The Corner

Target Israel

If one had, for two and a half years, made it clear to the world that the Middle East’s problems were attributable not to the rising Hamas-Syria-Iran nexus, not to the corruption and intransigence of the Palestinian Authority, and not to the general misery that accrues from tribalism, fundamentalism, gender apartheid, lack of constitutional government, and statist economic practices, but to democratic Israel’s building apartments in Jerusalem and general unwillingness to trust its assorted neighbors — then one might have anticipated the current aggression against Israel. The more the Obama administration talked up the Israel “problem” in the midst of Middle East unrest that had nothing to do with Israel, and promised to lean on it, the more it became a self-fulfilling prophecy that an Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, or Hamas would try to deflect popular dissatisfaction with their own ruthless autocracy onto the constitutional state of Israel. If we are not careful, we will soon return to pre-1973 Middle East landscape with hostile states on all sides of Israel, the only difference being that instead of secular authoritarian dictatorships the front-liners will be Hamas-like Islamic totalitarians. Still waiting for one brave soul in the administration to suggest that the problem in the Arab Islamic world is not in the stars over Tel Aviv but in themselves.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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