Israel is the home of Judaism and Christianity and as such it is vital that Catholic strategic support upholds the freedom of our mutual ancestral home; and this article from Caroline B. Glick in the Jerusalem Post notes an important strategic decision Israel needs to make now.
Over the past two decades Israel has managed to destroy its regional reputation.
With our own hands, we have twice shown our neighbors they have little reason to tie their fates to ours. We are unreliable.
In 1994, Israel betrayed the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza who had helped us fight against PLO terrorists for decades. Open season on our Palestinian allies officially began in July 1994 with the entrance of thousands of PLO terrorists – led by Yasser Arafat – into Gaza and Jericho. Arafat’s henchmen did not limit their murderous wrath to the Palestinians who saved countless Israeli lives by working with the Shin Bet and the IDF. They killed Palestinians who sold their lands to Jewish buyers. Palestinians who simply enjoyed normal work relations with Israelis found themselves targeted as suspected “collaborators.”
Six years after Israel betrayed its Palestinian allies, we abandoned our allies in south Lebanon.
After 18 years of fighting shoulder to shoulder with the IDF, Israel left the soldiers and commanders of the South Lebanese Army and their families to face Hezbollah alone.
In its helter-skelter withdrawal from the security zone in south Lebanon on May 31, 2000, Israel left most of the SLA soldiers and their families behind. Those who managed to cross the border to Israel were treated shamefully by the Israeli bureaucracy.
We caught a glimpse of the suffering we caused those who remained behind during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. As IDF soldiers returned to Lebanon they were beset by the families of SLA soldiers who seized on their return to make a run for the border. Men, women and children sprinted across fields to the newly returned IDF units with whatever they could carry.
When we returned to Lebanon that summer, no Lebanese militia offered to fight at our side.
And indeed, after we betrayed our allies, it was hard to imagine a situation where anyone would again agree to fight alongside us. And yet, thanks to the demise of the Syrian and Iraqi states, Israel has a chance to undo the damage. We can rebuild our credibility with our neighbors by helping the Druse in Syria.
Twice in the past 90 years, the Syrian Druse had the potential for independent action. In 1921, when the French established their mandatory rule in present-day Syria and Lebanon, they divided the territory into six “independent,” or autonomously ruled, “states.”
The Druse received a state of their own centered in Jebl Druse – the Druse Mountain. The area under their control stretched across the Syrian side of the tri-border area with Israel and Jordan. The Druse state existed until 1936, when the French reorganized the mandate and set up a central government in Damascus.
The possibility of establishing a Druse state arose again, fleetingly, in 1967. During the Six Day War, then-labor minister Yigal Allon put together a plan to establish a Druse state, again centered on Druse Mountain. He tried but failed to convince then-defense minister Moshe Dayan to send the IDF units that had just taken over the Golan Heights south to Druse Mountain rather than eastward toward Damascus.
In 2007 the transcripts of a series of taped memoirs Allon recorded a year before his death in 1980 were made public. Of his plans regarding the Druse, Allon explained, “I had visited Sweida [the capital of Druse Mountain] several times and I dreamed a dream of a Druse Republic that would stretch across southern Syria…that would be in military alliance with Israel. I had great expectations from the Druse in Israel, that were already serving in the IDF. I believed they could serve as a bridge between us and the other Druse.”
Today Allon has a strategic heir in the government of Israel – and he is a Druse.
Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara is probably the most powerful Druse in the world today. The Druse of Syria and Lebanon take him seriously. We should too.
Retrieved June 19, 2015 from http://www.jpost.com/landedpages/printarticle.aspx?id=406531