Israel, Paralyzed by Fear

By Edward Bernard Glick, Washington Times | 3/17/2008

As Israel’s enemies see the Palestine problem, the Jewish state, with the weakest and most unpopular prime minister in its history and an army that failed in the second Lebanon war, is in political, military and public-relations free fall. Its military neither intimidates nor defeats its enemies. In spite of repeated assassinations, barrages and incursions, the terrorists continue to lob rockets and missiles into Israel at will. The principal reason, in their view and in mine, is Israel’s paralytic fear of negative world opinion and of inflicting enemy civilian casualties. As Fouad Ajami of The Johns Hopkins University has observed, the terrorist “always works with the winks and nods of the society that gives him cover.”

So, if the Jewish state does not conquer its fears and inflict more, not less, collateral damage in the places from which the terror emanates, it will surely die.

Those who wish and work for Israel’s destruction do not shrink from killing innocent civilians. So they are unimpressed by Israel’s failed policy of limiting and apologizing for such casualties, and then begging for forgiveness from a world that masks its politically incorrect anti-Semitism with politically correct anti-Zionism.

Israel’s foes would be more impressed if it followed the dictum of its late chief of staff, Lt. Gen. David Elazar. After a commando raid in Beirut in 1973, during which a 70-year-old Italian woman was killed, Lt. Gen. Elazar expressed his regret but added: “Israel won’t play by the rules of partial war; wars are not won with a strong defense.”

Israel’s enemies remember, even if Israel’s leaders do not, that Germany, Italy and Japan surrendered in 1945 only because Allied might overwhelmed them and made them lose their will to fight and to be led by political and military losers. Israel’s enemies remember, even if Israel’s political and military leaders do not, that the Axis Powers were defeated only because the Allied Powers applied slow, sustained and superior force over a number of very bloody years. And Israel’s enemies remember, even if Israel’s political and military leaders do not, that avoiding enemy civilian casualties was never a serious issue for America’s Franklin Roosevelt, Russia’s Joseph Stalin or Britain’s Winston Churchill.

Israel must also stop going berserk whenever one of its soldiers or civilians is captured. This happens in war. It must cease releasing hundreds or thousands of enemy combatants in exchange for one or two of its citizens.

By any calculation, it is proper to sacrifice one soldier in order to save 10, 10 to save hundreds, hundreds to save thousands, and thousands to save millions. Because of the symbiosis between victory and casualties, Israel must also apply this principle to its civilian casualties. In their 1948 war of independence, in order to establish their state, at least one percent of Israel’s population of 650,000 gave their lives. But, now, when Israel’s population is 10 times larger, its leaders erroneously believe that Israelis will not endure a far lower percentage of fatalities in order to preserve their state.

The Israelis must stop fretting about world opinion. The only opinion that matters, and only to the point where it does not threaten Israel’s existence, is that of diaspora Jewry and American opinion. During the 2006 Lebanon war, Americans from President Bush down to the proverbial man and woman in the street hoped and prayed that the Israelis would be much more audacious and victorious than they were. To survive, Israel will have to fight by the rules of its neighborhood.

The first rule is “Never let the fear of casualties trump your military judgment.” The second rule is “If you don’t win in this neighborhood, you lose, and you deserve to.”

April 18, 2008 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. mike packer, you are correct:

    Ps 36:1 An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: 66 v There is no fear w of God before his eyes. x
    Ps 36:2 For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. y
    Ps 36:3 The words of his mouth z are wicked and deceitful; a he has ceased to be wise b and to do good. c
    Ps 36:4 Even on his bed he plots evil; d he commits himself to a sinful course e and does not reject what is wrong. f

    In this context, you are correct.

  2. Dt 6:13 Fear the LORD k your God, serve him only l and take your oaths m in his name. n
    Dt 6:14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you;
    Dt 6:15 for the LORD your God o , who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
    Dt 6:16 Do not test the LORD your God p as you did at Massah.
    Dt 6:17 Be sure to keep q the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. r
    Dt 6:18 Do what is right and good in the LORD’S sight, s so that it may go well t with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers,
    Dt 6:19 thrusting out all your enemies u before you, as the LORD said.

  3. scorpio: there are millions like me and some even more passionate but till now we have no voice that is relevant or heard but we have not yet reached critical mass, but we will.

  4. Yamit82:
    I am always moved by your dedication and your passion. There must be other Jews in Israel who share your attachment to Jewish rights in the Land of Israel. Don’t people such as you represent the vast majority of the population? Who are the puny “humanists” whose concern with “innocent Arab civilians” trumps the security and legitimacy of Jewish rights in our ancestral homeland? Why have we sunk into such a relativistic moral morrass that seems to paralyze our ability to see what is ahead, and even worse, the ability to defend ourselves, and thus survive?

  5. mike: Most of what you and Glick is true and I agree with easpecially the part where we trade hundred or thousands for a few and even bodies of our dead. Our primary concern and obligation is to the living collective not those unfortunate enough to have been captured or even killed. Humans respect animal life but kill animals to eat and survive. Societies respect human lives but execute criminals to discourage others. Societies endanger their members’ lives in myriad occupations from firefighting to defense. Car and even horse traffic endangers lives in order to better them. Life lacks absolute value. In Jewish system of values, life comes close third after divine service (ethics, if you will) and societal welfare; other societies rank life similarly.

    People risk their lives in revolt instead of submitting to tyrants, and sometimes accept suicidal missions in the name of society, ideology, or religion. People commit suicides, unable to bear guilt or dishonor. Human life is a term too general to rank it. Comfortable life is obviously more valuable than uncomfortable, thus comfort – including moral comfort – is worth lives to a degree.
    Jewish community, from which Arabs and leftism are expunged, will be very comfortable. Decent size and secure borders, religious and ideological fulfillment will make it even more pleasant. Those things are worth lives. They are certainly worth our enemies’ lives.

    Israel that relinquishes to Arabs Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, Judea and Samaria, Hebron and Schem, and accepts 40% non-Jewish population, does not need statehood. Such Israel can as well accept dhimmi autonomy, relinquish sovereignty, and let the Jews live everywhere, even in the currently dreaded occupied territories of Judea and Samaria


    More soldiers are killed in retreat than in attack, and Muslims would slaughter the Jews if we abandon our military posture now. Too much hatred has accumulated to allow our Arab enemies the upper hand.

    Should we possibly save Jewish lives by abandoning Israel and moving into the Diaspora? That would save lives, but extinguish Jewish lives through assimilation. Dying Jewish is a preferable option to peacefully marrying a Gentile. In the framework of Jewish values, there is no alternative to the very strong army.

  6. an interesting hypothesis, I admit that Israel has always been influenced by international opinion but to say that we are SCARED of it, I think not.

    Israel must also stop going berserk whenever one of its soldiers or civilians is captured. This happens in war. It must cease releasing hundreds or thousands of enemy combatants in exchange for one or two of its citizens.

    Here I agree wholeheartedly, as much as it hurts us all to lose any of our sons in battle. The GoI policy of prisoner echange has to be updated….we cannot afford to release, capture and rerelease indefinately. A policy of “take no prisoners” should be applied.

  7. What’s also interesting is that Muslims are faithful to Allah, Muhammad, and the Koran, while many Israelis are not faithful to the Lord, the God of Israel, and the Holy Spirit seems to be absent, especially in Olmert’s circle.

    Muslims are only reminding Israel of what Israel ought to be doing! If Israel adopted Islamic intentions as its own, there would never be another nation of Islam again.


    Lk 18:7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out j to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
    Lk 18:8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man k comes, l will he find faith on the earth?”

  8. 1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, f because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
    1Jn 4:19 We love because he first loved us. g
    1Jn 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, h he is a liar. i For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, j cannot love God, whom he has not seen. k
    1Jn 4:21 And he has given us this command: l Whoever loves God must also love his brother. m


    As the enemies of Israel continue to hate and murder their brothers, while preaching the Catholic LOVE GOD, who HATES ISRAEL by shaking hands with Israel’s enemies, LOVE FOR THE GOD OF ISRAEL is the solution for politicians, soldiers and civilians in Israel.

    The CATHOLIC DOCTRINE of “LOVE” is a satanic self-love. If CATHOLICS “LOVED” their Israeli brothers, they would never support a two-state solution, therefore, it was fitting and proper for the Catholic Pope to go sit at the United Nations and preach to everyone on how best to love their idols and their foreign gods, while HATING the God of Israel. King Herod wanted to go worship Jesus too, and we all learned what his real motives were.

    Anyone who LOVES the God of Israel has a PERFECT LOVE THAT DRIVES OUT FEAR, just like King David did. I myself admit that I had lived in FEAR for a long time once I realized that the anti-Christ Network had already busted a move before I was even born. But because I love the God of Israel and the campaign of His archangel Michael, rather because of THEIR LOVE for me, I am saved by grace through faith, even though I’m a sinful wretch. TRUE FEAR is being separated from the God of Israel forever and not being written in His Book Of Life.

    However, we learn about the COURAGE OF KING DAVID who had no fear of Goliath and Israel must raise up new leaders in the Spirit of Elijah and King David.

    You see, someone like the Catholic Poop Benedict Arnold, who, like other U.N. PUPPETS of MONEY, tells the whole world, “I LOVE GOD!” but he HATES his Israeli brothers and is therefore a LIAR!

    Whoever claims that the LOVE the God of Israel must LOVE their Israeli brothers – therefore the Catholic version of LOVE espoused in the U.N. ASSEMBLY teaches LOVE for everybody else except ISRAEL.

    Test the Spirits

    1Jn 4:5 They are from the world d and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.
    1Jn 4:6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. e This is how we recognize the Spirit 8 of truth f and the spirit of falsehood. g

  9. And what was the God of Israel’s charge to Joshua?

    “Kill them all and spare no one!”

    Now, after a few thousand years, we just finally get it why God commanded Joshua to kill them all.