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

 

The Significance of Mahmoud Abbas’s Holocaust Denial

Aug. 19 2022

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, during an official visit to Berlin, gave a joint press conference with the German chancellor Olaf Scholz, where he was asked by a journalist if he would apologize for the murder of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics. (The relationship between the group that carried out the massacre and Abbas’s Fatah party remains murky.) Abbas instead responded by ranting about the “50 Holocausts” perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians. Stephen Pollard comments:

Scholz’s response to that? He shook Abbas’s hand and ended the press conference.

Reading yet another column pointing out that Scholz is a dunderhead isn’t, I grant you, the most useful of ways to spend an August afternoon, so let’s leave the German chancellor there, save to say that he eventually issued a statement hours later, after an eruption of fury from his fellow countrymen, saying that “I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. For us Germans in particular, any trivialization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.” Which only goes to show that late is actually no better than never.

The real issue, in Pollard’s view, is the West’s willful blindness about Abbas, who wrote a doctoral thesis at a Soviet university blaming “Zionists” for the Holocaust and claiming that a mere million Jews were killed by the Nazis—notions he has reiterated publicly as recently as 2013.

On Wednesday, [Abbas] “clarified” his remarks in Berlin, saying that “the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern human history.” Credulous fools have again ignored what Abbas actually means by that.

It’s time we stopped projecting what we want Abbas to be and focused on what he actually is, using his own words. In a speech in 2018 he informed us that Israel is a “colonialist project that had nothing to do with Judaism”—to such an extent that European Jews chose to stay in their homes and be murdered rather than live in Palestine. Do I have to point out the moral degeneracy of such a proposition? It would seem so, given the persistent refusal of so many to take Abbas for what he actually is.

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Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Anti-Semitism, Germany, Holocaust denial, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority