What About Israel?

Fred has some more choice words about a topic we’ve discussed here. He’s a curiousity if nothing else …

Can Israel Last? Maybe.
October 24, 2006

I wonder what is going to happen to Israel. Its existence depends entirely on its only ally, the United States. American support depends on the Israeli Lobby. Independent of the Lobby, a lot of Americans support Israel for many reasons, yes: Varieties of Christians for reasons of religion, people who see the Moslem world as a national enemy, those who think that Israel should be left alone to live in peace, and those who don’t precisely support Israel but don’t want to see what would happen if it were overrun. Together, these are not a contemptible constituency.

But most of this is soft support. As long as the price of backing Israel is a few billions a year, the supply of weaponry, and vetoes in the United Nations, few will object. But the world is changing. America appears to be on the verge of becoming a greatly reduced power. Where will that leave Israel?

Even now, neither the Israeli nor the US military is convincingly dominant. The American forces are enormous but designed for wars they are not going to fight. Carrier task forces, armored divisions, and nuclear submarines would excel against the Imperial Japanese Navy or the Red Army in the Fulda Gap. They lose to ragtag guerrillas. The ragtag guerrillas have noticed this. America hasn’t won a war since 1945.

The Israeli military is similar, relying on aircraft and tanks. Israel cannot successfully invade Lebanon against the wishes of irregulars, nor the United States defeat a small force of insurgents. As long as Israel is supported by the US, no Arab power will have any hope of invading it, but Israel’s capacity to intimidate neighboring powers has diminished. Times have changed.

Which brings us to nuclear weapons. These, as long as Israel has them and her enemies do not, serve as a trump card. Should Syria attack and begin to win, it would simply disappear, and knows it. But if Moslem nations have the Bomb, then Israel risks nuclear retaliation if it uses its own. This (I suspect), not the danger of an unprovoked attack by Iran, is the importance of a Moslem Bomb. Perhaps Iran can be prevented from building nuclear weapons, but it hasn’t been yet.

Read the rest here.

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