web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian statehood’

Are You Poll Fooled?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Fooled by this poll?

Poll: Most right-wing Israelis would support Palestinian state, division of Jerusalem The principles of the agreement as presented to respondents were for two states – Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinians, with Palestinian refugees having the right to return only to their new country.

(Molad, the group behind this latest left-wing progressive poll, is a regurgitation other Israel-bashing bullies such as Breaking the Silence, Sheikh Jarah Solidarity, et al. with Avrum Burg which ‘merits’ the worship of Haaretz providing their headline status.)

But didn’t we just read that 67% of Israelis won’t divide Jerusalem? And didn’t we read this:

The May (five months ago!) data is from Tel Aviv University’s Walter Lebach Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence…  Some findings:
80 percent of Israelis don’t believe it’s possible to make peace with the Palestinians. Half of them don’t believe it’s ever possible to make peace, while half don’t believe it’s possible in the foreseeable future. About two-thirds support a diplomatic solution, but many more still eagerly buy the convenient argument that there’s no partner.
-Only about 20 percent of secular Jews see the demographic threat as an existential problem and only one-third believe the occupation and the settlements are creating a security threat to Israel.
- Nearly half the respondents consider Palestinian terror a major security problem;
Within the Green Line, the number who consider themselves rightists or right-leaning has increased from 41 percent to 48 percent

Previously in 2008, there was this:

Two-thirds of Israelis support a total or partial resumption of building communities in Judea and Samaria, according to a poll broadcast on Wednesday, as peace talks are due to restart in Washington.

Israpundit reminds us of this poll this past June:

A new poll shows a solid majority of Israelis – 64% – supports the continuation of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria. The remaining 36% support a temporary freeze on Jewish construction there or a complete freeze of construction. While these numbers are unchanged from last year, this year’s poll shows a small increase compared to last year in the percentages of Israelis who think Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is a “truly Zionist deed” (64%) and that Judea and Samaria are the country’s security belt (57%)

You should be interested in this late 2010 survey in which respondents were asked (among many others) the following two questions:

“If during peace talks, Israel succeeds in reaching a permanent peace with the Palestinians that is backed by the United States and includes the evacuation of all of the settlements in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, in your opinion, should Israel sign or not sign such an agreement?”

And “if it includes only the evacuation of the settlements and territories […] that are outside the large settlement blocs, since the large blocs would remain in Israeli hands, in your opinion should Israel sign or not sign the agreement?”

The answers:

A large majority (72%) favors such negotiations, but only 33% think they are likely to bear fruit.   Is there a price for extending the construction freeze? A clear majority (74%) supports Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinian leadership recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people as a condition for extending the building freeze in the settlements…

Is there a price for peace? In return for a permanent peace with the Palestinians backed by the United States, half of the Jewish public are willing to evacuate settlements that lie beyond the large settlement blocs (a minority of 43% oppose this). However, only a minority (28%) thinks Israel should sign such an agreement and pay for it by evacuating all of the settlements in the territories (a majority of 65% oppose such an evacuation).

This past April,  in response to a question about the urgency of achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace,

58% of the Jewish respondents and 51% of the Arab respondents defined the issue as urgent or very urgent. At the same time, 58% of the Jewish interviewees and 61% of the Arab ones saw no chance of ending the conflict in accordance with the “two states for two peoples” formula at the present time.

And earlier in January, it was found that

a large majority (76%) preferring that Israel remain a country with a Jewish majority, with one-quarter preferring that Israel continue to rule all of the Land of Israel west of the Jordan. Asked how they would respond if they knew that “continued Israeli rule over the West Bank would lead to one state for Jews and Arabs in the entire Land of Israel that would not have a Jewish majority,” the majority (63%) answered that in this case they would oppose continued rule in the territories. However, the majority (54%) did not agree with the claim that continued rule in the territories will result in a country without a Jewish majority. Some 54% believe that continued rule in the territories will not prevent Israel from remaining a Jewish and democratic state. In other words, the public indeed prefers that Israel be a Jewish state over continued rule over the whole Land of Israel, but most of it does not believe there is a contradiction between the two objectives.

Stay off the Slippery Slope

Monday, December 31st, 2012

We are often warned about the dangers of the “extreme right” in Israel — as Thomas Friedman called them, those who “actually want to annex the West Bank.” I presume that Friedman was referring to people like Naftali Bennett, who has made a proposal to annex Area C— the parts of Judea and Samaria where almost all the Jewish residents and few Arabs live.

Even Daniel Gordis, who — unlike Friedman — actually cares about Israel’s future, has suggested that Israeli voters should beware of, er, excessive Zionism, because it could lead to the isolation and ultimate destruction of the Jewish state. In a recent article, Gordis presents a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ scenario for the Israel of 2063. In the ‘bad’ one,

European hostility to Israel never subsided, and successive Israeli governments turned irritating both the EU and the US into a national sport. In response to repeated European and American demands that building projects cease, the government assured Israelis, “They’ll learn to live with it. We just have to show them we can’t be bullied.”

Germany changed the rules first. Lufthansa stopped flying to Israel, and a year later, Germany refused El Al landing rights. After subsequent dustups, Air France and France followed suit, as did British Airways and the UK. Soon, the only way to get to Europe was by sea. Israelis could still fly to Turkey, though.

Both Friedman and Gordis seem to be saying that Israel must not defy the Europeans and Obama Administration on the issue of Israel’s rights in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. By playing along — despite the fact that an excellent case can be made for the legality of Jewish settlement in these places — Israel can avoid potentially disastrous punishment.

There are two problems with this position, one philosophical and the other practical. The philosophical problem is that it represents an abdication of sovereignty, the sovereignty that Jews have been fighting and dying to preserve since the beginning of the Zionist enterprise. It represents a return to the ghetto mentality by which Jewish survival was dependent on the good will of the local gentile prince. Once we agree to the principle, where does it stop?

The practical problem is that the immediate objective of the EU and the Obama administration is the reduction of Israel to the 1949 armistice lines (the so-called “pre-67 borders” which actually were never considered borders by anyone). It is not for nothing that Abba Eban referred to these boundaries as “Auschwitz borders,” because they would be a strategic disaster. Whether you take Naftali Bennett seriously or not, you should look at the illustrations in his proposal. Here’s one of them:

3dIsrael

Both the US and the EU do not accept Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem — the US State Department continues to insist that until there is an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel’s capital is not Jerusalem (they won’t say what it is). Many European countries (and the EU’s Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton) are prepared to talk with with a Palestinian ‘government’ that includes Hamas. The EU’s oft-stated position is that any Israeli settlements beyond the Green Line are “illegal under international law.” How can Israel play along with a policy that calls for the expulsion of half a million Jews from their homes?

And this is only the immediate objective. What can we expect next, that the EU will require Israel to grant a ‘right of return’ to 4.5 million descendants of Arab refugees before it will welcome what’s left of Israel into the family of nations?

The EU’s positions can only be expected to harden in the future, as its Muslim population grows. Although it’s harder to predict the behavior of the US in the long run, there are worrisome indications today — like Obama’s floating of a possible nomination for the anti-Israel Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

Hamastine: A Present from the UN to Khaled Mashaal

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

In a field near the Islamic University — where PhD theses are written on topics such as “The role of the Muslim mother in preparing her sons to be shaheeds [martyrs] of the resistance” — the Gaza Strip stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the other terrorist organizations, a large outdoor rally was recently held to glorify, celebrate and promote anti-Semitism and genocide.

There were 2,500 in attendance: representatives from the Islamic countries, representatives from the Palestinian Authority controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, terrorist operatives who had been released from Israeli jails, and a Fatah delegation.

On stage was an enormous model of an M-75 rocket, which opened to reveal terrorist leader Khaled Mashaal and his entourage, who marched out to bask in Gazan adulation. Israeli cut-ups joked that he had recruited an entire Gazan kindergarten as human shields to protect him from an Israeli attack. Next to him stood his deputy, Musa Abu Marzuq, who, like Egyptian Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, has a couple of American university degrees in his quiver.

Raising his fists to make his intentions absolutely clear, and repeatedly slashing his hand up and down to emphasize a point, Mashaal did not mince words: he roused his cheering audience by calling for the destruction of Israel. With engaging frankness he revealed Hamas’s agenda, honed by him and his fellow Muslim Brothers: he pointed to the rocket behind him and bragged about the “rain of missiles” the Gazan terrorist organizations had launched on Israeli civilians, especially in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, is located.

He called for the annihilation of the Jews and the destruction of their homeland, for the continuation of rocket fire and terrorist attacks, for the abduction of IDF soldiers, and for the “return” of the Palestinian refugees, and for jihad until the “liberation” of all “Palestine.” Ironically, while he was preaching genocide of the Jews in Israel, he was accusing the Jews in Israel of “racism.”

Mashaal appealed to the masses in the Gaza Strip, and around the globe, with his familiar theme: hatred of the Jews. He trotted out the politically correct European version of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, claiming that Hamas was not fighting the Jews but wanted to exterminate “only” the “Zionists” — “only” the six million Jews in Israel. It was a moment reminiscent of Hitler’s final attempt to wipe out all the Jews of Europe: Mashaal, standing next to the ruins of Hamas’s offices — the Gaza Strip’s Reichstag – calling for the murder of Jews.

Mashaal appealed to the countries of the world — those same Christian enthusiasts in the UN who had just given “President” Mahmoud Abbas recognition for the state of “Palestine” — to help drive the Zionists out of “Palestine” by peaceful means, lest they be forced to suffer a bitter fate that awaited them.

Since the seventh century, when Muhammad himself, the perfect man, killed the Jews of Khaybar, the Khaybar Massacre has not only served in as the justification in the Islamic heritage for the murder of Jews; it has also been the model for today’s Islamic terrorist organizations, including Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees.

“Palestine,” shouted Mashaal to his audience, was Arabic, Islamic, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River; his audience chanted its support. The “racist Zionists,” he claimed, had stolen both land and history; they had no place in “Palestine.” Realizing there might be other forces to deal with, he said, “This land is the country of the Arab Islamic people where only Muslims and Christians will live.” With a sweep of his hand he wiped away the history of the Jewish people, its rights to the land, the history of the Temple built by King Solomon, the priests who served it, and Jesus, the Jew of Nazareth who, preaching in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews, laid the foundations for Christianity.

Mashaal pinpointed the religious roots of the ancient anti-Semitism, currently presenting itself as pro-Palestinianism, and called on “Muslims and Christians to live as partners in liberated Palestine.”

He carefully forgot to mention, however, that Christians were being methodically persecuted, murdered and ethnically cleansed throughout Africa, the Middle East and in the Palestinian Authority. Residents of ancient Christian strongholds — the Copts in Egypt, the Christians in Bethlehem — are hunted, their churches torched, their property pillaged, their women raped, and entire communities forced to move to the West.

If Khaled Mashaal had been honest with the Christians — as he had been honest when advertising his desire for the destruction of the Jews in Israel — he would have said that, according to Islam, the Christians were infidels, Crusaders, invaders, who either had to convert to Islam or die by the sword.

According to Mashaal’s “Islamic idyll,” the old Islamic proverb still holds: “We will begin on Saturday and end on Sunday”: First we finish off the Jews and then we finish off the Christians.

Nor was the Palestinian Authority spared: Mashaal indirectly accused it of treason — it had prevented terrorist attacks against Israel from being carried out from its territory. He said he was prepared for a Hamas-Fatah union, but on the condition that the armed campaign continue; that the right of Israel to exist was off the table, and that the PLO bring its charter into alignment with the Hamas charter. Apparently, as far as Khaled Mashaal is concerned, the Palestinian Authority will cease to exist and will quickly be replaced by Hamas.

In the final analysis, it turns out that the countries of the West, which complied with Mahmoud Abbas’s appeal and recognized “Palestine” as a non-member observer state in the UN, were not only hasty but irresponsible. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — who can barely control the Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria; who uses his media to broadcast militaristic songs urging the wresting of “all Palestine” from the hands of the Israelis, who is scared to enter the Gaza Strip, and who never mentioned, let alone condemned, the rockets targeting Israeli civilians or Mashaal’s threats to destroy Israel — announced not only that the Palestinian Authority would no longer arrest Hamas operatives, but also — despite UN recognition — that it was not interested in negotiating peace with Israel.

Ismail Haniya, head of the Hamas administration, probably trying to exploit the European momentum for promoting the Palestinians, demanded that the West remove Hamas from its lists of designated terrorist organizations.

In the past week, there have been marches in Judea and Samaria in support of Hamas, where demonstrators have carried models of missiles and called for a third intifada.

The Palestinian public knows the Palestinian Authority continues to exist only by virtue of the periodic injections of money it receives, and the security supplied by Israel, and that Judea and Samaria will eventually drop into the waiting lap of Hamas. Thus, thanks to the international help it received from the UN, official acceptance of “Palestine” will pass over from Fatah to Hamas in the Judea and Samaria — causing “Palestine” to become the first terrorist state created and recognized by Europe and the UN.

The next step will be Iranian- and Syrian-manufactured missiles fired at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv — stepping stones on the road to the liberation of “Palestine.”

Khaled Mashaal and his associates hide behind their own civilians, using them as human shields, while deliberately attacking Israelis. They are war criminals. They plot and plan and take action for the annihilation of the Jews in Israel; they do it openly, relentlessly, day and night. They do it from territory considered part of the new Palestinian state, recognized as “Palestine” by the UN, and rapidly turning into “Hamastine;” and they do it while the world watches.

Khaled Mashaal and his associates should be tried by the International War Crimes Court in the Hague for deliberately shooting rockets (more than 1,800 in 2012 alone) at the Israeli civilian population; for launching an anti-tank missile at a schoolbus on April 7, 2011; for sending 147 suicide bombers to blow themselves up on public buses, at a discotheque, at a wedding, in markets, restaurants, and shopping malls between 2000 and 2010; for slitting the throat of a three-month-old baby girl on March 11, 2011; and publicly taking responsibility for attempting to carry out the genocide of the Jews in Israel, in direct contravention of the U.N. 1948 Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The West, which stands on the sidelines and condones their criminality through inaction, should take into consideration that eventually Israel will be forced to take determined steps against the Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, as the Allies did for example, against Dresden. When that happens, the UN would do well not to complain: Israel has the right to defend itself, just as, in the Second World War, the Allies had the right to defend themselves — as any country has a right to defend itself.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

The Useful Myth that Obama Now Likes Israel

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Reality, especially in 2012, is very hard to face. So many hopes dashed; so many bad things happening. So people can be forgiven for taking refuge in wishful thinking. Sometimes, not telling the truth has its value in public affairs, especially when you are looking at a president with four more years in office and no elections ahead of him.

Such is the story now gaining currency in some quarters that President Barack Obama has changed his view of Israel, now wants to get along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the two are closely cooperating. If you want to believe that idea it probably does no harm and makes you feel better. Maintaining this fiction may also encourage Obama supporters to think more kindly of Israel.

There is another factor here that should be mentioned. Many people overstated Obama’s active antagonism toward Israel as if he wanted to wipe it out or hurt it in any way possible. Obama dislikes Israel, disregards its strategic interests, and despises Netanyahu. That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s motivated to do much about it.

If, however, you are interested in the actual situation, I would ask this question: What evidence is there of any change at all of Obama’s policy toward Israel?

Beyond wishful thinking. Basically two things have happened.

–The U.S. government issued routine statements of support for Israel’s battle in Gaza while apparently urging it not go on too long and not include a ground attack. It didn’t go out of its way much on the issue, however, for example not rethinking the president’s love affair with the Turkish Islamist regime despite the fact that its prime minister froths at the mouth with hatred of Israel.

–The U.S. government opposed as it always has the UN’s upgrading the PA’s status. The American government realizes that such behavior is a torpedoing of the Oslo accords and peace process of which is was a guarantor. But at the same time:
(a) It certainly didn’t seem to put any real pressure on European allies who supposedly adore Obama and would be willing to listen to him to vote against the proposal; and (b) There are stories which are not completely confirmed but seem authentic that the White House urged European countries and Canada to give Israel a hard time over the new construction. American officials certainly didn’t assert the absurdity of a situation in which the Palestinian Authority can reject a two-state solution repeatedly and break all of its commitments but Israel is said to destroy peace because of approving some future apartment construction.

I am not suggesting that the Obama Administration wanted the General Assembly to give Palestine non-member state status, but Obama’s great support of Israel consisted mostly of not attacking Israel verbally and maintaining routine administration positions.

It is so hard to get people to step back and apply the same logic they would have used a few years ago! But open your mind for a moment and ask this question:

How is it possible when U.S. policy not only loses the backing of every single European ally on an issue but on an issue of importance to the president and in which they don’t have urgent interests involved? In any other case and with any other president, the mass media and debate would be setting off alarm bells about the tremendous defeat, speaking of incompetence and a terribly weak American position.

After all, America’s allies just threw out twenty-years of a diplomatic process sponsored by the United States.

What’s important about Obama being personally popular with Europeans when he can’t get them to go along with his goals? Ah, yes, he is in large part personally popular with Europeans because they know he’ll let them do what they want. The two biggest examples supposedly to the contrary in the Middle East—overthrowing Qadhafi in Libya and increasing sanctions on Iran—proved the exact opposite because these were issues where the key European states were demonstrably more hawkish than Obama. He followed them as much or more than their following him.

At present and concerning Israel, there are additional points that could be mentioned as showing the lack of Obama’s support, such as his opposing more sanctions on Iran and taking no action toward the Brotherhood’s increasing dictatorship in Egypt. There is not the slightest hint that the administration realizes that its pro-Islamist strategy was a huge mistake. At least these argue against a case for Obama changing course.

So where’s the change? I think the specter of a second-term Obama undeterred by a future election is so scary that the flattery is being stepped up. Well, ok, I won’t make any problems. I’ll go along with this and pretend all will be okay except in private conversations like this one in order to brief my readers accurately.

Most obviously, Obama is not pressuring Israel to make more concessions to the Palestinians. As I pointed out two years ago—and as the president clearly stated in 2010, he had concluded that he wasn’t going to make Israel-Palestinian peace. It is the only international issue on which this administration seems to have learned anything.

But with all of the other pressing issues in the region plus the intransigence of the PA, which is still treated as a favored pet by Obama, plus the unwillingness of Arab governments to help him, why should Obama find time for the Israel-Palestinian issue? With all the other stuff going on, to argue that advancing toward a comprehensive peace agreement would solve all the other regional problems has become too ludicrous even for the current administration to have as its policy.

What is pro-Israel are events in the region and decisions taken by Israeli leaders. Israel just gave Hamas a beating, intensified despite the terrorist group’s bragging by the utter lack of regional (especially Egyptian) material help. A lot of Egyptians aren’t quietly accepting Islamist dictatorship; the Egyptian regime is still weak and needs stability to get foreign aid; Syria is still weakened by its civil war; Hizballah is in trouble because of its backing of the Syrian regime and facing increasing opposition within Lebanon; the Sunni Muslim Arabs don’t want Iranian influence (though Hamas is happy to take its weapons to shoot at Israel); and Hamas and the PA can never make up.

Yet a president who helps to empower Israel’s worst enemies—who also happens to be America’s worst enemies—cannot be said to be a friend except in the limited areas of continued nice words, especially at pro-Israel events; maintaining aid levels; and ongoing intelligence cooperation.

Perhaps the idea that Obama is now backing Israel is what American Jewish voters who supported him desperately need to believe and those who pursue that line will be richly rewarded.

Or perhaps if we pretend Obama is friendly to Israel now in his second term he and his colleagues will come to believe that themselves. Or perhaps they will reward us by not getting angry and trying to punish Israel. Okay, so let’s go along with this story for a while. But my job is to let you in on what’s really happening. Ssh!

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

‘Articles of Faith’: The Absence of Critical Thinking About ‘Settlements’

Monday, December 24th, 2012

CiF Watch has no official position on Israeli homes built across the 1949 armistice lines - the “settlements.”

As a blog dedicated to combating antisemitism and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy at the Guardian, however, it is within our purview to expose misleading or erroneous geographical, political or legal claims about the settlements by Guardian journalists and commentators – and to combat the demonization of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.

One of the most stubbornly held (often logically and politically under-explored) beliefs about the Israeli settlements (at the Guardian and elsewhere) is that their existence (or growth) represents the biggest obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians – and even, some would argue, between Israel and the larger Arab world.

Whilst reasonable people can oppose Israeli construction across the green line for any number of moral, political and legal reasons, it is peculiar how few critics even bother to defend their view that Israeli withdrawal from the disputed territories will lead to peace (and foster co-existence) with the Palestinians or, at least, will make the Jewish state more secure.

These articles of faith typically ignore historical evidence and political facts which contradict their thesis.

For instance, if this theory is valid, why didn’t Israeli withdrawals from Gaza, S. Lebanon (and ceding military and civilian control over parts of Judea and Samaria to the PA) result in peaceful outcomes? Why didn’t the rocket attacks on Israeli communities, and other acts of terrorism, cease?

If Palestinian/Arab anti-Zionism, antisemitism, extremism and terrorism, is in fact fed by ‘the settlements’ – and represents Islamist terror group’s raison d’être – why weren’t Hezbollah and Hamas (and extremist movements active within the PA) politically neutered by the absence of settlements (and IDF presence) in these territories?

What evidence is there that Israeli withdrawal from most or all of the West Bank (and eastern Jerusalem) will result in the creation of a peaceful, non-extremist Palestinian government and political culture?

The absence of critical thinking about the issue is often typically accompanied by disinterest in Israeli opinion – expressed in political polls and Israeli elections – which demonstrates that while most Israel is support the idea of a two-state solution, they support withdrawals from land necessary for a Palestinian state only if the creation of that state truly leads to peace.

A strong majority of Israelis – who have lived through Intifadas, thousands of rocket attacks and (just as important) the absence of international support for military actions to defend their nation from such assaults - believe that (under current political conditions) such withdrawals will not, in fact, lead to peace or improved security.

Those who insist that the “settlements” represent the biggest obstacle to peace should be asked to explain why recent history in the region should be ignored and why Israeli fears about such a monumental military decision (which can’t easily be undone) are unfounded.

What do they know that Israelis don’t?

Visit CifWatch.com.

American Journalists Decry Israel’s Ability to Defend Itself as Blocking Peace

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

I hate to spend time discussing U.S. media coverage of Israel. It should be clear by now that it is not very good, balanced, accurate, or fair. Yet there are examples which are irresistible to discuss because they are so revealing of the political as well as media assumptions made about Israel that so mislead the Western publics and policymakers.

The Washington Post has a major article explaining that while, on one hand, the Iron Dome missile defense is a good thing because it blocks missiles that would otherwise kill and injure Israelis as well as cause damage it is also a bad thing. Tom Friedman made similar claims. Why?

“For a nation that longs for normalcy and acceptance, one question being debated here is whether Iron Dome will motivate Israel’s leaders to pursue peace with the Palestinians and the wider Arab world or insulate them from having to do so.”

In other words, if a lot more Israelis were being killed and wounded by attacks then Israel would have more incentive to make peace with the Palestinians and Arabs. But since they are only being attacked and their lives paralyzed but not killed, Israel just isn’t interested in making peace.

And who is debating this idea that only if they are more bloodied will their hearts be softened and they will prefer peace to endless conflict? Supposedly Israelis are saying: “Wow, we wish our leaders tried harder to make peace with the Palestinians. Maybe it’s because we are too strong and secure.” Well, basically the Post comes up with one person, left-wing author Tom Segev. Nobody is interviewed who ridicules this bizarre thesis.

Just to make the situation completely clear let me be very explicit: In the 1980s and in 1993 at the time of the Oslo agreement many Israelis argued that because Israel was more secure it could take risks and make concessions to try to achieve peace. A number of specific steps, including Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, were based on this same stance. Israel could pull out of the Gaza Strip, uproot all of the settlements there, and not suffer any decline in security. That’s the historic argument: the more secure Israel was, the more it could offer the Palestinians in the hope that they would make peace. Is that clear?

When a country becomes less secure it must increase its ability to protect itself, including by retaining territory useful for that defense, spending more on military equipment, and not making concessions and taking risks. The only exception is that if people feel certain that such concessions and risks would definitely bring a full response from the other side and thus lead to a secure and lasting peace.

Now even leaving aside the Palestinian Authority’s intransigence and desire–clearly visible for the last twelve years–to avoid a compromise two-state solution, Israel also faces the following new regional features:

–Hamas, which constantly attacks Israel and would continue to do so (indeed escalate attacks) if Israel did reach an agreement with the PA.

–An Islamist Egypt whose ruling Muslim Brotherhood group daily speaks of genocide against Israel and Jews, plus not accepting the 30-year-old peace treaty, not to mention the even more extreme Salafists.

–An Islamist-ruled Lebanon, where Hizballah, the ruling group, constantly threatens to attack and also daily calls for Israel’s extinction.

–A hostile Turkey whose rulers support Hamas and Hizballah.

–A Syria where radical Islamists seem poised to gain power. They cannot possibly be more anti-Israel than the current regime but they are willing to make the anti-Israel war a higher priority for direct action.

So this is an era where Israel clearly needs to defend itself. Compare this to the early 1990s. Saddam Hussein had been defeated in the 1991 war; the radical Arabs main ally, the USSR, had fallen; America was the sole superpower; the PLO was so weak and depressed that it seemed conceivable it might be pushed into peace because it had no other alternative (in contrast to the contemporary Palestinian Authority which just got recognition as a state and is feeling very confident); and other factors.

That was a moment when Israel could take risks and did so with the Oslo Agreement. And yet, of course, we know–like it or not–that this “peace process” made things worse, another lesson not processed by the hegemonic political forces in much of the West today.

So how do we get from here to demands that Israel must keep doing what has failed and the claim that the weaker is Israel’s strategic position the more it can and should make concessions and take risks? Such a stance is just about equivalent to saying that it is a pity that U.S. counterterrorism measures are working because if there were more September 11 type attacks that succeeded the Americans would be nicer to Muslims. Or if the British air force had only not defeated the Luftwaffe perhaps Prime Minister Winston Churchill wouldn’t have been so insulated from the need to make peace with the Axis.

Special categories are constantly created to bash Israel. Has the concept of “proportional response”–that in defending yourself you shouldn’t do too much–ever been applied to anyone other than Israel? Can you imagine an American journalist writing an article suggesting that if only England got hit harder by IRA terrorism it would treat the Irish better in Northern Ireland?

What’s most infuriating about all of this is not just that Israel has tried so hard to make peace–including risks and concessions–but the precise attacks referred to in the Post article were made possible only because Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in an attempt to promote peace!

Yet the essential insanity of the kind of thinking epitomized in this article is shielded when it comes to Israel by the media’s bias and sense that it can get away with any nonsense when it comes to discussing Israel.

Meanwhile, there is some concern by Israeli intelligence officials of a new intifada in Judea and Samaria. This would be due to new confidence created by the UN’s decision to make Palestine a non-member state (the UN’s contribution to peacemaking); a rapprochement between the Palestinian Authority, which rules much of Judea and Samaria, and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip; and the Palestinian Authority’s wish to compete with Hamas in attacking Israel and trying to kill Israelis.

Following the logic of the Washington Post we should hope that lots of Israelis are killed by terrorists as a way to pressure those obdurate Israelis to make peace.

The Post article basically follows the same Palestinian political line that has prevailed since the 1960s: forget about a negotiated compromise, Israel must be defeated; Israelis made to suffer. The main goal is to get Israelis to give up altogether and abandon having a state; the shorter-term goal is to get Israelis to accept a Palestinian state unconditionally so it can get on with the task of finishing that job.

Before around 1980, the above analysis would have been considered a normative Israeli analysis. Between the 1980s and 2000, when there was a rising hope of a compromise peace with the PLO and its child, the Palestinian Authority, it would have been considered a right-wing view. Since 2000, however, that assessment—based on evidence and experience—has again become that of the overwhelming majority across almost all of the political spectrum.

Internationally, the refusal to face the fact that the Palestinian side is responsible for the failure of peace leads to such bizarre theories and blinds people to the actual situation.

And here is the speech by Hamas’s leader to mark the organization’s twenty-fifth anniversary. See for whom the Washington Post is suggesting that greater military success will lead to Middle East peace.

Regarding Friedman’s article, here’s a response from Dan Margalit.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Build Israel, not Palestine

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

If someone tells you that all of your property belongs to him and he will get it and dispossess you no matter how long it takes, then would you suggest that he take half of it now in the name of peace?

I am always confused when what the US and European media constantly refer to as Israel’s “hardline, right-wing” government says that it is committed to a “two-state solution” with the PLO as partner — the PLO that has murdered more Jews than any organization since the Nazi party. What is so “hardline” about this?

The government is called “hardline” because it has announced that it will permit construction of apartments for Jews in places like E1 that are under complete Israeli control, according to the Oslo Agreements (even though the PLO showed its contempt for those agreements by unilaterally turning to the UN for recognition as a “state”), and in its capital.

But since the PLO wants all of those places to be part of its Jew-free state (the media, normally hypersensitive to the slightest breath of racism, never seem to notice this), then these announcements are considered “obstacles to peace.”

The biggest obstacle to peace, of course, is the Palestinian intention to establish an Arab state from the river to the sea.

In 1993 the Israeli Left managed to con the government into letting the PLO return, and since then, the rapidly diminishing Left (now pretty much confined to some academics and members of the Ha’aretz editorial board) has been joined by the Europeans and the US in an effort to force Israel to implement the first stage of the PLO conquest by giving up Judea and Samaria and half of its capital.

The US and Europeans are affected by economic pressure from Arab oil producers, the political muscle of Europe’s growing Muslim population, the entrenched Saudi influence in the US, and plain old Jew hatred. The Israeli Left, such as it is, is either paid off — leftist NGOs are financed by the Europeans and the US-based NIF — or suffer from terminal cases of the Oslo Syndrome.

I’ve explained over and over again that the “two-state” solution is not a solution to anything — rather it would be a security disaster — and that there is no reason to make any concessions to the Palestinians as long as their oft-stated goal remains ending the Jewish state.

Everyone who understands the situation knows this. Certainly the Netanyahu government knows it better than most. So why does it continue to pay lip service to the destructive idea that peace could be had through concessions to the PLO?

In a piece about Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party — who is considered more “hardline right-wing” than Netanyahu –  David Horovitz notes,

[Bennett] charged that the policy of Netanyahu’s government on settlements and the Palestinians is “schizophrenic” — by which he apparently meant that the prime minister talks a lot about major expansion of building beyond the Green Line, while also insisting he wants to move forward with the Palestinians, positions that manage to annoy the international community, the Palestinians, the settlers and just about everybody else in between.

Is it right-wing extremism to expect consistency? I don’t think so.

It’s time to dump the obligatory genuflection to the need for a Palestinian state and get on with building the Jewish one.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/build-israel-not-palestine/2012/12/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: