Monday, January 31, 2011
Israel's Proper Response
There can be little doubt that Iran's esteem and clout rise as Arab regimes fall. Lebanon has fully become an Iranian proxy state with the rise of Hezbollah as the mad mullahs of Tehran edge ever closer to obtaining nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Israel may now find herself through no fault of her own back in a state of open hostility with Egypt, the largest Arab nation with a relatively modern arsenal largely supplied by the United States with vastly better equipment than that used to fight the Jewish state that was mostly supplied by the Soviet Bloc up through the 1973 War. A myth persists about Israel that the Jewish state has a massive standing army. In point of fact, almost all of Israel's strength is drawn from her non-professional defense forces, her reserves of citizen-soldiers. Any military action involving the reserve requires an expensive and somewhat time-consuming mobilization that Israel has been keen to avoid to not send the wrong message to her Arab neighbors (and to spare the expense of having large sectors of the private sector economy halted including of course, Israel's commercial aviation industry, from whose ranks the IAF, her air force, draws a portion of the Jewish state's full wartime strength). Israel can no longer afford to pretend that stability prevails where there is none and should adopt at least partial quiet mobilization now. Doing so will make Arab foes uncomfortable and might prompt escalation of their own but not further mobilizing now would be the height of irresponsibility, a sort of negligence that could leave Israel at the mercy of the Islamists as they rise.