Tuesday, April 21, 2015


“We have no place else to go.”
Golda Meir – In response to a question from Joe Biden about what Israel’s secret weapon is.

Last year, on April 28th, at 10:00 A.M., sirens blared in every corner of Israel. The mournful wails were a signal for the entire nation to stop whatever they were doing and remember the victims of one of the most monstrous crimes in human history. 

Traffic stopped. Commerce stopped. Conversations ended.

These simple gestures conveyed two powerful messages to the world. First, as long as there is a nation of Israel, its citizens will never forget the horrors of the Holocaust. Second, Israel will never willingly allow a second holocaust to descend upon them. Their rallying cry is, and always will be, “Never again!”

A few months earlier, on January 25th, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a brief proclamation honoring all victims of the Holocaust.  He ended his remarks with following stark reminder that evil is still afoot in the world:  “Events in Rwanda, Cambodia, and Srebrenica show that the poison of genocide still flows. We must be ever vigilant against bigotry, extremist ideologies, and discrimination against minorities.”

A new year has dawned, but the refrains are still familiar.  On April 15th of this year, all of Israel remembered once more and vowed, “Never again!” The United Nations continues to issue proclamations. but, tragically, “the poison of genocide still flows.” In Syria, Bashar al-Assad’s murderous regime drops barrel bombs filled with chlorine on its own citizens. The body count is now well over 200,000. In Nigeria, Boko Haram has killed at least 5,000 innocent Nigerian citizens and is responsible for the displacement of another 800,000. Their crime?  Being Christians. In Iraq, ISIS has been on a rampage. Thousands of Yazidis, fearing for their lives at the hands of  ISIS thugs, have had to flee their homes in Mosul and Sinjar. When ISIS over-ran Quaragosh, Iraq’s largest Christian city, 50,000 Christian believers fled with few, if any worldly possessions. They’re now living as refugees in Kurdistan.

And so, the macabre play goes on...and on…and on. World leaders issue proclamations, warning us to be “ever vigilant against bigotry, extremist ideologies, and discrimination against minorities.” Diplomats talk of peace while the body counts go ever higher. The purveyors of evil, sensing the world’s weakness and lack of resolve, spread their tentacles ever wider.

Are there any rational actors in this drama? As far as I’m concerned there’s only one. It’s Israel. While the world dithers, Israel prepares. They must. They know they “have no place else to go.”

Over the past few months, western negotiating teams, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, have been meeting with Iranian diplomats. The west’s purpose in the negotiations is to delay Iran’s march to acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran’s purposes in the negotiations are three-fold. First, protect their nuclear weapons program. Second, develop a territorial arc that will surround and terrorize Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states. Third, and most important, obliterate Israel.

While Iran connives, our President seems to be laboring under the delusion that he can use Iran as his proxy to stabilize the Middle-East.

Sadly, despite White House protestations to the contrary, Iran is winning on all fronts.

Diplomatically, Iran is winning. As the Jerusalem Post’s Carolyn Glick observed a few weeks ago, “And so we are now facing the unfolding disaster that Obama has wrought. The disaster is that deal or no deal, the US has just given the Iranians a green light to behave as if they have already built their nuclear umbrella. And they are in fact behaving in this manner.”

Militarily, Iran is winning. They’re helping prop up Bashar al-Assad in Syria. They’re slowly, but surely, turning Iraq into an Iranian puppet state. They’ve injected themselves into Yemen and they can taste victory. A powerful Shia arc is being built¸ piece by piece, nation by nation.

Strategically, Iran is winning. The mullahs have long dreamed of destroying Israel. Unless someone stops them, they will try.

But, who can stop them? America? Do the Saudis believe Barack Obama? Do the Israelis feel comforted when Barack Obama tells them America will defend them? They remember the “red lines” in Syria. They remember his foolish proclamation that ISIS was nothing more than a “junior varsity” team. They’ve seen America retreat from Yemen. They’ve seen our silence in the face of genocide in Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria.  They’ve seen us “lead from behind” in Libya. They’ve seen the tragic fruit of Barack Obama’s follies. The people of Israel also know full well the contempt our State Department feels for their leaders and, by implication, them.

In the end, the world’s only hope in this sordid mess is Israel. Their collective memory is long and their national will is unwavering. They say, “Never again!” and they mean it. They will defend their right to exist as a Jewish state. When push comes to shove, they understand they “have no place else to go.”