When it comes to obtaining quality intelligence from Israel, Iran, the Arab countries, the Palestinians and even Western countries do not have to work hard or risk much. The Israeli defense establishment provides free operative, tactical and sometimes strategic intelligence.
The defense establishment believes, for example, that "despite the heavy price" that Israel will pay in terms of uprooting settlements in the Golan and in bringing the Syrians back to the Kinneret (Haaretz, November 23), an agreement with Syria must be advanced. In addition to service to Bashar Asad's intelligence service, the defense establishment also provides political intelligence to other bodies, such as the new administration in the United States, about what Israel is willing to give up, and thus lets slip out of her hands a comfortable bargaining position toward generous compensation in terms of security in exchange for this strategic concession.
Besides the recklessness and foolishness of giving up state secrets, the security establishment must be asked: What does this issue have to do with you? Your job is to provide the government with intelligence evaluations about the enemy, not to provide the enemy with intelligence about us. Operative conclusions, certainly those involving clearly ideological issues such as leaving the Golan Heights, destroying settlements and exiling their inhabitants, are off-limits to the defense establishment, certainly in public.
The political arena is where the future of the Golan Heights will be decided. The moment the "defense establishment" recommends giving up the Golan, it climbs fully onto the bandwagon of the left. The defense establishment cannot claim that its recommendation is "professional;" it seems that there is no danger expected from Syria in the foreseeable future. But even if that is not the case and war is a concern, the job of the army is to fight and protect the settlements, not recommend withdrawal and the uprooting of settlements so it might flee from these obligations.
With its recommendation, the defense establishment also exposes Israel's fears of standing "almost alone" in the face of an "existential threat from Iran." Even if these fears are justified, why give this intelligence to the Iranians? And why reveal to them that Israel has failed in garnering the support of allies in the battle against them.
True, even without us, the Iranians sense hesitation on the part of the United States and Europe, but we have also read and heard Iranians argue that this hesitation is intentional ambiguity. Then the Israeli intelligence comes and removes any doubts for the Iranians: It is neither a ruse nor a trap. Israel is "almost alone." Bravo.
At the beginning of October, the defense establishment volunteered intelligence to Hamas about Gilad Shalit. "No military option has been created for his release... and the price of the deal is 1,400," referring to prisoners, among them 450 whose identity is to be determined by Hamas according to reports, and "we must pay... even if it is with the release of terrorist murderers." The enemy concludes from this serious leak that the Israel Defense Forces is helpless and is ready to pay any price Hamas imposes. And as for us, the citizens - the defeatist leaks reveal the lack of motivation at the top to fight is what gives hope to the enemy that Israel's end is near. And that, not the Jewish presence on the Golan Heights, endangers the future of Israel.
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