The Murder of Rina Shnerb and the Fight for Israel’s Open Spaces

Last Friday, Palestinian terrorists detonated a bomb that killed seventeen-year-old Rina Shnerb, who was hiking with her family, and wounded her father and brother. The attack comes a few weeks after the murder of nineteen-year-old Dvir Sorek by Hamas operatives near a village bus stop. Gershon Hacohen comments:

From the Palestinian perspective, Jews can—perhaps—be permitted to exist in their urban high-rises and engage in their white-collar occupations in high-tech and commerce. That is the Jews’ place. The open spaces, on the other hand—the fields, springs, and pastures—these the Arabs must control. The former prime minister Ehud Barak used the phrase “villa in the jungle” to describe Israel’s existential experience, a metaphor worth examining. In their quest for security, the Jews exist in spaces surrounded by fences—a type of upscale, safe ghetto with boundaries they dare not cross.

On the face of it, the “villa in the jungle” metaphor [suggests] a modern high-tech-like outlook. . . . In practice, it is a direct continuation of the [centuries-old] diasporic Jewish experience of ghettoization, the Pale of Settlement, and denial of agricultural and farming opportunities that Zionism has sought to reverse.

For decades now, the Palestinians have understood the essence of their struggle better than the Jews have understood theirs. The purpose of the Zionist enterprise was clear long ago, and Israelis would be wise to re-embrace it: re-establishment of statehood and full sovereignty in the Jews’ ancestral homeland in its full scope. Not in a small, ghettoized, urban “villa in the jungle.”

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Diaspora, Ehud Barak, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian terror

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy