Turning points do not normally announce themselves with great fanfares; you only realize that you have passed them some time later. But this year, for the first time, Israel failed to win a war (in Lebanon). For the first time in 39 years, Israel has really lost control of the Palestinians. And now the United States, after thirty years of military involvement, is on its way out of the Middle East. The American withdrawal from Iraq is still a year or two away, but the retreat will not stop there.
We are probably still twenty or thirty or even fifty years away from the day when Israel faces a real war for survival. Avoiding that is a very high priority even for Israel’s enemies, for a defeated Israel would certainly destroy the Arab world with nuclear weapons before it went under, and (if you believe the threats of some Israeli leaders) much of Europe as well. That outcome is still far from inevitable, but this is the year when the clock started ticking.
Monday, November 20, 2006
The essay leading into the following illustrates some of the more rarified shadings of anti-Israel bias before finally plunging into an oddly paranoid attempt to wax prophetic: