Israel Extends Its Arm
Late last summer the Israeli Navy sent its fleet from the port of Haifa on a special mission. In concert with the navy, Israeli Air Force jets swept into the sky bound for the Mediterranean. Their combined mission was to form a gala welcoming committee. The recipient of all the fuss was the newest member of the Israel Naval Service fleet, the submarine Dolphin. Its arrival marked the beginning of a new era for Israel in the battle against aggression and threats to the existence of the Jewish state.
The Dolphin is a state-of-the-art vessel financed and built by Germany. The German government reportedly constructed the vessel for Israel out of appreciation for Israel’s restraint during the Gulf War when Saddam Hussein was showering Tel Aviv with Scud missiles. Two more Dolphin-class subs are currently being outfitted in German shipyards and readied for delivery next year.
For Israel, these submarines will extend the military arm far beyond anything known heretofore. The ultra-quiet-running Dolphins have a capacity to launch Harpoon anti-ship missiles, mines, and Atlas wire-guided torpedoes. The submarines will also have the capacity to launch, through their torpedo tubes, Swimmer Delivery Vehicles carrying eight frogmen each.
But of greater significance for Israel and her enemies is the second-strike capability of the vessels. According to the prestigious Jane’s Defense Weekly, the subs have the ability to launch cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. As one might expect, Israeli naval officials will not address the subject of nuclear capability. It is, however, a widely accepted fact that Israel does possess a nuclear arsenal. The ability to send devastating, sea-born missiles into the heart of potential aggressor nations should help Israelis sleep a bit more comfortably.
To this point in time, Israel has survived because the leaders of neighboring rogue nations have paid a very high price when they have attempted to sweep the Jews into the sea. Superior military might has been the deterrent against hostile military incursions. And in spite of all of the optimism generated by the peace process and people on both sides of the line who are sincerely hungry for peace, the reality is that things are not going to change. Perhaps the threshold of violent conflict with the Palestinians can be lowered somewhat by negotiations. We hope this will be the case. But radical elements in the Muslim world have made it abundantly clear that peace treaties will change nothing. They will keep up the fight until they have dismantled the Jewish state and done away with her Jewish citizens.
Submarines cruising the Mediterranean armed with weapons of mass destruction are a chilling prospect. But if they are not there, an even more disquieting proposition comes to the fore. Tyrants view the near impotence of leaders in the Western world to restrain them as an open door of opportunity for aggression against weaker peoples. And since Israel is the only true democracy and ally/friend of the United States in the Middle East, it has become target number one on the radical Islamic hit list.
Therefore, Israel’s new extended arm becomes a welcomed fact of life in the Middle East. It also sends a message to those of us who regularly pray for the peace of Jerusalem. That message is this: While we pray for peace, this present world without the Messiah is a jungle, not an Eden-like paradise. In this world, strong nations survive; weak nations die or become irrelevant. Only the Messiah can change this. We pray for His soon return.