'Hamas threat remains'
Photo: AFP

Stayin’ alive in Mideast

Moshe Dann analyzes current situation, reminds us that Israel is best under pressure

In the Middle East there are only friends and enemies, those on whom you can count, and those on whom you can't. Survival depends on knowing where people stand, and, like the shifting desert sands, and vagrant, unsteady winds, it's sometimes not easy to know.


Ironically, the response to the Goldstone Report and the UNHRC may have helped define these categories. Jew-haters use it to demonize Israel; Israel's friends offer support. It shows whose side you're on.


For those who have been selling "The Peace Process," and "two-state" proposals, their task is more difficult, as Israel is more isolated by the international community, while threatened with annihilation by Iran, missile attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah and continuing Arab terrorism.


The situation is not conducive to having tea, and even if it's offered, Israel rightly wonders if it's been poisoned. Despite a siege mentality, life goes on normally, as it must. The downside, however, is that negotiations to arrive at some modus vivendi blur the reality: Arab "Palestinian" leaders and the Arab world are infused with an intense, Nazi-like Jew-hatred.


Those who have not read German-scholar Matthias Kuntzel's Jihad and Jew-Hatred (Telos Press, 2007) should do so immediately. Kuntzel identifies a crucial aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Israel is best, however, when it is under pressure; it's not the first time, and isn't the last. Goldstone's Report generated more anti-Jewish hatred, but that reservoir of bigotry is overflowing already and Israelis are used to it.


With generous first rains, in the midst of a severe regional drought, Israelis also pray for miracles, even amidst increasing hostilities and massive arms shipments to Hamas and Hezbollah. But Israelis are also practical and innovative – as clearly evident in science and technology - and understand that one can't be too careful and less sanguine.


There are, after all, and with much hope, realities.


More concerned about next war 

First and foremost is that all forms of "Palestinianism" advocate the destruction of Israel – sooner or later. It's not a question of if, but when. Increasing Islamism throughout the Muslim world, especially in strategic places like Turkey, are ominous signs, but not critical, yet.


The war against Hamas in Gaza is over, for the moment, and the Goldstone Report, while damaging, will have no effect on Israel's strategy or military and security interests. The threat posed by Hamas remains, however, and is growing. Egypt continues to allow weapons to be transferred from its territory to Hamas.


Israel is more concerned about the next war, and more immediate threats: massive buildup of arms by Hezbollah in Lebanon, including long-range missiles, and Iran's nuclear development. One boatload of arms was caught, but how many more were not? And not a word of condemnation from anyone - even the Lebanese!


Israel is also rapidly running out of water. This crisis affects everyone and solving it is a prerequisite to any further major population increases. This is an ecological weapon in the war against Israel.


Laments for Goldstone's effect on the "end of the peace process," however, are mistaken. The Goldstone Report and the UNGA and UNHRC condemnation of Israel may signal the end of the illusion of a peace process, which is healthy.


Relationships, especially those between countries and groups, are inspired by fantasies, but collapse beneath the weight of reality. The use of Goldstone's Report to demonize Israel for its military action in

self-defense – and one which Fatah and the PA supported - offers clarity in dust-storms of Israel's search for peace.


Israel sometimes acts like an abused woman, desperate for acceptance and protection. But, battered and bleeding, her back against the wall, she can also be nasty.


The author, a former assistant professor of History (CUNY) is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem


פרסום ראשון: 11.10.09, 10:31
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