Barack Obama, Israel’s True Friend

HAIFA – How do you tell a true friend? By the fact that he believes and has confidence in you, cares about your true needs, and honestly tells you your mistakes, which he tries to help you correct. That is the kind of friend I want at my side, not one who automatically approves of whatever I do, declares his love for me, and accepts me as I am.

Ever since its great military victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, when it repelled the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, which had openly proclaimed their desire to destroy the Jewish state, Israel has been in the throes of an ideological and military confusion resulting from the conquests it made during that conflict.

Following the Six-Day War, Israel did not consider the conquered lands as something to be traded for peace, and thus induce the Arab world and the Palestinians to recognize its legitimacy and ensure the demilitarization of Palestinian territories after their restitution. Instead, Israel – either because of its distrust of its enemies and of their commitment to respect any future peace agreement, or because of a desire to annex some of the territories – began to pursue a policy of settlements. But, in doing so, it created a reality that is difficult to reverse.

Israel’s non-military settlements are, and have always been, irrelevant to the country’s security. On the contrary, because the settlements are located in the heart of the Palestinian population, they are convenient targets for terrorist attacks and require special defensive measures, including the deployment of large military forces engaged in patrolling and surveillance. Even on the Golan Heights, where there is no Syrian presence, the settlements, located only a few kilometers from enormous Syrian troop concentrations, create a heavy burden, because, in the event of war, the Israeli army would be forced to evacuate them quickly, as was the case during the Yom Kippur war of October 1973.