America must stand by Israel as it faces a grim war future | Steve Berman

Let me start with a bit of a rant. I’m tired of arguing about the status of $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds released by the U.S. to gain the release of five U.S. citizens held by the Tehran government. The problem isn’t if the Iranians spent the money: They haven’t; it’s not if the Iranians could spent that money on anything remotely related to Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) activity, or arming Hamas: They can’t. 

But here’s why I’m still angry about it. Iran twisted America’s arm to change the status of frozen money to “not-so-frozen” with all kinds of restrictions, and got five of their own citizens repatriated to them, giving up essentially nothing. Who can tell me they can’t, in the future, twist our arm again to get us to authorize the use of that money for something we didn’t intend to let them spend it on? And then, again? We’ve given in to terrorists funding terror, and doing so only promotes more terror. It was a bad move.

On September 11, 2001, America lost 2,977 people in a terrorist attack for which we were not prepared. That’s a tiny percent of our population (0.0007%). It return for that, we changed our entire military footing to active war, grimly marched through Iraq and Afghanistan, and stayed for about 20 years. At the height of the surge in 2006, nearly 30,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. A total of around 209,000 Iraqis died in war action from 2003 through 2023; about 176,000 (45,000 civilians, the rest military and opposition fighters) were killed in Afghanistan. We avenged around 3,000 Americans brutally murdered for nothing more than being Americans, and according to one report, as many as 4.5 million have died directly or indirectly because of it. War is grim, and costs far more than dollars spent on weapons.

From 1939-1945, around 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe for nothing more than being Jews. After the Holocaust, Americans armed the Irgun and others who settled in the Holy Land, where Jews have had a continuous presence for nearly 3,000 years. The Irgun was considered a terrorist organization, but when Israel declared its independence in 1948, they, along with the other armed Zionist groups, became the Israeli army. Israelis fought a brutal war against five Arab nations and won their country, defending it many times in the 75 years since that day.

Imagine the U.S., nine years after 9/11, with the TSA and all our other travel safeguards, experiencing another 9/11 attack, but this time using 30 jets instead of four. Israel, in only a few days, has lost at least 900 citizens, brutally murdered at music festivals, in their homes, on the street. That’s 0.009% of their population—12 times the impact of 9/11, and nine years after the IDF went in to Gaza to seal tunnels, and the Israeli government spent over a billion dollars to construct a high-tech wall, with sensors to detect tunnels and prevent infiltration. It failed catastrophically.

Do you think Israel is going to stop before rounding up every Hamas member in Gaza? Do you think they’ll stop until they plant their flag in the heart of Gaza City, with Israelis controlling every square meter of the territory?

If America caused at least 400,000 deaths (and possibly millions if indirect deaths are included) to avenge 2,977, fighting nearly 10,000 miles from home, how many deaths will Israel be forced to cause to avenge 12 times the impact, on its own border? The death toll in this coming war will be horrific beyond imagination, especially if Hizbollah joins the fray with their 150,000 IRGN-supplied high precision rockets.

We can argue the right and wrong of this all day and not reach an answer. It’s pretty clear America over-reacted to 9/11. Then we over-reacted the other way, with Barack Obama’s “Arab Spring” that put religious strongmen in place of secular strongmen in the Middle East (with the exception of Bashir al-Assad, who survived with Russia’s help). Now, our closest actual ally in the Middle East is facing a situation 12 times worse than America did in 9/11.

The idiots at Harvard who rally for the murderers are cheering on people who wish to finish what the Holocaust started. That will not happen. Israel exists to avenge the 6 million, so that “never again” is more than just a slogan. Now Israel faces a grim task—the task of bringing death to evil, in very large numbers. The generation of Israelis who are fighting now will be changed forever, and will have much more in common with their Irgun predecessors than the professional, high-tech military the IDF has become.

There will one day be time for repercussions and political talk. There will be time to blame those who put their trust in technology and let Israel’s guard down. There will be time to once again, pursue peace and rapprochement. But that time is not now.

America must stand with Israel, against evil. We must apply the lessons we learned in 9/11 and the years after to help our ally. We must stop the world from rising up in anti-Semitism. We must start here, in America, on our own soil. Condemn those who cheer the death of innocent Jews.

Anyone in our government, elected or not, our colleges, our schools, our churches or mosques, who won’t take a stand against evil must be condemned. Even tech billionaires.

It’s a good time to mourn those who are about to die. There will be a large number. Nobody should take glory from that. Israel has a grim task ahead, and we must stand with them.

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.

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