Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What if Israel took risks for peace?

Israel is constantly castigated, threatened with sanctions, and vilified for its cruelty to Palestinians, for refusing to allow them to have their own homeland, for building apartheid walls, for insisting on a military presence in the west bank, for cruel senseless murders of Palestinian children, and for land grabs.  Could the entire world be wrong?

Why doesn't  Israel do what the world knows is the right thing to do and make peace?  The situation of Israel in the world today, the reasons for these demands and their likely outcome point to the answer.

Israel in today’s world

In today’s world represented by the UN, Israel has a status different from that of any other country. The UN, like the news media, gives Israel a level of attention no other other country gets,  disproving the mantra that all publicity is good publicity.  Israel is held responsible for all problems in the  Middle East. According to American Middle Eastern scholars and advisers, the  Israel-Palestinian problem is the cause of hatred for the west,  If solved, antipathy of Muslims to the United States would become less intense and might even disappear. 
There are Israelis and Jews who share this  belief that if Palestinians had a homeland Israel would become an accepted  member of the world community.  Hostility would morph into friendship. Israeli leftists and moderates demand compromises and concessions, clinging to the belief that if would Israel behave properly, it would be accepted into the world community.

What is asked of Israel?

What does Israel have to do in order to be accepted into the cabal?  Nothing much. Solve the Palestinian problem by evacuating settlements.  Give the Palestinians the state they deserve. A seductive proposition, because being a country accepted by others would be Nirvana. If only it could be.

Would it work?

Nevertheless, however appealing a dream, basing it on a delusion is worse than futile. A sober look at how Israel is treated now, could keep us from making an irreversible mistake.  With a few exceptions, the entire world condemns  Israel for human rights violations.  In the Operation Protective Edge human rights investigation violations are based on figures and information provided by Hamas and aren't questioned. The pictures in the news were heart wrenching. So were the film clips in the movie “Wag the dog."

A UN investigation is an oxymoron. The Protective Edge "investigation"  is a celebration of Israel’s culpability. Watch some of it on Youtube if you have a strong stomach.  This is theater. There are no criteria or standards. There is no attempt to compare alternative versions of what happened  to determine what Israel or Hamas did, no attempts to determine whether genocidal acts were committed against Israel, no attempts to delineate specific crimes against humanity Israel is purportedly guilty of and provide supporting evidence beyond opinions.

An investigation would concern itself with questions like: Are the published numbers of dead and wounded accurate?  Is the breakdown of civilians and terrorists accurate?  Were the Palestinians  who were interviewed able to speak freely? What do Palestinians say when they are free to speak? Are the photographs valid?

Israel’s special treatment.

The scenario in the UN today is this: Israel has the honor of being the only nation on earth blessed with its very own human rights committee to constantly monitor Israel (and only Israel) for human rights violations.  When compared to human rights violations elsewhere --  Iran, Syria, genocide against Christians, Kurds, Yazidis  and ISIS -- anything Israel did is trivial.   The threat of nuclear weapons in Iran, chemical weapons in Syria, ISIS’ severing heads with continued expansion and support for ISIS in the Arab world,  these all receive minimal coverage. Israel even gets more coverage then the danger of an worldwide Ebola pandemic.

In Europe, Islam is bringing in the new Islamic world order. For Jews, the result has been migration from France, where Jews’ lives are endangered, along with anti-semitic posters and statements eerily similar to those that preceded WWII. Jews have been denied access to stores and Muslims have surrounded synagogues with the purpose of destroying them and everyone in them. European leaders commiserate and apologize, but don't take this seriously enough to do anything about, such as stopping BDS, or not voting for a recognition of  Palestine, when Palestine's leaders openly proclaim  genocide for Jews. Instead the EU threatens to cut ties with Israel if Israel’s actions do not promote “peace”.  In the US,  people have been murdered because they are Jewish. Police refuse to label these crimes as hate crimes. People who do acknowledge anti-semitism  call it "overflow" from critique of Israel's policies. Jews should eliminate the "root cause" -- Israel's occupation. Do this and everything will be candy cane and lollypops.

The likely results of taking risks for peace

What if Israel followed this advice and took these  “risks for peace?” What if Netanyahu in his speech at the UN announced that all Israeli settlements are being evacuated starting today?  Would Abbas walk up to the podium and hug Netanyahu or would he call this a trick to deprive Palestinians of all that they deserve?  Would anti-semitism in the West vanish? Would the war crimes investigation against Israel stop?  Would Abbas recognize Israel’s right to exist? Would Erdogan’s anti-semitic speeches stop,  or would more demands follow-- Palestinian right of return to pre-1948 homes all over Israel? Would Israel's response to Hamas rockets coming from the now Palestinian west bank and Gaza be called disproportionate?  If the world’s demands of Israel defy rationality today,  why would that change if Israel took “risks for peace”?

What does everyone mean when they demand risks for peace or  proportionate responses?  What does "Israel ha a right to defend itself" mean if  defensible borders ate ignored? What support is there for the belief that Palestinians would be satisfied with the west bank and Gaza?  If we believe ISIS when they say that their goal is to establish a caliphate, why don't we believe Hamas when they say their goal is to establish a caliphate in ALL of Palestine including the part now known as Israel? These are issues the world steers clear of. For Israelis, Jews and anybody concerned with the survival of Israel they are critical.

What’s at stake

What if this experiment -- Palestinian state for peace -- fails?  It cannot be undone. What if Israel cannot defend herself?  Which countries will have her back? The West has no answer. Islamic terrorists fighting to end Israel and the Israeli "occupation" do have answers.  In the words of Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki, speaking for Mahmoud Abbas in Al Jazeera [9/23/2011]

               While the agreement is based on the borders of June 4, 1967, the President,  Mahmoud Abbas understands and everybody knows that it is impossible to realize the inspiring idea this great goal in one stroke. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, if Israel uproots its settlements, 650,000 settlers, if Israel removes the security fence, what will be with Israel? Israel will come to an end. If I say I want to remove it from existence, that would be great, great but hard. This is not a stated policy. You can’t say it to the world, but you can say it to yourself. 

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