownership and the right to vote and be represented. albeit as a minority.

As opposed to the rights afforded the opposition in Gaza and West Bank. Where the opposition, if vocal, does not live long. The Palestinian ghettos are of Palestinian and arab making. The Palestinian ghettos are not just in those two territories. Neighbors like Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria have bottled up many more Palestinians, not just those from Israel, and common borders. Palestinians do not have freedom of movement over arab boundaries and do not enjoy the freedoms Israeli citizen Palestinians enjoy. Nor do they enjoy any level of economic prosperity enjoyed by their Isaeli counterparts.

By the way, as much money pumped into the Palestinian territories as the US and UN et al have provided, those ghettos should be a lot more comfortable and economically prosperous than they are. Follow that money.

Like I said, the Palestinians need to lose the 'kill all jews' platform.

Partisan? Nope not affiliated with any political party holding tight waiting for the best offer. (Will Rogers)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"Partisan?"

No, just willfully ignorant. Or is it just ignorant?

independant1 4 years, 10 months ago

You seem to have a really big chip on your shoulder. I subscribe to no political party and can argue either the Dem or Rep side of the spectrum. If you have expertise in measuring intellect based on opinion or argument then so be it. As Will would say, "don't make me no nevermind."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

Are you OK with the clearly disproportionate murder of Palestinian civilians, as well as the lesser degree insults to which they are subjected?

If you want to claim ignorance of said facts, is it willful or not?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 11 months ago

In other news, Helen "the voice of Hamas" Thomas has pulled the ripcord.

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