In the Age of Missiles, Defensible Borders Are More Important Than Ever

Unlike in the U.S., where the White House is required to produce, regularly, an official document outlining its national-security strategy, the Jewish state has never released any such statement, although one or two reports have come close. Yaakov Amidror has thus attempted to articulate the unwritten doctrines that have long guided Israeli strategists. Underlying his vision are certain basic, and unchanging, facts about the country’s situation:

Israel . . . will forever face a yawning gap between the size of its resident population and that of neighboring countries. The latter all have been hostile to Israel’s existence in the past, and some remain so. Israel always will be a small country in size, and hence hypersensitive to any loss of territory and to high-trajectory (artillery and rocket) fire—unlike most of her neighbors.

Israel can never reach a “fall of Berlin” moment in the Middle East, i.e., it cannot attain a decisive victory in war, such as that of the allies in World War II—a moment that would radically transform the political culture of the region [and] the desire of neighboring nations and organizations to annihilate of the state of Israel. This means that no victory in any war would ensure, once and for all, that Israel again will not face threats to its existence. Moreover, Israel’s first defeat may well be its last, certainly so if its territory ends up being conquered by Arab or Islamic forces. This is not the case for any Arab country which Israel might defeat or whose territory it might occupy.

These realities lead to many important conclusions, among them:

Israel . . . must aspire to defensible borders, i.e., lines of defense that enable the IDF . . . to parry an offensive by any hostile coalition until the reserves are called-up. Contrary to the claim that “territory has no value in the age of missiles,” the geographic dimension of Israel’s national-security concept is extremely important, and even more so in the missile era.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: IDF, Israeli grand strategy, Israeli Security

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