(1) the impossibility of a Palestinian state and the necessity of a civilized occupying force in a region that is populated by a people who have been terminally brainwashed into an ideology of hate, which makes their self-government a crime waiting to happen;
(2) the treachery of certain world leaders (e.g., Chirac and Putin) who are lining up on the side of the Islamic terrorists; and
(3) the central role of Iran in the attack on Israel, which further demonstrates the sincerity of its stated intention to obliterate Israel.
Horowitz suggests that Israel’s best option is to strike Iran now. I agree. With Iran well on its way to becoming a nuclear power, Israel will never be stronger in relation to Iran than it is today. And, quite apart from the perfectly valid concept of a preemptive strike, Iran’s central role in the current war justifies direct retaliation.
It may well be the case that Israel cannot substantially set back Iran’s nuclear program with one set of strikes (which is why the U.S. should join in, but that’s not going to happen). Nonetheless, any degree of set-back would send the right signal and would constitute a step in the right direction.
Unfortunately, as Dafydd ab Hugh has stressed, Ariel Sharon is not around to lead Israel in this war. Ehud Olmert talks tough, but not very persuasively. At best, he’s untested. The new defense minister, Amir Peretz, is a former union leader who demonstrated toughness in orchestrating labor disputes that paralyzed Israel, but he too is untested at this level. Moreover, the recent record of his party in these matters provides little comfort.
Thus, while this war should be the wake-up call that impels Israel to crush its local enemies and set back its less proximate ones, I’m far from confident that this will be the outcome. Rather, the likelihood that the war ends with some sort of truce that further emboldens Israel’s enemies probably exceeds the likelihood of a forceful response directed at both Syria and Iran.