Ich bin ein Israeli

By: Nancy Pallock

1963 – John F. Kennedy, standing in West Berlin, in opposition to the Soviet construction of the infamous wall, defiantly raised his voice with a memorable statement, underscoring America’s support of freedom and opposition to unchecked aggression. He united freedom-loving people across the world with the saying, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

2006 – Ken Mehlman, representing a new voice of reason, spoke to a newfound tribe, Christians United for Israel, and recognized the similarity between Cold War Germany and the 2006 Lebanon-Israeli conflict. He said, “Today we are all Israelis,” aptly comparing this moment to another period of worldwide dissent.

In concert with Mehlman, others have made sense of the current struggle. Newt Gingrich has not minced words, calling a spade a spade, noting that this could be the verge of World War III. “Imagine,” he said, “that Miami had missiles being fired at it every day.” His argument was fortified with chilling statistics that account for the population difference between Israel and the United Stated. “Remember,” he said, “that when Israel loses eight people, it’s the equivalent of losing five hundred Americans.”

Granted, Israelis are an important group of people, with a vital heritage that must be protected at all costs, including the costs of a full-scale attack on several Middle Eastern countries. Mr. Gingrich, however, clearly indicated just how important each Israeli person is to the culture. By his numbers, one Israeli is the equivalent of 62 and ½ Americans. The relationship between Israelis and Americans is “one-to-many,” not “one-to-one.” This is because every single Israeli is vital to the interests of Democracy in an unstable region. A hard truth to consider, but nevertheless an important distinction, is the difference between the value of Israelis and people from other troubled areas in the Middle East who have little hope for Democracy. Like Sudan, for example.

Mr. Mehlman and Mr. Gingrich, by having an astute grasp of history, realize that it is important to be decisive very early in a budding conflict. In 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed, the Austro-Hungarian empire had no choice but to send an ultimatum to Serbia, demanding wergild for the Archduke, or promising war as the alternative. This makes it a very simple concept. Either comply, or else die.

Israel – and by Israel, I also mean the United States – must demand that the Lebanon perform the following actions:

1. To suppress any publication which incites to hatred and contempt of the Israeli government;

2. To dissolve immediately the society of Hezbollah, and to proceed in the same manner against the other societies which engage in propaganda against Israel;

3. To eliminate without delay from public instruction in Lebanon, both as regards the teaching body and the methods of instruction, all that serves or might serve to foment propaganda against Israel;

4. To remove from the military service and the administration in general all officers guilty of propaganda against Israel, names of which were to be provided by the Israeli government;

5. To accept the collaboration in Lebanon of organs of the Israeli government in the suppression of the subversive movement directed against the territorial integrity of the democracy;

6. To take judicial proceedings against the accessories to the June kidnapping plots, with the help and direction of the Israeli government;

7. To immediately arrest two named persons implicated by the preliminary investigation undertaken by Israel;

8. To prevent by effective measures the cooperation of Lebanon, Iran, and Syria in the illicit traffic in arms and explosives across the frontier;

9. To furnish Israel with explanations regarding statements from high Lebanese officials both in Lebanon and abroad, who have expressed hostility towards Israel; and

10. To notify Israel without delay of the execution of these measures.

The life of someone as important as Corporal Gilad Shalit, along with the other two low-ranking soldiers, cannot go unaccounted for, much like the great Archduke. In addition, the United States, like Germany in 1914, must be prepared to follow Israel’s lead lock, stock, and both barrels. If any line-item in the Ultimatum is rejected, then ruthless and unquestioned action must be taken. If Syria or Iran mobilizes, then the United States must issue a second ultimatum, a 12-hour cease-and-desist order.

Only by such decisive movements can peace be secured. The Ultimatum must be issued immediately, before July comes to a close.

Fortunately, erudite scholars like Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Mehlman have taken the reigns in wielding the power of Greater Israel, much like Phaethon took control of the sun. Surely John F. Kennedy would agree, if we only alter his profound quote slightly, that “all free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of the Holy Land, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Israeli!’”

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