Sunday, October 22, 2006


Israel's Survival Depends on Seeing the Enemy without Illusions

I was struck by a line in a piece by Nidra Poller about Condi Rice's speech at the American Task Force for Palestine, posted exclusively on Atlas Shrugs. Diaspora Jews, Israelis and Americans need to see the Palestinians, and their Arab and Muslim allies, for who they are, not who we wish they would be. Ms. Poller calls the Palestinian movement "a force persistently identified as a national liberation movement and consistently acting by the rules of Jihad."

To the extent that there is a Palestinian national movement, it is clearly defined by its grievances, some real and many more imagined, against the Jews and a shared identity that has come together in recent decades in opposition to Israel. What is undeniable is the role that classic jihadi ideology as well as Arab nationalism have played in the collective identity, motivations and actions of the Palestinians. The Palestinians, were they a national liberation movement, would have a positive identity based on issues not relating to the infidel Jews. Only among their Western supporters do we see the strong desire to set up a functional Palestinian state, with a vision of what that state might look like. From the Palestinians, we get plans for the destruction of Israel, incitement to genocide against the Jews and goals enunciated in traditional Islamic and Arab nationalist terms.

The real affront to Palestinians and their Muslim brethren is that the Jews, who previously were living in the Middle East as dhimmis (second class citizens under Islamic rule), dared to liberate themselves and establish a state in their homeland, which the Muslims once ruled and thus consider forever their right to possess--just as they do Spain, parts of Russia, India, etc.). It is also an intolerable situation for Muslims to live under Jewish rule (that is the "humiliation" regardless of Israeli policy), despite the fact that the Israelis govern with far more humanity toward the Palestinians than Jews in Muslim lands ever received, and in fact, give their Arab-Muslim citizens more rights, freedoms and opportunities than do the rulers of the 22 Arab countries.

Despite the fact that the Palestinians have never presented a workable peace plan--not even in response to Israel's generous offer of a Palestinian State in 2000, which a legitimate national liberation movement would have accepted--Ms. Rice continues to lavish praise on Palestinian Americans and devote herself to the cause of a two-state solution for which she seems to have much more enthusiasm than do Palestinians living in the Middle East. Why is this? Because for the Palestinians to formally agree to anything less than all of Israel is to turn their back on the larger (and more important, in their eyes) Muslim goal of having the Islamic rule of the ummah extend throughout the region, uninterrupted by Jewish sovereignty. Thus, the Jihad continues until the Jews are killed or willingly submit to Islamic rule.

Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jews, has made many compromises along the way, both to achieve an independent state and in various attempts to live in peace with its Arab neighbors. This is why Israel has continually shown a willingness to give up land, including territory upon which it has a stronger legal, moral and historical claim than do the Palestinians and Israel's neighboring Arab countries.

Jews don't need an enemy to know who they are as a people and a nation. They have a language that only they speak, many books that detail their unique history, a land in which only they have had independent nation-states--both 2000 years ago and today--and practice a religion that no other people practice. Their ancestors gave the world the Bible and the concept of ethical monotheism. Today, Jews disproportionately contribute to the fields of science, technology, medicine, philosophy and the arts. All they really want is to be able to live in peace and self-rule in some part of their land.

Now, please tell me what is the Palestinian vision other than to deny Israelis any peace as they ultimately attempt to drive them off that little sliver of land?

Key quote from Ms. Poller:
More broadly, and with great effort to be fair-minded, what have Palestinian Americans contributed to the debate, what have they done to help their countrymen move in the direction of the peace and justice they fervently proclaim? How is their plan different from other plans? What influence do or might they have? What do they condemn, aside from the “occupation, humiliation, persecution, impoverishment”? What do they advocate in the way of goals or strategy other than…the Saudi peace plan?

The abiding impression left by this Inaugural Gala is of a total disconnect from current realities. A “no way to get there from here” peace plan based on Palestinian demands and Israeli concessions, that ignores the dismal record of an ummah determined to destroy Israel and the blatant failure of all and every attempt at negotiation with a force persistently identified as a national liberation movement and consistently acting by the rules of jihad.
You can read Ms. Poller's entire report on the American Task Force on Palestine event at Atlas Shrugs.

The disconnect between the real and the ideal is even more stunning. You are right my friend, there is no Palestinian American voice at all. One should not dwell on whether there are moderate voices. There are none. If there is one, I doubt if it will be other than the usual anti-Jewish diatribe we hear all the time, be it secular or religious in ideology, there is no difference.

How can any lasting peace be possible under such misdigueded beliefs about the Jewish State. I believe that the Arab states are heading towards a nihilistic situation, because they seem incapable to bringing themselves to envision living along side a Jewish state. At the same time they play the victimization scripts we all are accustomed to. To adapt their views and ideology to new political conditions or to changing ideological context is beyond them. It is cultural and maybe religion has something to do with it. So, it is in a sense hopeless.

The irony as you have mentioned, is the usual "make belief" diplomacy of the US administration and their various political lobbying groups. I can understand that diplomacy is there to be used (even if it is for make believe) and even if it is counter to your agenda or what you wish the other party should be, however it does not do anything to solve the pressing problems that the region is facing nor does it deal with Israel's right to exist.

I am from the opinion (and you can quote me on this) that the Palestinian authorities and their speudo-government (and we can include all beligerent Arab states) are pushing (perhaps unknowingly or perhaps knowingly) the Jewish state to act in a genocidal way, in order to survive. I think that the restraint Israel as a military force has shown throughout its history of existence, will come to be tested to the limit. And I am afraid that Israel will face the moral dilemma of acting because not doing so will be perilous for its own suvival. Let's hope we will not arrive at that, but when I look and read around there does not seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.
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