America supports Israel so generously because America, a beacon of liberty, is defending smaller and weaker nations sharing its values. However, as the great world power, America is also saddled with responsibilities that it believes demand the qualifying of its support for Israel. Western dependence on Arab oil, the influence of Arab money, and an entrenched Arabist tradition in the State Department, have inevitably made America pursue policies that sometimes even endangered Israeli security.
9/11 has clarified, however, that America and Israel are the prime target of Islamic fundamentalists who aspire to overthrow Western civilization and its liberties, and replace them by repressive Islamic law. Their jihad threatens to become deadly, as they radicalize more and more Muslims, and possibly gain access to weapons of mass destruction. America and Israel recognize that they are allies in the same war, even when it is fought on two different fronts. Hopefully America will also come to the realization that contrary to the belief that US support for Israel is the reason America is targeted by Islamic terrorism, it is hatred for Israel coupled with the conviction that Israel is America's Middle East bridgehead that makes Muslim fanatics determined to destroy Israel.
Indeed, it is America that they consider the Great Satan, while Israel is merely a small one.
Living in the eye of the storm Israel is subject to the worst Islamic fury. It is in America's interest to help protect Israel by attacking fundamentalism, because if America fails to keep at bay the new barbarians rampaging in the Middle East, or in the Indian subcontinent, it will soon find them at its gates, in full force.
Besides the external factors that force America to be engaged on several fronts, there are also internal factors that make its war a multi-front one. America and Israel are facing not only an external enemy but a vociferous part of their own populations that oppose their war against Islamic terrorism, and a greater number of people who are indifferent, making it so much harder to fight and win it.
As Bernard Lewis and others have observed, the West is now weaker in defending itself than in the pre-World War II era. Then internal dissent prevented democracies from facing Nazism in time, thus bringing them to near defeat, and facilitating the great horror of the Holocaust.
Today democracies are prevented from facing an imminent danger by even stronger subversive elements that pose as pro-peace and human rights, but essentially want to undermine democracy. Their bitter criticism, though occasionally justified, is not motivated by a desire to improve the governmental and economic systems of the West. Rather it expresses a desire to destroy Western democracies and replace them, by force if necessary, by absurdly Utopian orders.
In the past the Utopias were either Communist or Fascist, now they represent the "liberated" "Third World."
IT WAS the anti-democratic agitation by such subversive elements, exploiting the justified disenchantment and exhaustion of Western populations in the wake of the First World War that helped the rise of both Communism and Fascism, and made resistance to them so difficult.
We know how the threat of a Communist revolution sweeping Europe, and Communist agitation against the Weimar Republic, helped Hitler gain power, and how the opposition of "peace movements" to rearmament made the West unable to oppose him in time.
The same seems to be happening again.
David Horowitz, a former leader of the American New Left (an editor of Ramparts) - who has undergone a fascinating process of awakening (arrestingly described in his "Red Diaper Baby") that moved him from Left to Right - has, with his Center for The Study of Popular Culture and FrontPage Magazine documented the process by which the radical Left came to dominate higher education in America, especially in the social sciences and the humanities.
Horowitz is waging a heroic battle against the Left's defamation of America and its efforts to undermine its institutions, ostensibly in the name of human rights, while consistently supporting the most oppressive and murderous dictatorships.
Daniel Pipes, another courageous voice, is waging a similar battle against Middle East Studies departments (heavily subsidized by Arab money) that like some mosques in America (funded by Saudi Arabia) promote the cause of dictatorial Islamo-fascist regimes, while demonizing Israel for alleged serious breaches of human rights and for its "occupation" of disputed territories which they falsely name "Palestinian lands."
The situation in Israel academia is even worse. Because it is smaller and more homogeneous, tenured Marxist professors have managed to dominate the social sciences and the humanities even more than in America. Some had a Stalinist pedigree before mutating into New Left "social democrats."
But their agenda remains the undermining of the West and the free-market economy, and their replacement with quasi-socialist and then fully Leninist systems.
These agitators claim they insist on "ending of occupation" because they advocate human rights, but they have no qualms supporting the most oppressive Arab regimes, even those that threaten Israel's existence. They also instigate most boycotts against Israel, and are the source of most of the defamatory accusations against it. By trying to rob Israel of its moral legitimacy they seriously weaken the people's resolve to resist terrorism, and undermine Israel's ability to fight it successfully.
Both America and Israel face two fronts then, but the same war.
The writer is director of The Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress.