Defiance of U.S. Pressure Can Be Critical to Israel’s Security

Dec. 23 2021

This year, Washington has urged Jerusalem to limit or forbid construction beyond the 1949 armistice lines and to refrain from attacking Iranian nuclear facilities. Yoram Ettinger looks to previous instances when the Jewish state has stood up to American demands without compromising its security or causing lasting damage to its most important alliance:

Defiance of U.S. and global pressure was a critical attribute of Israel’s pro-American founding fathers—from David Ben-Gurion in 1948 through Yitzḥak Shamir in 1992. This defiance triggered [some] short-term friction between the two countries, but earned long-term respect for Israel, while providing the United States with a unique force-multiplier in the Middle East. On a rainy day, the United States prefers a principle-driven ally, one that does not retreat in the face of pressure and refuses to sacrifice its own independent national security on the altar of diplomatic and economic convenience.

In 1948/49, the United States, United Nations, and Britain threatened Israel with economic and diplomatic sanctions unless the newly born Jewish state ended its “occupation” of areas in the Galilee, coastal plain, Negev, and western Jerusalem, and absorbed Palestinian refugees. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion rejected each of these demands, stating that “much as Israel desired friendship with the United States and full cooperation with it and the UN, there were limits beyond which it could not go.”

Israel’s destruction of Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear reactors in 1981 and 2007—in defiance of U.S. pressure—spared the United States, and the world, a potential nuclear confrontation in 1991 and a potential nuclearized civil war in Syria.

As evidenced by these and additional examples, Israel’s defiance of U.S. pressure has advanced U.S. national-security interests, bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, enhanced its role as a force-multiplier, constrained the capabilities of anti-U.S. Sunni and Shiite Islamic terrorists, and therefore reduced the scope of war and terrorism in the stormy Middle East.

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Read more at Ettinger Report

More about: David Ben-Gurion, Israeli history, Nuclear proliferation, US-Israel relations

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism