Conference call with Bibi Netanyahu

Rick Richman, proprietor of the blog Jewish Current Issues, was kind enough to assemble a group of people* to interview former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone from Israel today. Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke for a few minutes about the role that Israel plays on the front—line of the West's battle against Islamic extremism.

He pointed out that history has shown that hatred towards the Jewish people is usually symptomatic of a more widespread hatred and nihilism which later engulfs other communities and that Israel must win this war so others, as well as themselves, would not suffer. He pointed out that Iran, of course, is a threat to the whole world: not just because it is a leading world—wide sponsor of terror but also because its "progress' towards a nuclear bomb will also threaten Europe and America as Iran aspires to resurrect a "Muslim empire." 

He looked back in history and compared Iran and its current leader Ahmadinejad to Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler: same goals, but Hitler went to war before his scientists were able to develop a nuclear bomb. He had us imagine what the world would look like now if Hitler had the nuclear arsenal that Iran is working to develop.

I was able to ask a question about the missile attacks which have bedeviled Israel: not just during the last month but during the entire last year from Gaza. I pointed out that this is a tactic that now has a strategic dimension: Hezbollah is encouraging Hamas to engage in  a new round of missile attacks from Gaza since such missile attacks seem to have led Israel to halt its Lebanon incursion and led to a problematic cease—fire. Specifically, I asked how Israel intended to defend itself from a more widespread use of this tactic (especially given Olmert's stated desire to withdraw from large portions of the West Bank).

Until now, Hamas has fired from relatively empty areas and has given Israel some room to respond. I was concerned that Hamas might start firing missiles from people's homes and apartment buildings and that this would severely complicate Israel's efforts to halt these terror attacks. While it is a truism that the best defense is a good offense, the nature of warfare has changed: now the United Nations, Human Rights Groups, and a complicit world media is eager to castigate Israel when its defensive actions harm the civilians that terror groups use and abuse as human shields.

 I noted that Israel had been working on an advanced missile defense system with Northrop—the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL)—that was geared towards shooting down mortars and Katyushas and that prototypes seemed to have a degree of success

The Israeli Defense Forces dropped out of the project 7 months ago; America shifted its focus to efforts to prevent Improvised Explosive Devices from taking such a toll in Iraq and elsewhere. Mr. Netanyahu foreswore knowledge of the project and then told us that it would not be wise to comment on such a project if he was in a position to do so. He stressed the necessity of learning the lessons of the last five weeks since he believes there will be a "next time" with Hezbollah.

He did note that the pattern of unilateral Israeli withdraw followed by increased terror attacks now seems well—established (an oblique reference to the convergence plans of Ehud Olmert that would lead to disengagement from wide swaths of the West Bank). He ended his answer to me with these words " The concept of unilateral withdrawal has proven its bankruptcy........".
 
Sounds like a campaign slogan, no? 
 
*The other bloggers who were on the call were my AT colleague Richard Baehr, Pamela of Atlas Shrugs, Anne Lieberman at Boker Tov, Boulder, Lynn of In Context ,  Omri Ceren at Mere Rhetoric , Paul Mirengoff from Powerline, and David Gerstman from Soccer Dad. A final thank you to the estimable Rick Richman for his work on behalf of the Jewish community and for his generosity in arranging the blog—athon with Prime Minsiter Netanyahu.

For a great summary of the rest of the bloggers reports, please check their individual sites. Pamela (how does she find the energy?) has compiled a nifty summary of the questions and answers on her site  including an audio of the call itself. She is a one woman network news show.

Ed Lasky   8 15 06

Rick Richman, proprietor of the blog Jewish Current Issues, was kind enough to assemble a group of people* to interview former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone from Israel today. Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke for a few minutes about the role that Israel plays on the front—line of the West's battle against Islamic extremism.

He pointed out that history has shown that hatred towards the Jewish people is usually symptomatic of a more widespread hatred and nihilism which later engulfs other communities and that Israel must win this war so others, as well as themselves, would not suffer. He pointed out that Iran, of course, is a threat to the whole world: not just because it is a leading world—wide sponsor of terror but also because its "progress' towards a nuclear bomb will also threaten Europe and America as Iran aspires to resurrect a "Muslim empire." 

He looked back in history and compared Iran and its current leader Ahmadinejad to Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler: same goals, but Hitler went to war before his scientists were able to develop a nuclear bomb. He had us imagine what the world would look like now if Hitler had the nuclear arsenal that Iran is working to develop.

I was able to ask a question about the missile attacks which have bedeviled Israel: not just during the last month but during the entire last year from Gaza. I pointed out that this is a tactic that now has a strategic dimension: Hezbollah is encouraging Hamas to engage in  a new round of missile attacks from Gaza since such missile attacks seem to have led Israel to halt its Lebanon incursion and led to a problematic cease—fire. Specifically, I asked how Israel intended to defend itself from a more widespread use of this tactic (especially given Olmert's stated desire to withdraw from large portions of the West Bank).

Until now, Hamas has fired from relatively empty areas and has given Israel some room to respond. I was concerned that Hamas might start firing missiles from people's homes and apartment buildings and that this would severely complicate Israel's efforts to halt these terror attacks. While it is a truism that the best defense is a good offense, the nature of warfare has changed: now the United Nations, Human Rights Groups, and a complicit world media is eager to castigate Israel when its defensive actions harm the civilians that terror groups use and abuse as human shields.

 I noted that Israel had been working on an advanced missile defense system with Northrop—the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL)—that was geared towards shooting down mortars and Katyushas and that prototypes seemed to have a degree of success

The Israeli Defense Forces dropped out of the project 7 months ago; America shifted its focus to efforts to prevent Improvised Explosive Devices from taking such a toll in Iraq and elsewhere. Mr. Netanyahu foreswore knowledge of the project and then told us that it would not be wise to comment on such a project if he was in a position to do so. He stressed the necessity of learning the lessons of the last five weeks since he believes there will be a "next time" with Hezbollah.

He did note that the pattern of unilateral Israeli withdraw followed by increased terror attacks now seems well—established (an oblique reference to the convergence plans of Ehud Olmert that would lead to disengagement from wide swaths of the West Bank). He ended his answer to me with these words " The concept of unilateral withdrawal has proven its bankruptcy........".
 
Sounds like a campaign slogan, no? 
 
*The other bloggers who were on the call were my AT colleague Richard Baehr, Pamela of Atlas Shrugs, Anne Lieberman at Boker Tov, Boulder, Lynn of In Context ,  Omri Ceren at Mere Rhetoric , Paul Mirengoff from Powerline, and David Gerstman from Soccer Dad. A final thank you to the estimable Rick Richman for his work on behalf of the Jewish community and for his generosity in arranging the blog—athon with Prime Minsiter Netanyahu.

For a great summary of the rest of the bloggers reports, please check their individual sites. Pamela (how does she find the energy?) has compiled a nifty summary of the questions and answers on her site  including an audio of the call itself. She is a one woman network news show.

Ed Lasky   8 15 06