Daniel Gordis’ last book was jointly co-authored with David Ellenson, a member of IPF’s Advisory Council. Ellenson is the president of Hebrew Union College, on whose board of governors IPF president Peter A. Joseph sits. Ellenson and Gordis have been described as “good friends”.
Attempting to defend his signature on the IPF letter, Gordis did not take issue with the legal basis for the Levy Report, arguing that even though, “Israel has no partner with which to make peace”, accepting it would make it appear that Israel is no longer committed to creating a Palestinian state. And it would be a terrible thing if Israel stopped being committed to an unworkable program that is destroying its diplomacy and killing its people.
In his Haaretz editorial, Gordis rewrote Zionism’s aspiration from building a nation to making peace by giving up a sizable portion of its country to people whom he admits have no interest in making peace. Gordis’ argument, that the hope of Hatikvah actually means believing in a peace that even he can’t summon up any argument for believing in, makes absolutely no sense. But when there’s enough money and power leaning on one side of the scales, then the arguments don’t have to make sense anymore. They just have to be made.
“Hope” has been the only selling point of the Two-State Solution. There is no logical argument to be made for empowering terrorists as a path to peace. By 2012, the only way to still peddle peace is by irrationally insisting that every Israeli leader and every Israeli concession somehow fell short of achieving peace or even a cessation of violence because they didn’t go far enough.
While presenting “Hope” as an argument may remind some people of hippies on park lawns, it reminds me of a more conventional form of marketing. When you can’t sell your product based on the tangibles, you have to sell it on the intangibles. Appeasement, especially with a twenty year track record of failing to work, is a hard sell. But rename it “Hope” and suddenly it’s flying off the shelves. And once you’ve sold people a few bags of “Hope” and they realize there’s nothing inside, then you can tell them that it’s Israel’s fault.
The Merchants of False Hope know that they have no wares, but they still have to move a product. The real product they’re moving isn’t “Hope”. The true product comes in a variety of flavors. There’s “Make Israel Stop Embarrassing Me” and “I Want Things My Way” and the old popular, “Destroy the Jewish State”. It’s not always possible to know which merchant is selling which wares, most of them are labeled the same way. But the attitudes of the merchants give us an occasional clue.
However the truly significant question is whose interests does the peace business serve. It certainly doesn’t serve Israel’s interests. A quick comparison between Israel’s international position and domestic security in 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012 makes that rather painfully clear. It isn’t in America’s interests either, though plenty of domestic appeasers have tried to make that case over the years.
Destructive ideas go away after having failed enough times, but a destructive idea that is extensively funded and subsidized is like Dracula; no matter how often you kill it, it pops up again with a cry of “Blood” or “Hope.”
“Two State Solution” doesn’t rhyme with “Hope”. It rhymes with “Dissolution” which is exactly what it accomplishes. But everyone has their own interests and their own agenda.
In the small towns in Judea and Samaria, farmers and herders are just trying to survive, battling government bureaucracy, judicial activism and Islamic terror. But for a lot of investors, Israel is just a troubled company that needs to dump those people and their towns, sell off whatever resources it has to make a deal with the terrorists, and then reap the benefits of legitimacy and stability. They call their program the “Two State Solution.”
The Israeli left is an alliance between Israeli and American oligarchs who would be perfectly happy with a country the size of Singapore, a city-state stretching across the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area, a place with a bustling stock exchange, a lot of good restaurants and start up companies coming up with clever new gimmicks for them to invest in. A properly liberal place at peace with its Muslim neighbors, with gay bars side-by-side with mosques and experimental theaters putting on the latest revolutionary plays.