Israel’s options

By David Dolan

It is increasingly apparent that al-Qaida terrorists carried out the twin attacks on Israeli targets in Kenya last Thursday. The nefarious group has issued a statement claiming responsibility for the blast that destroyed an Israeli-owned resort hotel in Mombasa, along with the SAM-7 surface-to-air missile firings that narrowly missed a packed Israeli jet taking off from the city’s international airport. The statement linked the attacks to the August 1998 destruction of the American embassy in Nairobi, boasting that the “fighters of al-Qaida returned to the same place where the Crusader-Jewish coalition was hit four years ago.”

Islamic jihad warriors have once again tossed in the “Christian” West – and especially the Mother of All Satans, America – with the Jewish people (notice the statement did not read “Crusader-Israeli coalition”). And so they should, since contemporary Western culture and values are historically rooted in Judaism and the Hebrew Bible. It is also a fact that Israel’s closest allies are located in the western half of the globe, although diplomatic and economic ties with Asian powers like India and China have blossomed in recent years.

Despite these realities, many Western leaders and media outlets hope or pretend that Israel can be kept out of the U.S.-led global war against Islamic terrorism. A recent example of this was Sunday’s New York Times article by Jerusalem-based reporter James Bennet, titled “Israel’s War Is Like America’s. With a difference.” In typical fashion, the author frets that the “hard-right Likud” leader Ariel Sharon will actually carry out his vow to pursue the terrorists who spilled the blood of Israelis visiting Kenya. Bennet obviously disapproves of the prime minister’s pledge, maintaining that this would exactly play into al-Qaida’s obvious desire to “draw Israel into a high profile role in the American war on terrorism.”

When did Washington receive an exclusive patent for this war? If a French oil tanker is attacked by Arab terrorists (as happened a couple months ago), do officials in Paris need American approval to respond? Does Australia need to get a White House stamp before its security agents attempt to track down the terrorists who sent dozens of young Aussies to premature graves in Bali? Do officials in Bonn need to come with cap in hand before they can pursue the killers of German tourists gunned down while visiting a Tunisian synagogue earlier this year?

Everyone understands that Osama bin Laden (if he is still alive) wants to draft Israel into a starring role in his jihad war against “Crusader” civilization. As Bennet points out, that was clearly Saddam Hussein’s goal as well when he blasted Tel Aviv with nightly Scuds in 1991. But if someone comes to punch you in the face – or massacre over 250 of your citizens taking off on a commercial airplane – what exactly are you supposed to do? Do you have to be “hard right” to protest such actions? If a democratically elected leader decides he must go after the terrorists, is he merely seeking revenge? Is this yet another example of the biblical (and thus Jewish) eye for an eye doctrine, no longer Politically Correct in the enlightened West?

Who started this war anyway? According to the bleeding-heart consensus around the globe, it was initiated by the United States and allies like Great Britain and Israel. After all, these countries oppress, uproot and colonize the rest of the world with gleeful impunity. Indeed, such a description is historically not too far off the mark, especially when looking back at the vast British Empire that the sun never set upon, or the treatment of natives “discovered” when Europeans occupied the New World.

According to the militant jihadists and their worldwide sympathizers, the worst example of Western oppression is the modern Jewish state that arose, with “Crusader” backing, inside of the boundaries of Judaism’s ancient biblical heartland. They fiercely condemn Jews from Morocco, India, the Ukraine, etc. for moving to their 3,500-year-old religious center, rebuilding their ancient cities and speaking their ancestral language. How dare the Jewish people, whose forefathers were expelled by the very Westerners who are supposedly their co-conspirators today, return to the biblical Promised Land!

Ariel Sharon understands the radical Islamic agenda concerning his re-born country. To the chagrin of many right-wing political allies, including his current foreign minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, he has resisted consistent pressure to take tougher measures against Yasser Arafat and his blood-soaked comrades in terrorist arms. He realizes that the Iraqi dictator, the stifling Islamic regime in Iran, and the Arabian Osama all need Israel as an enemy to help justify their violent cruelties. He knows that “America’s war” will be made more difficult, at least politically, if his country is deeply drawn into it (although quiet Israeli assistance on the ground is actually immensely helpful, say informed military analysts).

Despite comprehending the Islamic extremist game plan, Sharon cannot just sit back and take al-Qaida’s blows, as Israel absorbed Saddam’s attacks during the Gulf War. The situation is very different this time around. Israel is not facing a month or two of unpleasant assaults. Today, her Muslim attackers openly declare that they will not rest until Israel is destroyed, just as they threaten to wipe America off the world map.

Whether Western leaders and media pundits like it or not, Israel is fully involved in “America’s war.” Indeed, she has been at the forefront of radical Islam’s jihad sword for many decades now. Asking Sharon to meekly absorb al-Qaida’s latest blows is not going to alter anything, apart from further encouraging Islamic true believers that they will ultimately triumph in the first war of the 21st century.