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1 Bob Levin  Wed, Apr 6, 2011 10:27:55pm

There is a tendency for many op-eds in Israel to sound like the Tochacha.

Does the UN regularly screw up diplomacy? Of course. Can this lead to war? Of course. That’s as specific as we can get. The Tochacha op-eds have been regularly churned out for over ten years.

2 Samson  Thu, Apr 7, 2011 8:50:06am

re: #1 Bob Levin

I’m afraid the author has a good point this time. If a Palestinian state is unilaterally declared with UN approval, it will mean that Israeli settlements and troops will be considered to be in “Palestine” on the West Bank and even in Jerusalem. How this would not quickly turn into a military confrontation is beyond me. The potential for mayhem, with “UN forces” trying to maintain the peace (i.e., prevent Israel from asserting sovereignty over any of the territories awarded to “Palestine” or even protect Israeli citizens there) is grave. A situation like this could easily provide the excuse necessary for hostile countries (like Iran, for example) to become involved without any interference from the West. And so on…

3 Bob Levin  Thu, Apr 7, 2011 1:12:52pm

re: #2 Samson

They always have good points. There isn’t any question that this could be a disaster on many levels, one is letting the UN determine the boundaries of an independent state. Of course, this ‘precedent’ only applies to one state, because neither France nor the US wouldn’t stand for it if the UN were to redraw boundaries with Germany and Mexico respectively.

Even if the UN were to do this, Israel would quickly mobilize to protect the cities on the other side of the line.

Here’s where the Tochacha comes in—because you could predict the storyline in that direction. However, Israel survives because it takes the story where no one expects it to go.

For instance, do think Abbas could declare open war and not get a missile through his window in the ensuing five minutes? What if the Palestinian economy shows signs of growth and independence? That means they have something to lose. How, for instance, can the PA possibly conduct war with their organization riddled with spies?

UN forces never go anywhere where they might be hurt. What can the UN do, besides declare a state along boundaries that do not exist? Israel, for its part, has done a terrible job of explaining and reiterating the Oslo accords—and so much of the world believes there is such a thing as the 1967 boundaries.

Here are some more variables which make the situation unpredictable. The hostile nations surrounding Israel are not so stable. I would also hope that Israel has learned from Lebanon and previous wars about the need to strike quickly and decisively—and that is why Israel is allowing its intelligence regarding targets to leak out.

There is much truth to the Tochacha, that has indeed been our fate. But there is also much truth to Sun Tzu—and according to Sun Tzu, Israel has an advantage that cannot be taken away. Of course, the Torah would agree with Sun Tzu. The Torah would just phrase it differently.


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