Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Prayer For Israel

It seems to me that Israel has no choice except to use overwhelming force against Hezbollah and Hamas.

The thing nobody really knows, of course, is whether Israel still has overwhelming force. The Iranians, and I guess to a lesser extent, the Syrians, need to check the Israeli capability out before they do whatever it is they are planning to do next.

I'm not a believer in the notion that too much force would further radicalize the "Arab street" -- whoever and wherever that is.

The destruction of Israel, and the eventual destruction of the Jews, is not radical in the Middle East and Europe. Actions Israel takes will always be seen through the prism of those who are offended by the presence of Jews in the world.

There is a broad cross-section of European guilt that they "exported the Jewish Question" from their doorstep to the Arab doorstep. They regret that Hitler had to be stopped because he had become too greedy on territorial matters. They fear that because of the last 600 or so years of disgusting European behavior, 24/7/365, Americans turn away from the foul stench coming from across the Atlantic, before the Europeans can teach the Americans where the "truth" lies.

Israel, of course, needs to be constrained by the sheer numbers of their situation. In a one-for-one, ten-for-one, hundred-for-one exchange of casualties, there will be no Israelis in short order.

Israel also needs to be constrained by the will of its population, and what it preceives to be the threshold at which, with the burden of both the history of Zionism and the history of Judaism on their shoulders, the Israelis can tolerate adapting the tactics that have ordinarily been used against them.

There is a notion that after the emergency is over things can go back to the way they were.

Beyond the constant disagreements about the nature of the way things were, an emergency that lasts and lasts is no longer an emergency. It is a lifetime --- the lifetime of a person, the lifetime of a country and of its people. There is not enough time to turn back from that.

The temptation is to take the easiest way. After all, your enemy always does.

It's what Europeans do. It's what the current American President -- he who is most enamoured of the European way of divine right monarchy --- would have us do.

I pray that the Israelis are able to find a different path in their necessary use of force.