Saying that Israel faces daunting challenges today and that those challenges will multiply and grow in the near future should not be construed as a partisan or ideological statement. Rather, it is a statement of fact.
It is also a fact that the greatest dangers facing Israel stem from President Barack Obama's rapid withdrawal of the US from its position as the predominant power in the Middle East on the one hand, and from Iran's rise as a nuclear power and regional power on the other.
These power shifts along with the Muslim Brotherhood's rising power in Egypt; Turkey's Islamist government's regional ambitions; the rise of jihadist forces throughout the Persian Gulf; and the growing instability of the Syrian and Jordanian regimes, together constitute a threat environment unmatched in Israel's history.
Alongside these conventional threats, Israel is the target of a sustained, escalating political campaign to delegitimize its right to exist and its right to defend itself by the Palestinians and the international Left. This campaign threatens Israel's economy and prepares the ground for violent aggression against Israel by conditioning the West to believe that Israel deserves to be attacked.
Given the magnitude, multiplicity and complexity of the threats Israel faces, it would be reasonable to expect our leading politicians from all parties to place patriotism above partisanship and at least on the issues that are beyond dispute to work together to defend the country.
And it would seem reasonable to assume that the issues beyond dispute are Israel's right to exist and defend itself as well as its need to deter or defeat its enemies.
Throughout most of the state's 63 year history, opposition leaders have joined forces with the government to defend the country in times of trouble. Most recently, while serving as head of the opposition during Ehud Olmert's tenure as prime minister, in 2006 Binyamin Netanyahu traveled to Europe at Olmert's request and defended Israel's war against Hezbollah.
During the course of hostilities, Netanyahu never criticized Olmert's poor war leadership in public. He did not publicly criticize then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni's scandalously incompetent handling of the cease-fire negotiations at the UN Security Council. Instead, Netanyahu communicated his criticism to Olmert behind closed doors. As he saw it, public criticism would diminish Olmert's ability to win the war.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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