Israel On The Ropes
Commentary By Jack Kelley
I wonder how many of us truly understand the extent of Israel's peril as a nation today. Let me list some of their more critical problems.
Having been weakened in the eyes of friend and foe alike due to their disappointing performance in last summer's Hizbollah war, Israel has become fair game for unprecedented world pressure to cave in to Arab demands. Their government could soon be forced to accept a peace plan that includes a return to pre-1967 borders, the return of East Jerusalem to Moslem control, the Palestinian refugee right of return, and, get this, a halt to all Jewish immigration to Israel, even that which only replenishes the population to offset the deaths of current residents. So while untold numbers of Palestinians could come to Israel and demand their homes back under this plan, not one more Jew could ever call Israel home. And the number of those living there now will decline daily. Former PM Netanyahu has called this an existential threat to the country. Current PM Olmert is looking for a way to accept these terms without getting blamed for it.
This is the Arab price for peace, and our friend Saudi Arabia has warned Israel that the only alternative to fait accompli acceptance is war. They will not negotiate. The build up of Hamas forces in the South and Hizbollah in the North, with Russia, Iran and Syria pouring in money and training, makes this a bleak prospect indeed.
Israel is also hamstrung by leaders whose approval rating is the lowest in the nation's history, with the President on leave while he defends himself against charges of sexual harassment and rape, the Prime Minister facing indictment on criminal charges of a financial nature and having a Defense Minister with whom he's barely on speaking terms, and all of them about to be thoroughly and publicly castigated by a group of experts they themselves impaneled to review their conduct of the war.
They've also lost the respect of their most important ally, the USA. Far from protecting them from the Arab "peace plan" the US is applying extreme pressure on Israel to accept this plan, possibly to give the current administration one bright spot on an otherwise gloomy political landscape.
Israel's armed forces are demoralized and under prepared. Leaders with no combat experience have ignored or overruled the advice of experienced subordinates, severely diminishing their legendary capabilities. Down through the years, Israeli leaders have known that rapid and decisive victories were their best deterrents to future aggression, and in each of their previous wars this was the case. Somehow that knowledge was either lost or ignored last summer, even though the US held the world at bay to give them the opportunity to defeat Hizbollah.
Having failed to do so, their image has been tarnished and their enemies have seen their vulnerability. Syria is beside itself with glee, and has lost no time at all moving troops to the Golan border while they openly re-armed Hizbollah. Iran has just as blatantly powered up Hamas. Even previous side liners Egypt and Jordan have joined in. Egypt has quietly recalled their soldiers, abandoning the Gaza border they promised to police while loudly accusing Israel of genocide in the 1973 war. Jordan is demanding that Israel not miss this opportunity for peace, secretly providing support to Hamas all the while.
And Russia isn't even pretending to maintain secrecy. The Russians have all but taken over Sidon in southern Lebanon, providing real time military intelligence for Hizbollah, Iran and Syria, as well as rockets with the ability to disable Israeli tanks, and state of the art air defense for Syria and Iran. Soon the Russian Navy will be patrolling the Eastern Mediterranean.
In summary, if this peace plan is accepted it could be the beginning stages of the set up Israel will experience in advance of the Battle of Ezekiel 38. Forced into a false peace that would be called a surrender in other times in return for "normal" relations with it's neighbors, Israel may soon find itself all alone except for the only loyal Ally it has ever had. He's been waiting for this time for 2000 years and it could be right around the corner. Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I guarantee you, we're the only ones who are. 03-29-07