This article and interpretation relies on the intellectual property of Gregg Roman, David Meir-Levi, Juliana Pilon, Matthias Küntzel and Colin Meade, Daniel Pipes, William B. Ziff, FirstOneThrough, Martin Sicker, Sheree Roth and Efraim Inbar. It will explore the inter-related strands of Muslim anti-semitism, faux Palestinianism, Arab rejectionism and, in the Israeli context, the use of violence to end violence.
In many regards, the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict is less about civilisational difference than it is about ideology and personal ambition. Soviet influence, antisemitism, and the large number of Arab and Muslim UN member states have kept the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict alive. To the trifecta above, one could add Nazism as a contributing factor to the ongoing conflict.
Further, the ideology of that conflict is about ethics: the one, a Jewish code of of essentially pacifist ethics handed down by Moses over 3,000 years ago; the other, a medieval view of Islam stuck in time and caught up in violence and fanaticism.
As we shall see, land is but a pretext in this conflict; ‘occupation’ ‘open-air prisons’, ‘nakba’ or displaced masses – these are all merely an elaborate smoke screen to hide a commitment to European National Socialism given an Islamic twist. Fantastical claims of “Palestinian” “genocide” perpetrated by Israel are given the lie through population census figures which show 40% increase in the Arab population till end year 2014. Unending UN condemnations of Israeli “war crimes” mustered by Arab and Muslim UN member states pale into farcical insignificance in the face of myriad killing of innocents in Syria, Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Tibet, and Iraq to name but a few.
In almost every part of the world, since the end of the Second World War,
“Nazi” has been a synonym for “criminal”. Not so, however, in the Arab world,
where positive references to Hitler and the destruction of the Jews have been
an accepted part of public discourse for decades.
The most important spiritual mentor of the Islamist movement was a pro-Nazi Egyptian religious scholar, Rashid Rida. Rida legitimized his sympathy for Nazism by treating it as the instrument of God’s will, which would sweep aside heresies and false beliefs, corrupt versions of Islam among them, and clear a path for the ultimate triumph of the Muhammadan revelation.
For Rida, the rationale for the affinity between Pan-Islamism and National Socialism as it pertained to the Middle East in the 1930s and 40s was that the common enemy was not Britain, as many are wont to believe, but the Jews
Three of Rida’s most prominent pupils were Amin el-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem, Hassan al-Banna, founder and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iz-al-Din al-Qassam, the first Palestinian jihadist who had ties to the Saudi Wahhabites and remains to this day the idol of Hamas. Articles 7 and 22 of the Hamas Charter in particular represent a condensed version of the Islamized anti-Semitic ravings cultivated by Rashid Rida, in the years just before his death in 1935.
In other words, banners and standards of preceding pan-Islamism using terminology such as ‘national,’ ‘popular,’ and ‘socialist’ vanished and in their place arose standards of Islamic fundamentalist movements based on anti-semetic National Socialism which both preceded the foundation of the State of Israel and later became a focus of the contemporary struggle against the Jewish state. That is to say, the contemporary struggle against Israel is now being led by precisely those same Islamist currents that espoused and continue to espouse a Nazi-like hatred of Jews.
This ongoing effort for Muslim supremacism in the Middle East as well as in Western Europe is not new. After the searingly rapid and violent spread of Islam which began in the Hejaz in 700CE and which eventually took Muhammedan colonialism to the gates of Vienna in the second Turkish siege of that city, Muslims tried emulating the liberal West (Great Britain and France primarily) in the era 1800-1920 to seek sources of power and wealth without success. They then emulated the illiberal West (Italy, Russia, and Germany) between 1920 and 1980, and that also failed. In the past forty years, they turned back to their own history and tried to sweep away the old through the exigencies of the so-called Arab Spring…..
Thus, while the present Islamic resurgence in Europe is essentially continuity with the past where Europe was under constant threat from Islam, Islam in the Middle East/Israeli arena is continuity with adherence to Nationalsim Socialism that was promulgated and meshed with Islamist teaching that preceded the formation of the Jewish state.
While Europe’s Muslim problem is beyond the remit of this article, the on-going issue of the ‘ancient’ “Palestinians” with deep-rooted antecedents in the Levant is not, and will now be examined.
In 1948, Henry Cattan, a Palestinian Christian jurist and writer born in Jerusalem wrote: “The Palestinians are the original and continuous inhabitants of Palestine from
In 1984, taking this widely believed sentiment one excited step further, Saeb Erekat, the PA’s one-time chief negotiator, enthused: “I am the son of Jericho. … the proud son of the Netufians and the Canaanites. I’ve been there for 5,500 years before Joshua Bin Nun came and burned my hometown Jericho.”
In 1986, Mahmoud Abbas asked plaintively, “Our narrative says that we (Palestinians) were in this land since before Abraham. I am not saying it. The Bible says it. The Bible says, in these words, that the Palestinians existed before Abraham. So why don’t you recognize my right?”
And Mr Abbas would indeed have a point if only his facts were accurate.
There has never been a nation, state or country known as Palestine. 1,900 years before the birth of Mohammad, the ancient Egyptians spoke of “Sea People” arriving on the Mediterranean Coast from the Aegean. It’s widely accepted that one of these “Sea People” are the people that the Bible, in Hebrew, calls “Plishtim”. In English, they are called “Philistines”. They roughly occupied an area on the Mediterranean Coast from Gaza northward, to Ashdod in modern
Israel, and inland to the city of Gat.
After the Philistines disappeared from the historical stage, the name “Palestina” lingered on and appeared sporadically in references in classic Greek writings such as those of Herodotus.
By the time Jesus was born, there hadn’t been any Philistines in the area for some 600 years. The name does not appear anywhere in the Gospels. And the people living in Judea at the time of Jesus – including Jesus and all his disciples never referred to their country as “Palestine”. Even the Romans didn’t
call the area Palestine. When they crucified him, the Romans in Judea put a plaque over Jesus’ head with the inscription – in three languages (but not Arabic) – “King of the Jews”, not the “Philistines” (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19).
By 135 CE, the Romans had had enough of the fractious Jews over 3 uprisings. After the Bar Kochba revolt, they exiled the majority of the Jewish people and renamed Judea “Palestina” and “Syria Palestine” officially became a Roman province only about a century after Jesus’ crucifixion.
The name Palaestina was thus chosen by Imperial Rome to humiliate the Jews after their failed but costly revolt, by associating the land of Judea, Samaria and Galilee with Israel’s biblical arch-enemies, the “Philistines”. The name Palestine, therefore, rather than undermining Jewish claims to the land, actually reinforces them by harking back to Jewish political sovereignty 3000 and then 1800 years ago. Clearly, there were no Philistines at the time and even if some had miraculously survived, they would have been Greeks and not Arabs.
Moreover, it is worth noting that the Philistines, uncircumcised Aegean Greeks with Hamitic Egyptian influences and therefore of absolutely no relation to Palestinian Arabs, did not call themselves ‘Philistines’. “Philistine” is in fact a Hebrew word — “Pelishtim” — that the Israelites used to refer to their Gazan enemies. It means “invaders” in Hebrew. Modern “Palestinians”, who claim to be native, are actually calling themselves “invaders”. And, ironically, they’re actually doing it in Hebrew, to boot.
In sum, the area of Palestine so-named by the Romans never became an independent state. In the 7th century, some 1,200 years after the Philistines disappeared, Muslim armies conquered and colonized the area.
In modern times, the province of Palestine passed from the Ottoman Turks to the British. Under the Ottomans, the term “Palestinians” was not officially used at all for anyone (except Jews in the Diaspora referred to the Jews who lived there as “Palestinian Jews”). In 1922, the British gifted a chunk of Palestine to the Hashemite clan from Saudi Arabia as full payment for Hejazi Arab support in defeating the Turks in the Peninsula. When the British controlled the area, the term “Palestinians” was used only for Jewish residents and prior to that, what was referred to as Palestine was present-day Gaza, with the rest of what is now Israel being referred to as southern Syria.
All of this makes it difficult to lend credence to the Palestinian Arab claim of antiquity and timeless roots in an ancient land – a claim which is at the very core of the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict.
Not an Ancient “People”
In the war of words that accompany all conflicts, a persistent stumbling block between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel has been this tale of diverging nationalist narratives, yet only one is reality and the other, a myth.
The competing “isms” of Zionism and Palestinianism reveal, in the case of the latter, the presence of a psychological phenomenon called “The Rashomon Effect,” from the 1950 film of that name by Akira Kurosawa. In the film, a crime is remembered differently by each separate witness, leaving the viewer to question the nature of truth itself. Ultimately, the characters deceive themselves into believing the version they have told.
In transferring this phenomenon to the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict we come to a Palestinian Arab liberation theology after the “nakba” that took root in the territories west of the Jordan with connections to the Islamist organization, the Nazi-inspired and partially funded Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt.
The “nakba,” or catastrophe, is a word attributed to Arab nationalist, Constantine Zurayk, who circulated a pamphlet in 1948, The Meaning of the Catastrophe.
Israel is not/was never responsible for the Palestinian Arab “nakba”. Reams have been written on this very issue, and I will not delve into that here.
Suffice it to state that after the defeat of five Arab armies which invaded the nascent Jewish state in 1948, Palestinian Arab society, split among differing clans and tribes, deserted military units, and after their loss to Israel, maintained that they were victims of inter-Arab politics.
The new Jewish state emerged victorious in the war or 1948-9, at a cost of six thousand Israeli lives. But, the anti-semitism of the Muslim Botherhood, however, took on a new dimension.
In 1950, Egyptian writer Sayyid Qutub published and disseminated millions of copies of his book “Our Struggles with the Jews”. Now, in this new Muslim anti-Semitism it was “discovered” that not only was everything Jewish evil, but everything evil was Jewish. Jews were responsible for the worldwide moral and sexual decline. Intellectual Muslim Brotherhood inspired devastation now permitted Jews to be denigrated by reference to verses in the Koran as “pigs” and “apes,” and the claim that the consumption of non-Jewish blood was a religious rite for Jews was offered up as a scientific discovery.
But more importantly, the narrative around the authenticity of Israel began to metamorphose and “Palestine” was declared sacred Islamic territory (Dar al-Islam), where Jews should not be allowed to govern even a single village, and the destruction of Israel was a sacred duty.
In 1952, Yasser Arafat, Egyptian born and educated, established his Fatah movement in Cairo in 1958, a secular revolutionary, nationalist movement that in 1964 became the PLO with Arafat as its chairman. “Fatah,” was chosen for its Qur’anic meaning of triumph or “conquest.” Arafat went to the border territory between Israel and Jordan in 1964 (it was not called the “West Bank” then), he decided that this unoccupied (by people) land would be perfect for him to establish his PLO. He intended this land to be his base from where he planned eventually to displace King Hussein of Jordan and completely destroy Israel to become the ruler of all “Palestine” Jordan threw him out. The Jews gave him overseership of the territory.
Also in 1952, Gamal Abdul Nasser rose to power in a putsch which grew of the embarrassment of the 1948 Arab defeat, and he employed many of the National Socialist war criminals who had evaded justice in Europe by fleeing to Egypt, in their former sphere of expertise – anti-Jewish propaganda.
After Nasser’s military campaign against Israel also failed miserably in the Six-Day War of 1967, it became clear that, in an effort to restore Arab honor, a liberation theology took root in the disputed territories with connections to Nazi anti-semitic Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood ideology. The besieged pawns known as the Israeli Arabs would serve both purposes.
Prior to 1967, there was never a separate political entity among the Arabs for indicating an Arab group known as “Palestinians” and this political group was not recognized by even other Arab countries until the Rabat Summit Conference in 1974.
The Rabat Summit declaration conferred a mantle of legitimacy on the PLO that was previously absent. It gave official Arab recognition to PLO territorial claims to the West Bank through the expediency of getting King Hussein of Jordan to drop his claim to the West Bank in return for $300 million annually instead.
Therefore, the newly created “Palestinians” under Arafat effectively bought their claim as an ‘ancient’ people with “timeless roots” in “Palestine” because historically they had no basis in either ancestry or international law and, furthermore, they bought that claim from a group of Arabs (Jordan) who had either never owned it in the first place nor traced their ancestry back more than about 60 years.
This is not to say that there were no Arabs living in what is now Israel during the 19th and early 20th centuries. There were. But, in the vast majority of instances, their presence in the Levant is that of the newest comers and not of an ancient people.
Thus, the Arabs in Israel are most just that: Israeli Arabs. And there is sound reason for making the distinction between Arabs and “Palestinians”. In order to be considered a separately identified people, one would need a common culture, history, and, often, language and territory that is different from other people. Today’s “Palestinians” have none of those things; they are totally indistinguishable from any other Arab with the exception that their “history” goes back less than 60 years.
Prior to the mid 1960s there was never such a phenomenon as the “Palestinian” people. Before that time they were part of either southern Syria before the First World War and then it was a Palestine including Jordan during Mandate times. There is not a single reference to the Arabs as “Palestinians” in the British Mandate of Palestine. Additionally, all sources written before 1964, refer to “Arab-Israeli” or “Arab-Jewish” wars and riots and never use the term “Palestinians” at all to refer to a separate or specific group of Arabs.
Roman-named Palestine was home to a human patch-work of Jews, Armenians, Kalmucks, Persians, Crusaders, Tartars, Indians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Sudanese, Turks, Mongols, Romans, Kharmazians, Greeks, pilgrims, wanderers, ne’er-do-wells and adventurers, slaves and invaders.
Of the invaders, it is only 1,300 years after the establishment of Judaism, that Arab Muslims invaded and colonized the area and converted all peoples under its sway to Islam. From the beginning of that colonial project to 1964, for 1200 years, the world never knew a “Palestinian” state existed, let alone a “Palestinian” people…..
As further evidence of the mythology behind “Palestinianism: as an ancient people, in the fourteenth century, drought caused the immigration into Palestine of eighteen thousand “tents” of Yurate Tartars from the Euphrates. Soon followed twenty thousand Ashiri under Gaza, and four thousand Mongols under Moulai, who occupied the Jordan Valley and settled from Jerusalem south. Kaisaite and Yemenite tribes followed in their trail. In 1830 the Albanian conqueror Mehemet [Muhammad] Ali colonized Jaffa, Nablus, and Beisan with Egyptian soldiers and their Sudanese allies. Fourteen years later, Lynch estimated the thirteen thousand inhabitants of Jaffa to be composed of eight thousand Turco-Egyptians, four thousand Greeks and Armenians, and one thousand Jews and Maronites. He did not consider that there were any Arabs at all in that city.
The Tulunides brought in Turks and Negroes. The Fatamids introduced Berbers, Slavs, Greeks, Kurds, and mercenaries of all kinds. The Mamelukes imported legions of Georgians and Circassians. Each monarch for his personal safety relied on great levies of slave warriors. Saladin, hard-pressed by the Crusaders, received one hundred and fifty thousand Persians who were given lands in Galilee and the Sidon district for their services.
But it was not until modern times, until the Zionists had arrived in numbers did the Arab population in the Holy Land begin to augment itself. The introduction of European standards of wage and life acted like a magnet on the entire Near East. Abruptly, Palestine became an Arab center of attraction.
It was in the vicinity of the early Jewish villages developed by the Zionists that Arab development was most marked. Arab Haifa, profiting by the Zionist boom, grew from 1922 to 1936 by 130%, Jaffa by 80%, and Jerusalem by 55%. The Arab rural settlement in the Tel Aviv district increased by over 135%. The all-Arab city of Nablus, which held 33,000 before the war, fell to less than 12,000. Safed which had 20,000, dropped to less than 9,000 as Arabs gravitated to Jewish money in the Yishuv.
In 1922 the Mandatory government acknowledged the immigration of whole tribes “from the Hejaz and southern Transjordan into the Beersheba area…”
As early as 1926, Colonial Secretary Amery cautiously conceded that despite the growth of the Jewish element “the increase of the Arabs is actually greater than the Jews.” Figures presented before the Peel Commission in 1937 showed the Arab population to have more than doubled in fourteen years.
In 1933, the statement of the French governor of the Hauran in Syria showed that from his district alone, in the summer of 1933, thirty-five thousand people had left for Palestine as a consequence of bad crops.
The increase in Arab population due to immigration was no secret as further
important testimony came from Robert Kennedy, the future U.S. attorney general, who traveled at age twenty-two in 1948 to Palestine and reported from there for the Boston Post. He too noted the influx of Arab immigration into Palestine: “The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944 came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state. This is the only country in the Near and Middle East where an Arab middle class is in existence. “
Perhaps Newt Gingrich put it most succinctly when he said in 2011 that “there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people.”
And it is for this very reason that use of the term “Palestinian” is to be discouraged by those who support Israel. It is a subterfuge which has its origins in the 1964 PLO Charter which viewed all land west of the Jordan River – in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel – as inherently “Arab” with ties to the rest of the Arab world.
“Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong national ties to the rest of the Arab Countries and which together form the large Arab homeland.” (Article 1)
That statement stripped the land from non-Arabs who lived and ruled in the territory for thousands of years. It allows revisionists to accept that Arabs think of the land as Arab; terminology that has become incorporated into the left-wing media’s dictionary as if the land were really inherently Arab
The PLO Charter continued to extend the argument that only Palestinian Arabs have rights to “Arab land”:
“The Palestinian Arab people has the legitimate right to its homeland and is an inseparable part of the Arab Nation. It shares the sufferings and aspirations of the Arab Nation and its struggle for freedom, sovereignty, progress and unity.” (Article 3)
After declaring that the land was inherently Arab and the Palestinian Arabs were the logical possessors of the Arab land, the charter took the next step of defining a “Palestinian” in a new manner:
“The Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled. Every child who was born to a Palestinian parent after this date whether in Palestine or outside is a Palestinian.” (Article 6)
From this date, a new term of “Palestinian” was created to refer exclusively to Arabs.
And so, with admirable sleight of hand, “Palestinian” and “Arab” are inseparable terms, now morphed into the exclusively Arab “Palestinians.” Stating that the land’s people are only Arab, denies both the history and rights of Jews in the land.
This absurdity is compounded by the fact more Arabs moved to the Holy Land under the British administration of 1922 to 1948 as outlined above. How do Iraqi Arabs who moved to Haifa in 1930 – and all of their descendants, regardless of their citizenship – become “Palestinians” forever, while a Jew who came from Russia at the same time becomes only a semi-permanent Israeli Jew, only while he lives there.
Using the term “Palestinian”:
- Rejects the 3700-year history of Jews in the holy land
- Declares that the land is inherently “Arab”
- Argues that the Jewish State is simply in a de facto existence, while the underlying Arab natureof the land is permanent
- Facilitates removing the Jewish , Zionist “invaders” from EGL (east of the Green Line)/ WestBank in the near-term, and from Israel in the longer-term.
For Israeli Arabs, the character of their demography is at the heart of their claim to territorial inheritance and national sovereignty. Their contention, seen by them as being beyond dispute, is that Arab Palestinians have deep and timeless roots in that geography and that their own immigration into that geography has at no time been consequential. To challenge that contention, then, is to rightly challenge their self-selected criterion for sovereignty for it is an ingenuous lie.
I have demonstrated that the vast majority of today’s Israeli Arabs have a history going back only 60-70 years, and Israel is in the midst of a strenuous ideological arm wrestle which would change the narrative of the the history of the Jews in Judea and Samaria and disenfranchise a peace loving people who have legal, moral, religious, linguistic, cultural and traditional ties to this tiny sliver of the globe.
Those who follow this part of the world will know that Israel is not the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Nor is the West Bank nor Gaza. The reason there is no peace between Israel and the Israeli Arabs can be summed up as follows:
1937 Peel Commission NO
1947 UN Partition Plan NO
1967 Khartoum NO
2000 Camp David Barak/Clinton offer NO
2001 Taba NO
2008 Olmert offer NO
2012 Peace Negotiations NO
2014 Reconstruction for Demilitarization NO
But perhaps an essay by Walter Russell Mead under the title “The Key to Peace: Selling The Two State Solution in Palestine,” puts it better:
“Many people want to embrace the happy fantasy that the Palestinians are ready today to make peace if those nasty Israelis would just stop provoking them by building new settlements, and that if we in the West press Israel enough on the settlement question, peace will quickly come. […]
In our view, the real reason the peace process hasn’t succeeded in producing real peace is not that Israeli settlements keep Palestinians away from the table.
The real problem is exactly what it has been for sixty years: deeply rooted Palestinian opposition to a two-state solution. While many Palestinians are ready to accept that solution, many of those see it as only a temporary step on the road to a single, Palestinian state, and a very large group of Palestinians stands with the Hamas leadership in rejecting the legitimacy of Israel on any terms.”
It is, then, no longer a sufficient condition to politely accept Israeli Arab rejectionism. And rejection of a legally created state it is.
In a 1999 meeting with Barak, then-senator Arlen Specter (Rep.-Pa.) asked him why he was pursuing a two-state solution so aggressively when there were so many causes for concern with his Palestinian partner, Yasser Arafat. Barak replied, “We all know what the ultimate two-state solution will look like. So we have two choices. We either sit down and negotiate this deal now, or we fail. If we fail, there will be a war. And after that war we will bury our dead and return to the very same table to discuss the very same deal.”
Barak was right. There is a general consensus on where most of the borders of a two-state solution should be drawn. And when Arafat rejected Barak’s proposal of these borders at the Camp David summit in July 2000, and his even more generous offer at Taba in 2001, there was another war—the so-called second intifada. And after the war was over, each side buried its dead and returned to the same table to discuss the same deal.
Barak was only wrong about one thing. He overestimated Arafat’s desire and ability to end the conflict. Arafat was not moved by Barak’s powerful logic. He never was interested in peace. Instead, he was motivated by an alternative logic that reminded him that if he agreed to this deal he would have to end the conflict with Israel and give up the Palestinian “right of return.” And the Palestinian leader who made these concessions would likely not live very long. In the end, he didn’t.
Barak made a mistake about his partner for peace. But to his credit, he learned from this mistake, recognized the reality, and changed his policy accordingly. And most Israelis learned along with him. After 2000, even the Israeli Left—a sometimes pie-in-the-sky band of progressives—largely recognized that a two-state solution would have to await a real partner.
Those who had hoped then that Arafat’s successor—Mahmoud Abbas—would be such a partner have since been disappointed. In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Abbas an even better deal than Barak had offered Arafat at Taba. Abbas’s response was to turn the offer down.
He made no counter offer. And he has since abandoned negotiations altogether and instead asked the United Nations to recognize unilaterally a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Such recognition would give Abbas all of the benefits he sought without requiring him to make those dangerous concessions regarding ending the conflict and relinquishing the right of return.
The two-state solution that had once been the policy preference of the far Left became the policy of the center Left and has now even been embraced by the center Right.
In order to present this Arab rejectionism in its historical context and to expose the true intent of Israel’s “peace partners”, it is well to remember that the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today’s Palestinian Authority, was founded back in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to “liberate”?
No, it is clear that all the wars and subterfuges such as BDS and UN resolutions condemning Israel are nothing but a continued attempt by Arab and Muslim member states to bring about the demise of the Jewish state by any means possible.
Peace through Violence
Some Jews on the Israeli left particularly, appear to have internalized an incorrect reading of the role of war and self-defense in Jewish tradition. Having been taught that Judaism is a virtually pacifist tradition, increasing numbers of Jews in Israel and abroad seem to think of physical might, and military prowess and activity when necessary, as inherently un-Jewish. Increasingly, ambivalence about the necessity of waging war in order to guarantee Jewish survival paralyses sectors of the Jewish world in and out of Israel.
After 68 years of conflict, Avigdor Liberman recently said it right: Israel no longer had the luxury of conducting drawn-out wars of attrition. With their vastly superior dollar resources and human capital, the Arab-preferred strategy of a war of attrition would only work against the Israelis.
As Gregg Roman points out: “In order for there to be peace between Israel and its neighbours, Israel must win and the Israeli Arabs must lose.”
Throughout history, clear military victory ended wars. The conventional wisdom which holds that conflicts are best resolved through negotiations and compromise has never worked. Not in the Ukraine, not in Korea, Vietnam, Cyprus or Japan.
Likewise, it has not worked in Arab-Israeli conflict. Quite the opposite, continued American administration policy of actively preventing Israel from pressing home decisive military victories over its enemies only encourages its enemies to take risks. Oslo is an ongoing reminder of the futility of negotiation and compromise…
Using the principle of the Doctrine of Limited Liability, Israel’s adversaries feel they need not fret over irrevocable loss because they know the international community will admonish Israel for any gains it achieves and will pressure it to return to the status quo ante…..
Islamist Arab organisations in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria have internalized the unwillingness of Jews to mete out gratuitous violence to their enemies. This is merely a continuation of that principle internalized in 1948 where an Arab League attack on Kibbutz Tirat-Tzvi which was repulsed by the Jews with heavy losses for the attacking Arab League Army. In a report on that situation, General Ismail Safwat, the Arab League’s appointed commander of the Palestine campaign, wondered why the Jews had not used their military superiority to deal the Arabs a mortal blow. Part of his explanation, in his opinion, lay in the Jewish belief that self-restraint was conducive to eventual Arab acquiescence in the existence of a Jewish state in line with the Partition Resolution. His proof was: “Until now, they have not attacked any Arab village unless provoked by it.”
The 68 year history of Arab rejection of Israeli peace offers and two of statehood in a shared sliver of land are indeed proof that then, as now, the Levantine Arabs have internalized the lesson of Jewish self-restraint well and exploit it to the max.
Moreover, restraining Israel legitimizes and nourishes Palestinian rejectionism, defined as the refusal to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty and right of Jews to live in their ancestral homeland. Because it knows there will be no consequences for its sophisticated propaganda war, the Palestinian Authority can continue to demonize Israel.
It is only the fear of crushing defeat which becomes a potent weapon in neutralizing Palestinian aggression. And it is only by going through the crucible of crushing defeat that will demolish once and for all the “Palestinian” dream of a one-state solution, free of Jews.
Thus, today, as always, being Israeli means being willing to risk, and to fight, for the collective good, despite the current Israeli left’s pipedream of peaceful co-existence. Since the survival of the State of Israel is so central to the survival of the Jewish people, contemporary Jews could equally plausibly claim that being willing to risk one’s life for the sake of the Jewish people is still, sadly, too large a central part of what it means to be a Jew.
That there is something “un-Jewish” about defending one’s country in the face of a genocidal aggressor as apparently espoused by some in the Israeli left and certain vocal sections of American Jewry, would hold true for me only if there was something “un-Jewish” about surviving.
And, for this Jew, not surviving is not an option.