For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA Weekly Commentary 19 August '10
What would you do if you had an underground bunker network more complex than the New York City subway system spread under villages straddling Israel's northern border - armed with, among other things, many tens of thousands of rockets of various ranges?
And what would you do if you had bunkers and rockets - and more - and you were positioned within striking range of the Ashkelon terminal and Ashdod Port?
And what would you do if you had a large and well equipped trained infantry deployed within the very heart of Israel with no real barriers between you and almost every significant target in the country?
And, finally, what would you do if you had enough nuclear devices in your possession with delivery capabilities, which, if successfully detonated, could literally incinerate most of the Israeli population?
The answers to these questions are not, of course, just a question of capabilities.
They are driven by the assumptions one makes about the goals of the decision makers and their value system.
And it is dangerously easy to err on both the goals and the value system.
Dismiss the enemy's goals that threaten the existence of the Jewish State as "rhetoric" and your analysis is distorted from the very start.
Assert that all human beings share the same "universal" (Western) value system and that religious, political and other beliefs that are at odds with these universal values are no more than window dressing but not truly adhered to by those who claim to embrace them and your analysis may be catastrophically blind.
And it happens.
Not so long ago an Israeli acting out Iran's president in a simulation exercise assumed that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would not use nuclear weapons to destroy Israel if he had the opportunity. The Israeli, who spent years in the intelligence community, could not accept the notion that Ahmadinejad and his top echelon genuinely believed in a well-documented value system. A value system that, when weighing the "cost" of a devastating Israeli second (according to foreign press reports nuclear) strike against Iran against the "benefit" of destroying the Jewish State concludes that the benefit is worth the price.
We should respect our enemies.
And the first element of respect is not to dismiss either their stated goals or their stated values.
Yes. It means preparing for far worse scenarios than those derived from potentially dangerous simplifying "best case scenario" assumptions.
But the purpose of the exercise isn't for Israel to come out nicely in the simulations.
It's to prepare for the very serious existential challenges of the real world.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"