IN THE DECADE 1984−94, Saudi Arabia alone spent the staggering sum of $130 billion on weapons of war, some of which were passed on to Syria and other Arab states. While everyone was talking “peace,” including the Arab states, the Arab states were themselves arming at an unprecedented pace. Over a 30 month period—January 1991 to July 1993—they accumulated conventional weapons to the tune of $58 billion. Also, in that age of “peace,” not a single country—including those bordering Israel—had dissociated itself from the frequent Islamic conferences in which multitudes of nations unanimously proclaimed their intention of annihilating Israel. A three-day conference beginning on March 30, 1995, in Khartoum, Sudan, delegates from more than 80 countries gathered together and resolved to “support armed struggle against Israel.”
The Arab states were, and are still, arming themselves for war against Israel. Despite ongoing “peace negotiations” since 1994, which has produced three signed peace agreements with Egypt, Jordan and the PLO, not one Arab leader has in truth accepted the concept of peace with Israel.
Israel is unable to convince the international community of the grave situation that Israel faces from the nonstop saber-rattling of its neighbors. The international community simply wants Israel to capitulate to its demands and embrace the neighbors without talking about secure borders, or trying to prevent the many Arab terror groups sitting on Israel’s fence from arming themselves to the teeth with increasingly more lethal weapons with which to kill Israelis. However, it appears that it is not just a matter of convincing the international community of the fact that Israel faces war with its neighbors; Israel must also convince itself that it faces war at a moment’s notice.
Brigadier-General Ya’akov Ami Dror, former head of Israel’s military intelligence, warned his superiors before the October 1973 Yom Kippur War of an impending Arab attack, but his warning was ignored and Israel lost well in excess of 3,000 of its finest young men in that war. Nothing much has changed since those days. “Peace talks” continue on and off, and small wars against Israel continue to be launched, which are fought and won by the Jewish state.
In July-August 2014 Israel fought a 50-day war against its neighbors in the Gaza Strip. Israel lost another 65 soldiers and seven civilians, and absorbed over 4,650 missiles fired into its population centers. Israel’s air force, along with artillery fire from land and sea, decimated Gaza and Hamas forces and uncovered dozens of attack tunnels that had been dug beneath its border with Gaza. During the war, Israel ascertained, through the interrogation of captured fighters, that a major infiltration into the Israeli southern communities by Hamas fighters had been in the advance stages of planning; it was to be carried in the second half of the year.
As with Ya’akov Ami Dror’s warning that went unheeded before the 1973 Yom Kippur War, so, apparently, did Shin Bet’s warnings to the IDF about Hamas being about to launch an attack into Israel get lost in some clerk’s In Tray. Top Shin Bet officials hold that the warnings informed the army that Hamas was gearing up for a major raid into Israel. IDF officials, including the actual army chief of staff, have said there were no such
warnings received from the Shin Bet—“There was no such warning or even half a warning,” one official said.
It would seem imperative to this writer that the IDF and the Israeli intelligence services need to work on their relationships. Intelligence cannot win a war on its own anymore than the military can win a war without having intelligence. In a country that is surrounded by hostile states there needs to be a permanent, responsible address to which intelligence is fully and clearly communicated; giving intelligence information to subordinates, clerks, and committees is only going to bring about more blunders.
“Peace talks” with the Palestinians broke down again in April 2014, but since the July-August war, Egypt, for a limited duration, brokered indirect “peace talks” in Cairo between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and also the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups. The talks were to continue in October, but owing to a deadly terror attack against Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsular—in which Hamas was also involved—Egypt scuttled further Israeli-Palestinian talks by refusing entry to Hamas leaders into Egypt via the Rafah crossing, which is their only means of leaving Gaza. Hamas leaders have made it clear that if promised “peace talks” do not meet their demands, violent confrontation will be Israel’s lot.
For 65 years Israel has been participating in “peace talks” with the Arabs. Thus far there have been three shaky agreements signed, and seven wars fought. The road to peace is littered with boulders which no Western nation will help remove—unless it can force its own pro-Arab agenda and demands upon Israel.
To be continued
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