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Israeli rationale

Old friend of Gavin’s Blog, Steve Clemons, has some interesting speculation on the reasons for Olmert’s apparent over-reaction in Lebanon.

Why is Israel pounding most of Lebanon rather than just the South and rather than pinpointing its attack against Hezbollah assets? Why the dramatic bombing of explosive fuel centers? The attacks both in Gaza and in Beirut seem made for Fox News, CNN and the next Schwarzenegger movie.

I think that there is little doubt that a significant part of the explanation can be attributed to the fact that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his more liberal partner in this effort, Amir Peretz — now Defense Minister — are not former field command generals and want to demonstrate that they can be responsible stewards of Israel’s national security — and that they won’t be timid in using Israel’s military capabilities.

Steve continues, importantly:

The flamboyant, over the top reactions to attacks on Israel’s military check points and the abduction of soldiers — which I agree Israel must respond to — seems to be part establishing “bona fides” by Olmert, but far more important, REMOVING from the table important policy options that the U.S. might have pursued.

Israel is constraining American foreign policy in amazing and troubling ways by its actions. And a former senior CIA official and another senior Marine who are well-versed in both Israeli and broad Middle East affairs, agreed that serious strategists in Israel are more concerned about America tilting towards new bargains in the region than they are either about the challenge from Hamas or Hezbollah or showing that Olmert knows how to pull the trigger.

Another well respected and very serious national security public intellectual in the nation wrote this when I shared this thesis that Israeli actions were ultimately aimed at clipping American wings in the region. His response:

the thesis of your paper is right-on.

whether intentional or coincidental, that is what is being done right now.

I share these other views only to establish the fact that there is not a consensus either in support of or opposed to Israeli action — but some are beginning to scrutinize what Israel is seeking to achieve with such flamboyant displays of power that are antagonizing whole societies on their borders.

Keeping America from cutting new deals in the region — which many in the national security establishment thinks are vital — may actually be what is going on, and the smarter-than-average analysts are beginning to see that.

To take one moment though and argue a counter-point to this, one serious analyst I spoke to this morning who stopped by to talk after attending synagogue raised a good point. He said that he thought that Olmert’s insecurity about military management was driving the over-reaction.

But he also said that the QUALITY of the attacks against Israel were freaking out the Israeli military and intelligence leaders. Complex incursions that included abductions along with a successful attack on an Israeli gunship show that the enemy is no longer an unimpressive, rag-tag lot. Training and armaments have been improved, and Israel is scrambling to figure out how this happened.

Interesting thesis — and it should be on the table too.

Is it possible that part of the reasoning for an overly belligerent response is to make the US less likely to reach agreement with Iran or Syria? Curious indeed.

4 thoughts on “Israeli rationale”

  1. Sometimes, speaking the truth can really Tic
    people off and depite of that, [its about time] someone like SC has said it anyway.

  2. or maybe Israel is just attacking the people attacking them. Remember that the IRA was not just in South Armagh. They were also in Belfast

  3. Will Ignorance Defeat An Arab-Israeli Peace Treaty?

    Judaism and Islam are basically the same religion;
    All Wars are caused over Land


    Lloyd Kraus

    Is Israel’s behavior to the Arab-Muslim based on Ignorance?

    Predominately, Israeli’s and the Jewish People have no knowledge of the following statement:

    1) Judaism and Islam are basically the same religion.

    The Qu’ran (or Koran) is a validation of the Jewish Religion (Simply compare the Old Testament with the Qu’ran). The Muslim People believe in the same Creator as the Jewish People (ask any Muslim, they will acknowledge this to you!). All the Prophets of the Qu’ran are Jewish (except the Messenger, Mohammad – who brought the ancient Jewish Biblical History, and the basic observance of the same laws and commandments, as written in the Torah, to the Muslims). The stories of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David, . . .are all in the Qu’ran. Judaism and Islam honor the same faith of Abraham. Muslims, moreover, go to Mecca to honor the Faith of Abraham.

    Do Jewish People know this? Predominately, No. (Did the Christian Crusaders know this? No.)

    Eventhough the Creator made a special covenant with the Jewish People, if you would understood Islam you would see that the Muslims are devoted to the same Creator the same. Humanity only starts when one realizes that all lives under the Creator are the same. (Fortunately there are a lot of Jewish People and Israeli Organizations that support the Peace Process and a humanitarian philosophy.)

    To understand all Wars, one has to understand the following Theory (a subject I have been studying for over 30 years):

    2) All Wars are caused over Land.

    What is the Arab-Muslim fighting for? Land. Soldiers fight over land. Terrorists fight over land. Israeli’s fight over land. What is the “strategic” element of all wars (past, present and future)? Land.

    Israel has been occupying outside her pre-1967 borders for over 40 years now (before 1948, Israel was fighting for the Land of Israel).

    Today, the Arab Countries have stated that they are willing to accept Israel in her pre-1967 borders.

    A peaceful solution that Israel could accept has to address these Land issues:

    For religious reasons, Israel and the Jewish People will never give up Jerusalem; their Biblical Capitol.
    For religious reasons, Israel and the Jewish People do not want to give up the West Bank; the Land that Abraham was promised by the Creator. (but that promise was to the Jewish People and Abraham, not necessarily to Israel).
    In the following Peace Treaty, Israel can call Jerusalem their Capitol and Jewish People can live in the West Bank as Jewish-Palestinian Citizens. No one has to move from where they are living now. There are just recognized changes in Land Sovereignty.

    And, of course, if one will always see the Arab-Muslim as the evil, terrorist enemy, and not as human beings under the same Creator with the same Land aspirations, then Ignorance will win.

    But, if one can understand the following two claims:

    Judaism and Islam are basically the same religion.
    Wars are caused over Land.
    Then all parties could possibly accept the following Land and Peaceful Co-existence terms.

    Ignorance does not have to win.


    “All Wars Are Caused Over Land”
    “Judaism and Islam are basically the same Religion”


    Lloyd Kraus

    I. The borders between Israel, Syria and Lebanon shall basically be her pre-1967 borders. The borders of Palestine shall basically be the West Bank and Gaza.
    Israel could possible extend her borders within her security wall. If you look at the Palestinian’s in Israel, why are they not fighting? Because they are not being forced out of their Land. The Palestinian’s living within the security wall would become Palestinian-Israeli Citizens.
    II. The walled city of Jerusalem should be sacred land with equal sovereignty and rights to all religions and people who honor the faith of Abraham. Israeli, Palestinian and Dual Citizenship shall be allowed within the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel shall be responsible for common municipal duties. The rights of Israel and Palestine to have their capitol buildings outside of the walled city of Jerusalem shall not be restricted.
    Israel, like Palestine, would be allowed to call Jerusalem their Capitol.
    III. Jewish people living within the borders of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon shall automatically become Jewish citizens of those states and will respect the sovereignty of those states. Palestinian people living in Israel shall automatically become Palestinian-Israeli citizens and will respect the sovereignty of Israel. Dual citizenship shall be allowed, but dual citizens shall be foremost obligated to respect the sovereignty of the country of primary citizenship.
    No one is asked to leave where they are living now. Israeli’s living in the West Bank would become Jewish-Palestinian Citizens (just like Jewish People are citizens of the many countries they are living in now).
    IV. The rights of Palestinians to emigrate into Israel and become Palestinian-Israeli citizens, and the rights of Jewish people to emigrate into Palestine and become Jewish-Palestinian citizens shall be equal. The rights of Israelis to travel into Syria, Lebanon and Palestine; and the rights of Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians to travel into Israel shall be equal. The full powers governing immigration and travel shall be set by each state.
    The “power” behind the “equal” right for immigration into Israel stays with Israel. There, maybe, could be a one for one future transfer of people.
    V. Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon shall maintain full sovereignty over their laws and their state. Citizens of each country agree to respect each state’s sovereignty over private, public, political, military, criminal and civil issues, and the actions and decisions of each sovereign government. Each state shall foremost respect the rights of the current use and user, including current water right usage across borders.
    The details and evolution of this treaty is really in the above passage. All People will have to settle their differences within the Government’s “Land Sovereignty”.
    VI. The Government’s of Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon agree to an unconditional amnesty; and to forgive any and all past political, military, economic, property, civil, criminal, private and public claims and wrongs between each people and nations.

    The above two passages does not specifically address the issues of civil restitution between people – but the evolution and interpretation of any civil restitution would be civil nevertheless, with the Jurisdiction determined by the “Land Sovereignty”.
    VII. The agreement shall become operational upon the approval of the Prime Minister’s of Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Israeli demilitarization of all land outside her borders shall be 50% completed within 4 years of this agreement becoming operational and 100% completed within 8 years of this agreement becoming operational. These territories shall thereafter remain demilitarized by Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.

    Israel does not have to give up her existing Security Apparatus till there are at least 4 years of Peaceful Co-Existence to verify and solidify.

    Please email your comments:

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