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From the beginning of recorded history, there have been wars fought for conquest, power, domination, hegemony, territory, natural resources, trade routes, markets, dynastic rivalries, for independence or the crushing of independence.
The generations-long Arab-Muslim jihad-war of destruction against Israel does not come into any of these categories. It is impelled only by an obsessive and even suicidal hatred, that cannot be satisfied, appeased or assuaged by anything short of the total destruction and annihilation of Israeli and the Israelis. This is and has always been the reality, however disguised, misrepresented, or misunderstood. [See Issue* No. 65 -- "Fogbound -- Part I" Click here.]
All past campaigns and battles in this war ended in a paradoxical situation: A military victory by Israel that never brings it relief from aggression, and a military defeat for the Arabs that never inhibits more aggression.
The nationhood of Israel is now almost 4,000 years old. The re-establishment of its independence and sovereignty in its Land is now 59 years old. The jihad to destroy it has been going on literally from the first hour of those 59 years, sometimes flaming and sometimes smoldering but never quenched or doused. Now, there are many sources of fuel to ignite a blaze of war.
"Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception." -- Mark Twain -- Chronicle of Young Satan
The Arab states and terror-entities around Israel are preparing for a concerted multi-front assault on its life. In planning this assault they draw confidence from an informal but worldwide consortium of that encourages them. Some members of that consortium do not, or will not, or cannot understand the deadly reality of the jihad or how they contribute to it. Some of them do understand, and are willing to be accessories.
Among the circumstances that encourage the jihadis, and thereby raise the odds on war:
 Malfeasance by Governments of Israel
Since 1992, Israel has been burdened with faux-governments and pseudo-elite cliques that give both its enemies and its friends a false impression that the nation and its people are discouraged and enervated. The Peresite-Osloid-Kadimite set, whether through cherished delusions or chronic incompetence or personal ambitions or anti-Judaic spite [see Issue No. 37 -- "Sound the Great Trumpet", Issue No. 38 -- "Chipping at the Pillars"], bring down contempt on an Israel they do not honestly represent. Serial follies from the lethal Oslo Accords through the feckless flight from the Lebanese security zone and the irrational Disengagement were hailed by professional peaceniks. These made an increasingly strong -- though inaccurate -- impression of weak and disheartened country, and this is in effect a virtual invitation to attack it.
Its enemies can well suppose that the most favorable time to strike at Israel is while the Kadimite government is in office, a regime that --
-- came to power through political fraud,
-- refuses to defend the country and the people who are under daily attack by terrorist missiles,
-- fails in all its undertakings,
-- talks nothing but nonsense,
-- whose only achievement is managing to cling to office, with a public approval rating of 3%.
 Mixed Signals by the Administration of the United States
The United States of America is the only nation with principles in common with Israel, and Americans and Israelis have a natural historic affinity. That does not mean that those who make its foreign policy, especially on the Middle East, are always in tune either with the will of the people of its own best national interests. [See Issues Nos. 58 & 59 -- "Israel and America: Affinity" and "Israel and America: Against the Grain"]
This happens when key policymaking positions posts are held by individuals bonded to the economic interests of oil companies and other corporations, and especially to those heavily invested in the past in Nazi Germany and now in Saudi Arabia. The views are even more skewed if the individuals are Judeophobic, such as Secretaries of State John Forster Dulles and James E. Baker III. The current example of this school of policymaking is Madam Doctor Secretary Condoleeza Rice -- an alumna of James E. Baker's Saudi-centered Carlyle Group Investment Consortium -- whose program gives the convenience of "Palestinians" priority over the security and even lives of Israelis, and who compares the PLO to the Founding Fathers of the American republic
Despite all proof to the contrary, the present administration still presents long-time terrorist mass murderer Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) as a moderate peace-seeker worthy of the billions of dollars, weapons, military training, and political support it bestows on him [see Issue No. 53 -- "Fault Lines -- Part I. Click here.].
President George W. Bush avows his commitment to "the good cause of the Palestinian people" and five years ago revealed his "vision" of carving up the Land of Israel to invent a State of Palestine, that will thereafter leave peacefully side by side with the remnant of Israel. This vision as now survived
-- five years of PA [Palestine Authority] tirades against America and curses heaped upon it,
-- five years of PA terrorism and attacks on Israel
-- five years of PA violations of every agreement, commitment, and truce into which it entered,
-- five years of PA indoctrination of children to aspire to martyrdom by killing Jews,
-- PA statements and maps that project a "Palestine" that includes the entire territory of Israel,
-- the expressed opinion of large majorities in the PA that Israel does not have a right to exist,
-- the expressed intent that after they get a state of their own they will proceed to destroy Israel.
A policy that is never adjusted to reality is not one can deter or even discourage jihad.
 The European Union
The nations of the EU are in thrall to the cult of Palestinianism. That is one of the rules set for them as junior partner in Eurabia. [see Issue No. 48 -- "Eurabia"]. They are intimidated by the jihadi element they invited into their own countries. They resent the vitality and accomplishments of the Jews who escaped the clutches of European persecution and massacre, while they themselves sink into sterility and sterility.
Europe welcomed Oslo because it was bad for the Jews. It meddles inside Israel by financing leftist agitators to sap its strength and morale [see Issue No. 12 -- "That's the Way the Money Goes"]. It provides massive financial support for the PLO, and required no accountability of how the PLO uses that largesse. It pays for PLO textbooks that teach children to hate and kill Jews. It is now moving toward giving money to Hamas.
Recently, Europe began to notice that it is not itself immune from worldwide jihad, and regard Israel as the cause of jihad rather than the frontline of defense against it. It submits to dhimmitude, and is bitter not toward those who impose it on them but toward Israel and America for resisting it.
Jihadis may easily surmise that Europe collectively will not
oppose or even much regret their murderous plans for Israel and the
 International Organizations
A. The United Nations has always refused Israel its elementary rights as a member state, and never discouraged or set penalties for aggression against it. As the UN evolved from ineffectual to vile, it became not merely useless to Israel but actively hostile. Those members and terror gangs set on destroying Israel can count the United Nations as a virtual ally; Israel must count it as an enemy.
B. Prominent Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs), especially those who define themselves as ultra-humanitarian, make a virtue of false accusations against Israel. The International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, and others of their ilk use their influence to persuade world public opinion that Israel is a criminal. This contributes to the jihadi belief in support for its cause.
 Mainstream News Media (MSM)
On both national and international levels, the bulk of MSM reporting and broadcasting is ignorant or malicious or both. Too many of its practitioners think their job is to inject their personal agenda or bias into world public opinion. This journalistic malfeasance has progressed beyond the standard tricks for slanting news into disseminating falsehoods and fabrications, some as egregious as the Jenin Massacre that never happened, and the counterfeit photographs of the war in Lebanon that were exposed only through the diligence of private bloggers. [See Issue No. 13 -- "The Fourth Estate", Issue No. 64 -- The News-Fakers"]
A most eminent practitioner of tendentious reporting is the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), that is particularly pernicious because of its prestige and worldwide reach. It has privileged status as an organ of the British Foreign Office and Britons are forced to pay a special tax to support it, so it operates with political and financial immunities. Even so, it was required via a lawsuit to make a self-assessment of charges of anti-Israel bias. It refuses to publish the results.
The BBC and its less distinguished co-conspirators are an ever-flowing fount of slanted reporting, with techniques than run from selections of what to report and whom to interview, to dissemination of falsehoods. For example, the BBC and others always refer to Israel's "illegal settlements in Palestinian territory", though in truth the settlements are entirely legal and there is no such thing as "Palestinian territory". This chronic dishonesty is little publicized, so many listeners and readers believe the lies and form their views of Israel accordingly.
Everywhere except the United States the MSM has succeeded in skewing public opinion against Israel -- and then cite anti-Israel poll numbers as proof of Israel's depravity.
A study by veteran journalist Bernard Kalb is reviewed in "The Media's War on Israel", by Mitchell Bard, FrontPageMagazine.com., 24 April 2007:
"When Israel retaliated against Hezbollah during last summer's war, it was forced tous fashion, [Kalb] details how the press allowed itself to be manipulated by Hezbollah. He . . points out several of the outright distortions that were widely reported, and analyzes the impact of the digital media and the fundamental disadvantage a democracy such as Israel faces in a public relations battle with a non-democratic state or terrorist organization. [. . . .]
"Perhaps the most serious charge made by the media throughout the war was that Israel was indiscriminately targeting civilians. Groups such as Human Rights Watch made the allegation, which was then publicized uncritically by reporters. Although Israel underscored that it was Hezbollah that was using civilians as shields, the media relied on the allegations of Kenneth Roth, the executive director of HRW, who charged, falsely, that Israel's military showed 'disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians'.
Kalb notes that reporters should have been aware that Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, had said before the war that Hezbollah fighters 'live in their [civilians'] houses, in their schools, in their churches, in their fields, in their farms and in their factories'. [. . . .]
"Western news services . . . would be expected to show some semblance of balance. Such was not the case. For example, the BBC ran 117 stories on the war, 38 percent of which depicted Israel as the aggressor. Only 4 percent of BBC reports placed the blame for the conflict on Hezbollah. Most media stories drew a disturbing moral equivalence between the warring sides, suggesting that Israel and Hezbollah were equally to blame. [. . . .] With the exception of Fox News, Kalb writes, 'negative-sounding judgments of Israel's attacks and counter-attacks permeated most network coverage'. Similarly, he reports that Israel was depicted as the aggressor nearly twice as often in the headlines of the New York Times and Washington Post and three times as often in photos.
"Israel was repeatedly criticized for alleged attacks on UN troops in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Kalb notes that the 'impartial' UNIFIL web site published information about Israeli troop movements while no such information was posted regarding Hezbollah's military activities. Kalb also reiterates what media watchdogs knew all along, but journalists rarely admitted: that the media's access to stories in Lebanon was strictly controlled by Hezbollah. [. . . . ]
"The discovery of doctored photos used by major media during the war was a major embarrassment and Kalb skewers the press for its misuse of photographs. In addition to several frequently cited examples, he mentions a photo of a southern suburb of Beirut that appeared in the New York Times that the Times' Jerusalem bureau chief Steve Erlanger later admitted was out of context. The Times used a satellite photo showing the destruction of a Beirut neighborhood that gave the impression of massive devastation throughout the city, but a larger photo of Beirut would have shown that the rest of Beirut was undamaged.
"Nothing in Kalb's report will come as any surprise to media critics or Israel's supporters. What is shocking is that these well-documented abuses have continued for so long without the media itself taking corrective measures.
[. . . . ]
 Academics and Intelligensia
A. In many universities in the United States, teaching and research on the Middle East is a Arab-Muslim field, with faculty often drawn from the Arabist Middle East Studies Association (MESA). Students are objects for anti-Israel brainwashing, and may be penalized if they do not submit to it. More than a few of these universities are beneficiaries of large cash gifts from Saudi Arabia.
On college campuses in nice, democratic countries, Muslim students verbally and physically attack Jewish students, and no discipline is imposed by administrators. Speakers whose views offend Muslim students are harassed and shouted down. At a university in Michigan, a professor was fired because in a private conversation he disagreed with statements made by Arab students. At a university in Canada, a scheduled address by Binyamin Netanyahu was cancelled because of mob violence. [See Issue No. 27 -- "Scenes from Academe"]
In this milieu, students expected to be leaders of their societies in the near future are indoctrinated to believe in and act upon anti-Israel doctrines -- excepting those with strength of mind to recognize and resist indoctrination.
B. It is an oft-heard plaint of professional opinion-makers that any criticism of Israel is censored, squashed, or silenced. [Comment: They seem not to check a dictionary on the difference between criticism and slander or libel.] Authors of anti-Israel articles and books repeat this plaint as they are interviewed on television, reviewed in newspapers, trot around the lecture-circuits, and count their royalties and fees.
There has always been public presentation of anti-Israel views, sometimes presented in the guise of advice to Israel "for its own good". The recent shift in style is from demanding that Israel mend its wicked ways to arguing that Israel ought never to have come into existence. The next stage, now in progress, is to demand that it should cease to exist.
C. A favored tool of the anti-Israel trade is the boycott, particularly stylish in Great Britain. Councils and unions of clergy, doctors, architects, teachers, artistical persons and others vote to deny Israel their patronage. They seem to suppose that Israelis, who took in their stride the massive boycotts and blockades of Arab states and Western businesses that did their bidding, will be devastated by the denial of publication in some obscure journal or an appearance by some theatrical performer.
[Comment: Responses to such boycotts often come with a sarcastic reminder that boycotters should eschew use of all Israel's discoveries, innovations, and inventions in medical diagnosis and treatment, high-technology, agriculture, and so forth. They are addressing themselves to folk who have already committed themselves to a boycott of Israel's greatest contribution to the world: The Ten Commandments.]
This kind of devout loathing of Israel -- often joined to devout hatred of America -- is an emotional compulsion, and so cannot be touched by facts or objective reasoning. It produces words and deeds and policies that have consequences. To demean and ostracize Israel and the Jewish people is to indulge and encourage the jihad against them.
The jihad is making progress:
A. For the first time since 1948, Israeli territory is the site of battle, and civilians the victims, as men, women, and children are killed and injured by katyusha rockets launched from Lebanon and kassam missiles launched from Gaza. (The BBC refers to the kassams as "crude missiles" or "home-made missiles" as though they were no more lethal than spitballs.)
B. For the first time, Arab citizens of Israel are openly on the side of the enemy. Arab members of the Knesser (Israeli parliament) deride and curse the state in whose legislature they sit. Israeli Arabs assault Jews in their own land, and destroy their trees and vines and property. The reaction -- if any -- of the Israeli government and police is muted.
C. In Great Britain and in Europe, Judeophobia and its attendant activities are at their highest level since the end of World War II. Muslims assault Jews, and the reactions of governments and local authorities, ever sensitive to Muslim sensitivity, is even lower than muted. Such assaults are, after all, understandable . . . .
Jewish community leaders advise Jews not to look Jewish.
A spotlight cuts through this murk in "The Waiting Game -- Do We Really Need Further Convincing of the Threat We Face?", by Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online, 1 September 2006.
"Hezbollah's black-clad legions goose-step and stiff-arm salute in parade, apparently eager to convey both the zeal and militarism of their religious fascism. Meanwhile, consider Hezbollah's "spiritual" head, Hassan Nasrallah -- the current celebrity of an unhinged Western media that tried to reinvent the man's own self-confessed defeat as a victory. Long before he hid in the Iranian embassy Nasrallah was on record boasting: 'The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win because they love life and we love death.' Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trumps that Hitlerian nihilism by reassuring the poor, maltreated Germans that there was no real Holocaust. Perhaps he is concerned that greater credit might still go to Hitler for Round One than to the mullahs for their hoped-for Round Two, in which the promise is to 'wipe' Israel off the map.
"The only surprise about the edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf that has become a best seller in Middle Eastern bookstores is its emboldened title translated as 'Jihadi' -- as in 'My Jihad' -- confirming in ironic fashion the 'moderate' Islamic claim that Jihad just means 'struggle,' as in an 'inner struggle' -- as in a Kampf perhaps.
"Meanwhile, we in the West who worry about all this are told to fret instead about being 'Islamophobes.' Indeed, a debate rages over the very use of 'Islamic fascism' to describe the creed of terrorist killers -- as if those authoritarians who call for a return of the ancient caliphate, who wish to impose 7th-century sharia law, promise death to the Western 'crusader' and 'Jew,' and long to retreat into a mythical alternate universe of religious purity and harsh discipline, untainted by a 'decadent' liberal West, are not fascists. It is almost as if Alfred Rosenberg has returned in a kaffiyeh to explain why Jews really are apes and pigs, and why we must recapture the spirit of our primitive ancestors. [. . . . ]
Here at home we witness 'al-Qaedism' -- fanatics shooting Jews in Seattle, murder at the Los Angeles airport, an SUV running over innocent pedestrians in San Francisco or driving over students in North Carolina, sniping in Maryland. And we shrug them all off. Surely such incidents can be explained, are not connected, occur at random -- anything other than the truth that the constant harangues of the Islamic fascists really do filter down, even if randomly and spontaneously, to a number of angry and alienated young Muslim males in the West.
"Some cling to the notion that Islamic rage is not the manifestation of an elemental hatred, but is merely about land. That's about what bin Laden said in 1998 when he urged all Muslims to murder all the Americans: 'to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an obligation incumbent upon every Muslim who can do it and in any country -- this until the Asqa Mosque (Jerusalem) and the Holy Mosque (Mecca) are liberated from their grip.'
"But the long overdue withdrawal of soldiers from Saudi Arabia (who were out in a godforsaken desert and nowhere near the 'Holy Mosque') had no more effect on al Qaeda than did the Israeli departure from Gaza and Lebanon on Hamas and Hezbollah. As in the case of Hitler's serial demands for return of the 'stolen' German Sudetenland and then Czechoslovakia, land was never the real issue. Perceived loss of pride and status, hatred of the Jews, and unbridled contempt for liberal West were."
From 1973 until 1992, none of Israel's foreign enemies had a hold within its Land. Then, Shimon Peres begot the Oslo Accords and, through his control of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, contrived to foist them upon Israel. Thereby, the terrorist PLO and its Murderer-in-Chief Yassir Arafat were ensconced in the heartland of Judea-Samaria and in Gaza. Many were the protests and the warnings. The Rabin-Peres regime responded by insulting and deriding the protestors. The PLO never kept a single commitment of the Accords, and used the bases Israel gave it as headquarters for killing Israelis. Peres explained that this had to be tolerated to preserve this "partner in peace". [See Issue No. 49 -- "Reckless Engangerment -- Part I]
Later on, the Sharon-Peres regime progressed to the Disengagement from Gaza. Many were the protests and the warnings. This time, the protesters -- including girls in their early teens -- were arrested and imprisoned for "criminal ideology".
Israel's hubristic reigning clique invented and empowered the PA, now headed by long-time Deputy-Terrorist-in-Chief Mahmoud Abbas, petted protege of the U.S. administration. He presides over a joint regime of his own Fatah faction and the rival Hamas faction, who carry out their democratic debates by shooting each other. Both operate under charters that define their sole purpose and program as the destruction of Israel.
In nearby Lebanon, short-term prime minister Barak gave control of the border zone over to the Hezb'allah faction, that operates under a similar charter.
These fraternal triplet factions have accumulated massive stockpiles of guns, ammunition, explosives, missiles, rockets, and tricks. Much of the Fatah arsenal came courtesy of the United States and even of Israel. The Hamas and Hezb'allah arsenals come from Syria, Iran, Russia, and other donors. They are equipped for war, and no obstacles are being placed in their way.
Al-Qaeda is their ally.
Syria is their ally, either in person or through surrogates, and is amassing weapons on a vast scale.
Iran is their ally and instigator, brandishing its nuclear-bomb-in-the-making.
Saudi Arabia, and perhaps some of the Gulf sheikdoms, are their paymasters.
Jordan and Egypt have signed peace treaties with Israel, but have said in the past that they will keep them only so long as they as so inclined.
All of the Muslim world gives sympathy and support, including U.S.-liberated Iraq.
The Syrian threat in particular is analyzed in "Fighting the Next War", by Caroline Glick, Jewish World Review, 20 April 2007:
"[. . . . ] Today, due to the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government's failure in the last war, we stand at the brink of the next one. And in the next war, the main enemy will be Syria, which will fight in coordination with Hizbullah and the Palestinians and under Iranian guidance.
"Syria has been openly preparing for war since the last summer. And in the space of the past week alone, the Syrians twice announced their intention to attack Israel. On Monday, Syria's Propaganda Minister Moshen Bilal threatened that if Israel doesn't fully implement the Arab plan which calls for its retreat to the 1949 armistice lines and acceptance of millions of Arab immigrants, Syria will go to war. On Wednesday, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad said, 'We always prepare ourselves. Israel is a fierce enemy. We have seen nothing from it but harm.'
"A constructive Israeli policy for contending with Syria must be based on a clear understanding of both Syria's interests and our own. First there are Syria's war preparations. Many note optimistically that Syria has not moved its tanks to the border. But why would it?
"Syria has no intention of fighting a conventional war against Israel. The war that Syria is planning will bear greater similarity to the insurgency in Iraq and Hizbullah's war last summer than to Syria's previous wars with Israel. In the midst of last summer's war, Assad announced the formation of a new terror force tasked with infiltrating and attacking targets on the Golan Heights. The Syrian order of battle also includes a highly trained commando division; a massive artillery force capable of wreaking destruction on the Golan Heights and the Galilee; Scud ballistic missiles with ranges covering all of Israel; and chemical warheads that can be fitted on the Scuds.
"This week CBN broadcast satellite footage of three hardened Syrian missile facilities outside of Homs and Hama. Syria aims to bleed Israel in order to force subsequent Israeli political concessions. Syria has good reasons to go to war with Israel. Its forced departure from Lebanon in 2005 humiliated and weakened the regime both politically and economically. The regime views an achievement on the Golan Heights as a way to make up for the shame.
"Moreover, Hizbullah's achievements in last summer's war challenge Syria to demonstrate that it too can humiliate Israel. It is also notable that June 11 will mark the fortieth anniversary of Israel's liberation of the Golan Heights.
"Rather than contend with the Syrian challenge, the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government has opted to ignore it. In his appearance before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, 'We have no intention of attacking Syria.' He added, 'The assessment of all of Israel's assessment bodies is that Syria is deploying defensively in line with a scenario of an attack against them. But we are also preparing for a situation where we are surprised."
"The gist of Olmert's statements is that he is unwilling to decide how to deal with the Syrian threat. He would rather be 'surprised' by the Syrians than prevent surprises by crafting an Israeli policy that would defend Israel's interests and preempt Syrian aggression.
"The Israeli Left maintains that the only way to prevent war is by holding peace talks with Syria that will lead to an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. But former national security adviser Maj. Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland explained in a recent lecture at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs that under current conditions, in contrast to the Left's protestations, an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, even in return for a peace treaty, would increase the chance of war with Syria, and decrease Israel's chances of winning the war. Syria would have little reason to abide by the agreement after an Israeli withdrawal and Israel would lack international support to enforce the agreement after Syria breached it.
[ . . . . ]
The threat from Syria is one link in a chain. The chain is tightening, while Israel is shackled by a government of bunglers and fools, despised by all inside and outside the country, and not even capable of the elementary decency of stepping down.
* Note that "Issue" refers to the cited Time to Speak issue.
This essay is from "A Time to Speak -- Messages About Israel."
Volume VII:3 (No. 67) May 2007 -- Iyar-Sivan 5767
"A Time To Speak" appears once a month, and each issue is on a
theme that relates to Israel and the Middle East past and present,
including history, background, current events, analysis and comment.
All issues appear on its website: http://www.israel.net/timetospeak. A
complimentary subscription to the e-mail edition is available by
request to: email@example.com.
Patricia Berlyn is a native of New York City, who now resides in Israel.
This essay is from "A Time to Speak -- Messages About Israel." Volume VII:3 (No. 67) May 2007 -- Iyar-Sivan 5767
"A Time To Speak" appears once a month, and each issue is on a theme that relates to Israel and the Middle East past and present, including history, background, current events, analysis and comment. All issues appear on its website: http://www.israel.net/timetospeak. A complimentary subscription to the e-mail edition is available by request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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