When your product's a dud and your name is mud, who ya gonna call? Why, Gidi Grinstein, founder and president of Israeli strategic think tank, the Reut Institute, of course:
Shalom. My name's Gidi Grinstein, but you can call me GG. "A year on from Operation Cast Lead, one thing is increasingly clear: together with the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the two military operations exposed a dire need to reform Israel's security and foreign policy doctrine. The borders of Gaza and Lebanon may be quiet, but a fierce global battle for our basic legitimacy is raging."*
No, it's not our fault, nothing ever was, is or will be. In 2006 we "were dragged through 33 days of an exchange that left a relatively high number of casualties, 133, as well as trauma to Israeli society that will take years to heal." Yes, dragged - kicking and screaming all the way!
And in 2009, although "our military power was unmatched, yet it was offset by the offensive on Israel's legitimacy that led to a significant setback in our standing among the family of nations..." That's right, all our good work in Gaza - undone by a low, sneaky, snivelling offensive on our legitimacy! Why a great nation such as ours can't just conduct a simple backyard burn without all those bleeding hearts out there wringing their hands over every last rodent and cockroach in the pile is beyond me, but that's the way it is these days, and that's why I, GG, am here to advise you.
Now, "in its first 20 years of existence, between 1947 and 1967, Israel had remarkable military successes. Notwithstanding the bravery of our soldiers... these achievements were the outcome of a victory in the intellectual battle of ideas and concepts. David Ben Gurion's 1947 Seminar, when he prepared himself to be the leader of a nascent state in an existential military confrontation, generated a set of principles for Israeli national security that proved so effective that many of them remain relevant today." Actually (and here GG's voice descended to a whisper) just between you, me and the wall, it wasn't so much the old man's 'seminar' wot worked a treat as his Plans C & D, which we've been implementing ever since, depending on the circumstances. You know, knocking off their leaders; knobbling their finances; cutting down any who resist; strangling their economy; destroying their towns and villages; expelling their inhabitants. Anyway, the point I wish to make is that "Israel's wars are won, or lost, on the drawing boards of strategists and planners before a single shot is fired."
OK, 1947 was then and 2010 is now, and so I want to move on from the subject of our routine, ho-hum, slo-mo wiping of Palestine off the map to that other front I mentioned - "the fierce global battle for our basic legitimacy."
You see, "frustrated by our military might, our adversaries - and primarily Iran and its allies in Hezbollah and Hamas - experimented with politics and violence to cap our power and diminish it. Over time, they were able to crystallise a set of ideas that have proven to be very effective. Instead of seeking to conquer us, they seek to bring about our implosion, like South Africa or the Soviet Union."
That's right, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, that Axis of Clarified Evil (ACE), have been working overtime deep in the bowels of their devilish, daisy-cutter proof bunkers, crystalising ideas. The wily, wicked wascals! Their Satanic Majesties are currently honing and deploying such ideological WMDs as "civilian casualties" and "resistance" to devastating effect. Such concepts, in fact, are slowly but surely, in an increasingly gullible world, blowing our 'Terrorists, the lot of 'em', even the ones in nappies!' mantra out of the proverbial water.
But it gets worse. The Horned Ones have taken "the battle to other arenas, primarily to the international community, working to de-legitimise us and turn us into a pariah state." How so? "Our politicians are sued, campaigns to boycott our products gain traction and our very existence is challenged in academic institutions and intellectual circles."
It's time to call a spade a spade. What we are facing here is an existential threat, nothing less. And I, GG, like our great leader BG, am here to reveal how it can be headed off at the pass: "The most effective barrier to fundamental de-legitimacy is personal relationships. In every major country, Israel and its supporters must sustain thousands of personal connections with the entire elite in business, politics, arts and culture, science and academia. This requires not only an overhaul of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and much larger embassies with significant operating budgets, but also mobilising Israeli civil elite in Israel and overseas to the task."
We must draw up 'Movers & Shakers' lists in every country that matters. And every door of every mover and shaker in town shall be knocked on, Mormon-style, though with a soft cop/hard cop routine in case of resistance - yikes, that word again! - maybe even Mossad back up if necessary. Yes, these moving and shaking dupes of the ACE should be made to understand that from hereon in they're going to be having a deep and personal relationship with us Israelis, something warm, regular and intimate - sort of like a bowel movement.
To accomplish this, every Israeli embassy shall forthwith be expanded to the size of Baghdad's Green Zone, if not larger.
But there's another dimension: "Israel's de-legitimacy is propagated in a few global metropolises such as London, Madrid or San Francisco that are hubs of international non-governmental organisations, media outlets, academia and multinational corporations. Therefore, an extraordinary effort must be made in these areas to isolate Israel's de-legitimisers and the double standards that allow them to operate." To that end, such 'hubs' will be given the old tried and tested 'wall & checkpoint' treatment. Just as we've managed to prevent suicide bombers from Judea and Samaria getting through to the heartland, we'll do the same to these de-legitimising ideological suicide bombers, and, while we're at it - why not? - destroy their damn de-legitimising ideological-terrorist infrastructure as well.
We're mean, we're keen, and we're not gonna take it any more! Reut, guys?
[*Harsh lessons from Gaza, The Australian Jewish News, 8/1/10. Additional fly-on-the-wall reporting by MERC]