Israel: The Will to Prevailby Danny Danon
Danny Danon has been a vocal opponent of disengaging in the Gaza Strip and West bank, and transforming the stalemate “two state/one state” dialogue to include regional partners, at times standing in direct opposition to his own party’s leadership. A well-known and frequent speaker in the global arena, he is the rising voice for a fresh… See more details below
Danny Danon has been a vocal opponent of disengaging in the Gaza Strip and West bank, and transforming the stalemate “two state/one state” dialogue to include regional partners, at times standing in direct opposition to his own party’s leadership. A well-known and frequent speaker in the global arena, he is the rising voice for a fresh movement toward nationalism among the generation of Israelis currently coming to power. Here, Danon shares this vision with the world. It is a bold and uncompromising stance in the face of attacks on Israel's sovereignty by other Middle Eastern nations as the United States sends mixed signals of support to further its own goals in the region. Danon dissects the missteps and wrong turns that Israel's politicians have taken in the past by working to appease the United States and not offend their neighbors, instead of prioritizing their nation's own viability. With electrifying zeal, he tackles the challenges Israel faces today to undo what he sees as a consequence brought on by years of acquiescence to US policy. Danon believes “US pressure on Israel is hurting Israel and will do nothing to advance peace,” and he is not afraid to sever the close bond between the United States and Israel if it means peace for his homeland.
Danon leads the charge toward a victorious future with an invitation for the United States and the Middle East to participate in, and not just dictate, Israel's international relations and policies (as opposed to an Israel cuckolded with an endless array of caveats toward those who would see it fall). No stranger to controversy, Danon's unabashed insights are a welcome revelation in the current quagmire of Middle-East international relations. A leading speaker to both Jewish groups and Christian Conservatives, the Los Angeles Times says “What Danny says is what Bibi is actually thinking.” For Danny Danon, this is only the beginning.
“Danny Danon is one of Israel's emerging leaders and a force for keeping Israel free and strong. He unabashedly rejects the notion of making concessions and capitulations to terrorists, whether individuals or rogue nations. His skills as a political figure are exceptional and matched by his keen intellect and commitment to a strong and stable Israel. You will love the strength, thought, and clarity of his book.” Mike Huckabee, host of Fox News's HUCKABEE and New York Times bestselling author of A Simple Government, among others
“Danny Danon has written an important and tough book about Israel's situation in the world today. Though I fundamentally disagree with many of his proposals, especially with regard to the West Bank and the two state solution, his is a voice of an emerging young leader whose views must be considered. It is written with passion and deep love for his country and is part of an important debate whose resolution will affect the entire Middle East, if not the world. Read it, argue with it, disagree with it--but don't ignore it.” Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor and author
“Deputy Speaker Danny Danon, a leading thinker and voice in Israeli politics, has written a book that offers a new way forward for the U.S. and Israel. By passionately calling for a partnership rooted in respect and strength, instead of patronizing calls for more concessions, Danon makes us look at the future of this special relationship in a whole new way.” Glenn Beck, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of GBTV
“A well-crafted and persuasive case, based on both historical experience and reason, that we should abandon land-for-peace for a whole new approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians have made their jihadist bed. Now, Danon essentially says, let them lie in it.” R. James Woolsey, chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; former director of Central Intelligence
“Of all the incendiary books that have been written about Israel over the last year or so, none is quite as fiery as Israel: The Will to Prevail.” Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal
“[One] Likud politician makes no effort to hide where his political allegiance lies in the US election: The man who has been called 'the Republican representative in the Knesset,' MK Danny Danon...Called Israel: The Will to Prevail, [Danon's] book has a message about the need for Jerusalem to make its own decisions that is very timely, thanks to the international debate over the handling of the effort to prevent Iran's nuclearization.” Gil Hoffman, The Jerusalem Post
“It is that will to break the silence that is clearly reflected in Danon's newly released, refreshingly honest, groundbreaking book, Israel: The Will to Prevail...I find it impressive that this young 40-year politician has written a book which has the potential to make waves, and allow people to understand what nationalist Israeli politics looks like. Danon is an ideologue, a man who has spent his entire life fighting for the Jewish people-and this comes across clearly in his writing...The book reflects past, present, and future...Danon is a rising star of his party and I believe that his book is necessary reading for those who are interested in the Middle East and the State of Israel.” Ronn Torossian, The Algemeiner
“It is that will to break the silence that is clearly reflected in Danon’s newly released, refreshingly honest, groundbreaking book, Israel: The Will to Prevail…I find it impressive that this young 40-year politician has written a book which has the potential to make waves, and allow people to understand what nationalist Israeli politics looks like. Danon is an ideologue, a man who has spent his entire life fighting for the Jewish peopleand this comes across clearly in his writing…The book reflects past, present, and future…Danon is a rising star of his party and I believe that his book is necessary reading for those who are interested in the Middle East and the State of Israel.” Ronn Torossian, The Algemeiner
“Though Danon is in his first term in the Knesset, his profile is rising quickly on the Israeli political scene-perhaps more than anything else because of his unapologetically nationalist vision for Israel's future...Danon outlines his blueprint for Israel's future in...Israel: The Will to Prevail.” Uriel Heilman, Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Deputy Speaker Danny Danon, a leading thinker and voice in Israeli politics, has written a book that offers a new way forward for the U.S. and Israel. By passionately calling for a partnership rooted in respect and strength, instead of patronizing calls for more concessions, Danon makes us look at the future of this special relationship in a whole new way.
A well-crafted and persuasive case, based on both historical experience and reason, that we should abandon land-for-peace for a whole new approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians have made their jihadist bed. Now, Danon essentially says, let them lie in it.
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The Will to Prevail
By Danny Danon
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2012 Danny Danon
All rights reserved.
DANGER AND OPPORTUNITY
THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE
DECADES BEFORE THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERRED SOVEREIGN statehood on Israel in 1948, Jews in Israel and elsewhere had faced war, terror, and potential extinction. Today, a confluence of events has created a unique and perilous moment for Israel, and again she confronts possible vital threats from three interconnected sources: (1) instability in the region, including a nuclear Iran; (2) the U.S. administration's appeasement strategy in relation to Palestinian demands; and (3) an ideological war against Israel that has gained traction within the mainstream in recent years. In this first section, I examine these threats and outline how each, both inadvertently and by design, works together to undermine not only the security but also the very existence of Israel. There is no other country in the world that has the legitimacy of its very existence questioned.
Israel's demise would be catastrophic for America and indeed for the world. It would mean losing a modern democracy in a region not known for social liberalism; and one that contributes so much to the world in terms of technology, science, art, and commerce. Let's not fool ourselves: The diminution of Israel would solve no problems in the Middle East, but would only embolden terrorists worldwide and increase the danger to other nations.
Israel's experience with Gaza demonstrates the folly of those who say that the only pathway to peace involves handing over our land to the Palestinians. When Gaza was given to the Palestinian Authority, Hamas was quickly voted in, in 2006. Since then no new elections have been held. Citizens who objected were shot in the street as a "message" to accept the regime or else. Gaza has also seen a dramatic and continued influx of smuggled weaponry from Egypt since Israel withdrew Jewish residents and soldiers in 2005. More than 12,000 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel's Gaza belt communities from the enclave, and Israel currently sees increased rocket fire from Gaza every day. There are more tunnels running from Gaza to Israel, and the range of the rockets is much broader now than in previous years.
Despite this regular terror, the people in Gaza enjoyed great economic times in 2010 and 2011. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) put the rate of economic growth in Hamas-run Gaza at 31 percent for the second quarter of 2011, compared to same period in 2010, while unemployment fell to its lowest level for nearly a decade, to 25 percent. This sharp growth comes directly from the Israeli government's decision in June 2010 to maintain security status quo concerning Gaza while also loosening economic policies that allow for increased exports coming from terror-run Gaza. I believe this is appeasement at the expense of our own citizens' security and safety. Terrorists may have achieved a level of confidence through economic security that enables them to ramp up their activities. This is the exact opposite of what was assumed would happen — fewer rockets.
Does Palestine have a right to exist as a separate entity? "Palestinians must abandon violence. ... At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's," said President Obama in his June 4, 2009, Cairo speech. However, being a member of a group does not ipso facto mean that you should have a state. For instance, the Kurds live in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. Stateless people in Europe (Romas), Estonia/Latvia (ethnic Russians), Thailand (Yao, Hmong, and Karen), and other places around the world often face tensions, but these issues will not be settled by granting statehood within the lands where they reside. In fact, it is rarely, if ever, suggested in these cases.
Furthermore, and this is basic, Israel cannot even begin to negotiate with a terror organization — it would be similar to the United States engaging with Al Qaeda. Nor can we engage with someone who does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. How can you negotiate with someone who does not accept the 1948 borders of Israel, let alone the 1967 lines? We have to say very clearly that the first and most important pre-condition for any negotiation is accepting that Israel has a right to exist. If someone does not recognize you, they are actually getting ready for the next step, which, in this case, is military or terror attacks. The Obama administration can and has paid lip service to the notion that Palestinians and others in the region have to recognize the right of Israel's existence, but until the Palestinians actually do so — and to date that has not happened — why would any negotiation with Israel be seen as valid in their eyes?
The amount of Palestinian and other Arab hatred toward Israel — and, by the way, toward the United States — is due not to actions either Israel or the United States has taken. Instead, it is because generations of Palestinians, Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, and others across the Middle East have been brought up to hate the entire Western world. Many educational systems in this region are dedicated to this proposition. "First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People" is an Arab saying that can be found spray-painted on walls in many Muslim neighborhoods. The "Saturday People" are, of course, Jews. Sunday people are Christians, who now find themselves victims of open persecution in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings.
I like to tell the story of three people who get lost in a forest. They come upon a hungry lion. Two of the friends decide to throw the third to the lion in order to satiate the beast. The next day, however, the lion is hungry again and is roaring threats. One of the remaining friends pushes the other to the lion, and the beast is satiated for a while. The following day, since there is no one left to protect the remaining friend, the lion eats him, along with a few deer and a couple of rabbits. It would have been smarter for the three to fight together to eliminate the threat at the outset: You can never satisfy or appease the appetite of a lion — it will always want more.
If you need proof that appeasement doesn't work, look at the 2005 terror attacks in London, or the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai. Neither had anything to do with Israel. They represent a pattern of attacks motivated by an insatiable desire to impose Islamic extremism around the world, and a total lack of tolerance for any other point of view. Islamic terrorists have carried out more than 18,000 attacks globally since 9/11. More than 2,000 "successful" operations took place in 2011 (170 in October 2011 alone, in 16 countries, resulting in hundreds of victims representing five different religions, among them Islam itself). I'm not just speaking of those widely reported in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also less-publicized events in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Egypt, and Algeria. The list goes on and on and on. As of this writing, 43 attacks have been thwarted in the United States since 9/11, including 14 in New York City alone.
I thought of these strikes as I traveled to South Sudan in August 2011, becoming the first Israeli elected official to show support for the new nation. The trip was meant to forge positive cultural and economic ties between Israel and the embryonic country's leadership. All students of international relations know that Africa in general, and Sudan in particular, is fraught with tension, famine, and, all too often, bloody warfare. While many factors drive these desperate conditions, the primary obstacle to peace and economic development in Sudan has been the presence of dictatorial Islamic forces committed to suppressing minorities and stifling contacts with the West. Sudan has been the scene of repeated mass killings, launched by this regime, rendering the south a place where lawlessness, rape, murder, and narcotics and weapons trafficking became the norm.
The establishment of this nascent nation, South Sudan, was born out of a sincere desire by the resident Christians to create a stable country modeled upon democratic values and an economy based on honesty and free trade. While the citizenry remains challenged by poverty, the decision by the people of South Sudan to join the community of democratic nations is a source of tremendous hope for a brighter future.
While much of the Western world responded with relative indifference to the creation of "yet another state" in Africa, I strongly feel that the creation of this new nation deserves the attention and admiration of the entire international community. President Salva Kiir Mayardit has had to fight Muslim extremists on the country's northern borders because they vehemently oppose coexisting with a Christian nation. This is further evidence for me that it is not Jews living in the Middle East that are "the problem." Islamic extremism and terrorism is an international problem: We are all a target for its violence.
Despite the fact that Israelis live in a tough neighborhood, and despite our enormous outlays for defense, we have managed to build a strong and vibrant economy without oil reserves; this is cause for consternation among Arab nations. They look at us, our modern and liberal society, and they don't like what they see. Moreover, what they see represents all of Western civilization. Israel just happens to be a handy target and a convenient scapegoat located on the front lines of Western society. It is a peril for all of us if we allow this grave situation to continue.
JIHAD AND THE GLOBAL THREAT
Israel has always been at the center of a storm. Case in point, I don't think enough people truly understand the difference in size of the Jewish State in terms of the totality of the surrounding Arab states. The total area of the State of Israel is 7,951.6 square miles and is bound by Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt alone covers 386,659 square miles. Israel has a population of about 7.5 million people, and the Arab nations who surround her contain 369 million people. Once you have that in perspective, you may be able to understand that any "boiling over" from the Arab Spring, Islamic Jihad terrorists, and a nuclear Iran will have a direct and dangerous impact on Israel. Let me be clear up front: None of these threats will be eliminated or even mitigated by a two-state solution for Palestinians. This point will be thoroughly discussed in the last section of this book, but suffice to say that the commonly proposed "road map for peace" is unlikely to yield positive results for Israel and the democratic brotherhood of nations, and may, in fact, exacerbate an already dire situation.
I can say with certainty that as far as Islamic terrorists, Iran, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and the vast majority of Palestinians, including young but thoroughly indoctrinated schoolchildren, are concerned, there is only a one-state, one-ideology solution. Take a look at any map drawn by a Palestinian child, and also those found in textbooks, and you don't see Israel, only Palestine — in other words, Israel has been wiped from the map. Add unclear futures in Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, and the resultant synergy is cause for deep concern. To this combustible mix we must also figure in the threat Jihadi extremists pose to Israelis, Christians, and moderate Muslims alike.
A nuclear Iran greatly ups the ante, and poses an international dilemma all democracies have to face, Israel in particular. Many in the West have their heads in the sand about what nuclear power in the hands of a despotic regime means. One needn't look far back into history to see the horrific results of dictators who promoted hatred and incitement while trying to achieve military capabilities for mass destruction. Israel will not allow a second Holocaust to occur, and if required, I guarantee it will act unilaterally to remove an imminent threat. Indeed, Israel could lead the way in terms of providing strategic diplomatic and military solutions to counteract radical Islamic influence and aggression in our time. To think that Iran is only a problem for the United States and Israel is, again, ignoring a bigger problem — the November 2011 attack on the British Embassy in Tehran should convince you of this fact. Innocent students did not storm the embassy as was suggested by some early reports; terrorists did.
To truly understand the threat that Israel and the West face, one must recognize the enemy. The enemy of Western democracy and freedom in the world today is undoubtedly Islamic fundamentalism, and the tool is Jihad. Jihad, meaning "to strive" or "to struggle" in Arabic, is a duty for Muslims. Jihad means fighting a war in the name of Islam, and the primary aim is the expansion and defense of the Islamic state. "Jihad" is derived from the root word "Jahada" (struggle). Jihad has come to mean an offensive war to be waged by Muslims against all non-Muslims to convert them to Islam. The Quran enjoins Jihad on all Muslims. Middle East historian Bernard Lewis points out that some modern Muslim sources try to portray Jihad in a spiritual and moral sense when addressing non-Muslims; however, historically it has only meant one thing.
In Muslim tradition, the world is divided into two houses: the House of Islamic Peace (Dar-al-Salam), in which Muslim governments rule and Muslim law prevails, and the House of War (Dar-alHarb), the rest of the world, still inhabited and, more importantly, ruled by infidels. The assumption is that natural law pits these two domains against each other, and the duty of Jihad is to continue the fighting until the world either adopts the Muslim faith or submits to Muslim rule. According to Lewis, "those who fight in the jihad qualify for rewards in both worlds — booty in this one, paradise in the next."
The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism says that "offensive jihad" is an even more extreme interpretation of Jihad by former Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb. It is a radical belief that can "be employed for an offensive assault in order to reform societies by spreading Islam, and to liberate all men, both Muslim and non-Muslim." The call for Jihad is defined as the following by Sheikh Abdullah Azzam (Shaheed), an influential Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar and theologian, who was also a teacher and mentor of Osama bin Laden: "Where the Kuffar [infidels] are not gathering to fight the Muslims, the fighting becomes Fard Kifaya [religious obligation on Muslim society]," with the minimum requirement of appointing believers to guard borders, and the sending of an army at least once a year to terrorize the enemies of Allah. It is a duty of the Imam to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the Muslim population to assist him, and if he does not send an army he is in sin. And the Ulama, Muslim legal scholars, have mentioned that this type of Jihad is for maintaining the payment of jizya, a tax levied on an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens. The scholars of the principles of religion have also said: "Jihad is Daw'ah with a force, and is obligatory to perform with all available capabilities, until there remains only Muslims or people who submit to Islam."
The concept of Jihad is as old as Islam itself. According to American historian and writer Daniel Pipes, the Muslim prophet Mohammed engaged in an average of nine military campaigns a year, or one every five to six weeks; thus did Jihad help define Islam from its very dawn. Conquering and humiliating non-Muslims was a main feature of the prophet's Jihad, and his successors continued conquering and subjugating non-Muslims. This empire spread across the Middle East, East and North Africa, and parts of southern Europe, including Spain. According to Islamic belief, these areas, once wrested from non-Muslims, could never become infidel territory again.
As I mentioned earlier, the greatest proponent of modern-day offensive Jihad was Sayyid Qutb, the leading intellectual of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s. Qutb held extreme views about Jews and the West. In his book In the Shade of the Qur'an Qutb writes, "The Muslim world has often faced problems as a result of Jewish conspiracies ever since the early days of Islam." Dale C. Eikmeier, a strategic planner at the U.S. Army War College, offers a broader definition of Qutbism, the theory espoused by Qutb: "a fusion of puritanical and intolerant Islamic orientations" that includes not only Qutb's ideas but also those of Abul Ala Maududi, Hassan al Banna, and even Shia elements, "to justify armed jihad in the advance of Islam, and other violent methods utilized by twentieth century militants. ... Qutbism advocates violence and justifies terrorism against non-Muslims and apostates in an effort to bring about the reign of God. Others, i.e., Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Abdullah Azzam, and Osama bin Laden built terrorist organizations based on the principles of Qutbism and turned the ideology of Islamic-Fascism into a global action plan."
Excerpted from Israel by Danny Danon. Copyright © 2012 Danny Danon. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Danny Danon is deputy speaker of the Knesset, chairman of World Likud and chair of the Knesset Committee for Aliya (immigration), Absorption and Diaspora Affairs along with being active in numerous other committees, including the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and chairing the Lobby for Widows and Orphans of the IDF. A rising star in in Israel politics both in his homeland and abroad, He has contributed to publications including New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and appeared on networks such as CNN and Fox News to discuss the status of Israel.
He lives in Moshav Mishmeret, Israel.
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