According to the New York Times, which is never wrong, building more houses makes peace impossible. Peace, which is not in any way obstructed by rockets, suicide bombers, unilateral statehood bids and declarations of war, comes up against only one obstacle. The stout unyielding wall of the Israeli house. You can shell Israeli houses, bomb them and break inside to massacre the people living inside, but then after all that, Israel goes and builds more of those damn things.
Hamas shoots thousands of rockets and Israel builds thousands of houses. But Israeli houses generally stay where they’re built, while Hamas rockets are as likely to kill Gazans as they are to put holes in the roofs of those dastardly houses. And in the arms race between houses and rockets, the Israelis appear to be winning. And that’s not good for peace. If Israelis get the dangerous idea that they can just keep building houses and outlast all the talented rocketeers who spend their time with the Koran in front of one eye and the Anarchist’s Cookbook in front of the other, then what hope is there for peace?
That is why no one cares much about Hamas rockets, which only kill Israelis, who most reasonable people in London, Paris and Brussels think have it coming anyway, but get into a foaming lather about an Israeli house. Killing Israelis has never been any obstacle to peace. Twenty years of killing Israelis has not dissuaded a single Israeli government from sitting down at the table to dicker with the terrorists. But an Israeli family living in a house is holding down territory that it will be harder to then cede to terrorists when the angels have blown their horns, the seas have all gone dry and peace is carried in on a golden platter by 72 virgins accompanied by their flying suicide bomber mates.
The problem is an old one. Pharaoh struggled with it. So did Hitler. And so does Hamas. What do you do when there are too many Jews living. The answer is usually obvious.
Israel’s Peace Partners tried to go back to the time-honored Egyptian tradition of throwing all the Jews into the sea. But despite an entire officer corps temporarily “on leave” from the armed forces of the United Kingdom, they only got as far as half of Jerusalem, where they blew up every synagogue, and took the West Bank of Israel, or as the non-indigenous Zionist invaders with no roots in the region call it, Judea and Samaria.
Nineteen years later, Israel’s Peace Partners had traded in their British officer corps for a Soviet officer corps, and lost Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, proving that when it came to killing Jews, the Communists were better at it when the Jews weren’t shooting back. Ever since then the world, or those portions of it populated entirely by diplomats and the better class of journalists, has been urging Israel to give back the land to an imaginary country to be populated entirely by terrorists.
This peace plan, which has worked as well as fighting fire with gasoline, has not in any way been endangered by two decades of terror, but trembles down to its toes every time an Israeli hammer falls on an Israeli nail in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Because that land must go back so that rockets can be shot from it into Israel, so that Israel can invade it and reclaim it, and then sit down for another peace process to return the land from which the rockets will be fired, which will be invaded, which will be given back… for peace.
And Israeli houses endanger this cycle of peace and violence. They endanger it by creating “facts on the ground”, a piquant phrase that only seems to apply to houses with Jews. Muslim houses in no way create facts on the ground, even though they are built out of the same material and filled with people. Or perhaps they create the good kind of facts on the ground. The kind of preemption of negotiations that the professional peacemakers approve of.
But it’s hard to know what exactly the peacemakers approve of, because their arguments and their definitions keep changing all the time. All that we know is that they disapprove of Israeli houses.