Israel is frequently given the not-so-subtle message that it must conform to US interests if it expects American support. It would behoove those who express this to consider that the relationship is a two-way street; the US needs Israel as a bulwark against the terrorism that threatens not only the Middle East but the very foundations of Western civilization.
Iran recognizes the importance of Israel in the Middle East; it is an obstacle to Iran's endgame - the complete takeover of the region. If and when the coalition leaves Iraq, Iran would step in; Syria is already in its sway. Lebanon would be an easy conquest and eliminating Egypt, Jordan, and Israel - all considered friends of the US - would create a paradise for radical Islam from which to attack Europe and the rest of the Western world. It is vital that Israel bring this to the attention of the West.
To those not in the immediate vicinity Iran might appear to be distant but that country is on the brink of achieving its goal of nuclear weapon capability and its threats of destruction will bring the danger to the "front door" of Western countries. Withholding oil would be one manner of blackmailing those who might feel relief at not being destroyed! Can anyone imagine the additional tensions - the daily uncertainty - of life under those conditions?!
Just as Israel today faces some isolation, so would other Western countries begin to experience the same, with loss of power to determine their own course.
The usual soul-searching as to the causes of the situation would expose the lack of forceful response to Iran's continuous reports of progress as they created devices of destruction. No doubt there would be regrets that action had not been taken earlier to prevent the new reality - that Western leaders had fiddled while Iran churned out its weapons of mass destruction.
Today's efforts to engage Iran in diplomacy ignore the years of cajoling that country, standing by as it has conducted war by proxy, providing ever advanced weapons to groups like Hizbullah and Hamas - two of the members of the worldwide network of terrorism - as they continuously attack Israel.
Iran has consistently refused inspection - the very transparency that President Obama lauds - yet now he considers that country as a partner in the war against that very terrorism!
Symbol of freedom
The president, in his statements about not being at war with Islam, has not differentiated between that and the enemy - radical Islam. He has gone so far as to change the name of that combatant to "Overseas Contingency Operation" - whatever that means. The attack on the World Trade Center was not "overseas."
The thinking process of the West is as different from that of the Mideast as inches are to centimeters. It is folly to assume that concessions will placate those who have sinister intentions.
On the contrary, in the Mideast this is recognized as appeasement, a sign of weakness to be exploited for more of the same - to the ultimate goal. Agreements are considered temporary - to be abrogated when it is advantageous.
Israel, at the forefront of the worldwide conflict against the same enemy, is literally at the front line. No one who is not in Israel's position should dictate what steps must be taken for its survival. In the past there have been too many cooks stirring the Middle East soup, obviously each with its own recipe.
It is Israel that is "at the table" when that international concoction is served. Certainly, even a well-intentioned cook with limited "culinary" experience should not be adding any new ingredients to an already complex recipe lest the repercussions be experienced far and wide.
We must hope that the West will realize that Israel is more than just a tiny country in a bad neighborhood; it is a symbol of freedom and democracy whose safety and security are paramount to the survival of the West. May this wisdom prevail.
Chana Givon is an educator and writer. She is the co-director of Writing the Wrongs, a forum for pro-Israel advocacy