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Israel (and its leaders) - then and now

Reader comment on item: When Israel Stood Up to Washington [in 1981]
in response to reader comment: NETANYAHU VS. BEGIN

Submitted by Raymond in DC (United States), Apr 7, 2010 at 21:12

Israel after the Six Day War had a "don't mess with us" attitude, an audacity that was evident in 1969 when it grabbed its boats from Cherbourg Harbour, during the War of Attrition when it confronted (and took out) Soviet pilots and missile technicians. They were bloodied in the October War of '73, but regained their standing after the Entebbe Raid in '76 and after they took out Osiraq in 1981. The change in attitude began with the Lebanon debacle of 1982 and accelerated under the madness of the Oslo Accords.

Under Peres and his "New Middle East" delusions of peace, Arafat learned he *could* mess with Israel and get away with it. The post-Oslo mindset has done more damage than can be calculated. I have no doubt Begin in his prime could have made mince meat of our Pretender in Chief. Netanyahu, who's reticent about confronting Israel's most critical ally, is not made of the same stuff. Whether he recognizes Obama for the ideologue that he is can be debated. But if he can't man up and make clear that the US is pushing Israel into taking unacceptable risks, Israel's friends in the US - in Congress, in the Christian community, and yes even among the country's liberal Jews - will remain on the sidelines.

At the very least, Israel needs to stop apologizing, stop insisting "We want peace!" and instead declare "We have rights and interests too, and are prepared to defend them". And, given the neighborhood and the importance of being seen as the "strong horse", the "don't mess with us" message could save lives.

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