Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Being Israel Means Always Having To Say You're Sorry

Joel Mowbray, author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America’s Security, is blogging from Israel all this week--the posts are appearing on Power Line.

In his first post, he writes about the effect of the Shalit kidnapping on other soldiers his age:
What's remarkable is how little the fate of young Shalit is being discussed by ordinary Israelis. Those around his age--all of whom are subject to mandatory military service--could easily see themselves in his position, and worse, Israeli parents must worry that their own children could be held hostage by Islamic terrorists bent on the elimination of all Jews. Yet the battle fatigue that has set into this tiny nation under constant attack for six years now has rendered Israel incapable of devoting too much emotion to any single tragedy.
In his Tuesday post, Mowbray writes about how the US--by it's own actions, not by pressuring Israel--has weakened Israel in it's dealings with Hamas:
Iran and North Korea are both getting exactly what they wanted by doing exactly what we warned them not to. The EU and the UN obviously approve enthusiastically of our newfangled "restraint," but allies like Israel and Japan must wince. After all, if the U.S. is willing to "talk" to nascent nuclear nutcases, what kind of political cover is there for Israel to confront Hamas decisively? And what can Japan, the nation most threatened by a nuke-happy Pyongyang, expect of the international community when the U.S. merely insists upon turning the other cheek?
Also in Israel is Rich Lowry, part of a delegation of visiting journalists sponsored by the pro-Israel American Israel Education Foundation:
Something of a model for a way forward is southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah dominates and has a significant rocket capability that it handles with restraint. Like Hamas, Hezbollah is a terrorist organization with a role in government, but Israel has managed to establish a somewhat stable deterrent relationship with it. Hezbollah knows that if it goes too far, Israel will hit back hard.

Perhaps it will be possible to establish a similar deterrent relationship with Hamas. One senior Israeli security source says, for now, that means forcing Hamas "to choose between their regime and their terror." It might be that Hamas can never be made to moderate its behavior. And still looming is yet another crisis — the approach of a nuclear-armed Iran, whose deterability Israel obviously can't determine with trial and error.
Meanwhile, Israel At Level Ground points to a post that takes a lighter look at how the world will look if indeed Israel gives in to all the external pressure and leaves.

Among other things:
  • The UN will fold.
  • Al Qaeda will cease operations
  • Bush will no longer have to listen to the Israel lobby
  • Kim Jung-il will finally have a chance to read Atlas Shrugged (yeah, that one caught me off-guard too)
Apparently being Israel means always having to say you're sorry.

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