In every generation

The Mossad is Israel’s CIA; Efraim Halevy is the former head of the Mossad. Halevy’s contributes to the Claremont Institute of Books symposium on the Iranian nuclear program from which we linked to Angelo Codevilla’s contribution last week. Halevy has also just published his memoirs. Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz considers Halevy’s memoirs in a column whose heading from the Passover liturgy caught my attention: “In every generation.” Horovitz writes:

The book’s publication in the Pessah season only heightens the impact. Every year our Haggada reminds us, in the “Vehi She’amda” passage, of the forces that have arisen “in every generation” to try and wipe us out. Every year now, we mark the Seder as the still-fresh anniversary of the second intifada’s worst suicide bombing, at the Park Hotel in Netanya in 2002. And this year we sat down to delve into our people’s bloody history of implausible survival in the fresh shadow of Iran’s announcement of another stride toward nuclear capability.

What Halevy takes pains to point out, however, is that Israel is only one priority for the global Islamic terrorists, and not a major one at that. “Al-Qaida,” he writes, “has set its sights on the entire world with the goal of effecting an Islamic international revolution that will encompass the entire planet. It is as simple and diabolical as that.”

He notes that the perpetrators make no secret whatsoever of this agenda. “It is not a hidden blueprint. It is stated up front for everyone to read and absorb.” It is equally clear that the enemy will use whatever means at its disposal to achieve the goal – “from the roadside bomb to the civilian aircraft.” Were it to obtain non-conventional weaponry, it would have “no reservation about employing that device at any moment considered appropriate and against any target, civilian or military, across the globe.”

Halevy explains why it is proving so hard to forge an effective counterstrategy, a failure he argues is rooted in the disinclination of the general public “to come to terms with the reality of terrorism… no matter how horrifying the acts,” and the consequent reluctance of political leaders to lose their constituencies by endorsing the kind of radical policies required to prevail.

He calls for a “master plan” of offensive action to be agreed upon by all states targeted or perceived as likely terror targets, and to be implemented over a fixed time frame – an “extreme” strategy to “up the ante” and “accelerate the rate of physical confrontation before the terrorists have the opportunity to upgrade the sophistication of the weaponry they have at their disposal.” It seems an improbable suggestion, unless or until acts of terror still more extreme than 9/11 bring appalled new focus to the minds of presidents and prime ministers.

Beyond this, in any case, he acknowledges, the war cannot only be won through offensive action. It is primarily “an internal struggle within Islam.” And it is in this aspect of his assessment that Halevy is original indeed.

Iran respresents a key element of the internal struggle. Reader Yefim Schukin invites us to his site Sushizero, where he relays a Russian report that Iran has already acquired nuclear weapons from Pakistan. The occasionally accurate Debkafile reports the ongoing construction of an Iranian facility with 155,000 enrichment centrifuges in Neyshabour. Reader Arthur Lemay directs us to an interesting American-based Iran News site. And at Regime Change Iran Gary Metz works tirelessly to make sure no morsel of information is overlooked.

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