Should the Worries of Diaspora Jews Be Part of Israel’s Security Calculus?

July 29 2015

According to a survey by a Jerusalem-based think tank, there is widespread feeling among Diaspora Jews that Israel doesn’t consider them when making decisions about security matters. Specifically, many believe that Israeli military operations lead to more anti-Semitism, and they want the Jewish state to be mindful of that. Contrary to the think tank’s official report, Judith Bergman finds the suggestion absurd:

Israel is not merely “fighting wars” but struggling for its existence. . . . The very idea, therefore, of involving people who have chosen to make their home outside Israel in the decision-making process concerning issues that are already extremely sensitive, complex, and fraught with pitfalls seems bizarre. . . .

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in all parts of the world. . . . Diaspora Jews obviously have to endure the brunt of this. [However, the] logic applied by the participants surveyed for the purpose of the study . . . is flawed. Israel’s actions are not to blame for the rise of anti-Semitism in the world. . . . Nothing Israel ever does will satisfy its critics, as the last couple of years have amply demonstrated. No amount of moral warfare of the highest caliber . . . will ever be good enough for the international organizations and NGOs that have made it their very raison d’être to criticize Israel. . . .

Having a say in how and when Israel fights its defensive wars is a right reserved for any Jew who wants to assume the responsibilities that having such a say entails: living in Israel and sharing in all of its aspects, the ups as well as the downs, the joys as well as the sorrows. Nowhere in the world do rights come without responsibilities. This holds true for Israel as well.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Diaspora, Gaza War, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada