Leftist Gideon Levy argues that the Carmel forest fire shows why Israel has no military option against Iran.
Every cloud has a silver lining: Maybe lessons will be learned from the fire. Not only fire extinguishers, fire trucks and new planes, but also new thinking, and fire retardants that douse the really big fire.
The home front’s weakness should teach us that Israel apparently has no military option. This is a much more fateful lesson than all the fire’s other lessons, and it should be dealt with. The apocalyptic descriptions of a missile attack on the home front if Israel attacks Iran or Lebanon appear even more apocalyptic in light of Israel’s conduct when handling a medium-sized forest fire. Discussions on our future, therefore, should move to the arena that Israelis favor: the security arena.
Leave aside human rights and the occupation, don’t worry about morality and justice, forget about peace as a leftist delusion and ignore the Palestinian problem. The issue is Israel’s security interests, perhaps even existential interests.
The next wars will be home-front wars. This time the Israeli home front will be hit in a way we have never experienced. The first Gulf war and the Second Lebanon War were only the movie trailer for what could happen. An attack of thousands of missiles, as predicted by experts, will create a reality Israel will find hard to withstand. It isn’t equipped for it, as we saw on the Carmel, and it isn’t prepared for it, as we saw in the Lebanon war.
Any Israeli leader, even an adventurist and a former commando, should understand that the attack option is not really an option. It’s true that we succeeded in a few bombings in the past, but nothing lasts forever and the Scuds against us won’t always be hollow. A thousand new fire trucks and even the Iron Dome missile defense system will not provide protection. You can’t build a fortress for every citizen. This leads to the second, unavoidable conclusion, which should penetrate very deeply, not only among diplomats and commanders, but also among the many warmongers among us: the only existential option is integrating into the region (a term coined decades ago by Uri Avnery ).
Levy is one of Israel’s most extreme Leftist writers, and his article is obviously written with a note of glee. But he raises points that do need to be answered. First, the IDF has changed drastically since the debacle of the Second Lebanon War. It is no longer run by pacifists like Dan Halutz (who was the chief of staff) and Amir “Comrade” Peretz (who was Defense Minister). Even under the Olmert government, the IDF had changed, as was shown by the alleged destruction of the al-Kibar reactor in Syria, and more explicitly by Operation Cast Lead.
Second, there is no option of ‘integrating into the region.’ Levy and Uri Avnery and Israel’s other flaming Leftists willfully ignore the fact that Israel does not have and has never had an option of ‘integrating into the region.’ The Arab states – and particularly the ‘Palestinians’ – wish to extirpate our existence. No more and no less.
Third, yes the fire ought to raise fears in all Israelis that we are not equipped to cope with the fallout from Hezbullah and Hamas missiles. Hopefully, the Home Front will now deal with that situation. And given the havoc apparently wreaked by Stuxnet, we will apparently have more time than we expected to try to improve on that situation.
I saw many forums on facebook talking about the fires. I stayed out of them for the most part. I was thinking to myself… what could I say? “I’m sorry”? I hope Carl is right about Stuxnet’s effectiveness. Moving to Israel really is a leap of faith.