Monday, April 28, 2008

"We should trust only ourselves"

A small dose of Prozac to reduce the angst of Israelis and Israel well-wishers

Snoopythegoon, of Simply Jews, has decided to give us a sort of a pick-me-up gift for the day after Passover:

When you, an avid reader of Jerusalem Post, go through another editorial by Caroline Glick (to take one, but outstanding, example), the customary feeling of gloom and doom sinks its talons into your sensitive soul. It makes your morning pita taste just the same as that highly hygienic sliced white bread you get from a plastic bag. Syrians are already climbing the fence, Hezbollah is horribly bemissiled, Hamas is finishing a burrow to get to the Prime Minister's office and Mahmoud the Mad is priming the warhead on the doomsday machine.

If you read it here in Israel, your pita still retains a bit of its taste...

...if you are a non-Jooish sympathizer, you just wonder what keeps IDF from tearing all these vicious enemies to bits in one mighty swoop. And your conclusion is that these commie peaceniks at the helm are too impotent to do anything useful and thus condemn the country to speedy demise.

...In any case, the article Israel Is Strong - Really by professor Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center does exactly this.

Let's face it: after almost 2,000 years in exile and only 60 years of Israel as a sovereign nation, it still feels funny for Jews, especially those outside of Israel, to have a state.

That, along with other factors, makes it easy to underestimate Israel's success and security. However, though at first glance it might seem counter-intuitive to say so, Israel today is stronger, more secure and in a better strategic position than at just about any time in its history.

Well, amen to that.

And here is something by way of illustration:

CBS had a segment about the Israeli Air Force yesterday, on its weekly newsmagazine "60 Minutes". Here is a transcript and video:

Asked how he characterizes the threat from Iran, Major General Eliezer Shkedy, the commander of Israel's air force, tells Simon, "I think it is a very serious threat to the state of Israel, but more than this to the whole world." Shkedy says Iran's threats against Israel cannot be ignored. "They are talking about what they think about the state of Israel. They are talking about destroying and wiping us from the earth," he says.

... Risk is part of his job as it is for all Israeli pilots, who maintain a constant state of alert. The call can come at any time and with no warning. We can't tell you how long it takes the pilots to get to their planes - we can tell you it's really fast.

Israel is a tiny country in a tough neighborhood;


The pilots who flew on the Baghdad mission are convinced that the Iranians will be ready. Zeev Raz, the commander of the Baghdad mission told Simon, "We had one point to destroy. They have many points. Many of them deep under the mountains, under the ground and it's a much more complicated problem in 1981."

Asked if he thinks Israel could do it, Raz told Simon, "Well, I really hope it will be solved another way. There is only one thing worse than the Israel air force having to do it. Iran having a nuclear bomb."

It's a scenario which reminds air force commander Shkedy of the Holocaust. He often gives a photograph of Israeli air force planes flying over Auschwitz to his officers. "We should remember. We cannot forget. We should trust only ourselves," Shkedy tells Simon. "I totally believe that."

So do I.


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