The Big Trunk, over at Power Line asks a question I have gotten rather a lot over the last few years:

As a distant lover of Israel, I have been genuinely puzzled by its failure to produce a statesman equal to the challenges faced by the country over the past 20 years. In every area of modern life the country boasts a genius that on a per capita basis must be unrivaled. Yet on the world stage its politicians seem almost retarded.

The reaction is understandable, and the points are taken, but the answer Trunk seeks is simple enough;

Statesmen, in the end, are a product of peace, and the military and industrial power behind the voice to maintain such peace. ,

Military and some industrial power, Israel certainly has had each over it’s life.  But, I fear that they are the victims of their own peaceful intentions; never having, and certainly not using, any more military power than needed to secure the country; certainly not enough to deter attacks. And in any event, as we discovered on 9/11, overall might, means little in terms of deterence against the kind of Arab Terrorists Israel’s been fighting.

Israel has been fighting what amounts to a holding action against Arab terrorists bent on their destruction for over 50 years. Such a state of continuous war being thrust upon them does not create a situation from which what we call statesmen emerge.

As a reinforcement for my thought; consider the other side of the long war Israel had thrust upon them; who and when was the last Arab statesman you’ve heard of?

For statesmen to come forward, the war needs be won first.

In watching the changes in Middle East following Mr. Bush’s actions against the Extremists, I suspect we’re closer to that day than we’ve been in many decades. Witnes the recent back-peddling by Syria for example, where a lot of the suport for Terrorism has been coming from. And so, I figure 15 years or so hence, Trunk will have his Israeli statesmen… and we’ll also see Arab statesmen as well.