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Friday, November 30, 2012

The chickens have come home to roost

Once again, my college classmate, Rabbi Pruzansky, is excellent.
It should not be overlooked that the foundation for this vote was laid by the Israelis many years ago. The Oslo Accords, whatever the technical language, was obviously designed to create a Palestinian state. That agreement was an explicit admission by the Jewish state that the Jewish people are not the exclusive sovereigns in the land of Israel, despite G-d’s eternal promises set forth in the Bible. Governments of the left and the right embraced that outcome in one form or another. Menachem Begin himself recognized (in 1978) the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people,” a phrase that stuck in his craw but that he accepted based on his lawyerly interpretation that the words “legitimate rights” could be interpreted to mean anything he wanted it to mean and not what the other signatories understood it to mean. So the chickens of Oslo, Lebanon, and Gush Katif have indeed come home to roost.
     And yet, whatever the psychological value (and most Arabs will assume that the vote means something that it does not, and fire their weapons in the air in celebration), the vote has no effect in the real world. Nothing changes here, today, anymore that Arafat’s declaration of statehood amounted to anything in 1988. A General Assembly vote has no legal status at all. Abba Eban said it eloquently: “If Algeria introduced a General Assembly resolution that the world is flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would find overwhelming support in the Arab world” and elsewhere. And he said it almost forty years ago. Nothing has changed there, either.
     Abbas still needs to be propped up by Israel. There is no Palestinian state. The PA and Hamas are still bitter rivals, and Abbas knows that his political career ends the moment the people are given the right to vote him out, whenever that is. The UN carnival, typically, just distracts the world from the real crises in the region – Iran’s nuclear bomb, Syria’s civil war and Egypt’s ongoing unrest. Anyone who still needs proof of the mendacity and hypocrisy rampant in the Arab world needs to consider only the howls of protest when 150 Arabs were killed and several hundred wounded in the clashes in Gaza – squeals that were intended to awaken the world to the horrors of a nation (Israel) exercising its right of self-defense – while the Arab world is dormant at the massacres in Syria of more than 35,000 people, and the turmoil in Egypt where already more than 500 people have been injured.
    It’s not the civilian deaths or injury that seem to disturb the Arab world and its malevolent allies across the world; it’s that the cursed Jews are doing it, and in defense of their right to exist.
    There are two obvious conclusions to this vote. One, that Oslo is officially dead, and this declaration vitiates its very premises of negotiations over final status issues, and, two, that the United States is now bound by law to cut its funding of the Palestinian Authority. But neither will happen and the blatant violations will be finessed, because neither the US nor Israel has any real interest in changing the dynamic of the struggle. That complicity is emblematic of the failures of Israeli politicians for decades that have seen Israel’s strategic position deteriorate slowly but inexorably.
    Nonetheless, in the beleaguered town of Sderot, barely two miles from Gaza and the recipient of thousands of missiles and rockets in the last ten years, one encounters today personal strength and courage, a desire to rebuild, lifelong residents who have no interest in moving to safer zones. Their resilience is an inspiration to all Jews, and their heroic story will yet be told. In the new communities built to house the Jewish refugees driven out of Gaza in 2005, one encounters the same determination, along with sadness about what was lost and the unshakeable (and usually unmentioned) feeling of “I told you so,” the unheeded warnings of what would befall Israel if they retreated under pressure from Gaza.
    All these brave souls have been betrayed by governments with convoluted miscalculations, wishful thinking and illusions disguised as policies, unkept promises repeated in every election cycle, or statecraft that is often illogical and self-destructive.
   The people of Israel deserve better; if only they would realize it and act upon it.
 Read the whole thing.

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At 4:07 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

As wise and erudite as ever, the Rabbi states the premises for his argument articulately but then, just like the politicians he slams, he doesn't offer any conclusions.

Maybe that's a tacit acknowledgement by him that there aren't any conclusions except the obvious one. Namely, there won't be any real peace between Israel and the "Palestinians", or nothing more than a cold peace between Israel and her actual state neighbors, in the foreseeable future. Israel doesn't have a "peace partner". Israeli politicians notwithstanding, the Arabs will, to borrow Abba Eban's famous remark, continue to never miss any opportunity to miss opportunities for peace.


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