The connection between the War on Terror proclaimed by G.W. Bush in 2001 and the struggle of the State of Israel to survive strengthen and expand itself in a hostile to it environment is obvious, and the current events in Lebanon remove any doubts that the two are not just connected, but are, in fact the same war, the purpose of which is survival strengthening and expansion of Israel1.
So how much safer is Israel today after the first five years of the War on Terror, compared to what it was in 2000?
In 2000 the status of the Safety of Israel was as follows:
Today, in 2006:
So, if, in 2000, the question before the Israelis was, how much of the remaining Palestinian land they should take for themselves before they withdraw from the Occupied Areas (Gaza and West Bank) in exchange for full recognition by the Arab states, the question today is, how can they protect Haifa and even Tel-Aviv from being bombed.
One of the elements of the War on Terror doctrine, was the "domino effect": Israel can be made secure by "toppling the Arab and Ayatollah regimes". Once the Saddam Regime is "toppled" and "democracy" is installed in Iraq, the rest of the regimes will collapse and will be replaced by Israel-friendly democratic governments.
But this theory was based on the assumption that the "ordinary people" in the Middle East are friendly towards Israel, and only the "regimes" are hostile. Remove the "regimes", and Israel will be safe.
But the truth is the opposite.
Ever since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and the expulsion of some million Palestinian Arabs from their houses to make room for the Israeli state, there has been deep and widespread hostility towards Israel among "ordinary people" in the Arab and Muslim world. And the "regimes" kept this hostility under a measure of control - all governments inevitably do.
The first five years of the War on Terror, the War against Afghanistan, the War against Iraq, and the constant killings of Palestinians and destruction of their houses by the Israelis have vastly increased the hostility towards Israel around the world.
The results of the elections in Iran and Palestine have clearly shown that the majority of the people in these countries reject the "moderates" who are prepared to make concessions to Israel or the US, and choose the "extremists", who openly declare their determination to stand up to Israel and the US.
But even these democratically elected "extremists" are more moderate in their approach to Israel, than the people who voted for them.
This was illustrated by a recent incident involving some British journalists traveling by car through Lebanon, a day or two ago. Their car was surrounded by an angry mob of ordinary Lebanese, who thought they were Israeli spies. They were about to be dragged out of their car and torn to pieces by the angry crowd. They were saved by Hizbullah officers, who persuaded the crowd to let the journalists go in peace.
The Iraq War had indeed a domino effect, but the dominoes have fallen not the way the War on Terror theorists had expected. They had fallen not onto the Arab regimes, but onto Israel. And they had made the State of Israel much less safe than it had ever been.
The other effect of the War on Terror is the total loss of moral influence by the US in the Muslim world. If, before that war some hoped that the US would use its influence to resolve the Middle East Conflict, there are no such people today in the Muslim world. Today the US government are seen not as a potential "honest broker", but as an enemy to fight against.
So, if in 2000, the slogan of "throwing Israel into the sea" could be dismissed as "rhetorics of extremist Palestinian factions", today it is becoming a practical possibility.
Some people suggest that the Israeli Palestinian dispute be referred to the World Court in Hague, so that the Court would establish the frontier between the two "countries".
But the Middle East Conflict is not a border dispute, in which two countries are arguing about where the border should pass.
It is the act of expelling some million of Palestinians from their houses in 1948 when the State of Israel was established that is the root of the conflict. This was not a crime by one state against another state, but by a state against a million individual property owners.
This was recognized in Article 11 of the U.N. Resolution 194 (11 December 1948), which reads as follows:
"that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible".But this resolution had not been implemented due to the opposition by the US, who chose to keep Israel safe not by honesty and justice, but by military, diplomatic and financial support for Israel, and have thus become accomplices in the crime committed by the Israelis against the property of the Palestinian Arabs.
Today's War on Terror in Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, West Bank, and Afghanistan is threatening to spill over to Syria and Iran and to destabilize Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with a possible emergence of "extremist" governments hostile to America and Israel.
This will be more dangerous for Israel than any "Axes of Evil" or "Shi'a Crescents" - it will be an "Ocean of Anti-American and Anti-Israeli Extremism", a single wave of which would "throw Israel into the Sea". Are the US Armed forces ready and willing to spread themselves thin over this vast ocean? And, if they are, how long do they expect to be able to hold down the tide? Will the US be able to save Israel, if such calamity were to afflict it?
It is not uncommon in history for seemingly trivial events, like capture of two soldiers, leading to major historical upheavals. For example a riot by sailors about a soup with worms on a Russian military ship in 1905 had triggered off the First Russian Revolution, which was followed by a second revolution in 1917, which had lead to major world-wide upheavals, that no politics, diplomacy, propaganda, or military actions could prevent.
The Americans want to secure the safety of Israel by military force, politics, diplomacy and propaganda.
But wars, politics, diplomacy and propaganda do not lead to safety. They perpetuate conflicts and lead to deaths and destruction. They discredit those who indulge in such practices, and lead them to their own downfall.
Today not just the Israelis are unsafe, and not only the Americans and those who support them, but even people from countries which have no connection with the "conflict" become victims of the lawlessness of politicians.
So, how can Israel be made safe?
There are only two ways in which the Safety of Israel can be permanently secured:
So, if the American government acknowledge their criminal complicity in the Israeli crime against the Palestinian property, and pay for this crime, by buying from the Palestinians all of Palestine for the Jews, then the Jews will get honestly what they sought to obtain by force and deception, and will live in safety in their State of Israel (all of Palestine). While the Palestinians will get what is due to them (full compensation for the crimes committed against them). And there will be no need for a Palestinian state - or for a conflict2.
And the aim of the American War on Terror - the Safety of Israel - will be achieved.
1) See: "Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism" by Benjamin Netanyahu.
2) For the detailed description of this solution see: The Middle East Settlement 2005