Israel suffers terror attacks from Egypt. The Arab Spring is in full swing and there is the upcoming vote on Palestinian Statehood. Libya and Syria are killing their own and it’s not even September.
When I was 13 I had the honor of meeting Golda Meir, an amazing woman who had an even more amazing life. When she passed away in 1978 I hitchhiked across half the State of Israel to go to her funeral in Jerusalem.
My mother insisted I take an umbrella, despite no rain in the weather forecast, but I remember thinking God chose the appropriate weather for that day and it started pouring when I arrived. It was also a closed funeral at Mt. Herzel, due to all the dignitaries and security, and I couldn’t get in.
Peter Jennings from ABC World News was standing just outside as the rain started and we struck a deal. He needed an umbrella to hold over the camera, and I came to the rescue. “Kid, you hold that over the camera and I’ll get you in” and so I was able to say goodbye and be a part of history that I will never forget.
Golda Meir was more than just the first and only female Prime Minister of Israel, She was a mother a grandmother and more than anything she was as she was so often referred to, the “Iron Lady”. The first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion used to say Meir was "the best man in the government".
I have been thinking about Golda a lot lately given everything that is happening not only in the Middle East, but the world as a whole. She was known for saying what she felt, doing what was best for Israel and didn’t care what the politicians or the world thought.
Of the hundreds of quotes she is known for, the one that always stuck with me was stated to the National Press Club in Washington, D. C. in 1957,
“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”
It’s been 54 years since she made that statement and as I write this Israel was busy burying those that were killed in the latest terror attacks in Eilat last Thursday. 8 dead and dozens more injured, as usual, mostly civilians.
Seven of the eight names of those killed have been released,
The victims are Yosef Levi, aged 52, from Holon; Sisters Flora Gez and Shula Karlitzky, aged 52 and 54 respectively, and their husbands, Moshe, aged 53 and Dov, aged 58. The two couples lived in Kfar Saba and were on their way to a vacation in Eilat when their car was attacked.
Earlier on Friday, a funeral was held for Staff Sgt. Moshe Naftali of Ofra, aged 22, who was killed in a gun battle with the terrorists.
Moshe Naftali’s funeral.
Counter-terrorism commander Paskal Avrahami, aged 49, was also laid to rest in Jerusalem.
So what had Israel done this time around to be on the receiving end of a terrorist attack? Absolutely nothing. I wrote and warned in 2 previous articles about this very scenario. Mubarak is out and the Muslim Brotherhood has stepped in, should we really be surprised that now terrorists from Gaza are finding their way into Israel via Egypt?
Haaretz recently reported on how Israel has allowed more Egyptian forces into the Sinai,
Israel recently authorized Egypt’s new government to send large forces into Sinai ? far beyond the numbers permitted under the 1978 peace treaty ? in order to deal with the numerous terrorists active there, including groups affiliated with Al-Qaida as well as Palestinian organizations. Just last week, 2,000 Egyptian soldiers, accompanied by tanks, entered Sinai for this purpose. But so far, there are no signs that Egypt has succeeded in regaining control of the peninsula.
Those within the Israeli Defense Forces have also spoken out that the situation has become worse since the fall of Mubarak,
IDF sources said that since Egyptians toppled President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in February, the number of warnings about terror attacks from Sinai has doubled. Arms smuggling into Gaza from Sinai has also surged since Mubarak’s fall. Most of the weapons come from Iran via Sudan, but more recently, arms taken from Libyan army depots left unguarded due to that country’s civil war have also arrived.
Until the fall of Mubarak Israel had very little security on its southern border as explained by Haaretz,
Following the 1978 peace agreement, the IDF removed most of its troops from the border, which is now patrolled by just a few battalions, mostly reservists. Though this force was beefed up temporarily in recent weeks, doing so over the long term would interfere with the army’s training program and other operational activity, and might require calling up additional reserve units.
Even Gamal Abdel Gawad, the director of the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo stated,
“The security situation in north Sinai is deteriorating, and now radical militant elements got loose, it is not a remote possibility for them to cross the border and launch attacks against Israeli targets. It makes a lot of sense.”
NATO and the U.S. are still trying to oust Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from Libya and just last week President Obama told President Assad of Syria to step down,
“We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way,” Mr. Obama said in a written statement released Thursday morning after coordination with allies in Europe. “He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”
Has the current administration not learned its lesson after Mubarak stepped down? Of course not, after all, they did recognize the Muslim Brotherhood on June 30 of this year,
"We believe, given the changing political landscape in Egypt, that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful, and committed to non-violence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency," Clinton told reporters at a news conference.
Common sense and history should have kept that from happening. Does President Carter and Iran ring a bell?
Now the administration wants to oust Syria’s Assad as well? What would the future hold if that were to happen?
Iran currently outfits, supplies and trains Hezbollah in Lebanon, they do this by way of Syria. Once the U.S, leaves Iraq the road will be fully open. But what’s more is who will step in if Assad steps down.
Israel already has 50,000 Hezbollah missiles pointed at them from Lebanon; add to that the possibility of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood stepping up when Assad steps down and Israel faces an additional front from Syria.
Hezbollah Brig. General Walid Sakariya stated during a video interview,
“If, following the U.S. withdrawal, Iraq becomes a bridge linking Iran to Syria; the Iranian forces could cross Iraq and arrive in Syria, in order to participate in a direct war on the Golan front.”
“In that case Israel would not be fighting Hezbollah alone. It would be fighting Hezbollah, Syria, Iraq and Iran.”
“You will have the strategic superiority and a force large enough to pulverize Israel.”
“Israel will come to an end.”
How many times must the U.S. watch as more radical leaders step up in the Middle East each time they force one out?
The JTA reported back in March,
The dangers are clear: The emergence of a more radical regime in Syria could mean a stronger Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis. Iran could get direct access to its allies in Lebanon through a Syrian regime that’s even friendlier toward Tehran. Syria's huge stockpiles of missiles and chemical weapons could fall into the wrong hands. The unrest on Israel's doorstep could spread to the West Bank and to Jordan. Syrian President Bashar Assad's more radical successors could use a conflict with Israel to build domestic legitimacy.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better. I’d hate to be the pessimist here, but with the upcoming U.N. vote on Palestinian Statehood in September we are going to see a surge in protests and violence.
Regardless of whether the vote passes or not there will be the storming of Israel’s borders such as those that happened on Naksa day and you can bet even more violent protests in Both the West Bank and Gaza.
I already know how the U.N. vote will go, after all Friday of last week the U.N. Security Council couldn’t call the terrorist acts on Israel Thursday “Terrorism” due to Lebanon blocking the vote on the statement.
Lebanon blocked a UN Security Council statement which would have labeled deadly attacks near Eilat on Thursday as terrorism, AFP reported.
I doubt that even Golda Meir had any idea that her statements would hold true so many years later.
“The Egyptians could run to Egypt, the Syrians into Syria. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that we might as well fight.”
“We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon - no alternative.”
Yes, Golda I miss you dearly. Your statements still mean as much today as they day you said it.
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