It’s time to start over.
The “Arab-Israeli conflict” is apparently a problem for many who are neither Arabs nor Israelis. This isn’t necessarily because of their humanitarian instincts, or because they are afraid a war will start in the Mideast and spread to where they live. In some cases the reasons that they ‘care’ are pretty ugly. But let’s leave all that aside for now.
It’s a problem for the Palestinian Arabs because they want to possess all the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, and — after all these years and wars — they don’t. It’s easy to prove this — if the problem were only that they don’t have a state, that could have been solved many times in the recent past. Let’s leave this aside too.
In my judgment, the biggest problem is for the Israeli Jews, who are sick and tired of Arabs and now Iranians trying to murder them in big and little ways.
The entire thrust of debate about how to end the conflict up to now has concentrated on the first two aspects, with lip service at best paid to the third. So the US and Europe are working hard to solve their problem, to appease their oil suppliers by forcing Israel back to pre-1967 lines.
And everybody is so concerned about the poor Palestinian Arabs, a people created out of a disparate population of Arabs by a combination of 1960′s-era Soviet propaganda and huge amounts of welfare assistance, combined with Arab-imposed restrictions on a captive population of ‘refugees’. This ‘people’ has given much to the world, having popularized hostage-taking, airline hijacking and suicide bombing as means of political expression, but their situation is usually described as their ‘plight’.
It seems, though, that nobody has tried to solve the third problem, that of the Israeli Jews. Oh, President Obama is fond of swearing up and down that the US is absolutely committed to Israel’s security, but the policies of his administration belie this. Security implies defensible borders, and this is exactly what he would like to deny Israel.
My thought is that I really don’t much care about the issues of the US and Europe with their oil suppliers. That is their problem to work out. And to be honest, while I wish the Palestinian Arabs well, I don’t think their desire to violently destroy the state of Israel and murder much of its population ought to be indulged. I also don’t think that their behavior for the past hundred years or so implies, as President Obama has said, that they deserve a state – surely no more so than the Kurds or any number of stateless peoples. And they certainly don’t deserve one at the expense of the one and only Jewish state.
I suggest that we need to start looking for a solution to the conflict in a different place. Instead of the primary objective being bringing a Palestinian state into being — as it seems to be for the Obama Administration and the Europeans — we need to see it as protecting and preserving the Jewish state.
In fact, it seems clear that the establishment of a ‘Palestine’ along the 1949 armistice lines (with or without swaps) that refuses to accept the right of a Jewish state to exist would be inimical to the continued health of said Jewish state. So not only are they tackling the wrong part of the problem, they are doing it in a way that is likely to make the conflict worse rather than better.
Instead of asking for concrete Jewish concessions of land and security, I suggest we start by asking for Arab concessions. Let’s see them unambiguously announce in all relevant languages, that they recognize and accept the presence of a Jewish state, a state that belongs to the Jewish people, with defensible borders, between the river and the sea.
Let’s see them stop whipping up hatred and incitement to murder among their people, stop teaching their children that they should grow up to be martyrs and vicious terrorists.
Let’s see them agree that a solution for the Arab refugees will have to be found outside of the Jewish state.
And there’s no reason that only the Palestinian Arabs should make all the concessions. The various countries in which Palestinian Arab refugees reside must agree to remove the apartheid-like restrictions placed on them, and to assist any of them that want to to integrate into their societies.
If they can’t do these things — and I’m sure they can’t today — then the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict may not come about for another 63 years. It will be up to the Arabs. But until that time, Israel should be provided with the means to protect herself and should be allowed to do so when attacked.
Countries that share Israel’s democratic principles should make every effort to pressure Israel’s enemies to desist from their aggression. There is no justification for the massive arrays of missiles in Lebanon and Syria aimed at Israel. The US, for example, should stop sending military aid to Lebanon — now controlled by Hizballah — and should support the forces trying to overthrow Syria’s Assad.
Of course I don’t think the present US administration will take the path that I’m advocating. Even if the President and his advisers could see things clearly, it would take courage to act against the forces arrayed against Israel in the world. This administration is remarkably craven in dealing with its enemies (who, incidentally are mostly the same as Israel’s enemies).
Today, although rhetoric is not anti-Israel, US policies are squarely on the side of her enemies.