by Ari Lieberman
As the West flounders on whether to take action in Syria and dillydallies about nuclear proliferation amongst pariah nations, Israel once again provides the world with a dazzling demonstration in daring, technical capability and national fortitude. This past week, Israeli fighter jets twice swooped over enemy airspace to neutralize an imminent threat to world peace and prevent chemical weapons and their delivery mechanisms from falling into the hands of Iran’s proxies. Reports indicate that a quantity of Fateh 110 and Scud D surface-to-surface missiles bound for Hezbollah were destroyed. In January of this year, Israel reportedly destroyed state-of-the-art SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which the Islamic Republic unsuccessfully tried to smuggle to Hezbollah via Syria.
For those familiar with Israel’s notable military history, the recent operations come as no surprise. Israel has proven time and again that it means what it says and follows through when red lines are crossed. In their brief 65-year history, the Israelis have been forced to cope with an assortment of conventional and unconventional threats emanating from two-bit dictators and non-state actors.
In May 1967, President Nasser of Egypt announced the closure of the Straits of Tiran, an international waterway, to international shipping and pledged to sink any vessel daring to challenge his country’s gross violation of international maritime law. The West, paralyzed with fear took no action and asked Israel to show “restraint,” a meaningless word that’s grown threadbare over time. Israel however, took matters into its own hands and launched an air, ground and naval assault that freed the Straits from Nasser’s dictatorial grip. The free world breathed a sigh of relief and applauded Israel’s actions in upholding international law.
Another crisis of international proportions emerged in July 1976 when a group of West German Baader-Meinhof and Palestinian terrorists hijacked an Air France commercial airliner bound for Paris. The gunmen flew their hostages to Entebbe, Uganda where they found safe haven and were abetted by the international pariah and rumored cannibal, the dictator Idi Amin. At the time, the West was plagued by skyjackings – principally conducted by Arabs disgruntled over some cause or another – and they appeared to be incapable and helpless in combating the skyjacking scourge. Israel while pretending to negotiate, launched a daring rescue, flew thousands of miles into the heart of Africa, freed the hostages, destroyed Amin’s airforce and liquidated the terrorists. The mission was applauded by the West, struck a decisive blow against international terrorism and precipitated the fall of what can arguably be described as one of Africa’s most maniacal rulers.
In June 1981 and then again in September 2007, Israeli military strikes prevented nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of Saddam Hussein and Bashar Asad, respectively. Had Israel not acted on both these occasions, the first and second Gulf wars would likely have taken more ominous trajectories and chemical weapons falling into the hands of rogue elements would be the least of our problems in today’s ongoing Syrian civil war.
Israel has by word and deed provided the free world with bold leadership so sorely lacking. As indecisiveness paralyzes Western decision makers, Israel, a frontline nation and bulwark against Islamic extremism is afforded no such luxury. History has taught the Jewish people that appeasement and indecisiveness inexorably lead to misery and death. Israel has acted resolutely and it is time for the free world to demonstrate the same fortitude.
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