When it is assessed in narrowly scientific terms, modern Israel's physical survival has never been a safe bet. After all, from the very beginning, even before the UN's  grant of statehood took legal effect in May 1948, the common goal of Israel's enemies has been plain. Unrelieved, even by time, this goal remains what is has always been: collective Jewish extermination.

There is an obvious corollary to any such proposition in world politics. Israel exists perilously, in a tentative condition of permanent insecurity and unending vulnerability. Among other more particular liabilities, this situation represents the most bitter of historical ironies. Israel, an ancient nation that was ingathered in mid-20th century, expressly to prevent another genocide, has been targeted for another "Final Solution."

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