Monday, November 26, 2012

The Israel-Hamas clash of civilizations

The Israel-Hamas clash of civilizations

Yoram Ettinger

Israel’s battle against Hamas constitutes the most recent chapter in the clash of civilizations between Western democracies and Islamic terrorism. This battle highlights the role of the Jewish State, as the national security and high-tech beachhead of the U.S., in a region which is critical to vital U.S. defense and commercial interests. The role of Israel as a national security and high-tech producer for the U.S. is doubly pertinent at a time when the U.S. is experiencing a military and economic contraction.

Israel is designated by Hamas, the PLO, as well as most Muslim/Arab regimes in the Middle East, as “The Little Satan,” due to its values and unconditional alliance with “The Big Satan,” the United States. Israel confronts Hamas, which — just like the Arab Middle East — is increasingly dominated by the intolerant, supremacist 7th century aspects of Islam. The 2012 Arab Street in Gaza, Ramallah and throughout the Middle East is growing more Islamic and less democratic. Contemporary Middle East Muslim societies embrace jihad, the execution of apostates, “honor killing” of women by their own relatives, and the genital mutilation of (90 percent of young Egyptian) women. While Western democracies cherish life, Hamas and the PLO consecrate martyrdom, suicide bombings and the virulent use of human shields.

Unlike Western democracies, Hamas, the PLO and the Arab Middle East enshrine hate-education and fanatic bigotry toward the “infidel” Christian, Jew, Buddhist or Muslim of different persuasion. Contrary to the ideal of peaceful coexistence, Hamas and Islam at-large intend to bring Muslims and all “infidels” to total spiritual and physical submission (the root word for Islam is “al-silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender).” Therefore, Middle East Arab/Muslim regimes consider the lifeline of democracy — freedom of expression/criticism, religion, press and political association — a lethal threat. The Middle East has never experienced Muslim democracy during the last 1,400 years.

Israel is urged to conclude an agreement with Hamas, a serial violator of prior agreements with Israel and with fellow Arab/Muslim organizations. Moreover, the culture of compliance is foreign in the Middle East, which has not experienced intra-Muslim compliance with most intra-Muslim agreements for the last 1,400 years. It is a culture that reveres the 7th century Muhammad’s treaty of Hudaybiyya, stipulating that treaties are not in perpetuity. Treaties may be violated — to achieve the overriding goal of bringing enemies to submission — upon amassing sufficient power to overcome the enemy. The noncompliant nature of the Middle East has most recently been highlighted by the violent abrogation of political and social accords on the Arab street.

Israel, the only Western democracy in the Middle East, an unconditional ally of the U.S., is confronted by the nondemocratic Palestinians who aligned themselves with America’s enemies: Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Hugo Chavez, Khomeini, the Communist Bloc and Nazi Germany, as well as with America’s rivals: Russia and China.

Israel has been the role model for countering terrorism, facing the PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been the role model for international terrorism and anti-U.S. terror organizations in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Israel’s power projection contributes to the stability of pro-U.S. Arab regimes, threatened by anti-U.S. rogue and terrorist regimes. For example, the 1967 Israeli devastation of the pro-Soviet Nasser of Egypt aborted the latter’s attempt to topple the House of Saud. In 2012, Israel’s posture of deterrence bolsters Jordan’s pro-U.S. Hashemite regime. The Hashemites are currently threatened by the surging transnational anti-U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, the “parent” organization of Hamas, which is using Russian-manufactured military systems, supplied by Iran through the anti-U.S. Sudan.

A strong Israel extends the strategic hand of the U.S. in the Middle East, at a time when Arab allies of the U.S. are increasingly threatened by Hamas-like terrorists. On the other hand, a stronger Hamas or PLO would deepen the penetration of Russia, China and North Korea into the Middle East.

Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas terrorism highlights Israel’s added-value to the U.S. national security and economy via the “Iron Dome” air defense system. The ground-breaking Israeli-developed “Iron Dome,” which is co-financed with the U.S., eventually will be employed by the U.S. and its allies, such as South Korea and India, which face the threat of low-level missiles. The Iron Dome and medium-level air defense systems are systematically developed and upgraded by the battle-tested, time-efficient and cost-effective Israeli laboratory, which is at the disposal of the U.S. They will be co-manufactured by the U.S. and Israel, expanding employment, research and development and the export base of the U.S.

This Israel-Hamas confrontation underscores the broad implications of Israel’s national security challenges. It underlines the mutually beneficial, win-win U.S.-Israel defense and commercial relationship at this time of strain on the U.S. budget.