R.I.P. Israel - 1948-2012?
In some circles there is a deeply-held belief that 2012 will be the end of civilization. The adherents to this theory base their faith on the Mayan calendar.
Predicting the future is a tough game.
I am willing to wait and see and am not preparing. This inaction is a choice and I voluntarily undertake to experience the consequences.
Regarding 2012, there are some events that make me wonder whether it just might be an apocalyptic year for Israel. For this, I would like to recommend preparation.
Of note and with due respect, Barry Rubin suggests otherwise.
Unlike Mr. Rubin, my greater-pessimism-than-his leanings are based more on factors outside the region.
Again, predicting the future is a tough game.
In two of the existential wars Israel has fought, the War of Independence (1947-1949) and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, relatively friendly countries assisted Israel in its victories. In the former "weapons systems were... shipped from Europe and the United States" (at 62), in the latter the USA helped with re-supply. The 1967 Six Day War was largely a go-it-alone effort.
Things appear different now.
True, Israel remains surrounded by enemies, this is not news. But the climate for Israel has changed for the worse. The so-called "Arab Spring" appears to be climate-changing more towards a "Shari'a Summer," "Fundamentalist Fall" and "Wahabbi-like Winter."
Reportedly, Iran continues its development of nuclear capability, the influence of the Ikhwan in Egypt appears ascendant, the Sinai is more unstable, Hezb'allah's influence in Lebanon is dominant, Syria remains a conduit for weapons, Gazans persist in firing rockets, missiles and mortars into Israel with the lethality of the weapons used heightening, Libya's turmoil has made armaments more readily available to jihadis and Israel itself contains a significant pool of Fifth Columnists.
None of these entities can be considered the friends of Israel and the Jews. They have, at various times, articulated positions favorable to making Israel extinct and Jews dead.
Pinning hope on assistance for survival from European countries would be iffy, at best (and lunacy, more realistically). In the UK, the London constabulary cannot contain its own population of citizens hostile to Israel; the French are probably unwilling to ask "Is Paris Burning?" (and suburban communities) -- again; and other European countries have not been eager to show Israel any love (e.g., the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey), even of the tough kind.
The USA is probably the only country militarily strong enough (even with its recent misadventures) and somewhat inclined to help Israel survive a concerted effort at liquidation by its neighbors.
The major difference today is the hostile American executive branch led by the soi-disant "citizen of the world," Barack Obama. This neutralizes any inclination to help Israel where historically the Chief Executive has been somewhat supportive, despite resistance from the State Department.
Steeped in, and apparently accepting of, the Israel- and Jew-hatred of Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, et al, it seems more likely than not, to me, that the only finger he would lift to help Israel if hostilities were to happen, is the middle one.
The same cannot be said for the majority of the Republicans currently seeking the Presidency. As examples, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin (if she is running), Mitt Romney and Rick Perry claim to be more protective of Israel.
Whether their actions will jibe with their words, should one of them win the upcoming election, is unknowable.
Still, the implications are that they would not let Israel fall without a fight.
So, if you or I were on a mission to exterminate something and had a choice of trying before or after a potential bodyguard was in place, when would either of us carpe the diem, assuming we wanted to succeed?
I submit that the most propitious time is while Barack Obama is in office.
Assuming the anti-Israel forces choose a wait-and-see attitude, then if Obama is the Democratic candidate for President and loses, it would seem smartest to attack before a new President, almost certainly more friendly to Israel, takes office.
Ironically, if Obama wins, then Israel may have a few years time before her eradication as the forces arrayed against her consolidate further.
As to the lack of cooperation among the enemies of Israel, mentioned by Mr. Rubin, well, they have put aside their differences in order to unite against it before.
I do not claim all that it takes to craft a comprehensive solution to this perceived matter. However, preparation for a possible 2012 destruction of Israel should not be limited to hoarding sackcloth and ashes, from my perspective.
If I had my druthers one place to start is with frank, open and direct conversation about a defense agreement between the USA and Israel. Clearly, this is an approach not without problems, but at least we would know, with as much certainty as is possible with politicians, where some stand and airing the downsides may result in solutions.
Allen West may have the guts to initiate the topic. He has demonstrated himself to be a person of action and should he embrace this task; he is better suited to navigating the technicalities than most. Sarah Palin, another politician with moxie, could be instrumental in this, too. There are others from whom it might be instructive to hear.
The fact is, that despite the expertise of the experts and the qualities that made them experts, one qualification for holding that rarified status is not and has never been, always being right about stuff.
The stakes are existential and just in case the experts are wrong this one time, the ounce of prevention may be better than the incurable.
Recall -- predicting the future is a tough game. Is avoiding preparation for this worth the risk?
Michael Applebaum is a physician and attorney practicing in Chicago. He has concerns about Israel's continuing existence and owns the URL www.FackBarack.com. He expects to do something with it should BHO get the nomination for 2012.