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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Efraim Halevy, "Who Threw Israel Under the Bus?": A Former Mossad Chief Forgets His History

In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "Who Threw Israel Under the Bus?" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/opinion/who-threw-israel-under-the-bus.html?_r=1&ref=opinion), Efraim Halevy, the director of Israel's Mossad from 1998 to 2002, provides us with instances when "a Republican White House acted in a cold and determined manner, with no regard for Israel’s national pride, strategic interests or sensitivities." Halevy writes:

"Indeed, whenever the United States has put serious, sustained pressure on Israel’s leaders — from the 1950s on — it has come from Republican presidents, not Democratic ones."

Halevy concludes,"That’s food for thought in October 2012."

First, Halevy has no business injecting himself into America's presidential election.

Second, Halevy "forgets" to mention President Johnson's conduct when Israel faced extermination on the eve of the Six Day War. As Rafael D. Frankel recently wrote in an article entitled "Why Israel May Go It Alone" (http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/will-israel-go-it-alone-7538):

"For two weeks, Gamal Abdel Nasser had been building up his forces in the Sinai Peninsula to the point where they posed a credible threat to the young Jewish state’s existence. Now, Nasser had dismissed UN peacekeepers from the Egyptian-Israeli border and closed the Straits of Tiran, cutting off Israel’s vital access to the Red Sea, through which it imported a majority of its energy supplies. Nasser had provided Israel with casus belli and then proclaimed that 'if war comes it will be total and the objective will be Israel’s destruction.'

Two weeks earlier, President Johnson promised to deliver a consignment of military hardware, food, economic aid and loans to Israel totaling nearly $70 million to demonstrate American support and tide Israel over. The U.S. administration also vowed not to let Nasser close the Straits of Tiran. But as Nasser continued his military buildup, as the Soviet Union egged on Egypt and Syria to war and as the Arab World worked itself into a frenzy over the eminent demise of the 'Zionist entity,' the commitments that Washington provided to Jerusalem were not met.

In addition to the backtracking, Johnson poignantly warned Israel against initiating hostilities. 'Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go it alone,' Johnson wrote to Eban. 'We cannot imagine that it will make this decision.'"

As Israel again faces threats of extermination coming from Iran, the past wavering of Democratic President Johnson should also provide "food for thought."

4 comments:

  1. All our war games indicated that Israel would win the 1967 war. In the end, President Johnson would never have let Israel go it alone against the Soviet Union, and that was always the context of Johnson's thinking in the days leading up to the conflict.

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    1. All of Israel's war games "indicated that Israel would win the war"? That's why Johnson withheld aid on the eve of the war?

      As documented by Yehuda Avner in his book "The Prime Ministers," when Israeli Prime Minister Eshkol was informed that Israeli field intelligence had spotted Egyptian poison gas equipment in Sinai prior to the war and that Israel had no stockpiles of gas masks, Eshkol whispered "Blit vet sikh giessen vee vosser" [Blood will spill like water].

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    2. I'm sorry, I wasn't clear, I meant the U.S.'s war games. At least Johnson had the U.S.S.R. to contend with,comparatively a non-nuclear Iran is a paper tiger. Obama has no excuse for letting Iran's nuclear program progress to this point. I just don't think it's fair to compare Johnson to Obama.

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  2. BBC's Mark Thompson is now at NYT. Our beloved Stuermer strike a pose "Oh, ah, sex scandal, everything should be examined." BBC is notorious for antisemitism, but obviously the fact that Thompson ran the place appealed to the NYT crowd. Antisemitism is good, we like antisemitism.

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