The Magazine

Waltzing Among the Rockets

War, dining out, a high stakes election: Israeli life is back to normal.

Feb 16, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 21 • By PETER BERKOWITZ
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Much as they would prefer simply to enjoy the abundance that freedom and affluence have brought them, Israelis are prepared for war. It is important for Middle East envoy George Mitchell, Secretary of State Clinton, and President Obama to understand this. Precisely because it wants the United States to be a force for good in the region, the Obama administration must also recognize that Iran will have to be persuaded or compelled to cease its export of Islamic extremism preaching destruction to Israel and death to the West. And, in the interests not only of regional peace but also the stability of the international order, the Obama administration must seek to stop Iran from providing to both the Sunni and Shiite jihadists it sponsors the weapons with which they seek to fulfill their malevolent religious obligations.

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.