Published by The Freeman Center
The Maccabean Online
Political Analysis and Commentary
By Ted Belman
Israel must decide whether to attack Iran or not and whether to accept the Saudi Plan or not. In both cases Israel has to pick her poison.
The Iranian threat
Israel has already decided to attack Iran with the intention of setting back the nuclear program by a few years. Likud, Kadima and Labour seem to be in agreement.
Such an attack will be very difficult, giving the distance to Iran and the lack of any agreement to traverse anyone’s airspace. Israel originally hoped to get American approval to fly through Iraq’s air space. But now that the US has signed an Agreement with Iraq giving them control of the airspace, this is not an option. But all is not lost. Should Israel violate Iraq’s airspace, Iraq has no means to prevent such incursion. They have no airforce and no missile system to oppose it. I am not aware of any term of the agreement which would obligate the US to act on their behalf.
Israel will have to decide whether to include any nuclear bombs to ensure greater destruction and whether to attack the Revolutionary Guards, the parliament and the home of the Mullahs. They way I see it, in for a penny, in for a pound. In either case the Iranian response will be the same. It would be great if Israel could capture an airport to enable Israel to land troops to be used to finish off certain facilities. I do not know if this is militarily possible. but if it is, Israel is no doubt considering it.
No doubt Israel would also bomb Kharg Island which is Iran’s largest oil loading terminal accounting for most of its oil exports and revenue.
The response will sure result in many Jewish, Israeli and American targets being attacked all over the world. Edwin Black in his article “The Iran-Israel nuclear endgame is now much closer.” writes
Following its invasion of Georgia, Moscow forged ahead with final delivery plans for the S-300 advanced air defense system which can track scores of IAF airborne intruders simultaneously, whether low-level drones or high-altitude missiles, and shoot them down. But the S-300, the linchpin of Iran’s defense against Israel, will not be fully operational for several months, creating a narrow window for Israel to act. Indeed, Russia has just announced a pause in missile deliveries for the system in fear that it will accelerate an Israeli response.
Iran, of course, has repeatedly threatened to counter any such attack by closing the Strait of Hormuz, as well as launching missiles against the Ras Tanura Gulf oil terminal and bombarding the indispensable Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq which is responsible for some 65 percent of Saudi production. Any one of these military options, let alone all three, would immediately shut off 40% of all seaborne oil, 18% of global oil, and some 20% of America’s daily consumption.”
Once the attack begins, Israel will be inundated with rockets from Lebanon, Gaza and probably Syria. It will thus use the planes not active in the Iranian attack to devastate these locations. A substantial mobilization is not out of the question as land forces will probably be ordered into Gaza and Lebanon.
World opinion and pressure will be ignored.
Israel will be considered the aggressor and most of the world community will not accept that Israel was acting in self-defense. The hatred of Israel and Jews will know no bounds except that privately many will be pleased.
Such a war will deplete Israel’s munitions and it will be in need of resupply. Will America stand by and refuse to resupply Israel as she has done in the past, notably in the Yom Kippur War. At that time Kissinger withheld supplies in order to make Israel more compliant in the peace process to follow. The same thinking would apply here. To make matters worse, Egypt, with American connivance, might mass troops on its borders if not actually invade.
On the other hand, if Israel declines to preempt and waits to be attacked first as she did in the Yom Kipper War, she will be at a decided disadvantage except in the PR war. If the attack on Israel takes the form of a dirty nuclear bomb or the use of chemical or biology weapons, Israel will suffer enormous losses thereby diminishing her ability to respond to the provocation.
To my mind, Israel must decide how likely such an attack is and act accordingly. It may be that Iran prefers to bleed Israel by a thousand cuts, or should I say rockets, rather than invite massive retaliation. Israel chose to endure eight years of sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza as the lesser evil to invading Gaza. Israel could likewise decide if future rocket attacks are endurable..
Either way, its poison.
The “peace process”
Here too, Israel must decide to accept the Saudi Plan or reject it
Kadima and Labour favour the former, though the last government tried to get the PA to accept a return of 93% of the land and forgo the right of return but there was no takers. Thus only the Saudi Plan with a return to the armistice lines and a “just solution to the refugee problem” will suffice to get a deal. This would involve the removal of over 100,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria.
The Saudi Plan also requires Israel to return the Golan to Syria.
Only after all this transpires will the Arab world discuss what they meant by their offer of “normalization”.
Also Iran remains an obstacle to such a deal. Its proxy, Hamas will never agree to a permanent peace with Israel or to recognized borders for Israel. The Quartet is now working to bring Hamas into the PA ostensibly as a junior partner. In reality Hamas will dominate.
The only thing Israel will get from such capitulation is borders which are recognized by the world even if not by Hamas and Iran. Such recognition though isn’t necessarily dependable. The world recognized the borders of Palestine, as it then was, in the Palestine Mandate. Such recognition was soon abandoned. The world also accepted the requirement for “secure” borders in Resolution 242 otherwise known as “defensible borders” but who but Netanyahu talks about that now.
But we are not done yet. Israel will be demanding that Palestine be demilitarized. Fat chance. She is currently demanding that Hamas not be allowed to rearm. Hamas has made it clear that it will never give up its right to do so. So it is safe to say that Israel will not be able to keep the West Bank demilitarized. Even if the PA would agree to it, the PA has never kept an agreement to date. So much for the value of a signed piece of paper.
The agreement will provide for a corridor connecting the West Bank with Gaza. Aside from the security risk this represents, it would allow for Gazans to move from Gaza to the West Bank thereby transferring the Gaza radicalism and population density to the West Bank. In addition, perhaps a million refugees from refugee camps in the surrounding countries will return to the new State of Palestine. How can the West Bank with its limited land and water resources sustain such a population? How can such a state be viable. This instability will be used as a tool to further destroy Israel.
Israel will also want the PA to agree that Palestine will not enter into defense treaties with other Arab countries. This they will not agree to.
After all is said and done, what is to stop rockets from raining down on Israel from the West Bank. Nothing.
Who is to say that the Arabs will ever make peace with Israel? The Muslims are taking over Europe through intimidation made easier due to liberalism. The Seeds of Liberalism is one of the many articles attesting to this. In fifty years there will be nothing left of the Europe that we once knew. So why should the Arabs accept any less a fate for Israel.
It is for these reasons that Netanyahu is putting his hopes on economic development as a means to stabilize the West Bank. He is thinking of giving the Palestinians limited sovereignty, otherwise known as autonomy, rather than full sovereignty. But the Palestinians have rejected economic development time and time again. They prefer to eradicate the “occupation” which includes Israel. They will be aided and abetted in this project by Israel’s Arab fifth column.
The Obama administration has accepted the idea of economic development but not as a substitute for diplomatic progress. It is careful to always say it wants a secure Israel to result. But few believe that capitulation by Israel will make it more secure.
Israel could also decide to follow the National Union’s plan to annex Judea and Samaria together with its 1.4 million Arabs. In the expanded Israel, Jews would outnumber Arabs by a ratio of 2:1 Citizenship would be available to these Arabs, over an extended period, say 15 years, giving time for detoxification, subject to certain prerequisites. These include loyalty oaths, knowledge of Hebrew, national service and so on. Of course all terrorists and their huggers would have to be expelled.
Prior to the annexation, Israel would pass a constitution declaring Israel to be a Jewish state. Such constitution would perhaps provide for two houses of government and would require super majorities to pass any changes to fundamental things.
The local governments would be given as much responsibility or autonomy as they can responsibly handle. There would be zero tolerance for incitement. Everyone would be equal before the law. In fact this was what was envisioned by the League of Nations in the Palestinian Mandate passed in 1922 which gave the Palestinians civil and religious right but not political rights.
Very few refugees would be permitted to return to the expanded Israel. Gazans would be left high and dry to fend for themselves.
It would be best if Israel could get American approval to such a plan but that is unlikely. So Israel would have to go it alone. Just as she annexed Jerusalem without international approval, she could annex Judea and Samaria. This is simply done by extending Israeli law to these territories in replacement of occupation law. The word “annexation” need not come up. The “occupation” would then come to an end.
Oslo and the peace process have given the Palestinians hope of destroying Israel and this hope has fuelled the resistance. Kill the hope, you kill the resistance. As Palestinian nationalism dies, the fifth column in Israel will also evaporate. Then Israel can focus on creating a just society.
If Israel chooses this path she will have to contend with an irate world and probably sanctions. But in time things will settle down. As more and more Arabs earn citizenship, the opposition to the annexation will diminish.
As much as Israelis would love to include Judea and Samaria within their borders, they are very reluctant to include another 1.4 million Arabs within her borders. Given their experience with Arabs consisting of 20% of the current population and the experience of European countries in contending with as little as 10% Muslim minority, they are very reluctant to contend with a 33% Arab minority. There is much opposition to doing so. In fact Yisrael Beiteinu wants to give land away together with its Arab inhabitants in order to reduce the 20% minority of Arabs. Israel must chose between more land and a higher minority percentage or less land and a lower percentage. In the former case there would be no need to negotiate borders or divide Jerusalem. In the latter case Israel would be enabling a hostile Arab state to be created looming over the Israeli coastline.
Either way, Israel, pick your poison.