By Steve Kramer
We recently heard a lecture by Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post. Glick, a graduate of Columbia University, who made aliyah to Israel immediately after graduating and served in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).
She later had a key position in the Oslo negotiations under former Prime Minister Rabin and worked with Bibi Netanyahu during his tenure. Following that, Glick entered the field of journalism.
Glick was embedded with US troops in the first phase of the recent Iraqi war and was in the infantry unit which was first to reach Baghdad. Glick later attended Harvard and received an MA degree from the Kennedy School of Government. She currently writes two prominent weekly columns for the Post.
Glick began her talk by informing the audience, predominantly pensioners, that the global jihad is the biggest threat to Jews since the Holocaust.
Iran's government aspires to "wipe Israel off the map" and is working hard to acquire the means to back up its bluster. President Bush, the most powerful leader to take Iran seriously, is in a weakened position following America's mid-term elections. "Former Secretary of State Baker (under George H.W. Bush's presidency) has succeeded in foisting Dr. Robert Gates on the president as the replacement for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Gates is one of the authors of the recent Baker-Hamilton "Iraq Study Group" report which advocates asking Iran and Syria to bail the US out of Iraq, a highly unlikely, hare-brained idea.
"In addition, current Secretary of State Rice, who prefers to back the European diplomacy of appeasement, is the most powerful secretary of state since Kissinger.
Rice views the global jihad not as a war, but as a series of conflicts which grew from Israel's stunning defeat of the Arabs in 1967.
She fails to recognize Iran as the leader of global jihad, whose primary goal is to violently overthrow Israel and America.Glick illustrated how Iran is surrounding Israel with proxy states or terrorist organizations.
Iran, contrary to the Iraq Study Group's report, is sowing dissension in Iraq, hoping to gain total control of millions of fellow Shia Muslims there. Syria, long an ally of Iran, has practically been taken over, with Iranian business interests and military guidance dominating the country.
Most significant is the Shia conversion of many of the country's predominant Sunni population. Glick noted that the "BTI" (been to Iran) credential has become an essential tool for success in Syria.
Lebanon is on the way to becoming another Iranian client state, as the country falls under the sway of Hizbullah, which is funded and armed by Iran.
Hizbullah is also heavily influencing the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, as evidenced by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal's recent, very public visit with President Ahmadinejad in Iran.
Though the Palestinians are Sunni Muslims, like most Syrians, they are also falling under the sway of Iran's Shia Islamists. Hizbullah, acting on Iran's behalf, fights the jihad for Iranian-led Muslim rule over Palestine (the Land of Israel) more than it fights for a state for the Palestinians.
Glick then severely criticized Israel's current government, calling it both incompetent and incapable of leading Israel to defeat its enemies.
Olmert's government failed to acknowledge its failure to win in Lebanon; operates with "fly by the seat of the pants" tactics; concocts policies to advance Olmert's personal career instead of Israel's interests; follows Washington's dictates blindly; fails to recognize that Fatah is not a "moderate" influence pursuing "peace", but our enemy.
Regarding the summer fiasco in Lebanon, Glick faults our leadership, not our capabilities. Glick then posed the question, "Can Israel actually defend itself, even with an inept government?"
She proposed a strategy to defeat Iran's jihadist leaders, one which depends on Israel's strengths and isn't tied to America, whose interests are not always identical to Israel's:1. The military option.
Glick pointed out that the 1981 attack on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq bought Israel needed time. The 1981-1988 war between Iran and Iraq was also a big factor.
It isn't necessary to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities; delaying their progress will reduce the danger sufficiently (for the present). Glick advocates Israeli air and commando attacks against enough nuclear installations to throw a monkey wrench into the works.2. a). Political warfare to delegitimize Iran's government.
There should be a strong diplomatic initiative against the Iranian regime.
Alan Dershowitz, Irwin Cotler, and others have made a good start by bringing the charge of inciting genocide against President Ahmadinejad.
This initiative hopefully will result in a trial at the international tribunal in The Hague.
Glick noted that Israel's government has yet to take a leadership role in the public relations battle.b) A program of mass demonstrations should be promoted around the world by Jews and other responsible people to protest Iran's genocidal conduct.c) Concerted efforts must be made within Iran to overthrow the regime. Iran's population is only 51% Persian.
Not even all of the ethnic Persians support the repressive government, so there is fertile ground to sow dissention.
Nearly a quarter of the people are Azeris, with the balance made up of other Turkic tribes.
The Voice of Israel radio network in Israel alone has more than one million listeners – and there are other similar radio and Internet communications. In short, Glick says that we're not keeping the Iranian regime occupied enough with staying in power.
If Israel mounts a forceful effort against it, the mullahs will have less time to plan and implement their defeat of the West.3. Reconsider Israel's nuclear ambiguity policy. Glick, among others, feels that the current policy has outlived its usefulness. Public missile testing might be the first step.
It is time to openly discuss Israel's second strike capability and its repercussions, like destruction of oil fields and shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf. If the attention of the rest of the world was focused on the consequences of an Iranian attack on Israel, perhaps Western leaders would seriously consider trying to interdict Iran's plans, making Israel's devastating second strike unnecessary.
Glick summed up her argument by noting that Israel is a strong, robust democracy, while Iran, except for its oil revenue, is nearly a basket case.
Today, Israel and the West face Iran and the global jihad, a threat similar to 1930s-era Nazi Germany and the Final Solution.
But with Israel's tremendous capabilities and its powerful collective will to overcome existential threats, Israel can meet this challenge.
What Israel needs now is the requisite leadership to put Israel and the Jews foremost. Instead we have petty and ambitious leaders.
During the question and answer period, Glick acknowledged that she believes Benjamin Netanyahu is the best available leader and that his Likud party is the sole Zionist party, the only party that can be depended on to promote the continued existence of the State of Israel.Caroline Glick is one of the most knowledgeable and most articulate spokespersons for Israel. Although her vision of world politics is bleak, it's a dose of reality in a sea of Pollyannish Left-wing commentary.
Glick shows why we need to question the vision of Israeli and other Western leaders and what we need to do to maintain Israel's independence.
Try reading Glick's weekly Friday column in the Jerusalem Post to open your eyes to the challenges Israel faces.