Opinion: The former administration’s takes on key issues were delusional to Orwellian proportions, endangering the country’s national security while eroding Israel-U.S. ties; Israel must break away from the habits of the past and adopt a more moral, calculated and innovative approach
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu presents Mossad files on Iran’s nuclear program, 2018 (Photo: EPA)
Recently, we have come to bear witness to a disturbing trend — the materialization of George Orwell’s frightening prophecy, describing a gloomy reality in which truths were being reduced to lies and lies being elevated to unquestionable truths.
This troublesome behavior poses a tangible risk to Israel’s national security since such cultural patterns, which distort our understanding of the strategic reality around us, had already influenced strategic decisions in the past, and may have an impact on our future as well if not rooted out.
Above everything else stand the Iranian threat and Tehran’s aspirations to bring about the annihilation of Israel through the development of its nuclear and ballistic capabilities.
Up until recently, Israeli leadership boasted about its unique ability to curb the threat. But was it really able to?
Today, Israel finds itself facing a dramatic worsening of the Iranian threat since, unlike what the propaganda claims, the United States’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran and the foisting of harsh economic sanctions have only made matters worse.
To put it simply, despite Mossad’s undoubtedly heroic operations, Tehran is able to obtain military nuclear capabilities if it so wishes.
There are two ways to stop this — one is through the U.S. and the other through independent military action without coordination with the U.S.
The use of the Holocaust to slam the incumbent U.S. administration is nothing short of a travesty.
Israel’s claims it could take on the Iranian threat by itself without coordinating with the United States is nothing but a blatant lie. Without taking into account Israel’s considerable military capabilities, the country strategically cannot attack Iran without U.S. support.
An operation of such proportions would require broad international backing and coordination, and especially with the U.S.
It’s important to note that former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to promote a defense pact with the U.S. which would have undoubtedly restricted Israel’s freedom of action.
The common claim that the previous government’s policy on the United States served Israeli interests the best stood in stark contrast to reality. In hindsight, we know that this policy was akin to gambling in a casino.
Israel has abandoned the valuable asset it has painstakingly worked to acquire — unequivocal U.S. support.
We are witnessing the erosion of the Israel consensus — the Democratic Party’s support weakened, while President Joe Biden has all but ghosted the former prime minister.
Any claims implying Israel could ignore the U.S. on key issues are groundless and have caused untold damage to Israel’s strategic standing, which requires an immediate and comprehensive remedy.
Another noteworthy contradiction to reality is the claim that Israel has succeeded in bypassing the Palestinian issue and establish peace for peace.
The Abraham Accords were indeed a significant historic achievement but diplomatic ties with Jordan are ebbing away (unlike the strong security ties), jamming any progress of peace with the Arab world’s core countries.
In addition, Israel may have scored some military achievements during last month’s conflict with Hamas, but the Gaza terror outfit did manage to push the Palestinian and Jerusalem issues back to the forefront. This most certainly could hinder future normalization efforts, shake the stability in the West Bank and further worsen Jewish-Arab ties in the future.
To summarize, it is paramount we ground our policies on truth and facts — coordination with the U.S. is invaluable and so is its support of Israel, the Iranian threat has made considerable progress and stopping it would probably require a reasonable political option, and the failing diplomatic ties with Jordan must be mended to match the impressive military cooperation between the countries.
The bottom line is that Israel desperately needs moral, calculated and innovative leadership.
Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Gilad is the head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy