A diplomatic cable

News item:

A diplomatic cable from the UK embassy in Tel Aviv, dated May 4, 1980, warned “the situation in the region is deteriorating and with it Israel’s dangerous mood of isolation and defiance will grow. If they are to be destroyed they will go down fighting this time. They will be ready to use their atomic weapon. Because they cannot sustain a long war, they would have to use it early.”

The other time, of course, was the Holocaust. We don’t know what the man was thinking, so we don’t know if there is admiration here, or if he simply wishes ‘they’ would let themselves be destroyed without making a radioactive mess. Or maybe it’s just a straightforward analysis.

Thatcher said of Begin that she “had never had a more difficult man to deal with.” When she told Begin that his West Bank settlement building policy was “unrealistic” and “absurd” his reply had been “Judea and Samaria had been Jewish in biblical times and that they should therefore be so today.”

And Mrs. Thatcher’s argument that they should be Arab was somehow more to the point?

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3 Responses to “A diplomatic cable”

  1. NormanF says:

    It should be pointed out Israel did not come as a conqueror to Yesha. It was a people returning to its a focal part of its national history, identity and pride. There was no one to conquer from. And its doubtful without the revanants, that the Palestinians would have talked with Israel at all in the past two decades. The reason there is no peace today as there has been for decades, is the complete refusal of the Arab side to reconcile itself to Israel’s existence. Its easy for the rest of the world to lose sight of that picture. No Israeli leader can do so for a minute.

  2. Robman says:

    Wow. And compared with today, May 1980 looks like happy fun noodle salad times!

    Wonder where that British diplomat is now, and if he’s still alive, what he’d say about the situation now….?

    I see the Arabs and Iranians making the same mistake the Arabs by themselves made back in 1967. They thought they had Israel completely isolated…and a cornered Israel turned around and smashed their faces in!

    I’m not sanguine, but I think we’ve got a better than even-odds chance of seeing the current campaign against Israel backfire in the most spectacular way.

  3. Vic Rosenthal says:


    Although Israel faces tough military challenges from Iran/Hizballah/Syria I think the IDF can handle them. There have been huge changes since 2006.

    I see the biggest threat, paradoxically, coming from the US and to a lesser extent Europe, which will try to hamstring Israel — in crude terms, hold her down while the Arabs rape her.