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Reply to Dan Perry Who Ignores the Terrorist Threat to Israel

Described as a “Top Op” by the Times of Israel, which published it in its online edition, Dan Perry has written a piece which is deeply flawed. Perry’s “Op” was previously put online as a Times of Israel blog on February 12, 2022. https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israels-much-maligned-citizenship-law-is-fine/  I responded in a comment on Facebook at that time. Since then, the Times of Israel has published the blog as an “OP” without comments. I  am responding with this blog.

In some respects, Perry makes the same arguments he has made in his blogs before. Repetition does not make them any more correct.

The gist of Perry’s argument is that he supports the passage of a proposed law restricting  Arabs from becoming Israeli citizens by marrying an Israeli citizen. He warns that unless two states  become a reality soon,  a demographic “hydrogen bomb”  will explode because Arabs will become a majority in Israel, leaving Israel without its identity as Jewish State.  He argues that the proposed legislation will help keep this from happening.

Perry has made this demographic argument numerous times before but usually in the context of the West Bank. His solution is always an Arab State and a Jewish State. In his analysis, Perry omits the primary reason that Israel occupies the West Bank: the terrorist threat to Israel posed by Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Not once has Perry mentioned the threats made by Iran and Hezbollah to eradicate Israel. Not once has he described Hamas’ activity on the West Bank, though there have been repeated threats by them to shoot missiles at Israel from the West Bank.

In this piece, Perry writes, “Well, relations with the Palestinian Authority are sadly not formalized, with basically everybody to blame, and ISRAEL IS EFFECTIVELY AT WAR WITH GAZA, WITH HAMAS TO BLAME” [CAPS MINE]. That statement is obviously wrong. Israel is not now nor has it ever been at war with Gaza. Israel has been threatened by Hamas numerous times and as recently as May, Hamas fired over 4,000 missiles at Israel from Gaza, every one of them a war crime. Israel retaliated by bombing Hamas sites. Before Hamas took over in 2007, there was no blockade of Gaza and, consequently, Gazans were not so poor.

Perry also fails to note that Hamas is working closely with Iran, which pays Hamas millions of dollars every year and provides it with new missile technology. The reality is that Israel is defending itself from missiles being fired from Gaza by both Hamas and, to a lesser extent, by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Iranian proxy. Israel is also defending itself from Hamas on the West Bank, where the IDF recently found at least two large caches of Hamas weapons which were being assembled to attack Israel. In the second instance, Israel arrested over 50 people whom it is alleged were members of a Hamas cell. Moreover, Israel is being threatened by Hamas not only from Gaza and the West Bank, but by Hamas in Lebanon and Turkey as well. Hamas’ activities on the West Bank are directed from Turkey.

Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah, all unquestionably terrorist organizations, have in common that they openly want to destroy Israel and replace it with a Muslim theocracy. It is simply impossible to  analyze  intelligently the threat to Israel without mentioning Iran, Hezbollah, and the whole range of Hamas’ activity. The IDF understands this and is preparing for a war with all three of them. Still, Perry focuses only on the tired old argument that demographics mandate what he describes this time as “partition” which will establish Palestinian and Jewish States.

It is easy to understand why Perry takes the position that he does: he is still stuck in the year 2000. In 2000, when Bill Clinton was still President, none of Iran, Hezbollah, or Hamas was a military threat to Israel. Yasser Arafat was seen as someone who could represent all Palestinians.

Clinton tried as hard as was humanly possible to make two states: Israel and Palestine. He made great strides forward, or so we thought, when he managed to get Arafat and Israel’s Prime Minister Rabin to enter into the Oslo Accords. Oslo was to be followed by a second round of negotiations over “final status” issues, including borders. When the parties met with Clinton at Camp David in 2000 to do so, Israel came with a detailed peace proposal but Arafat, a terrorist to the marrow of his bones, came with nothing, walked away, and returned to Ramallah where he authorized the second intifada.

In 2000, Perry’s demographic argument made sense. It no longer does. Arafat is long dead. The Palestinian Authority is no military threat to Israel. Now, the threat to Israel is from Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas which, together, have 150,000 missiles ready to fire at Israel. Since Israel is not suicidal, the only option it has is to do what it did in 1948, 1967, and 1973: defend itself from people who would wipe the Jewish State off the face of the earth.

 

About the Author
After spending an adulthood as a lawyer in Colorado where much of my practice involved the public interest, I made aliyah. As I child I was told by my mother, a German, Jewish refugee, that Israel was a place for her and her child. When I came here, I understood what she meant. Though I am retired now, I have continued my interest in activism and the world in which I find myself.
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