- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2006

There is something mad — and that’s understatement — about U.S. policy, let alone Western policy in general, about the Middle East. To state it simply:

Hezbollah and its allies are determined to make war in the Middle East until Israel is destroyed. Israel stubbornly refuses to die and has shown that it will take its fight for existence to its enemies regardless of Kofi Annan’s pontifications. Therefore there can be no peace in the Middle East until aggressor powers like Iran stop supporting guerrilla warfare against Israel. Or, more realistically, until Iran is stopped by force once and for all from subsidizing such warfare.

President Bush’s emissary, Condi Rice, presses for negotiations but there is no one to negotiate with. Iran and Hezbollah know one truth: war. The only negotiation they are prepared to undertake means the destruction of a member state of the United Nations.

Israel’s enemies, like Iran whose president has promised to wipe Israel off the map, are conducting a war against the Jewish state by organizing military units inside technically neutral states, such as Lebanon used to be. To these military units, called Hezbollah, Iran has given thousands of missiles to fulfill its pledge to wipe Israel, with a tiny population of 6.4 million, off the map.

Where is the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. Security Council or Kofi Annan? A U.N. member state’s existence is not merely threatened but is actually under daily assault by another U.N. member state, yet there is no action against Iran, let alone threat of action.

More than 100 rockets rained down across northern Israel, a U.N. member state, in one day last week, killing eight persons. Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah threatened to strike Tel Aviv with long-range rockets if central Beirut is damaged.

And what is Europe’s response to naked aggression? The Finnish European Union presidency has announced that the EU will not put the Islamist Hezbollah movement on its blacklist of terrorist organizations but the discussion could re-emerge in the future. That “warning” ought to scare the living daylights out of Hezbollah, eh? Appeasement in Europe, a continental disease of the 1930s, still lives.

The day is not far off when Iran or some other culprit state supplies more powerful rockets armed with biological or chemicals agents. When, not if, these super-lethal rockets smash into Tel Aviv, what happens then? Kofi Annan and his U.N. General Assembly allies would urge “restraint” and, of course, would demand a “proportionate” response, whatever that means. A U.N. member state is under daily attack from an identifiable, outspoken enemy and all we hear about are a few mumbled pieties to be incorporated into a toothless U.N. resolution.

Can the U.S. or any other power be of any help on Israel’s behalf against an enemy that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, against an enemy like Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who seeks a nuclear weapon?

Not really, any more than the U.S. could have been of any help as a mediating force against Adolf Hitler. Like Nazism, radical Islam does not recognize the right of Jewish existence, let alone as an independent state. No compromise with radical Islam on this question is attainable today or in the near future. In Europe, it took two world wars before the historical enmity between France and Germany could be transformed into friendship. Such a vision is impossible to foresee in the Middle East.

When Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat recognized Israel in 1979, there was hope that there would be regional peace at last and that Israel would be left in peace to pursue its domestic policies. Sadat’s reward for an act of statesmanship was assassination in October 6, 1981. His successor, Hosni Mubarak, has survived two assassination attempts. Anybody else want to try?


Arnold Beichman, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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