Friday, September 23, 2011

Can Israel Survive?

There’s a great deal of speculation these days on Israel’s dire situation, most notably from renowned author and scholar Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review, who prefaces it with a remark that the country has never been in more danger.

The Islamist regimes in Egypt and elsewhere brought on by the Arab Spring and their growing hostility to Israel, the genocidal influence of Iran and its missile armed proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, Erdogan's Islamist Turkey, the huge influence of Arab petro-dollars, and the indifference and growing anti-semitism in much of Europe and the exhaustion and debt of the United States are frequently cited.

It's a gloomy picture, and none of it is to be trivialized. But I think dire predictions of Israel's demise are premature, to say the least.

It’s worth remembering that Israel has faced far worst and survived. In 1948, the British left Palestine, but not before confiscating as many arms in the hands of Jews as they could find and turning over strategic locations to Israel's genocidal enemies. In the year leading up to that conflict, the British armed the Arab nations with modern weapons including aircraft and tanks in spite of their open and explicit threats of jihad against Israel's Jews. In the case of Jordan, the British not only trained the Arab Legion but officered it during the 1948 war and oversaw the ethnic cleansing of Jews from their homes in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, led by a Jew hating British Colonel by the name of John Glubb, AKA Glubb Pasha. And this was a mere three years after the liberation of Auschwitz.

The Jews had no aircraft or artillery, and used homemade 'Davidka' mortars and improvised armored trucks as 'tanks'. They were unable to purchase weapons from the United States because President Truman decided to put an arms embargo on both sides, something that affected Israel greatly and the Arabs not at all, since they were able to purchase arms openly from Britain and other European countries, many of whom were unwilling to sell arms to Israel for fear of angering the oil rich Arabs. In one of the ironies of history, a major cache of the arms the Jews used to win their war of independence were Nazi arms left over from the occupation of Czechoslovakia, purchased by Israel on the black market.

Somehow, the Jews prevailed against the attempted second Holocaust. And without the help of Europe, the United States or the UN.

They prevailed again in 1967, after a last minute cutoff of arms and supplies from Charles DeGaulle deprived them of all arms and supplies from France, their major arms source. The US remained neutral during that war and supplied no arms to the Jewish State, who were facing war on three fronts from Arab nations armed with the latest Soviet weapons. The Six Day War was a miracle not only because Israel won against overwhelming odds, but because they were able to win before the supplies and spare parts for their French weapons ran out.

Today's situation is not to be underestimated, but not nearly as dire as it might seem. In many ways, Israel's position is far more secure and superior than it was then.

The French betrayal in 1967 had a positive aspect in that it taught the Israelis not to rely overly on foreign made armaments. Today, Israel has a thriving state of the art arms industry of its own with products rivaling the best made anywhere, and the advantage that they're no longer at the mercy of another country for spare parts for most of their weaponry. The two main areas the Israelis have not gone into are fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships, both of which they still purchase from the U.S. However, they have produced aircraft in the past like the Kfir and the Avi and might very well make the decision to do so again. And their armed and unarmed drones are top quality.

Israel has a decent arsenal of ballistic missiles, and they also possess a small fleet of nuclear-armed Dolphin class submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles and hitting pretty much anything in the Middle East with precision.

They also have the best trained and most lethal fighting force in the region..and they’re free men fighting to defend their homes.

Let's compare that with the adversaries that Dr. Hanson and others have mentioned.

Unlike Israel, both Egypt and Turkey are extremely dependent on US made parts for their military, and it's difficult for me to believe that America would continue to supply them in a war against Israel, even with a President Obama in the White House. Also, neither can afford a war financially. Egypt is bankrupt with a population it can't afford to feed, and Turkey is sitting on a huge credit bubble that could burst at any moment. A war with Israel would also probably involve Turkey leaving NATO, since neither the U.S. or NATO’s European members would likely get involved in the conflict.

Turkey also has the disadvantage of logistics. They have large conventional forces but getting them in position to fight Israel would involve crossing huge distances, not to mention the problem of air support. And their military command, having recently been purged by PM Erdogan is lacking in depth and experience. Both nations will almost certainly stay out and confine themselves to hostility and encouraging actual combatants.

Hamas and Hezbollah (and I would also include the Palestinian Authority, thanks to the U.S. trained and equipped military America gifted to Fatah) remain Israel's immediate threats, largely because Hamas and Hezbollah remain Iran's proxies in any war with Israel.

Thanks to the inept leadership of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former defense minister Amir Peretz, neither of whom had ever held military command, the IDF was thrown haphazardly into Lebanon against Hezbollah in 2006 without adequate planning or logistics and initially suffered heavy casualties, with the unprepared IDF being surprised by Hezbollah's tactics and their level of training. Northern Israel also sustained heavy damage and civilian casualties from Hezbollah's missiles. However, once a coordinated ground assault began, Israeli forces ultimately macerated whole units of Hezbollah's ground forces, and destroyed most of Hezbollah's missile arsenal.

Unfortunately, thanks to Ehud Barack and Tzipi Livni's bending to pressure from US Secretary of State Condi Rice and the UN, a premature ceasefire was enacted that saved Hezbollah from destruction and allowed them to regroup, rearm and consolidate their control over Lebanon.

While they remain a strategic threat, there are several different factors operating today that weren't present in 2006 if war breaks out again.

First, the IDF experienced a major overhaul in tactics, training, equipment and leadership as a result of the 2006 Lebanon War, and they aren't going to be surprised again by Hezbollah, or sent into battle without a coordinated plan.

Also, if a new war breaks out, the rules are going to be quite different. In 2006, the IDF was ordered to avoid attacks on Lebanese installations whenever possible, giving Hezbollah a major advantage because they were able to hide rocket launchers, arms caches and fighters in civilian areas and in Lebanese government buildings. These days, Hezbollah essentially controls Lebanon, and the Israelis have made it quite clear that if Hezbollah attacks Israel again, it's going to be a war between Israel and Lebanon. And based on the Israeli realization of the fiasco that occurred with UNSC Resolution 1701 and UNFIL, this time Hezbollah may not be rescued by a ceasefire, something I’m sure Hezbollah’s leaders have considered.

Hamas survived Operation Cast Lead in December of 2008 by hiding among civilians in Gaza City after heavy casualties inflicted by the IDF, with its missile arsenal devastated and a number of its top commanders killed. Again, the Olmert government made the decision to declare a unilateral ceasefire and withdraw, rather than put the city under siege, cut off its electricity and destroy Hamas utterly. While Hamas has re-armed to a degree, there's no reason to think that another war with Israel would result in a Hamas victory.

The real wild card remains Iran, rapidly approaching status as a nuclear power. Much of Iran's threat comes via its proxies in Gaza and Lebanon and it ability to launch missile attacks, since Iranian conventional forces are too far removed to make a ground war feasible and I doubt that Iraq would allow an Iranian army military access in any event.

Would the ayatollahs risk heavy retaliation by attempting to destroy Israel for Allah? Perhaps. But Iran is not a nuclear power yet - not quite - and a threat to Israel would of necessity be prefaced by a successful nuclear weapons test. The day that happens, look for the Israelis to launch a major pre-emptive strike on Iran shortly afterwards, which could very well include tactical nukes. As I've mentioned before, such an attack would likely be facilitated by the Saudis, who long ago lost patience with the feckless Obama Administration's non-policy on Iran.

It’s certainly correct that Israel faces major challenges, and a combined assault by Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah would not be a negligible threat. Complacency is not a strategy and anything can happen in war. But Israel has faced far greater threats before and won handily.

Actually, those speculating on Israel’s danger ask the wrong question. The real matter up for discussion is not about Israel’s survival, but whether the West will prevail against the assault by Islamism. Because the fate of the West is bound to that of Israel's by the iron chains of history.

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Anonymous said...

Not really. Germany can break with Atlanticism,and the US sphere of influence,and go with Russia which in turn can recreate or accomodate a rejectionist, anti-Zionist front or at least an Islam-friendly axis even unto , possibly, Eurasian Empire.

Of course you might not consider such moves in part or toto as the "West" you know and love.

Rob said...


You're obviously not familiar with the growing trend of anti-Islamism in Germany, and are not taking into account Germany's historic wariness of Russia.

Moreover, such a move would involve Germany ousting the US forces based there and leaving NATO, which among other things means they'd need to spend billions on their own protection.

I don't see that as a likely scenario, although it certainly is an Islamist's wet dream.

The Germans aren't stupid.

Dymphna said...


I'm going to link to this. I've been listening/reading "Israel-is-doomed" sturm und drang since, well on the internet since about 2005 when Shrinkwrapped went off on a dysphoric rant.


No one mentions what's coming down the pike this winter and will throw a big, fat monkey wrench in any kind of sane planning: mass starvation. China is buying up all the wheat cuz it can afford to.

That cute little Facebook Arab Spring in Cairo was a potemkin 'revolution' since it doesn't matter who's in charge if they don't have food to hand out.

Not just Egypt but all across the MME, and sub-Saaharan Africa. No water, no food. That's why they're dying by the thousands to get themselves to Italy.

Turkey is as fragile as any of them. No oil, few exports and a weak economy which is not enough to feed everybody.

Let's see what happens when they try to turn that corn into more ethanol instead of feeding people.

The Winter Famine of 2011-12 will be downright ugly and inhumane. I am dreading it.

BTW, beg steal or borrow -- heck, even buy it, Spengler's book on all this, plus more.

He says when it's all over Israel and America will be left standing, but not in ways we will recognize. But at least we'll still be here.

Please come by and see the latest hate fest the Norwegians are perpetrating on Fjordman. It's all in aid of arresting him for his "intellectual responsibility" for Breivik's massacre.

You must see the satiric, sick character they've named "Fjordland" in a situation comedy
How a Totalitarian Democracy Avoids Responsibility

"Fjordland" is a mute paraplegic in a Nazi uniform who rolls his wheelchair into the welfare office.

Equals dumb, crippled, and a parasite.

It scares me even to write about, looking at the screen cap makes me sick. Literally. I have a link to Vlad Tepes' copy of the video of the show which was aired on Norwegian TV in prime time. In fact, a Norwegian reader told me they moved it to a MORE prime time spot since adding the Fjordland character.

Fj is no longer in the country. The police want to "talk" to him...

felix said...

Several long-term trends/possibilities to consider that can positively affect Israel strategic position:

Additional supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas may at long last come onto the world market, resulting in lower price of oil, which will severly hurt Iran. For example, it is conveivable that in 2012 a Republican in the WH and Republican Congress will authorize ANWAR drilling, shale development and so on. Develpment of US energy resources is now being seen as an employment boost--it will be politically popular.

Deconstruction of radical islamist beliefs--This is difficult to contemplate. Islam can't tolerate dissent or any criticim of the religion. In most western countries this has resulted in government supression of free speech where criticism of Islam is concerned. In the USA, recent Supreme Court decision--I think 8-1-- took absolute pro free speech position in allowing public demonstrations in from of military funerals--by despicable Fred Phelps group. This and other court decisions mean that Islam can be legally criticized, parodied, cartooned, etc. The light will be shined on this belief system.

Public Opinion in the West--the gradual rise of counter-jihad political parites in Europe and the adoption by the Republican Party of a counter-jihad, anti-sharia position. Clearing out the cobwebs of political correctness where Islamic fundamentalism is concerned. We're not hearing much of the GW Bush ROP terminology anymore.

Sunni/Shiite conflicts in the middle east divert energy and militaries in the region away from Israel. There's more.....

B.Poster said...

"Chuckle" Why? What's so funny?

"You're obxiously not familiar with the growing trend of anti-Islamism in Germany and you're not taking into account Germany's historic weariness of Russia." Geramny is beginning to "get it" regarding Islam. In fact, in some respects they may be further along than America. As for the histric weariness of Russia. What weariness? The naarraive we've all been given is the weariness results from German aggression against peaceful Russia. I'm not saying I necessarrily believe that. The truth of the situation is likely considerably more complicated than the narrative. The Germans and other Western Europeans had no real problem allowing themselves to become dependednt upon Russia for their oil supplies. You see to them the real problem is America!! At least this is the narrative they ahve all been given.

"Moreover such a move would involve Germany ousting the US forces based there and leaving NATO..." This ouster of US forces and Germany laving NATO is all but inevitable at this point. It will happen before end of the decade, probably in the next 5 years.. The reasons are as follows. 1.)America has huge problems at home and cannot spare the forces that are stationed there nor can America afford the expenditures with its national debt. 2.) American forces are worn down, their equipment is aging, and is technolgically out of date. Any forces it has will be needed to defend the Aemrican mainland and cannot be used in Germany. 3.) Given the worn down and outdated nature of US forces Russia will not tolerate them in Germany. Germany will want them out, in order to help ease tensions with Russia. After all we all know the narrative on Russian/German relations.

"...which means among other things they'd need to spend billions on their own protection." This is true, however, given America's situation Aemrica is no longer capale of doing this and whatever capabilities Aemrica currently has are rapidly dimiinsihing and without the economic ability or the techincal know how to address these problems things are likely to get much worse. Unfortunately we are likely way past the point where a mere change in leadership will fix the problems fast enough for the US to be capalbe of defeding Germany through NATO. If I koow this, German leaders do as well. As such, chances are they already working on the withdrawl of US forces from tehir country and the dissolution of NATO. Furthermore America does not really want to continue in this role nor can it realistically do so. As such, the German and American governments are probably working together on this right now. When something is inevitable it is very important for leaders to get out in front and prepare for these things.

The scenario of the withdrawl of US forces from Germany, Gernmab withdrawing from NATO, and NATO's ultimate dissolution are inevitable. The only conceivable way this would change would be if Russia, in a fit of extreme arrogance over reaches, a very real possibility by the way. Then again America cannot defend Germany any way. To attempt to do so it places at even graver risk its own liberty.

As for this bgeing an Islamists "wet drean," the scenatir you dimiss as being unlikely is all but inevitable right now. Before the Islamists get to to exicted though they should realize that Russia has other goals that may not be compatible with theirs. As such, the end result may be different than what they expected.

Finally, out of all of the current major world powers of Russia, china, India, and America none face problems as severe and as acute as what America faces. I'm sure the leaders of Russia, China, and India thank whatever god or gods they believe in on a daily basis that the problems they face are no where near as severa as what America faces.

Rob said...

What's funny was the idea Germany would involve itself with Russia.As for our forces here, even a single brigade would be sufficient, because the Russians know that as long as a single US soldier is present, an invasion of Germany means war with the US.

And frankly, my friend, I don't know how often I have to say this until it sinks in.. the US military is the most lethal organization of its kind in the world.

The arsenal of just one of our nuclear subs is capable of blowing up the world several times over, and doing it with precision.There is no nation in the world right now with anything like that kind of firepower.

Repeat that last paragraph fifty times or so until it sinks in.

BTW, Russia, China,and India would love to be facing the problems America faces.

Russia is a dying nation,India has a 100 milion strong Muslim population and directly on the borders of jihad( as are Russia and China) and China's economy faces implosion if conditions become such that they can't get the oil they desperately need and can't export.

The US has its own oil, a healthy birthrate, great natural resources, can feed itself and has such a high standard of living that even the poorest of our 'poor' live like kings compared to the average lifestyle of the population in the countries you mention. Go there sometime and see for yourself.

You really must get off this kick.


Rob said...

Oh, BTW B. Poster, the word I used in my earlier comment that you reacted to so strongly was wariness, NOT 'weariness'. Please read up on the history of Germany and Russia ( and before Germany, Russia versus Prussia and Bavaria)and how Russia repressed East Germany. You'll get why it's ludicrous.


Scott Kirwin said...

The only group that matters are the Israelis themselves. In a fight between an entity that is fighting for its life against one that can walk away, I will always bet on the former. But do the Jews have the stomach for such a fight? That will determine whether Israel survives or not.

Bookworm said...

I was going to write that the only thing that can defeat Israel is the Israelis -- and then I read Scott's comment. I'm reading Ralph Peter's book about the endless war between Islam and the West. In a chapter looking at America and Israel, he comments that their biggest problem in these wars is their humanity, morality and empathy.

Anonymous said...

The American Revolution was fought with good reason, and the reasons have not changed. England is still in the tank for imperialism. I believe this is why they submit to Islam. Their suicidal idiocy is in their blood and they cannot rationally see their own oncoming destruction.

Ashan said...

The Soros/Stanley Greenberg/Tzipi Livni (Kadima) liberal mishmash that have infected and led (by the nose) the tent city protests in uber-Left Tel Aviv and other places will fizzle to a whimper (except for a few die-hards) once a couple of Hizbonazi missiles hit Tel Aviv. These odd-bods will either scurry like rats for the airport or suddenly become patriots and fight like hell to save their family and the country.

One thing hangs in the air and gives me a feeling a foreboding is the terrible UN policy of R2P (Responsibility to Protect), instigated by Soros and his acolyte and foreign policy "advisor" to Comrade Barry, the amoral Samantha Power. It was tested in Libya to their satisfaction with the US regime illegally bypassing the Congressional War Powers Act and leading from behind the cover of NATO. The regime is so inimical toward Israel, with Powers on video calling for a huge force to confront Israel to protect the "Palestinians", that, G-d forbid, the unthinkable might happen.

Wildgoose said...

First of all, I want to make it clear that I support Israel's existence and also its need for defensible borders.

But you really don't make yourself any friends by your complete misrepresentation of British involvement in Palestine. You might want to consider that expecting British armed forces to be sympathetic to Irgun and the people carrying out a murderous campaign against them isn't exactly reasonable.

You might also want to consider British reactions to Israeli armaments and support for Argentina during the Falklands War.

Israel has not been any kind of friend to Britain, and yet despite this, many Britons still support Israel's right to exist.

But if you keep kicking us....

Rob said...

Hello Wildgoose,
Thanks for dropping by. Respectfully, I actually don't feel I'm misrepresenting Britain's conduct at all.

Do you deny that what I said about Britain arming Arab nations whose avowed purpose was the massacre of every Jew in Israel? Or what I had to say about Colonel Glubb and the British officers who led Arab Legion and oversaw the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem? Or the British turning over strategic locations to the Arabs? This is a matter of historical record and we both know it's all true.Anything the Irgun did was tame by comparison.

We could even go a bit further. The British League of Nations Mandate was to provide a national home for the Jewish people, and the 1924 San Remo agreement (which Britain was signatory to) took into account Britain's unilateral gift of 80% of the Mandate to the Arabs and stated explicitly that everything west of the Jordan was to be the Jewish state.

Instead, Brits did everything they could to limit Jewish migration to Palestine while allowing unlimited migration of Arabs, even appointing Hitler's pal Haj Amin al-Husseini as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. This culminated in the Brits ending ALL Jewish migration to Palestine with the White Paper on the eve of the Holocaust when Jews were desperate for a haven. As far as I'm concerned, Britain was directly complicit in the death toll of the Holocaust, and their entire record is one of cowardice, anti-semitism and bad faith.

In more modern times, the UK's Labour government refused to allow U.S. overflight to resupply Israel during the Yom Kippur War, and the UK's Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett threw a fit when the U.S. attempted to refuel in the UK while delivering badly needed supplies to Israel during the Lebanon War.

The UK has had a de facto arms embargo on Israel for years, even when it came to things like parts for pilot ejectors. And have you forgotten the UK's Universal Jurisdiction laws, or the constant anti-Israel rhetoric coming from Miliband, Hague, Brown and Cameron?

You may recognize Israel's need for defensible borders but your government doesn't. With such friends, Israel hardly needs enemies.

Rob Miller

Batya said...

It's not so simple. We were stronger before the American "advice/help" post-1967. The US gave advice that almost destroyed Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. With friends like these...

Rob said...

Bevakasha, Batya.

Respectfully, it was the Labor Government's decision not to annex Judea and Samaria, and not to transfer a lot of those Jordanian citizens across the river to their home country.They also decided to ignore Arik's advice and hang to the Bar-Lev line, which became a tomb for Israelis cut off and surrounded by the attacking Egyptians in '73.

Golda also knew the Egyptians were going to strike and deliberately let them have the first blow. Why do you think she resigned afterwards?

While Kissinger and Nixon suggested it as a possible peace move, the Israeli government also didn't need to allow the Egyptian 3rd Army to get away intact when the IDF had them trapped.

And it was the U.S. and President Nixon who pushed through Operation Nickleback to resupply the IDF and used hazardous mid-air refueling to do it because the Euros wouldn't allow the US planes to refuel on the ground.

If the Israeli government continues to indulge in the farcical 'peace process' after everything that's happened...

Credit and blame where they're due Batya.You can't expect anyone, even a country like the US to be more pro-Israel than the Israelis.

G'mar Chatima Tovah,