A Test of Decency: Supporting Israel

I’m sure everyone has had at least some look at Secretary of State Kerry’s speech – mostly it’s just a recitation of things Obama and his Administration have been saying for nearly 8 years; but when coupled with our abstention in the UN, it actually shows a policy which is just flat wrong.

The basic US policy has been for a Two State solution – and this remains the most logical way to assure basic justice and freedom for everyone. But a Two State solution has some firm requirements – first and foremost that all major Palestinian political groups acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign, Jewish nation. Right up to now, there has yet to be any firm commitment by any of the Palestinian leadership on this. A bit of lip service from the so-called “moderates”, but no concrete effort to get the bulk of the Palestinian leadership on board with the idea, while the propaganda put out for consumption by the Palestinian people indicates no desire for the existence of a Jewish State. Other requirements are that the Palestinians acknowledge Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and that the 1967 borders are a dead letter – whatever borders are eventually made will have to be made by free and fair negotiations between the two sides. Finally, whatever settlement is made must have as a key element the inability of the Palestinians to reverse by military means the final settlement – Israel’s military security must be paramount.

It must be kept in mind that the eastern part of Jerusalem and the West Bank was conquered by Israel in defensive war. It was the Palestinian/Arab/Muslim side of the conflict which was preparing apocalyptic war against Israel in 1967, not the other way around. As it relates to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, those who lead the Palestinians in 1967 gambled on war, and lost. Badly. And, so far, no one on the Palestinian side has acknowledged either their war-guilt, nor their crushing defeat (histories produced for the youth of the Muslim world still claim that it was US and British intervention which caused their defeat…they just won’t admit that the Jews beat them). Traditionally, those who launch a war and then lose are in no position to make demands. Now, a wise people will be merciful in victory – magnanimous, even. The Israelis have shown time and time again that they are willing to go quite far towards the needs of the Palestinians in pursuit of peace. In fact, things like the Oslo Accords probably went a bit too far towards the Palestinian position. At the end of the day, any peace deal will leave a very hostile people with authority deep in Israel’s strategic vitals – it would be like us making a peace with an enemy and allowing them to live just outside of Washington, DC.

The problem with the position of the Obama Administration is that by their policies they have entirely undercut any ability to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. By saying we want a return to the 1967 border, by saying we consider all settlements to be illegal, by saying that Israel has no rights in Judea and Samaria, we are essentially saying to the Palestinian leadership that Israel, itself, is on the negotiating block. What else is there? If our position is for the Israelis to surrender what they won in defensive war, then what is there to negotiate about save Palestinian designs upon the territory of Israel? And that is how the Palestinian leadership views it. Remember, 30 years ago such leadership were hunted criminals in exile…by action of the “peace process”, they have been allowed to return home and erect a government in the West Bank and Gaza and take full control over large numbers of Palestinian people. And what have they given up? Nothing. They haven’t given up terrorism. They haven’t given up the so-called “right of return” (and, remember, that right of return is a claimed right to return to Israel for those who left in 1948 and their descendants). They haven’t given up their position that Israel, itself, is illegitimate. Now they’ve got a US Administration saying that we back them in demands for all the pre-1967 territory…which includes the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. Roll that around a bit – the Jewish Quarter is “illegally occupied territory”. No word about how the Jewish Quarter was ethnically-cleansed of it’s ancient, Jewish population by the Arabs in the aftermath of the 1948 war. Such a policy is the result of sheer stupidity, or an anti-Israel view. It can’t be anything other than one of those two views…unless it is a combination of both.

The proper position for us to take is that Jerusalem is entirely Israeli, forever, and that the rest of Judea and Samaria is up for negotiation. We must also insist that all of the Palestinian leadership renounce in public the “right of return”, as well as acknowledging that Israel will exist after the peace deal as a Jewish State. To do otherwise is just to play into the hands of the most radical elements of the Palestinian leadership – because doing otherwise allows them to tell their people, “see, we’re pushing them back: just keep with us and eventually we’ll push the Jews into the sea”. And if the Palestinian leadership will not or cannot make such declarations, then there is no possibility of peace. Peace requires that the Palestinian leadership acknowledge Israel and it’s Jewish character. If there isn’t that, then the Palestinian leadership has determined upon continued war.

Leave aside notions of “illegally occupied”. Also, forget about supposed prohibitions against population transfers. Constantinople is “illegally occupied”…heck, a stronger case can be made on that than on any Israeli occupation. Remember, Israel got the West Bank in defensive war – Constantinople was taken in aggressive and entirely unjustified war. And if we’re going to get hung up on population transfers as part of a permanent peace deal, then what is one to say to all the Germans – and their descendants – who used to live in East Prussia and Silesia? The Greeks and the Turks settled their affairs in the 1920’s by population transfers. This is a tricky situation and there aren’t a lot of cut-and-dried things about it (for instance, a good number – perhaps a large majority – of the Palestinian population are descendants of people who arrived in Palestine after Zionist immigration started…it was the rising prosperity of Palestine created by the Zionists which induced many Arabs to move to Palestine in the early part of the 20th century; what is today Israel and the West Bank was a burned-out wasteland 150 years ago – the population of Jerusalem was only a little over 15,000 in 1850 or so; it had been 80,000 under the Romans; 30,000 during the Crusades).

It is a requirement, in my view, for all free people to back other free peoples. That is the central fact in my view of Israel. Israel is a democratic republic. While no nation is perfect, in Israel people of all faiths – or none – can live in peace and freedom. While there is official and un-official discrimination in Israel against non-Jews, that is changing – for instance, not a lot of non-Jews serve in the IDF, but some do…and the number is increasing as Israeli Christians and Muslims realize that defending Israel means defending themselves (anyone really think the Muslims of, say, Nazareth want to come under Abbas’ rule?). There is also a debt we of the West – especially we Christians – owe to the Jews. It isn’t just the Holocaust (though that is a gigantic part of it), but the general discrimination and injustice we visited upon the Jews for centuries which we atone for by supporting Israel. We cannot allow that a free people come under tyranny (and, so, I also back our defense of Taiwan, come what may, against China) and we also cannot allow another Holocaust to happen…and such would happen if the Arabs, as things currently are, got atop the Jews of Israel. As my title says, this is a test of decency – defense of Israel is a Pass/Fail thing on that matter. This does not mean we have to just blindly defend Israel in all circumstances – if a reasonable Palestinian leadership arises willing to meet all legitimate Israeli demands and then the Israelis balk, it would be time for us to pressure Israel…but such a Palestinian leadership would only fully arise under a free Palestine…not free of Israel, but free of tyranny. And, as that works out, if there was genuine freedom in Palestine, then I’m confident that the free people of Palestine and the free people of Israel could come to a swift and equitable arrangement.

In return for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, I’d be willing for our nation to do quite a lot…and not least for the people of Palestine, many of whom are my brothers and sisters in Christ. The real cost, given our wealth, would be small…but we could help the Palestinians make their land bloom with prosperity as much as Israel does. A grand and glorious future awaits – the Holy Land should be a place of peace and justice, and I pray for the day when it is. But we also must be realistic – there are bad actors in the world. Those who take the tiny resources of a poor people and turn them into rockets to fire at random civilians are bad actors…not people who, at present, can be partners in peace and construction. Peace can be had in short order, as soon as both sides want it. Right now, honestly, only one side does…and as they are the democratic side, I must back them. It is the only decent thing to do.

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Culture Does Matter

From NRO’s The Corner:

During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy.

But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture? In the case of the United States, it is a particular kind of culture that has made us the greatest economic power in the history of the earth. Many significant features come to mind: our work ethic, our appreciation for education, our willingness to take risks, our commitment to honor and oath, our family orientation, our devotion to a purpose greater than ourselves, our patriotism. But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out above all others: freedom. The American economy is fueled by freedom. Free people and their free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality…

Read the rest of it here.  Romney is completely correct – is the the culture of barbarism which prevents the Palestinians from enjoying a better life.  Give up the terrorism, give up the “death to Israel” nonsense and get rid of the kleptocrats who run the place and the Palestinians will swiftly be as prosperous as the Israelis.  It is up to the Palestinians – they have to decide what kind of life they want to live.  The world waits – you can be sure of it that the United States, alone, would pour untold billions in to the West Bank and Gaza.  Make the West Bank and Gaza a free market enclave like Hong Kong used to be and in 20 years you wouldn’t recognize the place…and you’d have Israelis asking real nice if they can join in (Israel does have a lot of success, but they still over-tax and over-regulate a bit; a leftover from the socialist days of the past).

Things can change.  People can change.  But they have to want to – and as an aside, all you liberals out there who are supporting the current Palestinian regime:  you’re part of the problem.  You’re propping up the very people who ensure endless war, endless oppression and endless poverty for the Palestinian people.

UPDATE:  Yet another reason to vote for Romney – our recovery weakest in all the world since 1970.

Corrupt, Thuggish “Palestinian” Regime Applies for Statehood

From CBS:

Defying U.S. and Israeli opposition, (the ruffians who rule over the West Bank) asked the United Nations on Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of failed negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would reenergize their quest for (unfettered rule over a kleptocracy which likes murdered Jews).

Shortly after submitting the application to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, “Palestinian” (capo) Mahmoud Abbas was greeted by sustained applause and appreciative whistles as he approached the dais to deliver a speech outlining his (fellow thugs and kleptocrats) hopes and dreams of becoming a full member of the United Nations…(MSM report edited to make it accurate)

Thing is, such a State would fit right in with the UN…seriously, what would be the difference between such a regime and UN stalwarts like Zimbabwe, Syria, Sudan, Iran and Cuba?  Probably get them right on the Human Rights Commission in time to issue some more anti-Semitic statements while ignoring massacre and robbery in other lands.

The bottom line here is not the absurd demand for Statehood, but the fact that we are even part of this corrupt organization.  The United States cannot with honor remain in the United Nations…we have to cut the ties and seek to build a global organization of decent, free nations.  Sticking with the UN is akin to the police making common cause with drug gangs.

In practical terms, all this will do is allow the thugs and thieves of the world – especially those of the Islamo-fascist variety – to be yet more thuggish and criminal.  They’ll be encouraged to steal and kill even more, because stealing and killing is clearly the path to glory in the UN.  Time we were well done with it…and we should start pressing the GOP contenders on how they view our relationship to the UN and how they will propose to reform it, how long they’ll wait, and when they’ll withdraw us from it once the UN proves itself incorrigible.

 

Here Are the Palestinians

Do you really want to know what the Palestinians are like?  Do you want to understand what sort of leadership there is?  What sort of public attitudes are encouraged?  Well, here ya go – from Palestinian Media Watch:

The Palestinian Authority chose the mother of 4 terrorist murderers, one of whom killed seven Israeli civilians and attempted to killed twelve others, as the person to launch their statehood campaign with the UN. In a widely publicized event, the PA had Latifa Abu Hmeid lead the procession to the UN offices in Ramallah and to hand over a letter for the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

The official PA daily reported that she launched the UN campaign last week, and noted that she is the “mother of seven prisoners and of the Shahid (Martyr) Abd Al-Mun’im Abu Hmeid.” However, the paper did not mention that 4 of her imprisoned sons are murderers…

These are the people the Israelis are supposed to make peace with?  This is an indication of a sincere desire to live in peace with Israel?

The reality is that the Palestinian leadership believes they will win it all, eventually.  From being an exiled terrorist group chased around the world by Mossad they have been allowed to become permanently domiciled in parts of the West Bank and in Gaza…who, 30 years ago, would ever have imagined this?  And, so, in their mind’s eye, where will they be 30 years from now?  So, naturally, they choose the mother of murderers to present their petition for UN recognition…using murder and mayhem has got them this far and there is every indication that more murder and mayhem will get them farther.

It is time to force these people to be reasonable…give them a week to declare, in Arabic in letters delivered to every single Palestinian, that they recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State, that they renounce the “right of return” and that Jerusalem is the undivided capitol of Israel…and if they don’t do it, announce that for each week they don’t, 1% of currently occupied West Bank land will forever be denied them.  And if they do go 100 weeks refusing, then start taking 1% of the land they current own, week by week, until they agree.  And if 200 weeks go by and they still don’t agree, then start kicking them out of the West Bank and Gaza and transferring them to Sinai and Jordan.

I know, harsh – but how are we to reach those who choose the mother of murderers as their symbol?  Someone name for me anything the Palestinians have said or done which indicates a sincere desire for peace.   We have to force it out of them by letting them know they are beaten and that their future, as a people in the West Bank and Gaza, can only come about via cooperation with the Israelis.  Or we can just drift along and let them, murder by murder, slowly take over the whole of Israel.

Egyptian PM: Peace With Israel “Not Sacred”

From the Jerusalem Post:

Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said a peace deal with Israel was not “sacred” and could be changed for the benefit of peace or the region.

His comments, made in an interview with a Turkish television channel and broadcast on state television, were the strongest yet by the new government which took over after president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February.

“The Camp David agreement is not a sacred thing and is always open to discussion with what would benefit the region and the case of fair peace … and we could make a change if needed,” he said in the interview…

My suggestion to Israel is that they re-open the “discussion” of peace by pushing the Egyptians out of the Sinai.  When you’ve got them by the privates, it is said, hearts and minds will follow…the Suez Canal is one of Egypt’s few money-makers and Israeli control of it might remind Egypt’s government of just why the Sadat regime sought a peace treaty in 1979.

Israel is in her most difficult position since just prior to the 1967 war – rising Islamism; Turkish hostility (it looks as though the Turks are asserting themselves for the Palestinians in order to forestall Iranian efforts…but, no matter, it still works out bad for Israel); threat of Iranian nukes…and a US government which actually believes that Israeli/American actions are the cause of the conflict (instead of it really being nothing more than a manufactured issue by Islamic leaders who want a short cut to personal power and wealth…and scapegoating Jews is just easy).  Israel had to both tread carefully but at the same time be willing to act with lightening speed to disrupt the Islamists.

Right now, those Islamsits are looking forward to re-starting the war with Israel – confronting Israel with massive terrorist attacks from the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and southern Lebanon.  Israel, caught between four fires, will be terribly vulnerable.  Better if one or more of the fires could be put out before it gets started.  As Israeli re-occupation of the West Bank is impractical (ties down too many Israeli units in occupation duty), the logical place to strike is in the Sinai…minimal Egyptian civil popualtion to control, it cuts off Gaza (thus putting that fire out) and would allow the IDF to concentrate on south Lebanon and the West bank with their southern and western fronts secure.

The worst thing Israel can do is just hunker down – MacArthur was once asked his formula for defensive war.  His answer?  “Defeat”.  Sitting there and waiting for the terrorists to strike won’t help…better a spoiling attack against them, throwing their plane in to confusion and allowing Israel a breathing space until a new American government comes to power…hopefully one with a more realistic understanding of the Islamists.

Saudis Give Us Excuse to Ditch Them

From Turki al-Faisal in the New York Times:

The United States must support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations this month or risk losing the little credibility it has in the Arab world. If it does not, American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to cooperate with America in the same way it historically has…

Ok, deal – all we have to do is the right thing, and the Saudis will have to cut their ties with us.  Wonderful!  Best thing I’ve heard in months on the foreign policy scene.  No longer shackled to a corrupt, oppressive, Islamist monarchy which provides bags of money for the Islamo-fascist enemies of the United States.

The linked Op-Ed goes on to claim that bid for statehood by the Palestinians is just basic justice.  I can’t see it as such.  The people of so-called Palestine have indicated no willingness to engage the Israelis in a decent manner.  Whether this is because of a malevolent spirit on the part of the people, or because the leaders of the people are deliberately orchestrating the evil is impossible to know…but until there is a fundamental change in Palestinian actions, not much can be done.  The United States cannot – morally or strategically – mid-wife the creation of an entity determined to massacre the Israelis.  It would be good to see Israel go one full year without a single terrorist attack by Islamists.  No rocket attacks from Gaza or Lebanon; no attempted cross-border incursions; no attempt to run the Gaza blockade.  If that happens, then we could consider backing statehood.  Until then, nothing doing.

As for Saudi Arabia:  good riddance to bad rubbish, I say…unfortunately, watch as our foreign policy “realists” react with horror to the mere thought that the Saudi monarchy might be displeased with us.