The modern nation of Israel was established after World War II, in 1948, within U.N.-set borders, as a refuge for the Jewish people who had survived Adolf Hitler’s extermination of 6 million Jews.
But Israelis have had to fight defensively and repeatedly to survive since then.
There were wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973. After some defeats and narrow victories, Israel fortunately was able to win them all. Obviously, it cannot afford to lose once!
Miraculously surviving, and defensively holding some territory lost by its attackers, Israel now is 263 miles long from north to south, 71 miles wide at its broadest east-to-west point — and only nine miles wide at its narrowest point!
But now President Barack Obama is meddling: He has endorsed the hostile Palestinian position that Israel should withdraw from some Israeli-held territory, to Israel’s borders in 1967.
Israel understandably objects. It is surrounded by hostile neighbors, and ceding part of its territory would only make it more vulnerable to military or terrorist attack.
Surely Obama has more appropriate, more pressing and more potentially productive duties as president of the United States than to urge Israel to surrender its vital defensive positions to people who do not even recognize its right to exist.
Israel obviously has no higher priority than to survive among its threatening enemies.
It is unfortunate that there is little prospect for real peace in the Middle East — peace that would benefit not only Israel, but also Israel’s would-be exterminators. But undue pressure from the United States on Israel is not going to bring peace to that region.