The Israeli Military Is Strong Enough to Overwhelm Its Adversaries, but Has Some Dangerous Weak Spots

In a detailed assessment of the IDF’s capabilities, Kenneth Brower argues that in many ways it is mightier than many Israelis realize. Through air power alone, Brower contends, Israel could likely cripple the entire Russian expeditionary force in Syria in less than hour. And that’s not all:

Israel can defeat any conceivable Russian expeditionary force, but obviously cannot defeat Russia or reach Moscow. Similarly, Russia cannot defeat Israel or reach Jerusalem. . . . Israel can [also] defeat Iran and its proxies at a relatively acceptable cost—but only if there is decisive Israeli political and military leadership, which is now lacking. If military power has to be used preemptively to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat, Israel, acting unilaterally, is far more militarily capable than the U.S.

[Indeed], neither the U.S. nor Russia can project meaningful conventional military power into the Middle East unless they are provided with both many months to mobilize and the absence of opposition during the long process of deployment. This conclusion implies that any U.S.-proposed mutual defense treaty offered to Israel would be militarily meaningless. Moreover, . . . any such treaty would actually result in significantly diminished Israeli national security.

Nonetheless, writes Brower, there is no reason for Jerusalem to maintain delusions of invincibility. First, it lacks the ability to mobilize its ground forces as quickly and effectively as it once could. Second, there is the dangerous possibility of Iran attacking both directly and through its proxies from Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza, while also launching missiles directly from its own soil. Such an attack would quickly overwhelm the IDF’s top-notch missile-defense systems. To protect against such a scenario, Jerusalem must be willing to learn the lessons of both the 1967 and the Yom Kippur wars, and be willing to launch a preemptive attack:

If Israel were to hand Iran the initiative and allow it to launch a surprise attack on Israel that combines massive missile and rocket barrages with large-scale infantry raids across its northern and Gaza borders, Israel’s air defenses would be saturated, its vital military and civilian infrastructure would be heavily damaged, the mobilization of Israeli military reserves would be significantly delayed and disrupted, there would be heavy Israeli civilian casualties, and both Israeli civilian and military personnel would become prisoners of war. In short, it would be extremely painful if Israel chose not to preempt its enemies.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: IDF, Israeli grand strategy, Israeli Security, Russia, US-Israel relations

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University