Noah Flood 2011, October 29, 2011

The story of Noah’s Flood - which is featured in this week’s portion of the Torah - highlights the deep historical roots of US-Israel relations, the shared-values which bind the two countries and the opportunity of enhanced US-Israel relations, which is hidden in recent geopolitical and economic deluges.

Both Noah’s Ark and the Columbus expedition arrived at their destinations – 4,400 years apart - during the Holiday of Tabernacles (Sukkot), hence the annual celebration of Columbus Day around Sukkot.  In fact, Columbus arrived on the shores of America on October 12, 1492, the last day of Sukkot, the day of divine deliverance, Hosha’ana Raba, according to Judaism. 

Moreover, Noah’s Flood ended with the initial Covenant between God and mankind, symbolized by the rainbow. The flood swept away the immoral old world, but was succeed by the Tower of Babel, which represented the threat of absolute power, especially when in the hands of megalomaniac rulers. On the other hand, the new world introduced “unity through diversity” as a challenge – and a prerequisite – to free societies.

The Founding Fathers of the USA, who considered themselves “the modern people of the Covenant,” rebelled against the absolute power of the British monarchy Tower of Babel. They introduced a modern version of political diversity and liberty: checks and balances, separation of powers, federalism and the centrality of – and accountability to - the constituent. Instead of the Tower of Babel-like “divine” autocracy, they laid the foundations for modern day Judeo-Christian liberty: freedom of religion, education, press, expression, association, movement and competition.

 Judeo-Christian values of liberty have been the flagship of the unique ties between the US and the Jewish State. These Shared values constitute the foundation for a US-Israel strategic alliance in the face of mutual threats posed by recent geopolitical deluges.

For example, enhanced US-Israel strategic cooperation followed the 1989 collapse of the USSR, which triggered a global geopolitical deluge in the form of intensified uncertainty, fragmentation, warfare and terrorism and more aggressive rogue regimes, which were relatively restrained and deterred by the Soviet Union. Against the background of such a new world disorder, and in view of the weakened strategic threat posed by Moscow, the US recognized the unique merits of  Israel’s capabilities and posture of deterrence in the face of mutual tactical threats, such as Middle East rogue regimes, Islamic terrorism and ballistic missiles.  Hence the upgraded cooperation in the areas of military intelligence and joint exercises, the expanded prepositioning - in Israel - of US ammunition and medical supplies for American use, the surge in defense industrial cooperation and the increased use of the port of Haifa by the Sixth Fleet.

The 2002 crash of NASDAQ and the 2008 economic meltdown forced American companies to emphasize economies-of-scale. It highlighted the mutual-benefit of the increasing synergy and cooperation between American and Israeli companies in the areas of medicine, healthcare, telecommunications, defense, the Internet, computer technologies, irrigation and energy alternatives. American and Israeli companies have leveraged the competitive edge of each other – technologically and operationally – bolstering their respective employment, exports, research and development.

The 2011 Arab Deluge from North Africa to the Persian Gulf, and the pending US withdrawal from Iraq - which could trigger further geopolitical inundation – occur at a time when Russia and China deepen their involvement in the Middle East, while all pro-US Arab leaders are desperately fighting for survival, and when American economic and national security interests in the Middle East are extremely vital. Once again, Israel emerges as the only stable, capable, reliable, democratic and unconditional ally of the US, able to snatch hot chestnuts out of the fire without the use of a single American boot. Both the US and Israel would benefit significantly from dramatically-expanded cooperation, including the prepositioning, in Israel, of US combat aircraft, missiles, tanks, UAVs and homeland security systems, which could avert the demise of pro-US vulnerable Arab regimes.

Modern day Noah’s Floods sweep away rogue and corrupt Arab regimes, introduce heightened threats and shed light on the modern day US-Israel Noah’s Ark, which sails through the deluge toward the modern day rainbow.