Powered by WebAds

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Israeli consensus

In Wednesday's New York Times, Tom Friedman called on Israel to find a way to 'securely cede' the 'West Bank' to the 'Palestinians.'

Friedman forgets that Israel is a democratic country. Most Israelis no longer believe that it is possible for Israel to 'securely cede' land to an Arab entity.
Israel has conducted extensive experiments with this concept, experiments that have cost about the same number of Israeli lives as September 11 took American lives. Since the population of the United States is approximately 40 times that of Israel you can calculate the impact of those costs.

After all, Israel already acted “to securely cede” (the split infinitive is Friedman’s) the Sinai to Egypt, with the result that this peace treaty is about to be abrogated. It tried to “securely cede” the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority, getting rockets and mortars and cross-border attacks in return. It also sought “to securely cede” southern Lebanon and got rockets and cross-border attacks. To see what would happen it acted “to securely cede” much of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority and then received in return incitement to violence, terrorist attacks, and intransigence.

Might there be a pattern here?

Yes, it would be better to have a stable, two-state solution that ended the conflict and made Israel’s neighbors friendly. But here’s where the gap is between Israel and much of the Western political elites today:

We tried it and it didn’t work.

That is not a “right-wing” statement. It is an Israeli consensus statement. And even if Israel tries and tries again, this doesn’t mean that people don’t know that.
For those of you who doubt that the consensus position in Israel is that it's not possible to 'securely cede' land to any of the current Arab entities or a 'Palestinian state,' please allow me to show you a column that appeared in Wednesday's JPost.

The column is by Einat Wilf, who is a member of the Knesset from the Independence party - the same party that is led by Ehud Barak. But Ms. Wilf is far more solicitous of reality than our defenseless Defense Minister.
Hope is generally considered a positive word, but if it prevents engagement with reality while living in suspended anticipation of some make-believe future that will never materialize, then it is neither positive nor helpful. Those who feed this hope do the cause of peace and Palestinian statehood no favor.

Zionism, unlike colonial movements, was a movement of people who were coming home. As such, it was not about exploiting the (nonexistent) resources of a foreign land, but about exploiting the only resources the Jewish people ever had – their own brains and ingenuity – in order to build one, literally from the ground up.

Building a country requires the mobilization of a people.

As long as the Palestinians continue to divert their own country-building resources into resisting Israel and hoping for its disappearance (and yes, hoping that Israel will become a country with a Jewish minority among Arabs is hoping for its disappearance), there will be no peace, and they will have no state.

And yet, should the Palestinians finally recognize that in creating the state of Israel, the Jewish people have come home, they will signal to the world, to Israel, and above all to themselves, that they have chosen to leave behind the siren call of resistance and are ready to get down to the remarkable, difficult and immensely rewarding task of building a state they can call their own.
Would Ms. Wilf want us to 'securely cede' land to a 'Palestinian' entity that has yet to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people? I doubt it.

Labels: , , ,


At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Mel Brooks:
It's good to be a terrorist.


Obama's offering of economic help is intended to serve as an incentive for other peoples to keep pushing for democracy. Among the elements of his approach:

• The canceling of roughly $1 billion in debt for Egypt. The intention is that money freed up from that debt obligation would be swapped toward investments in priority sectors of the Egyptian economy, likely to focus on entrepreneurship and employment for younger people. Unemployment rates are soaring in Egypt and across the region.

• The guaranteeing of up to $1 billion in loans for Egypt through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a U.S. government institution that mobilizes private capital.

• Promises by the U.S. to launch a new trade partnership in the Middle East and North Africa and to prod world financial institutions to help Egypt and Tunisia more.


Post a Comment

<< Home