Monday, December 10, 2007

The Myth of Israel's invincibility

The following is from the book 'Political Views on Palestine' by Abu Ghazi, although published many years ago it contains some useful points.

Since its formation in 1948, the reality of Israel's military strength has been shrouded by a mythical aura of invincibility. This illusory aura has been cast through certain myths that have been propagated amongst the Muslims in order to subdue them into accepting Israel's existence. These myths have not only been actively expressed by Israel, but have been given life by the actions of the treacherous Muslim rulers. The following article seeks to expose the key myths surrounding Israel's strength. In revealing the fallacy behind the myth of Israeli invincibility, we must keep in mind one question: What purpose does the construction of this myth serve ?

Israel's defeat of the Arabs in 4 wars

Israel' s performance in the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 against the Arabs has long been seen as demonstrative of Israel. s military superiority. In light of Israel. s apparent victories and its seizure of Muslim lands, it is argued that direct military conflict with Israel is not a viable course of action for the Arab states, creating the necessity of entering into negotiations. The direct consequence of such a move has been the acceptance of Israel's sovereignty through plans such as the peace process.

A closer examination of these wars shows that the Muslim countries have never singularly nor collectively fought Israel with the intention of destroying it. Each of the wars was conducted in order to meet specific objectives, none of which were to liberate the land of Palestine and eliminate Israel.

The war of 1948 led to the establishment of the State of Israel. On the surface, one may find it difficult enough to understand how 40 million Arabs could not match the fighting strength of just 600,000 Jews. A closer study of the defenders of the Palestinian cause shows how their actions in fact led directly to the establishment of Israel.

The primary representatives of the Palestinian cause were King Abdullah of Transjordan, King Farook of Egypt and The Mufti of Palestine. Their unity was weak and they were subject to constant manipulation by the British. In particular, Abdullah's portrayal of himself as a defender of the Palestinian cause was a facade. It is no secret that his father Sheriff Hussein collaborated with the British against the Uthmani Khilafah. His brother Faisal had sought relations with leading Zionists such as Chaim Weizman as far back as 1919 .

Abdullah and Ben Gurion (Israel. s first Prime Minister) were students together in Istanbul. In 1947 and early 1948, in clandestine meetings with Golda Meir, Abdullah had offered to accept the establishment of Israel in return for Jordanian control of the Arab populated parts of Palestine. Subsequent leakage of this meeting thwarted the plan. Abdullah's long association with the British was well known to all the people. A blind Imam brought to rouse the Jordanian army prior to the battle embarrassed Abdullah when he said : "O army I wish you were ours." (referring to the Arab Legion being British)

Abdullah had the Arab Legion at his disposal, a highly trained unit of 4,500 men, with General John Glubb an Englishman as its commanding officer. Glubb in his memoirs recounted that he was under strict orders from the British, not to enter areas under Jewish control. Egypt further weakened the attack against Israel when Nakrashi Pasha , the Prime Minister initially did not use existing military units but sent an army of volunteers that had only been organised in January of that year. Jordan had also delayed the passage of Iraqi troops across its territory thus thwarting any attack against Israel.

Although the combined Muslim forces were 40,000 only 10,000 were trained soldiers. The Zionists had 30,000 armed personnel, 10,000 men for local defence and another 25,000 for
home guard. Furthermore there were nearly 3,000 specially trained Irgun and Stern gang terrorists. They were armed with the latest weaponry smuggled from Czechoslovakia and funded heavily through Zionist agencies in America and Britain. Despite the preparedness of the Jews, it was evidently the treachery of the Muslim rulers which secured a foothold for the Jews in Palestine.

The 1956 Suez conflict was a struggle between America and Britain for control of the strategically important Suez canal.

The 1956 war was never a war for the liberation of Palestine. Nasser never wanted to eliminate Israel. His focus lay primarily in removing British hegemony over the Suez canal. The US saw Egypt as a critical ally if America was to gain influence in the Middle East. Through the CIA, she moved to depose the Pro British King Farook in a coup de. tat in 1952, bringing into power the Free Officers who were soon afterwards led by Nasser. America subsequently made deliberate public statements in support of Nasser. s claims on the Suez Canal. US Secretary of State Dulles visited Nasser in 1953 with a letter from Eisenhower:

"This government and the American people understand and appreciate the natural aspirations of Egypt for full sovereignty over its own territory. Similar aspirations have deep roots in the tradition of America."

Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal in 1956 removing control of the vital waterway from the influence of the British. Three months later, Britain and France prompted Israel to initiate an attack on Egypt in the Sinai. They hoped this would provide Britain and France with a pretext for entering the region to reclaim the canal . The US and USSR exercised diplomatic pressure to force Britain to withdraw. Russia directly threatened Paris and London with nuclear attacks. The immense international pressure forced the British and French to withdraw and consequently lose their footing in Egypt. The American administration, under Eisenhower, went as far as threatening the Israelis with economic sanctions if they did not withdraw from occupied territory seized from Egypt, a measure that would have had disastrous consequences on Israel at the time. In the aftermath of the crisis, America emerged as the dominant force in the middle east.

The 1967 war was instigated by Britain in an attempt to weaken Nasser. The war of 1967 was an episode in the Anglo-American conflict for control of the region.

Britain had been surpassed as the region's dominant force 11 years earlier, but still retained some influence through its agents in Jordan, Syria and Israel. In an attempt to weaken Nasser, Britain sought to lure Israel to drag Egypt into a war whereby Israel would seize territory and use it as a bargaining tool in a land for peace settlement, a means through which to achieve the security which the Israelis so desperately sought. On 5 June 1967 Israel launched a pre-emptive strike destroying 3/5ths of Egypt's grounded airforce and 2/3rds of Syrian and Jordanian combat aircraft.

From Jordan the Israelis seized the West Bank and east Jerusalem. King Hussein, prior to the battle, had positioned his troops in different areas from where the main battle was taking place. After being re-assured by Ben Gurion. s ministers that Israel did not seek confrontation with Jordan, the Jordanians began shelling Israel from the West bank of the Jordan River, creating a pretext for the Jews to march on Jerusalem and continue their advance until the Jordan River. In a matter of 48 hours the Israelis seized the major West Bank towns and most of those who were shot dead of the Jordanian forces were in retreat.

In a similar manner the Israelis seized the Golan Heights on the 6th day of the war. The Syrian troops occupying the Golan Heights heard news of Israel's capture of the strategically important heights through their own State radio announcing the Israeli capture of the heights while the Syrian troops were still clearly occupying them. Israel also dealt America's Nasser a blow by capturing Sharm al Sheikh and securing the waterway of the Straits of Tiran.

The objective of weakening the regime of Nasser was achieved, thus indirectly aiding British interests within the region. Israel was able to seize more land and use it as a bargaining asset in any land for peace negotiations. Again the objective of seriously threatening Israel was never an aim, despite the unquestionable strength of the combined Arab armies.

The 1973 October war was designed to solidify the positions of Sadat and Assad in the prelude to peace.

Examination of the October 1973 war launched by Egypt and Syria against Israel shows that the aims were limited and never included the liberation of Palestine. The aims never even included the liberation of the Golan heights which were designed to be restored as part of a peace treaty between Syria and Israel. The aims were to solidify the positions of Anwar Sadat and Hafez al Assad who were relatively new leaders in countries prone to military coups. Sadat in particular was vulnerable given the fact that he had succeeded the charismatic Nasser.

The extent of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat' s underlying motives can be ascertained from Mohammed Heikal's book "The Road to Ramadhan" where he cites Sadat's mood in the run up to the war. Heikal quotes one of Sadat's generals, Mohammed Fouwzi who gave the analogy of a samurai drawing two swords - a long one and short one in preparation for battle. Fouwzi said that this battle would be a case of the short sword, signifying a limited battle for certain motives.

Anwar Sadat had no intention of having a protracted war with Israel. This is proven by the fact that he sought peace with Israel whilst commanding a winning position in the war. In the first 24 hours of the war from October 6, Egypt smashed through the Israeli's much heralded Bar-Lev fortifications east of the Suez canal with only 68 casualties. Meanwhile 2 Syrian divisions and 500 tanks swept into the Golan Heights and retook some of the land captured in 1967. In two days of fighting Israel had lost 49 aircraft and 500 tanks. In the midst of this Sadat sent a message to US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in which he said that the objective of the war was "the achievement of peace in the Middle East and not...partial settlements." The message went on to state that if Israel withdrew from all occupied territories Egypt would be prepared to participate in a Peace conference under UN or neutral auspices. Kissinger in close contact with the Israelis as well no doubt communicated Sadat's intentions. Thus despite having an immense strategic advantage from which Egyptian forces could seize the Mitla and Giddi passes - the strategic keys to the Sinai and hence launch an attack on Israel itself, Sadat was in the mood for negotiation in this early stage.

Sadat's refusal to press home his initial advantage and his delay in launching the second Sinai offensive allowed Israel to mobilise with aid from the US and she began to seize back lost territory. Hostilities formally came to an end on 25 October after Israel had violated previous cease-fire agreements. But the evidence from this war best illustrates how the Muslim rulers have never seriously fought Israel with the intention of liberating Palestine, which in this war was never even a matter of discussion. These examples illustrate the reality behind the myths which the Ummah has been led to believe. The real treachery has been committed by our insincere rulers who have collaborated and helped create the myth of Israeli superiority, kindling it, nurturing it and maintaining it. They have worked to remove the ideologically founded concept of jihad from our minds and hearts, replacing it with pragmatism borne of necessity.

Israel's Nuclear Option and superiority in conventional weapons

Since it's first nuclear test detonation in the Indian Ocean in 1979, Israel has become the region. s only nuclear power. This achievement has been pushed implicitly by Israel, the media and many Arab rulers to further enhance the image of invincibility that surrounds Israel. For example, prior to the war in Lebanon in 1982 Yassir Arafat, in a speech given at the Ain Hilwa refugee camp, claimed that Israel had 20 atomic bombs which it would not hesitate to use.

Assuming Israel does have nuclear weapons it is highly unlikely that she would use them in any regional conflict between her and the surrounding states. While it is clear that a nuclear strike would cause severe harm to the Muslims, it is also evident that such a strike would affect Israel in the same manner. Beirut, Damascus, Amman and Cairo all fall within a radius of 250 miles of Tel Aviv. Israel shares borders with Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

Furthermore she lies in close proximity to Saudi Arabia, Cyprus and Turkey. It is clear that Israel's use of nuclear weapons in any conflict with the surrounding states, would have as adverse an effect on her as on her enemies. Further, the ensuing destruction would wipe out all the economic interests she is building through the current peace process in trade agreements and would destroy any hope she has of achieving a lasting settlement for the region.

Furthermore the US could not possibly allow the destruction of its own interests within the region. The area which she has described as 'the greatest material prize in world history' would become worthless and the economic benefits that she and other Western nations enjoy within the region would be destroyed. In fact it is very likely that she would bring all the economic, political and military influence she could to bear upon Israel deterring her from such disastrous action. In 1991, the US tried very hard to prevent Israel from retaliating against Iraq, to prevent a conflagration from developing, which would run counter to the emerging US plan for the region.

Further, the Jews by their nature have never been known as men of war. Whilst the Muslim armies would relish the opportunity to fight to the death for the sake of Allah (swt), the same
cannot be said of the Jews. Allah describes their nature in the Qur. an very clearly; "And verily you will find them (the Jews) the greediest of mankind for life and those who ascribe partners to Allah. Everyone of them wishes that he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save them even a little from (due) punishment. And Allah is All-Seer of what they do." [TMQ 2:96]

The idea of nuclear deployment by Israel has only been used to further foster this myth of invincibility. With regards to her superiority in conventional weaponry, no one can deny Israel's strength. However, while this was also the case in the 1973 war, the initial tactical surprise of the Egyptian and Syrian offensives gained them a huge advantage. The reality is that despite all its military aid and assistance from America, Israel has at times appeared very vulnerable. Uri Davis in his book Israel: the Apartheid State cites that Israel has not won a significant military battle since 1967. The Egyptian army exposed Israel's weakness at Bar-Lev in 1973. Further, Israel. s military campaign in Lebanon in the early 1980's culminated in an embarrassing withdrawal in 1985, when 5,000 mujahideen repelled the Israeli army of 120,000 troops, 1,600 tanks, 1,600 armed personnel carriers and 600 large guns.

Israel has the backing of the US and International community

The basis of American foreign policy lies in the 'doctrine of self interest' . This doctrine stipulates that a nation will engage in political activity only if it derives a benefit. This may be economic, political or military. From this viewpoint the basis of the foreign policy is always the same though the nation's allies or friends may change. This was expressed most clearly by Lord Palmerston's famous dictum "Britain has no perpetual friends only perpetual interests."

In light of this one can see that America. s policy of supporting Israel is not based on friendship, morality or out of sympathy for the plight of the Jews in the Holocaust. It is purely upon the basis of self benefit. Should there ever be a conflict between the permanent interests of the USA in the Middle East and the existence of Israel, America would undoubtedly forgo the latter. Eisenhower. s threat of sanctions against Israel in 1956 is a clear example of this.

Control over the Middle East and its vital natural resources is essential in maintaining American dominance world-wide. In 1944 the State Department described the Middle east as "a stupendous source of strategic power and the greatest material prize in world history."

It is well known that American oil companies such as Amoco, Texaco, Exxon and Chevron have substantial investments within the region. The discovery of gas, minerals and reliance of arms manufacturers in obtaining contracts further illustrates the depth of America's involvement. These groups would undoubtedly present a powerful bloc to lobby the US administration should their interests ever be threatened.

The State Department has in the past voiced concern at the harm to its interests with Arab regimes which friendly relations with Israel may cause. This concern would no doubt escalate to a re-examination of US support of Israel, when faced with a serious Khilafah with an independent foreign policy rather than the compliant puppies ruling the Muslim countries. History demonstrates how benefit has guided US policy towards Israel, and how on occasions this has caused the relationship between the US and Israel to be strained. President Truman supported the creation of Israel in 1948 despite disapproval by the State Department and key officials such as George Marshall.

In 1956 the Eisenhower administration forced British and French withdrawal from the Suez war and left Israel isolated against Egypt. Despite fierce Israeli dissent the greater interest lay in removing Britain from the region and securing indirect control over the Suez through Nasser.

Although the USA has heavily supported Israel through financial aid with perennial aid packages continuously over $3 Billion per annum, it has linked these with Israeli compliance over numerous issues. Further, America allows both extremist groups such as Kach, and 'peace' organisations such as 'Peace Now' to function and raise funds in the USA.

Opportune media coverage of the activities of these organisations places pressure on the Israeli government, further illustrating that the US. underlying motive in its policy vis a vis Israel is benefit. Should this benefit ever be threatened, the US would undoubtedly abandon the Israeli cause in pursuit of its interest. The deadlock in the current US inspired peace process shows how American and Israeli interest diverge, and the extent to which each party will go to procure their respective interests is also quite evident.

As for the fear of condemnation in the international community it seems the Muslims are the only ones who view international law with respect and aspire to adhere to its edicts. Israel, Serbia, India, Russia, Burma and China have all spat in the face of the UN in continuing their crimes against the Muslim Ummah. Even the so called champion of human rights - America - has a great history of flagrantly violating International law and committing human rights abuses in Panama, Grenada, Vietnam and Iraq to name but a few instances.

The US has been able to do so because it has political objectives and is able to manipulate the world arena effectively to meet them. For the Muslims this political acumen can only be effectively represented through the Khilafah State which would mobilise the whole state apparatus to achieve this.

Reference to the life of the Prophet (saw) will show how he paid no regard to The International law of his era, rather he made the Kuffar in the Arabian peninsula submit to the law of Islam. This was most clearly shown when one of the companions, Abdullah ibn Jaahsh, broke the Arab tradition of not fighting in the holy months by killing a kafir and raiding his caravan. Subsequently the Quraysh engaged in great propaganda against the Islamic State. Allah (swt) revealed the ayah:

"They ask you about fighting in the sacred months Say fighting therein is a great transgression but far greater is it to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny him, to prevent access to the Sacred mosque and drive out its members." (TMQ 2:217)

From this incident, we see that Muhammad (saw) did not adhere to the International law of his time. Rather, he redefined the International norms to reflect the world view held by the Islamic State. The coming Khilafah will endeavour to do the same, by conducting itself in the International arena through bilateral agreements, undermining the whole notion of a multilateral governing body, or any other forum organised to emulate the aspirations of the United Nations.

Conclusion

As shown, the myths, when scrutinised are complete fallacies and lack any reality. This naturally leads to the question of what purpose they help serve. Clearly, this is to gradually impress on the Ummah the existence of Israel de facto and de jure.

Israel was created through a great conspiracy made possible only in the aftermath of the destruction of the Khilafah and through the complicity of treacherous Muslim rulers who have helped create these myths and have brought shame upon the Muslims. They have sought to create and continually perpetuate these myths of Israeli invincibility. They are in David Ben Gurion. s words "the first line of defence" for Israel. They are also the major obstacles standing in the way of the re-emergence of the Khilafah.

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