WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta spoke sternly on Friday to America’s closest ally in the Middle East, telling Israel that it is partly responsible for its increasing isolation and that it now must take “bold action” — diplomatic, not military — to mend ties with its Arab neighbors and settle previously intractable territorial disputes with the Palestinians.
“I believe security is dependent on a strong military, but it is also dependent on strong diplomacy,” [not "diplomacy" in the sense of a "truce treaty" with Muslim Arabs who see it as a means to an end -- not peace, but a weakened Israel] Mr. Panetta said. “And unfortunately, over the past year, we have seen Israel’s isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow, and the pursuit of a comprehensive Middle East peace has effectively been put on hold.”
He balanced his criticism by noting that “Israel is not solely responsible for this isolation,” and described what he termed “an international campaign under way to isolate Israel.”[this is the Jihad of "pen, tongue" -- the Jihad of propaganda. Panetta should familiarize himself with Muslim writings on the various instruments of Jihad, and see things, even if he doesn't dare describe them publicly, rightly]
Mr. Panetta reaffirmed that the United States would sustain an “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” [an affirmation belied by both observable behavior of American policymakers over many years, and by other words in the very same speech he was delivering] uproved by “unprecedented levels of defense cooperation,” including more than $200 million in additional assistance for Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile-defense system. [compare that to the three triillion plus dollars spent on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, including the building up of half-million man armies and police forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan? Leon Panetta does not
But the defense secretary made clear that Israel now must prove its commitment to restoring partnerships across the region and resolving historic disputes with the Palestinians.[why? What does this mean? Why must Israel "prove" anything to the Muslim Arabs who regard Israel as a "cancer" or as a "dagger in the Arab heart" -- two metaphors that show perfectly how the Muslim Arabs regard Israel - you don't leave any of the cancer so that it might re-grow, you don't pull out a knife blade only part way]. .
“Ultimately, the dream of a secure, prosperous Jewish and democratic Israel can only be achieved through two states living side by side in peace and security,” Mr. Panetta said. [nonsense on stilts: there is no solution to the Jihad against Israel, save that of deterrence, the same thing that was used by the West during the Cold War against the Soviet Union, and may be used, quite soon, again, with other potential enemies=. “With full confidence that the United States is willing and capable of ensuring that Israel can safeguard its security as it takes the risks needed to pursue peace, now is the time for Israel to take bold action and to move towards a negotiated two-state solution.” [both parts of this are wrong: Israel would not be "pursuing peace" because peace is only maintained throiugh israel's strength, and any further concessions or surrenders, of Israeli rights -- legal, moral, and historic -- will weaken Israel, and thus make the only peace that matters even more hellishly difficult to enforce than it is now. Panetta's display of arrogance and ignorance of Islam maddens, but it is not any worse, I suppose, than the arrogance and ignorance of all those who persist in allowing themselves to get away with not studying Islam, not studying the history of the conflict, not studying the history of the Jews and Christians (and Hindus and Buddhists, and others) under Islam, and failing to do this, have no right to tell the people of Israel what they can or cannot do vis-a-vis Muslims who threaten them].
Asked specifically what Israel should do first, Mr. Panetta replied, “Get to the damn table” — that is, return to negotiations. ["negotiations" for a treaty of Hudaibiyya -- for only a "truce treaty" is possible -- will only weaken Israel. That is their point, that is the Arab strategy. It is not a secret; it has been discussed, openly by the Arabs, and the "Palestinian" Arabs especially, for more than 40 years. Has Leon Panetta looked into how the Arabs have treated all the other treaties they have made with Israel? Is he aware of what the Treaty of Hudaibiyya means to the Arabs and other Muslims as a model valid for all time? Has he studied -- at long last, after the three trillion dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the hundreds of billions spent in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, the "Palestinian" Authority -- Islam, or does he prefer to keep talking about what Israel should do, how it shoudl behave, toward its Muslim neighbors without bothering to study Islam? Has he read Majid Khadduri's text on the law of war and peace in Islam? Has he read, or had translated from French so that he might read, Antoine Fattal's book on the legal status of non-Muslims under Muslim rule? What has Leon Panetta done to prepare himself adequately for the responsibilities of his office? What have others in this Administration done, so that they might be well-prepared to speak on the subject of anything having to do with relations between non-Muslim peoples and polities and those of Islam? Anything? Nothing?]
Mr. Panetta also called on Israel to “reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability,” specifically Turkey, Egypt and Jordan. If those gestures are rejected in Ankara, Cairo and Amman, he said, “the world will see those rebukes for what they are.”
Mr. Panetta spoke to the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, a policy center here. During the evening address, he identified Iran as the most significant national security threat facing the United States, allies and partners in the region.
Notable was the phrasing of a warning to Iran: that any action to block free transit of regional oil shipments and other commerce would be a “redline,” a term describing an unacceptable action that would be countered with an American response.
“No greater threat exists to the security and prosperity of the Middle East than a nuclear-armed Iran,” Mr. Panetta said, noting that a “pillar of our approach to the region is our determination to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”
He pledged the United States was committed to deterring Iran’s “destabilizing activities, particularly those that could threaten the free flow of commerce throughout this vital region. That is a ‘redline’ for the United States.”
American policy to shape Iranian action would use both inducements and penalties, diplomacy and economic sanctions, he said. But the Pentagon would always have military options ready for the president’s consideration, Mr. Panetta said.
“That’s a responsibility I take very seriously, because when it comes to the threat posed by Iran, the president has made it very clear that we have not taken any options off the table,” Mr. Panetta said. [there's not much time left to keep repeating ad nauseam "we haven't taken any options off the table]
Looking broadly across the region, Mr. Panetta also described how the United States was seeking to sustain a military presence and enhance military-to-military cooperation in the Persian Gulf after the withdrawal from Iraq at the end of this month.