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Yet despite these difficulties, Israel cannot coexist with a nuclear Iran that has threatened to “wipe Israel from the map,” as Iranian president Ahmadinejad has said, or any longer bide her time hoping economic sanctions will work on religious fanatics. Israel takes seriously the post-Holocaust “never again” pledge that the rest of the world professes, but does little to enforce. No one should expect that a people who lost six million people to a lunatic ideology that had announced its intentions in advance, would make the same mistake twice. Nor should we expect a country that since its birth has been attacked three times by its more populous neighbors, and subjected to continual terrorist murder of its citizens by peoples who have made clear that Israel’s existence is a intolerable crime against their faith, to roll the dice and accept letting the world’s foremost supporter of jihadist terrorism acquire weapons of apocalyptic lethality. Yet at least publicly, there has been little appreciation of Israel’s existential predicament on the part of her presumed allies. On the contrary, for decades now Israel has been pressured to make concession after concession to enemies seeking her destruction, pilloried on the diplomatic world stage as a neo-colonialist racist oppressor, and blamed for every political and social dysfunction in the region, all at the hands of Western nations that would not tolerate living with Israel’s existential threats for five seconds.
Particularly distasteful has been the current administration’s actions. Even as he praises the “Arab Spring” and its alleged march toward liberal democracy, Obama has bullied, blamed, and put at risk the only genuine liberal democracy in the region, a beacon of freedom and respect for human rights, and a stalwart ally in the midst of Islamist hatred directed as much at America as at Israel. Rather than playing this duplicitous game of relying on Israeli military muscle to give teeth to diplomatic efforts while publicly distancing itself from an Israeli strike, the Obama administration should start planning and announcing a joint U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran of the sort that drove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1990-91. The stated goal, moreover, should not be just the degradation of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but the destruction of the Republican Guards’ military assets and the material support of Iranian dissident groups in order to effect regime change.
Instead, in our relations with Israel we increasingly resemble the despicable behavior of France and England towards Czechoslovakia in 1938. As Hitler used diplomacy as cover for his aggression, France and England pressured the Czechs to make more and more suicidal concessions. Afraid to fight when it most likely would have won, the French and English abandoned Czechoslovakia and had to fight anyway a year later, when victory was in doubt and ultimately achieved mainly because of Hitler’s lunatic invasion of the Soviet Union. So too today, the equally genocidal Iranian regime can be stopped by a unified and determined Western alliance. Instead, though, Obama is leaving Israel out on a limb as he calculates the “unforeseen consequences” and seeks political advantage. He needs to start calculating the easily foreseen and much more disastrous consequences of Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons. That’s what true leaders do: recognize that the choice is seldom between the good and the bad, but rather between the bad and the worse.
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