Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Israel: The Will to Prevail Hardcover – September 4, 2012 by Danny Danon ( St Martin's Press / Palgrave Macmillan )

The deputy speaker of the Knesset, believing the Obama administration is softening American support of Israel, argues that his country should “take firm hold of its own destiny, with a ready willingness to act decisively on its own behalf.”

In this debut, Danon establishes his thesis early: Israel must think of itself first. He chides the United States for, well, thinking of itself first. The author begins his argument with a look at the current situation in the Middle East, emphasizing terrorist acts throughout the region and around the world. He worries deeply about a nuclear Iran, and he’s skeptical about the so-called “Arab Spring” and warns that revolutions can frequently produce unexpected and calamitous consequences. He takes readers through a number of Middle Eastern trouble spots (Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran and others), emphasizing their tinderbox character. He follows with what he considers President Obama’s early missteps in the region—accepting the Nobel Peace Prize before he’d really accomplished anything, his Arab-friendly 2009 Cairo speech, his evident sympathy for the Palestinian desire for a separate state and his misunderstanding of the situation in Jerusalem. Danon also goes after Secretary of State Clinton for her criticism of some women’s issues in Israel, Leon Panetta, and the U.S. media and institutions of higher education. Danon then offers some brief history lessons: the establishment of the state of Israel, the 1956 Suez crisis, the Six-Day War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israeli strike on Iraq’s nuclear reactor. He ends with a defense of Israel’s right to exist, citing biblical texts and international law, and he claims that there should be no Palestinian state (they’ve already got Jordan, he writes), and that a peaceful, thriving Israel will benefit the world as a whole.

A concise but deeply tendentious summary of the issues in the region.

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