Very interesting article in the Jewish World review, by Yossi Klein Halevi & Michael Oren (via new media celebrities Power Line)
The article is called Israel’s unexpected victory over terrorism, and it highlights the positive impact that has come from Israel’s aggressive attacks on Hamas and the effects of their linkage of PA to terror through the Karine A.
But the politics of the effort – and the negative political fallout – are one of the key things they discuss.
The price Israel has paid for its victory has been sobering. Arafat may be a pariah, but Israel is becoming one, too. Increasingly, the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty is under attack. Former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, for example, has called Israel’s creation a “mistake.” In Europe, an implicit “red-green-black” coalition of radical leftists, Islamists, and old-fashioned fascists has revived violent anti-Semitism.
Along with the desecration of Jewish cemeteries by neo-Nazis and the assaults on Jews by Arab youth, some European left-wingers now sense a sympathetic climate in which to publicly indulge their anti-Semitism. In a recent interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Greek composer and left-wing activist Mikis Theodorakis denounced “the Jews” for their dominance of banks, U.S. foreign policy, and even the world’s leading orchestras, adding that the Jews were “at the root of evil.” In the Arab world, a culture of denial that repudiates the most basic facts of Jewish history — from the existence of the Jerusalem Temple to the existence of the gas chambers — has become mainstream in intellectual discourse and the media. Government TV stations in Egypt and Syria have produced dramatizations based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Boycotts of Israel are multiplying: The nonaligned states recently voted to bar “settlers” — including Israelis who live in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem — from their borders. Among young Israelis across the political spectrum, there’s growing doubt about the country’s future and widespread talk of emigration.
In its victories and its defeats, Israel is a test case of what happens to a democracy forced to confront nonstop terrorism. In their daily lives, Israelis must contend with the most pressing questions of the global war against terrorism: Can terrorism be defeated? And, in doing so, can basic democratic principles be maintained? Finally, does the moral necessity to defeat terrorism supersede the moral necessity to address the grievances of those in whose name terrorism is committed?