European Sanctions – The Israeli Test

“Israel Hayom”, , July 19, 2013

There are no free lunches in personal and national struggles, especially when it comes to the Jewish people, and certainly not in the Middle East. 

Successful struggles require defiance of pressure, which has been an integral part of the Jewish people and the Jewish state from time immemorial. In fact, defiance of pressure has ensured the survival of Judaism and the Jewish people.

During the last 65 years, Israel benefitted significantly by resisting pressure, stronger than that imposed by the European Union: the effective US military embargo and the threat of economic embargo in 1948, suspension of the transfer of advanced US military systems and joint military exercises, etc. It was Israel’s defiance of pressure which facilitated the establishment of Israel in 1948; the annexation of western Jerusalem and parts of Tel Aviv, the Galilee and the Negev in 1949; the reunification of Jerusalem and construction of Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem in 1967; the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981; the application of Israeli law in the Golan Heights in 1981; the settlement of 375,000 Jews in Judea & Samaria and 250,000 Jews in eastern Jerusalem since 1967; etc.

Resisting pressure has secured the survival of the Jewish state, the bolstering of Israel’s posture of deterrence, the enhancement of Israel’s role as a unique strategic ally of the US, which can be trusted on a rainy day.

From 1948 through 1992, Israeli Prime Ministers, usually, fended off US pressure to make “painful concession,” and therefore enhanced respect toward Israel, dramatically expanding US-Israel strategic cooperation. Sixty five years of independence have demonstrated that numerous forms of pressure on Israel have just been hurdles on the road to globally unprecedented growth: economically, militarily, technologically, scientifically and demographically.

A government that sacrifices strategic goals in order to avoid pressure strays away from the legacy of Israel’s Founding Fathers.  A government which fails to defy pressure and assume a tactical, short-term, limited cost, required to retain independence of political/diplomatic action and to advance strategic, long-term, essential goals, forfeits the trust of its citizenry and the respect of its allies and the international community.

Succumbing to European pressure would radicalize the Palestinian position, generate further pressure and reduce the slim chance for peace.  This would ignore the post World War II European precedent of Land-for-Peace, with belligerent Germany being punished by transferring land to its victims: France, Poland and Czechoslovakia. In 2013, Europe is eager to punish the intended victim, Israel, by transferring land to the belligerent Arabs, hence rewarding and encouraging belligerence.

Giving in to European pressure would reward “Better Red than Dead” Europe, which violates economic sanctions against Iran, while imposing sanctions on Israel, the only democratic, capable, reliable and unconditional ally of the Free World.

Retreat in the face of European pressure would ignore the implications of the stormy, chaotic Arab Winter, and overlook the unprecedented surge in hate-education, terrorism and non-compliance since the conclusion of the 1993 Oslo Accords.  This retreat would transform Jerusalem into an enclave connected to the coastal plain by a 2-4 mile wide corridor.  It would reduce Israel to a 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean, over-towered by the Judea & Samaria mountain ridges, which dominate Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure. It would relegate Israel from a national security producer to a national security consumer, depriving the US of Israel’s unique national security contributions.