Israel, Disarmed

Worth re-blogging.  Charles Krauthammer is not one of my favorite reads but his piece makes a great deal of sense to me as did Benjamin “BibiNetanyahu when he asked ” what would you do?”  I stand with Israel’s decision to prevent anyone from breaking of the blockade just as I stand against the 911 mosque darkening Lower Manhattan! It is time that we all stand up and stop these people from threatening what they obviously intend to do to all non Muslims as they march onward to take over the entire world.

They have made no secret of their intent. Let us not make any secret of ours. If it is war they want – a holy Jihad- then so be it… let’s face what we must and stand up to it and fight it now, it is inevitable … obviously! Let’s not just sit here and hand it over. Israel is right – give them not one bloody inch – not one. They will not be happy until every last inch of this earth is theirs and every last non Muslim is dead.

by  Charles Krauthammer

If even a blockade, the most passive and benign of defenses, is impermissible, what defenses does Israel have left?

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 material, 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 Israels 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 peninsula 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 southern 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 Obamas description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda) the newly armed terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew. 

The result? The Lebanon war of 2006 and the Gaza operation of 200809. 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.s Goldstone report, which essentially criminalized Israels 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 delegitimization.

But, if none of these are permissible, whats 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 nationally syndicated columnist. 2010, The Washington Post Writers Group.

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