A Tale of Two Soldiers: Benjamin Netanyahu and Caroline Glick

Benjamin Netanyahu and Caroline Glick are both in the news these days, each for different reasons.  Netanyahu is coming to address the American Congress in March about the Shia bomb. Ms. Glick is above the fold because she may be about to transition from journalist to politician, a potential candidate for the Knesset in March.   

You could do worse than think of Ms. Glick as Israel’s Joan of Arc. No woman has written, spoken, or fought for Israel with more conviction and passion. If Glick’s political compass is as sure as her rhetorical azimuth, it will be hard not to think of another “Golda” if and when Caroline becomes part of the Israeli political conversation.

Veteran statesman Netanyahu comes to America at the invitation of a freshly minted Republican Congress, not the Democrat president in the White House. Barack Hussein Obama refuses to meet with the Israeli PM, affirming again the Muslim tilt for the American Left, a litany of slights to Jews/Israel in general and to Mr. Netanyahu in particular.

Where Obama regime hostility and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement converge, it’s easy to see anti-Israel sentiment among “progressives” as a contemporary burka for bigots. Pro-Palestine rhetoric, or the Arab tilt, has become the modern dog whistle for anti-Semitism.

The Oval Office claims that Obama will not chat with the Israeli PM because of the proximity of Israeli elections on 17 March. Interfering with the election does not seem to bother Obama, however:

Haaretz reporter Roi Arad revealed in an article in the Hebrew edition today [January 26] that the foreign funded organization, “One Voice”, is bankrolling the V-2015 campaign to defeat Binyamin Netanyahu’s national camp in the March 2015 Knesset Elections.

One indication of the generous financing is that it has now flown in a team of five American campaign experts (including Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign’s national field director) who will run the campaign out of offices taking up the ground floor of a Tel Aviv office building.

V-2015 is careful not to support a specific party – rather “just not Bibi”. As such, the foreign funds pouring into the campaign are not subject to Israel’s campaign finance laws.

Alas, the need for Netanyahu to provide American politicians some reality therapy on yet another Islam bomb speaks to the bias and apathy of several American administrations.

A Shia bomb changes every strategic calculus, near and far.

The nuclear bomb threshold was crossed by Sunni Pakistan with hardly a murmur from the West. Ironically, Pakistan today might be one AK-47 clip away from theocracy as America retreats from South Asia. The Sunni bomb, in Pakistan or elsewhere, is the motive force behind Shia nuclear ambitions and that dismal reality flies below the radar in most analyses.

The Shia nuclear threat to Israel is real and proximate, but as a matter of priorities, the ayatollahs are probably more concerned with sectarian imperialism than Israel or Western hegemony. For the Shia minority, the bomb is plainly the technological shortcut to parity with the Sunni majority in the Muslim world.

The fault lines in the Ummah are religious. For clerical regimes, apostates are more of a worry than infidels. Surely, the ayatollahs have invested in several nefarious venues like Hezb’allah and Hamas, but Persian nuclear weaponry, by any measure, is the goal that levels the playing field with Israel and Sunni Arabia -- and maybe NATO too. A nuclear Tehran changes the geo-strategic landscape; proximate, global, internecine, and international.

Netanyahu’s visit to Jenkins Hill and Glick’s political debut may seem unrelated at first glance, but the two Israeli veterans might also be viewed as a national security continuum, Israel present and future. If the past is prologue, Tel Aviv will require candid and courageous leaders like Glick until the Islamist threat implodes or is decisively defeated. Bibi is today’s active duty warrior and Caroline is the reserves, the kind of tough and focused fighter that will surely be needed tomorrow.

Like Netanyahu, Glick began her adult life as a soldier, five years with the IDF. Like the PM, she is also a graduate of an elite American university, MIT and Columbia respectively. Glick is unusual in this regard; it’s difficult to imagine American women volunteering for military service after a tour in the Ivy League.

Glick is best known as a journalist and international advocate for Israel, a fearless debater, taking on and besting most comers. Her most controversial arguments address the so-called “two state” solution. She calls that chimera what it is, a potentially fatal delusion. How indeed would another hostile terror state on Israel’s border advance the cause of peace in the Levant? Why legitimize or recognize yet another Arab terror culture? Does the UN need another dysfunctional and dependent state from the Arab world?

Such is the brand of candor and courage displayed by Caroline Glick. She is unique in her dogged and consistent rejection of the progressive twaddle that passes for analyses of terrorism, Islamism, Sunni and Shia imperialism and the religious/cultural threads that bind these movements. Ms. Glick’s world view, like that of the Israeli prime minister, may not be popular, but it is existential, raw truth.

The US Congress is likely to get typical, if not brutal, candor from Benjamin Netanyahu about Iran on March 3.  Two weeks later, Israeli legislators may benefit from a similar reality check, the tart tongue of Caroline Glick - if she takes a seat in the Knesset.

Unfortunately, too many naïve citizens in America and Israel seem to prefer sweet lies to bitter truths. Nonetheless, voices like Glick and Netanyahu are the necessary alternatives to apathy and fantasy.  Resolute Israeli leadership is one of the few reliable antidotes to the irredentist barbarity that now metastasizes in much of the Middle East and the Shia/Sunni worlds.

“The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war.”  - Benjamin Netanyahu

G. Murphy Donovan is a former USAF Intelligence officer who writes about the politics of national security.