Originally published 07/26/2013
Moshe Dann, a former assistant professor of history, is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem. Zionism is not just supporting the State of Israel, it is the recognition of the historical connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. This connection is critical for understanding the state as the basis upon which a third Jewish commonwealth/ civilization is being created.The most important factor in the creation of the state is the Shoah. It has shaped the consciousness of every Jew, in one way or another, and it is an open wound. The rise of Jew-hatred and its proxy, opposition to Israel, is a constant reminder that Jews are still vulnerable.In response to the Shoah, Jews took three major directions.First, there was an attempt – primarily by Hassidim and haredim (ultra- Orthodox) – to recreate the Jewish world that was lost.Second was the creation of a sovereign state that would be able to rescue Jews and have the ability to defend itself.The third response was to assimilate, in varying degrees; building secular or “traditional” Jewish lifestyles and culture, or, in extreme cases, abandoning any connection to Judaism and the Jewish people....
Originally published 02/21/2013
The presence of a reported 50,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria to support President Bashar Assad is an indication of what Iran and Hezbollah have in mind – the preservation of Syria as a strategic asset in the regional power struggle. Losing Syria would leave Hezbollah isolated in Lebanon; a Syrian-Lebanese alliance, on the other hand, would allow Hezbollah to fortify Iranian interests in both countries.A future Syrian government would then comprise a Sunni-Hezbollah alliance, similar to the political structure in Lebanon, without Assad and the Alawites, who would become a minority protected by Hezbollah. Following the Lebanese model, Hezbollah in Syria would be a state-within-a-state, with its own army and political structure, allied with a weak, fragmented Islamist Sunni-dominated state. For Hezbollah this is the perfect solution; it allows them to function covertly without the inconveniences of diplomatic restrictions.Hezbollah can and will attack Israel, as it did in the Second Lebanese War (2006), protected by its parent state and entrenched within Syria, with vastly expanded capabilities....