Monday, August 19, 2013

Benjamin Netanyahu's Policies Threaten not Just Israel's Survival but the Security of the Entire Free World

Ignoring the moral and historical truths that appeasement does not work, Israel has released 26 terrorists, including 17 who murdered Israelis. These are not detainees or political prisoners; these are terrorists who committed violent acts against defenseless civilians. The cowardice and moral bankruptcy of Benjamin Netanyahu's administration is mind-boggling and it is difficult to see how Israel can survive in the long run if she continues to follow policies that are not only morally indefensible but strategically inept. This is not just an Israeli issue: Netanyahu's actions convey the dual message that terrorism pays and that Western democracies are weak-willed, a message that will result in more terrorism and the murders of more innocent people. Those who are indifferent or even hostile to Israel may think that Israel releasing terrorists is of no concern to them but the Islamic jihadists who seek Israel's destruction also seek the United States' destruction--and not because the United States supports Israel but rather because the United States and Israel are free, open societies, the kind of societies that Islamic jihadists feel duty bound to replace with societies that are run under sharia law; such jihadists have vowed to first eliminate the "little Satan" (Israel) and to then eliminate the "big Satan" (the United States) and, contrary to what some commentators say, even if the United States abandoned Israel these jihadists would still attack the United States. Israel is the canary in the international coal mine and her fate foreshadows the fate of the United States and the other Western democracies.

Jonathan Pollard outlined the unprecedented and dangerous nature of Israel's concessions over the years:

• Israel is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily expel its own citizens from chunks of its homeland in order to hand over the land to its enemies.

• It is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily destroy the homes and businesses of its own citizens, leaving them with shattered lives and broken promises.

• Israel is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily dig up and transport the graves of its dead so that the land could be turned over to its enemies.

The State of Israel also holds unenviable world records for betraying those who serve the state, including the following: 

• Israel is the only country in the world to restrain its military from rescuing a wounded soldier, for fear of provoking the enemy and risking its approval ratings with the world. The soldier, injured by enemy gunfire at a Jewish holy site, slowly bled to death needlessly while the IDF stood by and watched.

• Israel also remains the only country in the world ever to voluntarily cooperate in the prosecution of its own intelligence agent, refusing him sanctuary, turning over the documents to incriminate him, denying that the state knew him, and then allowing him to rot in a foreign prison for decades on end, cravenly forgoing its right to simple justice for the nation and for the agent.

• Additionally, Israel is still the only country in the world ever to violate its own system of justice by repeatedly releasing dangerous, unrepentant murderers and terrorists back into the civilian population with impunity. No other country in the world has ever done this! 

In summary, Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world so befuddled by moral ambiguity that it is willing to dishonor its dead, betray its bereaved, and disgrace its citizens for the sake of political expediency.

It has been suggested, even by some commentators who disagree in principle with Netanyahu's policies, that Israel has no choice because the U.S. government is relentlessly pressuring Israel to capitulate to her enemies. Martin Sherman describes what Israel should be doing, regardless of outside pressure or persuasion:

Netanyahu has been in office for almost half a decade, during which he has done virtually nothing to establish robust, assertive and effective mechanisms, with adequate resources and a clear mandate, to confront, curtail and counter the delegitimization phenomenon.

This neglect, rather than any particular instance of failure of resolve, is his greatest transgression and gravest failing.

Instead of committing massive resources to the defense and promotion of Israel’s image abroad, he has allotted a mere pittance, and left the country almost defenseless against a well-oiled, well-funded assault on its legitimacy, which has critically jeopardized the government’s decision-making freedom.

With a GDP of almost a quarter-trillion dollars, a fraction of 1 percent would provide up to $1 billion for a strategic diplomacy offensive for world opinion, targeting US campuses and liberal Jewish communities and exposing the brutal nature of Israel’s adversaries.

In addition to displaying cartoon bombs on the UN podium, a formidable task force--comprised of top experts on Islam--could be set up to drive home to global opinion-makers the dangers of a nuclear Iran and the implications of the theological underpinnings of the regime and to mobilize international opinion against Tehran’s drive for weaponized nuclear capability.

But inexplicably, these eminently viable alternatives to appeasement have been studiously ignored.

Sherman is disgusted by the implications of the terrorist release policy:

For stripped to basics, it conveys a message that Judeocide is justified.

It reflects a disregard--or at least a diminished regard--for the value of Jewish lives, and does so in a dual sense: Both toward the known victims of the past and toward the unknown victims of the future.

With regard to the past: It cheapens the value of Jewish blood, because it signals that those who shed it will be exonerated; that even the most heinous slaughter of Jews can be overlooked and its perpetrators pardoned; that Jewish lives and their memory are in the final analysis a “barterable” commodity.

In a recent blog entry, David Horovitz, former Jerusalem Post editor in chief, succinctly encapsulated the futility and foolishness of the government decision: “Only Israel could be pressured by the free world to release convicted killers before the ends of their sentences (something that the US, UK and others would not dream of doing), agree to do so at the start rather than the culmination of peace negotiations, and still wind up looking like the bad guy the next morning.”

With regard to the future: Given precedent and probability, it is a statistical certainty that some of the releasees will revert to acts of terror that result in the death of Israelis.

In the past, scores of Israelis have been killed and maimed by terrorists released in “deals.” There is little reason to believe that this time will different.

Accordingly, the government’s decision is conceptually tantamount to firing a gun into a crowd without knowing who will be hit, but knowing that someone certainly will be.

The most perplexing thing about this situation is that Netanyahu, unlike many leaders who follow appeasement policies, knows better; in his writings and in his speeches he has eloquently articulated why such policies are both morally wrong and strategically flawed. Did Netanyahu never believe the truths that he conveyed, did he just say whatever he felt he had to say to get elected or is it true--as some have suggested--that the behind the scenes pressure applied against Israel by the U.S. government is more vicious than any outsider can imagine? Even if the latter is the case, it would be better for Israel to die in dignity--if such death is inevitable--than to attempt to survive by stripping herself of all morality and courage, for in the long run doing the wrong thing cannot possibly lead to the right outcome: if Israel ultimately cannot survive by being strong, courageous and morally upright then she surely cannot survive by being weak, cowardly and morally bankrupt. Pollard, discussing the reports that Israel was presented with three ultimatums by the U.S. government, put it best: "Did anyone at the helm ever consider that given three life-threatening choices, the only response is: 'No, no and no!'?"

Orthodox Jews rend a garment when they are in mourning, a visible and tangible reflection of how the death of a loved one rips the world apart. We should all rend our garments every day that Netanyahu remains in office, for his policies have already led to much suffering and they will result in the deaths of many innocent people around the world.

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