On June 7, 1981 Israel provided the world with a lesson on how to deal with international pariahs. Its fighter jets, F-15s and F-16s, swooped over Iraqi airspace and with extreme precision using conventional iron bombs, destroyed a heavily defended Iraqi nuclear facility near Baghdad. At the time, many commentators, media outlets and politicians condemned Israel for its “aggression.” Over time however, many of those very same commentators came to recognize precocity of Israel’s Osirak operation and it is now well accepted that Israel’s preventive use of force then, thwarted a greater conflagration.
In 2007, Israeli intelligence officials approached the United States with incontrovertible proof that Bashar Assad, with the assistance of North Korea and Iran, was in the final stages of completing an atom bomb facility modeled after a North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor. The United States, already embroiled in two unpopular Middle-Eastern wars vacillated, unsure on how to proceed.
Israel, a nation that sits within the belly of the beast, did not possess the luxury of waiting, contemplating or “assessing” and acted resolutely. On September 6, 2007, Israeli warplanes attacked and destroyed Syria’s Al Kibar nuclear complex turning the WMD plant into an expensive heap of scrap metal.
Twice, Israel was faced with the prospect of pariah nations acquiring nuclear weapons and twice Israel acted decisively. Had Israel acted with restraint, an overused phrase that has grown threadbare over the years, the Gulf wars would have undoubtedly taken different trajectories and half of Syria would have been rendered uninhabitable for one-thousand years.
The world is now faced with its toughest challenge, confronting a brutal, non-rational theocracy with an apocalyptic vision and a taste for nuclear weapons. One nation above all others has remained a steadfast, stubborn obstacle to Iran’s genocidal quest. Israel has been engaged in a full scale covert war against Iran in an attempt to slow down its ambitions. Mysterious explosions at sensitive facilities, cyber weapons in the form of sophisticated computer viruses and assassination of key Iranian nuclear experts have had their intended cumulative effect.
But beyond the cloak and dagger operations is a far more effective weapon in making the Iranians cry uncle; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s credible threat of military force. For all their bravado and bluster, the mullahs of the Islamic Republic are quite cognizant of Israel’s military capabilities and are paying heed. In rare praise for Netanyahu, the Washington Post ran an editorial in April that gave Israel’s intrepid prime minister due credit for his role in preventing the mullahs from passing the breakout point.
The Washington Post’s editorial was recently validated by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who, in a revealing interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, noted that Israel’s threats to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, among other factors, played a major role in bringing the Iranians to the negotiating table.
It has recently become fashionable among various elitist and radical leftist quarters to criticize the Jewish State on everything ranging from its counter-insurgency operations to its development of barren land in Judea & Samaria. But those radicals should take heed that the world would be a much more volatile place without Israel acting as the point man against Islamic fundamentalism and WMD proliferation. Rather than unwarranted and relentless criticism, a simple “thank you” would suffice.
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