Taking the initiative in war, and going on the offensive, makes victory more likely. This may also be true for the war over Israel’s international standing. Israel’s hasbara (public diplomacy) is usually defensive, focusing on our historical rights to the land and our legitimacy as a state – crucial issues, except that few care about them. To win Israel must bring the battle to its enemies, exposing their murderous nature, the danger they pose not only to Israel but mostly to world peace, nay, to the survival of the West and its values.
The danger stemming from Israel’s international isolation is of course not as imminent as the danger from a nuclear Iran or from an irredentist, Gaza-style Palestinian state. Still, Israel cannot ignore it. Political isolation can make a struggle with our adversaries even more difficult, while boycotts can cut our exports, which generate close to half our GNP, causing unemployment and social mayhem.
To prepare for Israel’s destruction Iran is building a nuclear capacity, while all our other enemies are building support for Iran’s genocidal plans by claiming that Israel deserves to be destroyed because it stole Palestinian lands and is guilty of ethnic cleansing. Iran and the Palestinians lead these murderous assaults on Israel but they are assisted by most Muslim states, by some European government and by mostly leftist radicals (led by Israelis and Jews), and by many NGOs, labor and church groups, academicians and public opinion molders.
Israel can foil such assaults, despite the many difficulties facing it in doing so. Studies indicate that most European citizens have no interest whatsoever in the Arab-Israeli conflict; they wish both would go to hell. It is therefore difficult to engage them and change their minds. Most of the assaults on Israel’s legitimacy originate in the European chattering classes. They have become increasingly radicalized and they influence public opinion. They are immune to persuasion, because as is common in Christian society their attitude to Jews, and to the Jewish state, is not friendly. Most have been corrupted by Arab money.
The Arabs purchased significant holdings in many major European firms. They exploit their economic clout to wage war against Israel. They help establish academic “research institutions” that promote the Muslim narrative, and sponsor all kinds of programs that influence politicians and the media.
Israel has to move from defensiveness, trying to justify Zionism as a virtuous liberation movement, to an assault on the legitimacy of the criminal regimes that try to destroy it. It has to expose them as dark and evil dictatorships that deny the human rights of their citizens, especially women, children and minorities. It must clarify that their murderous aggression is not directed only at Israel but also at each other, that their wish to destroy the “small Satan” Israel is a prelude to their intent to destroy the “great Satan” America, representing Western culture and Christianity, which Islam is determined to vanquish. Their pretense of fighting for Palestinian rights is a facade hiding their genocidal intentions and their wish to destroy all non-Islamic peoples. If they could they would butcher all non-Muslims, as Islamic State (IS) is attempting to do.
Israel has succeeded – in large part thanks to the efforts of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – in making the world community aware of the danger posed by a nuclear Iran. But most Westerners still do not comprehend Iranian strategy and the grave threat it poses.
Secular Westerners are oblivious to the power of religious faith. They therefore overlook Iranian determination to have Shi’ite Islam vanquish Christianity and the West, even at immense cost to its people.
The ayatollahs are true believers and they will do their utmost to first vanquish Sunni Islam and “liberate” the holy cities of Mecca and Medina (capturing Saudi oil fields may be a bonus). They could then lead a united Muslim jihad against the West by imposing, as Islam requires, “the [rule of] the house of Islam on the house of war,” namely on Christianity. They could economically strangle America and Europe by controlling the price of oil, or militarily by the threat of an atomic bomb.
Iran has been barely able to feed its people and pay for its costly weapons programs.
Khomeini destroyed its agriculture, a mainstay of its economy, by imposing heavy price controls. Millions of destitute farmers were forced to move into shantytowns, living on welfare dispensed according to family size, which made the birthrate skyrocket. About 60 million Persians must now be heavily subsidized. Twenty-five percent of families have no working member. Annual inflation is 30%. Iran’s welfare bill consumes almost its entire income from oil, 30% of its GDP.
The regime’s only lifeline is current income from oil. With oil prices falling and with sanctions, Iran faced collapse. Therefore it agreed to suspend work on its costly atomic project, still maintaining the necessary infrastructure and the right to continue development work. Once sanctions are removed and oil exports replenish Iran’s reserves, it could abrogate the agreement and build a bomb in few months.
Iran’s leaders believe they can control the flow and price of oil by threatening to blockade the straits of Hormuz. They could make the blockade stick by threatening to incinerate Saudi oil fields if opposed. This is why Iran needs a bomb so badly. Once the lifting of sanctions will allow it to gather enough resources to survive for the year it needs for a breakthrough, it will build the bomb.
Iran’s repeated threats to destroy Israel, the small Satan, have distracted attention from its ambition to destroy the big Satan, America, despite mass “Death to America” rallies and Khomeini’s assertion that the Islamic revolution had to be exported until the whole world will accept its true faith.
Iran does want Israel destroyed, because it blocks it from dominating the Middle East.
But Iran’s first priority is to control the flow and price of oil, so that it can neutralize or subdue the West. Rational secular people do not take seriously such “crazy” ideas, but the mullahs do. Israel must do more to make this clear.
As for the charge against Israel that it denies Palestinians statehood, Israel must clarify that the issue is not “Palestinian statehood yes or no” but whether an upgraded Palestinian Authority will not pose a mortal threat to its existence.
The PA is a dysfunctional criminal entity, a clan-based coalition made up of murderous political gangs. It deprives the Palestinians of even the most elementary rights, robs them of billions in aid from the US and Europe, keeps them in poverty and misery, oppresses women, gays and lesbians, and anybody who isn’t Muslim. It foments rage against Israel by incessant incitement that calls on even little children to kill Jews. Can granting it statehood bring about peace? How can anyone who cherishes human rights, and cares for the oppressed Palestinians, believe that subjecting them to even a greater state oppression is justified just so that they can enjoy a putative political “self-determination” – the kind enjoyed by the citizens of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, The Gulf States, the North African states, Pakistan, Iran or Afghanistan? Israel sinned against the Palestinians when, in the Oslo Agreements, it agreed that a terrorist organization, Arafat’s PLO, should rule them. The idea was that the PLO would fight Hamas; instead, Israel got two terrorist organizations to try to destroy it.
There is the greater danger that a Palestinian state will be taken over in no time by Hamas and will cause a deadly war. As in Gaza, it would promptly launch massive missile attacks, this time against the heart of Israel. Thousands could be killed and wounded, and Israel’s civil and military infrastructure could suffer heavy damage.
Israel would have no alternative but to re-conquer the West Bank in bloody battles in heavily populated areas, with thousands of casualties, Arabs and Jews alike.
The remaining Arabs would flee to Jordan, depose the king, and establish, as in Gaza, a Hamas state dominated by Iran on Israel’s eastern flank.
As for the “moral” duty to restore Palestinian lands to the Arabs, it is based on a lie. The territory of what became known as The British Mandate over Palestine was never ever Arab. When the Arabs received, in the post-World War I peace conference, 93 percent of the vast territories of the Ottoman Empire, their representative, the Emir Faisal, the ruler of Arabia, willingly relinquished any claim to the territory on which the British were to receive a mandate designated, by international sanction and with the Arabs consent, as a Jewish national home. The area was mostly desert then, and belonged to the Ottoman sultan. Palestine, Mark Twain wrote of the sultan in 1860 that he was “a prince of desolation.” Only 4% of the land was inhabited, largely by nomads.
There was never a national Palestinian entity or nation with any claim to this deserted land, so nothing could be “stolen” from it.
Peace between Arabs and Jews is possible, but not through the establishment of a corrupt Arab dictatorial state. In fact, peace did come to the West Bank between the war of 1967 and the first intifada of 1987, in the same way it came to Europe after its dictatorships were defeated in World War II. During those 20 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Arabs’ standard of living quintupled, agriculture and small industry were revolutionized, seven institution of higher learning were established, the status of women, children and minorities improved dramatically, and there was no terrorism. Alas, the Oslo Accords put paid to that: they imposed Yasser Arafat and his terrorist gangs on the hapless West Bank inhabitants.
The first steps Arafat took were to assassinate Israelis who ate and shopped in West Bank cities, and to interrupt all economic relations. He willfully destroyed the standard of living of the West Bank Arabs, causing 30% unemployment. He directed Arab rage against Israel.
Peace could have been established between Arabs and Jews years ago if not for the imposition of Arafat’s PA on the West Bank Arabs.
The upgrading of Arafat’s criminal “Authority” to a state will delay it by another generation.
Israel does not do enough to make this case. It is time it did.