Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has done it again. Speaking on Wednesday at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Barak warned that if Israel can’t cut a deal with the Palestinians soon, it should consider surrendering Judea and Samaria in exchange for nothing.
Even the diehard leftists in the media had a hard time swallowing his words. After all, when Barak was premier, he oversaw Israel’s unilateral surrender of south Lebanon in 2000. Barak promised that by giving Hezbollah south Lebanon, Israel would force the Iranian proxy army to disarm and behave like a Western political party.
Then of course, there is the Gaza precedent.
Ignoring the lesson of Lebanon, Barak’s successor Ariel Sharon reenacted his unilateral surrender policy in Gaza in 2005. Like Barak, Sharon promised that once Gaza was cleared of all Jewish presence, it would magically transform itself into a Middle Eastern version of Singapore.
Both Barak and Sharon promised that their unilateral surrender policies would do more than merely transform Hezbollah and Hamas into liberal democrats. They said that by cutting and running, Israel would earn the love of the international community, and winning the love of the likes of Washington and Brussels, they said, was the most urgent item on Israel’s agenda.
Apparently Barak was referring to the same imperative when on Wednesday he said that Israel needs to act fast because, “We are on borrowed time. We will reach a wall, and we’ll pay the price.”
So yes, Hezbollah has taken over not just south Lebanon, but all of Lebanon. And true, there is no one in the Palestinian Authority today who is willing to accept the continued existence of Israel in any borders. But that just means we need the West to love us even more. And the only way to get the West to love us is by imperiling our very existence by handing our heartland over to people who wish to destroy our country.
Given the high value Barak and his comrades place on winning the love of the West, it is worth considering what motivates the West – or more to the point, the US, which leads the Western world.
Unfortunately, the situation is not pretty. US President Barack Obama’s policies are just as irrational as the ones that Barak is urging Israel to implement in order to win Obama’s support. And Obama’s rationales for adopting these policies are just as divorced from reality as Barak’s are.
The place where this irrationality is displayed most prominently today is in Obama’s policy regarding Iran. As Michael Singh rightly noted on Wednesday in the New York Daily News, under Obama, US policy towards Iran is based on the view “that at the root of the Iran nuclear crisis is US-Iran conflict, and that the root cause of that conflict is mistrust.”
THIS VIEW is pure fantasy. No Iranian leader has ever given the US any reason to believe that this is the case. To the contrary, every Iranian leader since the 1979 Islamic Revolution has made clear that the regime is dedicated to the destruction of the US and Israel.
The Iranians do not wish to destroy the US and Israel because they distrust them. The likes of Ayatollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad and all of their comrades wish to destroy Israel and the US because they hate us. They hate us because as they see it, both nations represent forces that are antithetical to their revolution’s goal of Islamic world domination.
Rather than accept this fundamental, but unpleasant truth, Obama and his advisors base their policy of engaging Iran on fairy tales about nonexistent fatwas that purportedly ruled out the development of nuclear weapons. As Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon put it delicately this week, the Iranians are “laughing all the way to a bomb.”
Ya’alon explained, “During talks with world powers, the Iranians have managed to enrich 750 kilograms of uranium to 3.5 percent, and 36 kilograms of uranium to 20 percent.”
And while the Iranians were enriching all that uranium, according to satellite imagery published on Wednesday by the Institute for Science and International Affairs, they were destroying buildings at the Parchin nuclear site.
The buildings in question were suspected of being used to conduct high explosive tests pertinent to the development of nuclear weapons.
And yet, despite Iran’s obvious bad faith, and despite the fact that the much-touted sanctions against Iran have done nothing to slow the pace of its sprint to the nuclear finish line, the Obama administration insists on clinging to the fantasy that it can convince the Iranians that they can trust the US and therefore convince them to give up their nuclear weapons program.
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