In every generation: Guardian advances historically familiar refrain that Israel is ‘beating war drums’

The United States has long regarded Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.  

Most recently U.S. officials blamed Iranian sponsor Hezbollah for a deadly suicide bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists

Indeed Iran backs many such Islamist groups – including the Lebanese Shiite militants of Hezbollah (which Iran helped found in the 1980s), which has an arsenal of 60,000 rockets aimed at Israel. The U.S. Defense Department estimates Iranian support to Hezbollah at roughly $100 million to $200 million annually.

They also provide financial support and training to Palestinian terror groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – groups which have killed Israelis in terror attacks and fired thousands of rockets into Israeli communities over the years.

And Iran is suspected of providing training and arms to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, including “small arms and associated ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm rockets, and plastic explosives.”

Iranian leaders have also openly declared that their forces were “propping up Syrian President Basher Assad’s murderous regime”. Members of the Iranian Qods Force are helping Assad fight the rebels. “We are proud to defend Syria, which constitutes a resistance to the Zionist entity,” Jafari told reporters.

Additionally, a semi-official Iranian religious institution announced it was increasing the reward to $3.3 million for anyone who acts on a fatwa and murders British author Salman Rushdie.

Most disturbingly, a website with close ties to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomenei recently outlined why it would be religiously acceptable to kill all Jews in Israel – a doctrine, as reported by the Mail Online, which details why the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of all its people would be legally and morally justified, and in accordance with Islamic doctrine. [emphasis added]

As the Washington Times reported:

“The article, written by Alireza Forghani, a strategy specialist in Khomeini camp, is now being run on most state-owed conservative sites, including the Revolutionary Guard’s Fars News Agency, showing that the regime endorses the doctrine.”

The government approved essay on Fars News Agency (seen here, which is in Farsi, though you can read it via Google Translate) cites the last census showing Israel has a population of 7.5 million, of which roughly 5.8 million are Jewish. Then it breaks down the districts with the highest concentration of Jews, indicating that three cities (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa) contain over 60 percent of the Jewish population that Iran could target.

So, Iran is perhaps the largest exporter of terrorism on the planet, supplies terror groups with deadly weaponry to use against Israeli civilians, sends arms, as well as their own soldiers, to Syrian to kill and brutalize the population, and has issued a fatwa of sorts on the lives of six million Jews.

If you were to think that this sound like an aggressive, militaristic, malevolent regime which is constantly beating the drums for war, you’d be wrong. At least according to the Guardian.

The Guardian’s security correspondent, Julian Borger, published the following on Sept. 4:

The opening passage sets the tone for the piece:

The odds against an Israeli military strike on Iran in the next few months appear to be lengthening, and perhaps the strongest evidence comes from none other than Binyamin Netanyahu, the man who has beaten the war drums loudest over the past few months. [emphasis added]

The moral inversion is simply stunning. 

Netanyahu, along with other Israeli leaders and the citizens of the state, are not beating the drums for war, but merely acting as any responsible state would in the face of an Iranian regime promising the Jewish state’s annihilation (while developing the nuclear means to do so), and engaged in proxy wars against the state on its norther and southern borders.

Such rocket attacks, which have killed, injured and terrorized thousands of Israelis, along with belligerence threats by their top leaders – which include calls to genocide – are more than a cause belli, but represent acts of war, and most nations on the receiving end of such aggression would have launched retaliatory strikes long ago.

Indeed, how many missile attacks from its northern or southern border, by terror groups committed to its destruction, would the United States absorb before retaliating and neutralizing the threat? 

Further, recall that in October 1962 the U.S. was prepared to launch a major military assault upon discovering that Cuban and Soviet governments had built bases in Cuba for a number of ballistic nuclear missiles with the ability to strike most of the United States.  The U.S. deemed it unacceptable, demanded that the Soviets remove the missiles and initiated a naval blockade of all Soviet ships.

The Soviets, sensing American resolve, and aware of the massive might of the U.S. military, eventually backed down and removed all nuclear weapons from Cuba.

President John F. Kennedy swore an oath to protect and defend the United States from all enemies, and his decisions during those tense 13 days in October were thoroughly consistent with his duty to protect his nation. Most of the world, it should be noted, was squarely behind the U.S. response to the dangerous Soviet gambit 100 miles from American shores.

Unlike the U.S., however, Israel is not a world superpower, so must be much more judicious in both its diplomatic maneuvering (soft power) and its potential use of force (military power) to neutralize the Iranian threat.

In June of 1967, when Prim Minister Levi Eshkol was debating with his cabinet how best to respond to a massive build up of 230,000 Arab troops   and thousands of tanks on Israel’s porous borders – buttressed by threats of annihilation form Arab leaders in Cairo, Damascus, and Baghdad – U.S. President Johnson told Eshkol, who was still hoping for U.S. military help to prevent a war, rebuffed Israeli requests for military aid and diplomatic approval for an Israeli preemptive attack on Egypt.

Though Israeli military officials were convinced they couldn’t absorb a first strike by the combine Arab forces amassed along their borders, and that their only hope for survival was a such a preemptive attack, Eshkol received a cable from President Johnson warning against such an Israeli attack, warning that “Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go it alone.”

In the early hours of June 5, Israel acted, destroying the Egyptian Air Force on the ground in a matter of hours, and gaining a stunning victory over the combined might of Egypt, Jordan, Syria (and smaller contingents from other Arab states) in six days of fighting.

Israel, under Eshkol, was concerned about public opinion, and the need not to unnecessarily alienate their U.S. ally, but his overriding concern was the survival of the Third Jewish Commonwealth.

Similarly, today, Israel doesn’t have the luxury to outsource their defense to another country, nor concern themselves too much with disapproval, and sanctimonious outrage, expressed by diplomats and intellectuals safe in their New York and London salons.

If Jewish history has taught us anything it’s that when our enemies threaten us with destruction they should be taken at their word; that we must be masters of our destiny; there is nothing noble, moral or righteous in Jewish victimhood; and we simply can not surrender to the dangerous vices of resignation, fatalism or moral vanity.

Though in every generation there are those who seek our destruction, in this generation we have the military means to prevent such malevolent designs, and, if need be, Israel won’t hesitate to exercise that power.

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