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How Should Israel Defend Itself?

Granted, Israel has a right to defend itself, a right that it has exercised many times since it was created after World War II. Israel has more or less won each of its battles for self preservation, the earlier ones more decisively than the later ones. Despite these victories, it still faces threats from without (Hezbollah) and within (Hamas). It might be in a much better position if it had been more magnanimous in victory as the US was after World War II, restoring both Germany and Japan to major power status. Israel seems doomed to repeat the West’s mistakes in trying to keep Germany in subjection after World War I.

Israel might argue that it has recently tried to follow the WW II model by withdrawing from Gaza and Lebanon, and that this effort failed, as illustrated by the current war. I would argue that one or two years of positive effort may not be enough to offset fifty years of negative effort, and that the positive effort has not been enough. It has ignored the West Bank and Jerusalem, for example.

Some argue that Bush represents the Churchillian response to evil, exemplified in WW II by Nazi Germany. However, this view overlooks the possibility that Hitler would never have risen to power if the Allies had not imposed such strict terms on Germany after WW I. Arguably, since the Israelis have emulated the Versailles example, they are doomed to repeat their version of WW II. Maybe they have created their own mini-Hitlers in Muslim countries. If they have, unfortunately, these mini-Hitlers also target the US because of its unquestioning support of Israel. So, we will reap the whirlwind that Israel sowed, and that we fertilized in Iraq.

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