ISRAEL’S SECURITY REQUIREMENTS
by Yoram Ettinger
1. Israel’s security requirements derive from the explosive Middle East, which requires an unusually high national security threshold, due to the 14-century-old intra-Muslim and intra-Arab unpredictability, intolerance, violence, volatility, fragmentation, treachery and the absence of intra-Arab peaceful-coexistence.
2. The Jewish state is located in a region, which is dominated by an Islam-driven worldview which has never tolerated non-Muslim, “infidel” sovereignty in the, supposedly, abode-of-Islam. The 1,400-year-old raging nature of the Middle East precedes the establishment of Israel, and it haunts the globe irrespective of Israel’s policies, conflicts or existence.
3. Israel’s national security requirements grow in direct proportion to the intensification of Middle Eastern and global unpredictability – recently exhibited by the tectonic Arab Tsunami – which produced radical regime-change, highlighting the provisional nature of Arab policies and agreements.
4. Global and Middle Eastern unpredictability has been documented by the collapse of the Soviet Union; global transformation from bi-polar, to multi-polar, confrontations; the strategic retreat by the US and the draconian cuts in its defense budget and size of military force; the eruption of international terrorism; the spill-over of Islam-driven terrorism into Europe and the US; the disintegration of Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen; the rising threat of conventional and nuclear Iran; the downfall of the supposedly invincible Mubarak, Assad, Saddam Hussein and Qaddafi; etc.
5. The increase of Israel’s security requirements is a common-sense-derivative of the unpredictable, volcanic eruptions which could afflict the Middle East and beyond. For instance, a regime change in highly-vulnerable Jordan would transform Israel’s currently peaceful, longest and most critical 300-mile-border – the closest to Jerusalem, Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv and 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructures – into a most lethal threat to Israel’s homeland and national security, producing chaos in Israel’s heartland. A regime change in Jordan would exacerbate Palestinian terrorism, possibly forging a radical bloc from Iran to the Jordan Valley, posing a clear and present danger to the relatively pro-US regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman and Egypt.
6. Israel’s added security requirements are also a derivative of a potential regime change in Egypt, from the current moderate military regime to the explosive Muslim Brotherhood, the largest trans-Islamic terror organization. It would provide a tailwind to Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, as well as to Islam-based terrorism in northern Africa, the Horn of Africa and throughout Africa, severely undermining US geo-strategic concerns.
7. The drastic cuts in the US defense budget, combined with the US retreat from Afghanistan and Iraq, the nuclear agreement with the Ayatollahs and the US policy of engagement with – rather than confrontation of – rogue regimes are perceived, by rogue regimes, as weakness, undermining the US posture of deterrence, which has been a critical force of stabilization. Israel’s security requirements must assume that the erosion of the US military power projection may be sustained, energizing rogue regimes in the Middle East and throughout the globe, dramatically undermining homeland and national security of Israel and all other Western democracies.
8. Expecting Israel to retreat from the 3,000 ft.-steep-mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – which dominate the Jordan Valley, the Jerusalem enclave, the main highway which connects Jerusalem to the coastal plane, Israel’s only international airport, Tel Aviv and the 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean – requires Israel to sacrifice Middle East, intra-Muslim and global reality on the altar of delusion, to relinquish 4,000 years of Jewish historical, religious cultural and national roots, to repeat – rather than avoid – past errors (such as yielding land to the Palestinian Authority, in 1993 and 2005, which intensified terrorism and hate education), to ignore the treacherous intra-Arab Palestinian track record, and to rely on inherently tenuous diplomatic and military agreements, warranties and guarantees.
9. Lt. General (ret.) Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War, stated: “I cannot defend Israel without the West Bank…. The West Bank Mountains, and especially their 5 approaches, are the critical terrain. If an enemy secures those passes, Jerusalem and Israel become uncovered. Without the West Bank, Israel is only 8 miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible.”
10. Military high-tech today will be low-tech tomorrow, but high ground always remains high ground. Moreover, any technology can be jammed, but one cannot jam the mountainous topography of Judea & Samaria. Israel’s control of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges minimizes threats to homeland security and national security, providing Israel with the time required to mobilize its active reservists (75% of the military force!) in case of a surprise Arab offensive, as happened in 1973, when Israel was on a verge of destruction. A retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria would import the terroristic Gaza-reality to Judea & Samaria, transforming Israel from an assertive national security producer – for the US – to a feeble national security consumer, burdening the US.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This insightful article by former Ambassador Yoram Ettinger once again emphasizes that Israel’s defense comes from the LORD GOD of ISRAEL!