Israel is the last firewall between radical Islam and the WestBy MIKE EVANS
While sitting in the office of my long-time friend, former prime minister Ehud Olmert, I saw a picture of him and George W. Bush on the wall. They were standing back-to-back. Beneath the picture, President Bush had written, “Ehud, I’ve got your back.” In actuality, the US is tired of fighting wars in the Middle East that cannot be won because of asymmetrical terrorism. Conversely, Israel has been battling terror for decades. Despite that war, the nation of Israel has thrived in every conceivable way.
Israel is the “key to America’s survival.” That was the title of the very first book I wrote in 1979. In 1981, I presented the first copy to then prime minister Menachem Begin. To my shock, he held the book up and endorsed it without reading a page. When I advised him against that, he said, “Oh, don’t worry; I’m a short prime minister. If they criticize me, I will stand on the papers. That will make me a little bit taller. Besides, today’s fish is wrapped in yesterday’s newspapers.”
On the cover was an Islamic sword slicing the American flag in half. The premise of the book was that Israel was the last firewall between radical Islam and the West, and if Israel were weakened, Islamic fanatics would strike the US. For decades, Israel successfully fought communism as America’s proxy in the Middle East. Israel also fought terrorism and succeeded.
It was the Soviet Union and PLO that trained terrorists from around the world—Irish, Italian, German, African, North and South Americans in Lebanon, the on-the-job training ground. Israel, not the United States, completely defeated the PLO and its terrorist network globally. Now, the US needs to allow Israel to do its job and provide any resources necessary for her to be the same firewall between radical Islam and the West.
During the interview Ehud Olmert told me the story of Israel attacking the Syrian nuclear reactor. He said the president of the United States would not agree to an attack. The prime minister said, “Then I will do it.” He never spoke to the media about it; never acknowledged that it was done by Israel. His schedule was as normal as usual, but Syria’s atomic ambitions were destroyed. Mr. Olmert told me that the previously mentioned photo of him and George W. Bush was in celebration of the destruction of the reactor. The president had invited the prime minister for a visit—to smoke cigars in celebration.
Imagine the horror the world would face today with the upheaval in Syria if an atomic bomb were available to Bashar Assad. Or, for that matter, had one been available to Saddam Hussein in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. I had a similar conversation with Menachem Begin after Iraq’s Osiris reactor had been destroyed. He was gravely criticized for it even by President Ronald Reagan.
Following the G-20 meeting of twenty heads of government in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin checkmated Mr. Obama by proposing that Syria’s chemical weapons be placed “under international control as a way to avert a Western military strike.” This was the best possible news for Iran’s leaders. The Syrian crisis is a test to see if the United States would blink in the stand-off against Iran’s proxy. Russia will now redouble its support for Syria and Iran’s nuclear program. Putin wants to rebuild the Russian Empire, not only procedurally, but also economically. He believes he can do that with the aid of a non-Arab Persian state as an ally, precipitating the launch of a trillion dollar nuclear arms race among the Arab Gulf Oil States. Russia would be the primary vendor.
The US is called the “Great Satan” by Islamic fanatics; Israel bears the title “Little Satan.” It is time for the United States to allow its greatest ally in the Middle East to do its job as effectively as it did during the communist era.
A T-shirt bought by many tourists to Israel says, “America, Israel has your back.” The truth is, it will not be a slogan if we follow through with that, but rather a reality.
Dr. Michael Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His latest novel, The Locket, based on the pursuit, arrest, trial, and execution of Adolf Eichmann, debuted at Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center on June 15, 2013.