Israel: Why Land Matters, Part III

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It is an undisputed fact that Israel’s army reserves are the backbone of the IDF in times of war. The question, therefore, is: how does Israel buy the 48 hours it must have to fully mobilize and deploy its army reserves?

Israel’s citizen army naturally mobilizes its reserve troops where they live. This means primarily an “L” shaped land mass, from Jerusalem at one end and Haifa at the other with Tel Aviv in the middle. Along this short and narrow strip resides some 70 percent of Israel’s population (and 80 percent of its industrial base) and therefore, about 70 percent of the nation’s reserve soldiers (as well as 70 percent of its labor force).

Even before Israel has the opportunity to field the full complement of its army, including its reserves, in time of war, Israel must prevent this area from being overrun by an invading enemy. Should the enemy forces succeed in cutting into the “L”, the damage to Israel’s mobilization and deployment process might well be beyond repair. Worse, if the invasion force cannot be stopped before the fighting reached the main cities, Israel would have lost the war.

This grave situation is recognized by Israel’s military, even if not fully grasped by all its politicians. In 1952, IDF Chief of Operations General Yitzhak Rabin ordered IDF Chief of Planning Colonel Yuval Ne’eman (who helped organize the IDF into a reservist-based army, developed the mobilization system, and wrote the first draft of Israel’s defense doctrine) to conduct an exercise to test the IDF under conditions of a surprise attack, under the then-prevailing 1949 ceasefire lines, i.e. the pre-’67 lines known today as the “Green Line.”

The maneuvers were organized, and the ensuing results were a disaster. During the exercise, Israel’s first president, Dr. Chaim Weizman, passed away. The exercise was then cancelled to deal with the State funeral that had to be carried out. However, by that time the exercise’s “invading force” had conquered Petach Tikva and Ramat Gan, two cities surrounding the approach to Tel Aviv proper (the distance from the pre-’67 ceasefire lines to the outskirts of metropolitan Tel Aviv is a mere 11 miles), and had yet to be stopped in its tracks. It is this nightmarish situation that hung over Israel’s neck like the Sword of Damocles until the 1967 Six Day War and the extension of Israeli control over the Biblical mountain ranges of Judea and Samaria.

Imagine further, how much worse in reality the results of the 1952 exercise could have been if Israel’s enemies, large and small, added to the invasion force barrage after barrage of missiles onto Israel’s main population centers.

The “Land for Peace” concept, accepted and unquestioned in Western capitals (and by Israel’s political Left), if implemented, would seriously weaken Israel, even clearing the path to its ultimate destruction. The areas already given over to the control of the Palestinian Authority (and now also Hamas) has considerably complicated Israel’s defense in an all out war situation. Further territorial concessions would prove catastrophic.

The missile age has not made strategic depth irrelevant, it has made it even more vital. The advanced weapons systems and missiles now in the hands of the Arabs, make the threat of the reduction of Israel’s size back to pre-’67 dimensions potentially devastating. Permitting such a diminution would also be a foolhardy move on the part of the Western democracies. A truncated Israel, forced to concentrate all its defenses on high-population areas, would effectively become useless to those it currently serves so well as a major linchpin in the Western global strategy against the threat from radical Islamic expansionism.

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  • guest

    J.F.C. Fuller once analyzed the territorial requirements for a country in that location to be strategically secure. Israel needs more territory to be strategically secure according to that analysis, not less.

  • penny lane

    Let's just imagine every country expecting its borders be expanded to suit it's military fancy. And what about the "strategic depth" of Jordan, Lebanon or Syria, when the Israeli military machine is relocated along the borders?

    Sounds like another exclusive "win-win" concept for Israel.

    • intrcptr2

      We don't have to imagine; "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free", sums it up pretty well, really.

      Israel took the Golan in 1967. And retreated to it when ordered to by the US and USSR. Funny how we never hear about any Israeli sabre rattling there, or in Sinai (oops, forgot, they returned that, too), or in southern Lebanon.
      Why is it your type always thinks it cute/sophisticated/insightful to pose such idiotic rejoinders?

      The only "win" that Israel wants is peace. And that is bad for her Muslim neighbors how?

    • Juddea

      Strategic depth for Jordan, Lebanon or Syria??? I believe the fact they are surrounded by allies save ONE small Jewish state is depth enough, no?

      • stern

        intrcptr2 and Juddea, kudos to both of you for great response. No wonder Canada is phasing out the penny! It's just no longer needed.

    • ziontruth

      "Let's just imagine every country expecting its borders be expanded to suit it's military fancy."

      That's why I'm against Islamic imperialism. Imagine the bloody borders of the Islamic world expanded more and more to suit trumped-up fancies that are little different from the German imperialist agenda of last century.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Sounds like another Jew-hater posting on a website.

  • oldtimer

    The San Remo accord in 1920 alotted 120,466 to the formation of a Jewish state. This included Trans-Jordan. In 1922, this was reduced to 28,166 for the Jewish state and 77% was given to Trans-Jordan. The land for the Jewish state included all land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River down to the Gulf of Aqaba. Gaza and all the that land belong to Israel.

  • maria

    Exactly. Oldtimer is absolutely right. Arabs of Palestine stole jewish land. Great Britain violated the League of Nation “Mandate for Palestine” and established Trans-Jordan on the land appointed for to reestablishing Jewish state on historically Jewish land. So called Palestinians problem with 'refugees" was perpetuated with the same goal to destroy Israel. Stupid criminal in this light Western politicians try to be deaf and blind that islamic leaders constantly said " Israel is a little Satan, US is big Satan". It obvliously means that israel is the first goal to destroy and US is the second one. Europe they consider already 'EuroAraabia" and surrender at once as France and many other democracies in Europe capitulated before Hitler. Israel destiny is US and Western civilization destiny. Stand up with Israel!

  • Marty

    arab countries, most of them failed or fake states or both, already possess more strategic depth than they require or deserve. Are 350 million arabs scattered across a couple million square miles (excluding land newly occupied in europe) really desperately worried about being invaded and occupied by fewer than 8 million Israelis confined to 8000 square miles (the size of New Jersey)? It's the arab masses and their genocidal leaders who have sworn to destroy Israel and murder any Jews they can get their anti-semitic hands on. Israel simply wants to be left alone and is not interested in conquering anyone.

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,that's what people like Schlomotion and crackerjack want. The IDF defeated and Israeli corpses to reach to the sky. Despite the protestations to the contrary,they really hate Jews and Israel and want them destroyed.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Yep, exactly.