April 11, 2022

HMM: Ukraine Learns the Israel Lesson: Zelensky said his country will emerge from the rubble a ‘big Israel.’ What did he mean?

He meant that the war would never really be over, that Ukraine would be on a permanent war footing, just as the Jewish state is. He meant that it would view its neighbors the way Israel has long viewed its own: As enemies waiting to pounce. Most importantly, he meant that Ukraine would never again rely on anyone else for its security: not the West, not the international community, not the so-called liberal order. It would be, like Israel, a nation apart, answering to no one but its people, in control of its own destiny.

It said something heroic about Ukraine, which has gone from pleading with NATO to save it from imminent destruction to fighting—forcing—the Russians into peace talks in a matter of weeks.

It said something not so heroic about the West, which had failed to admit Ukraine to NATO and, more recently, to wean itself off Russian oil and gas.

But mostly it said something profound about Israel—a country whose behavior over the past seven weeks has confused and confounded. How did the Israelis—scrappy, abrasive—become the convener of presidents and nations? . . .

But the bigger reason is waning American hegemony. America’s post-Iraq war exhaustion with the Middle East led Israel to begin to see what Ukraine has just discovered: That it cannot rely on the assurances of an America that has turned inward—and away from the rest of the world. As the United States backed away from its “red line” in Syria and pursued a nuclear deal widely viewed in Israel as an existential threat, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu shifted Israel away from relying on the vaunted special relationship, forging new ones with China, India, and Russia, among others. Israel’s position in the Ukraine war has brought the Jewish state’s new geopolitical reality into stark relief.

Our ruling class only wants hegemony at home.

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