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Friday, December 09, 2011

Jewish and Democratic?

Once again, Jeffrey Goldberg is in a panic that Israel may be forced to choose between being Jewish and Democratic.
I think we're only a few years away, at most, from a total South-Africanization of this issue. And if Israelis believe that the vast majority of American Jews -- their most important supporters in the entire world -- are going to sit idly by and watch Israel permanently disenfranchise a permanently-occupied minority population, they're deluding themselves. A non-democratic Israel will not survive in this world. It's an impossibility. So Israel has a choice -- find a way to reverse the settlement process and bring about the conditions necessary to see the birth of a Palestinian state (I'm for unilateral closure of settlements but the military occupation's end will have to be negotiated with the Palestinians) or simply grant the Palestinians on the West Bank the right to vote in Israeli elections. Gaza is an entirely separate problem, but one not solvable so long as Hamas is in charge, but even without Gaza's Arabs, Israel would cease to be a Jewish state if West Bank Arabs became citizens.

It will be extremely difficult for any number of reasons for Israel to leave the West Bank, but it will be impossible for Israel to survive over the long-term if it remains an occupier of a group of people who don't want to be occupied. I understand the security consequences of an Israeli departure from most of the West Bank, but I also understand that there is ultimately no choice. I don't believe a one-state solution is any sort of solution at all; Israel/Palestine will devolve quickly into civil war. The only solution is a two-state solution.
Even assuming one accepts the creation of a 'Palestinian state' as a desirable outcome (an outcome I do not accept as desirable and which is not required under any signed agreement between Israel and the 'Palestinians') what bothers me about this formulation is its assumption that Israel - and Israel alone - can solve the problem. From where should we withdraw Jeffrey? Even you don't want to go back to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. So from where do we withdraw? Look at a map and show us.

Once we withdraw without an agreement, how do we respond to the inevitable 'Palestinian' attacks? You know as well as I do that withdrawing from some is going to egg them on to demand the rest - including 'west' Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

'Leave the army and just withdraw the settlers'? Contrary to perception in the mainstream media, the presence of the 'settlers,' most of whom are graduates of combat units, helps the army by effectively setting up outposts (no, not 'illegal outposts' but the Jewish cities and towns) at strategic points throughout the area. The army has admitted that without the revenants in Judea and Samaria, the territory would be much harder to defend.

This is a time when we need the Jeffrey Goldberg's of the world to stand by us - not to lecture us. When and if the world tries to turn us into a pariah like South Africa was (which unfortunately is likely to happen if Obama is reelected), we need the Jeffrey Goldberg's of the world to fight against it, not to join the pile-on. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to get that.

For the last eighteen years, we have been hearing that we 'must' have peace, and that 'everyone knows' what is needed for peace. Well, 'everyone' doesn't and not everyone believes we 'must.' It takes two to tango. And for the last three years, the 'Palestinians' have been totally uninterested. We can't dance by ourselves.

Give me Jewish and undemocratic over being massacred (God forbid) any time.

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At 5:47 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Jeffrey3000's description of what he wants done is Sharon's disengagement, exactly as it was done in Gaza in 2005. What Jeffrey doesn't address is how people like him will keep the rocketeers from shooting rockets onto civilians inside Israel from those high areas, like the Palestinians have done from Gaza. I think Jeffrey3000 should make aliya and live in Sderot... and he has to take his kids along and have them in the bombed schools.

BTW right here, I would link to the GIS title search layers, with elevation visualization, ownership history by year, etc. etc. It is amazing that the MFA leaves people like Jeff3000 spouting this stuff with no organized way to counter (or educate) them. Because of Jeff3000's ongoing political leaning, you just know he won't educate anybody.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


You'd be right if he were arguing to withdraw completely. But that's not the argument he made. His argument this time is to withdraw the 'settlers' but leave the troops there. That's unrealistic because the troops aren't going to stay there long term without the 'settlers' (think southern Lebanon) and the 'Palestinians' know it. It's also unrealistic because to do so we would have to set a border (or go back to the armistice lines - which even Goldblog doesn't want to do as far as I know) and I guarantee you that whatever border we set or accept, the 'Palestinians' will demand more (think Hezbullah's claims on Shabah Farms and the seven villages in case Shabah Farms is ever God forbid given away, and think the 'Palestinian' claim on Nitzanei Oz after Israel withdrew from Gaza). The 'border' will just move the terror that much closer to Israel's major cities - regardless of an IDF presence in Judea and Samaria.

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

The Palestinians will put their human shield civilians on those emptied hill tops and shoot rockets onto Israeli civilians. There will be nothing the IDF that is left behind will be able to do about it other than perpetrate a slaughter, which they won't do. This is a proven, not a hypothetical. Ref: Gaza/Sderot for six straight year. And since Jeff3000 is talking about the "settlements" at Israel's slim waistline, commerce and daily life will come to a standstill. The rest is commentary. The Palestinians have Never stopped killing Jews.

(And that's why I vote for keeping Oslo no matter what, because it says they have to stop killing Jews as Step One. Signed by everybody. Do not let them off the hook for endless attacks.)


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