The MSM has fallen into the comforting (to it) rote of “land for peace” regarding the Israel/Hezbollah conflict. After all, this worked wonderfully in the media for the past 20 years when they were reporting about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. So well, that they were utterly unperturbed when Israel gave land, but got no peace.
The “land for peace” story line fails completely with Hezbollah, a parasite occupying a neighboring sovereign state, that wishes to extend its occupation to the entirety of Israel (with the genocide of Israel’s people as part of the plan). Jonah Goldberg gets it and sums up beautifully why, from the Israeli point of view, Hezbollah is different from the PLO enemy it fought for so long, and why Israel’s fight so closely parallels ours with Bin Ladenism:
Bin Laden also represents something different. He isn’t an Arab nationalist, or even a pan-Arab nationalist. He’s a jihadi, an Islamist, an Islamo-fascist or whatever label we’re using this week. Arafat certainly paid lip service to Islamic extremism, but at the end of the day that wasn’t his bag.
Things are different now. Israel is in its first war against bin Ladenism. Hezbollah’s defenders continue to paint its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, as an Arafat, not a bin Laden. But that argument doesn’t fly, since Israel has no legitimate border dispute with Lebanon. The so-called Shebaa Farms issue was manufactured by Syria and Hezbollah in order to give the terrorist group an excuse to keep fighting. But the simple fact is that Hezbollah is openly, avowedly, passionately committed to Israel’s complete destruction. And so is the leader of Iran, Hezbollah’s primary sponsor.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems convinced that the End Times are about to dawn and Israel’s destruction is the eschatological alarm clock. He doesn’t care about Arab nationalism — Iranians aren’t even Arab, save for about 3 percent of them. Land for Peace? That’s for heretics. Israel could withdraw to its pre-1967 borders and these guys would declare a partial victory, high-five, and then redouble their efforts to destroy the “Zionist entity.”
A popular way of thinking about all this is to believe we are at the dawn of a new religious war between the West and the Middle East. One side has launched it, Israel is fighting back, and the rest of the West is bickering about what to do and how to do it.
But this is too simplistic. At minimum, we’ve got two religious wars on our hands. Al Qaeda is Sunni. Hezbollah is Shiite. And relations between the two sides are growing chilly. Shiites, led by Iran, see this as their moment in the sun. Meanwhile, Sunnis — who often see nothing wrong with slipping a few bucks to al Qaeda or Hamas — are suddenly horrified by the terror threat from Hezbollah, which is why some “moderate” regimes are said to be quietly supporting Israel’s effort to destroy Iran’s proxy in the region. Indeed, al-Qaeda-affiliated Sunni insurgents in Iraq have made it their mission to slaughter Shiites, and Shiite death squads are returning fire.
It was telling that when the Hezbollah-Israel war started, al Qaeda announced that it, too, would set its sights on Israel. Not only did this demonstrate once again that Israel isn’t the “root cause” behind al-Qaeda, but it also showed that two faces of the same totalitarian threat — Shia radicalism and Sunni radicalism — understand that Israel is the focal point of a new global battle between the West and its enemies.
It would behoove people to remember that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. No matter their differences with or dislike for Israel, the fact that Israel has become the current focal point of our enemies as well as hers shows, not that Israel is deserving of the fate these barbarians wish to visit on her, but that she is our canary in the coalmine. Her battles are ours and it will be infinitely easier to assist with the fight in the here and now, and in the geographical confines of the Middle East, than to deal with a future world conflagration.
And a reminder to all of the “give peace a chance” brigadists out there: that theory only works if both sides want peace, but seem to be inexorably sucked into a war vortex. It’s an unimaginably stupid doctrine when one of your enemies, as Goldberg gracefully says, “seems convinced that the End Times are about to dawn and Israel’s destruction is the eschatological alarm clock.” This is a guy who not only doesn’t want peace, but is anxious to be the first one to light the fuse.