Appeasement by any other name…
OPINION by Frater Bovious
The state of Israel was carved out of a section of Palestine in 1947, by the United Nations. (Well, that’s not exactly true. Borders were suggested; the UN can’t actually create a country, they can only acknowledge one.) Prior to that, Palestine was actually under the control of the British Empire. This was a culmination of attempts which began in the 1890s to create a Jewish homeland. It seems that the people living there at the time were not involved in this decision. On May 14, 1948, Israel declared itself a sovereign nation, and various Arab countries attacked the next day. As part of the nearly continuous wars since then, Israel occupied sections not part of the original partitioning, as buffer zones.
Over time, an organization named the Palestinian Liberation Organization was formed. You can understand the name. They viewed their country as having been forcibly occupied. They wanted to liberate the occupied section of Palestine. They did not have much support from the world at large, nor the United Nations, as it was a UN decision that partitioned their country. They did of course have support from their Arab brothers. Frankly, were there no oil in the Middle East, this article would not be written. Israel and Palestine would be footnotes in histories of WWII. But there is oil, and that means money, and that means weapons and means.
With these means, over the years, the PLO committed very visible atrocities; anyone remember the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre? And now the Palestinian flag flies in Washington and they have an embassy. Like it or not, they have, at the least, the appearance of having been legitimized. Which, in a land where image is nearly everything, there is little difference in appearance and reality in the eyes of the beholders.
Conclusion – Killing Works.
I wonder what the UN was thinking back in 1947 when they partitioned the place – that perhaps the non-Jews living in the newly formed Israel were simply too backward to truly offer any resistance? That the neighboring Arab states would welcome having a nation installed in their midst?
Not taken into account: People that are willing to die just need to have weapons put in their hands so that others will inevitably die with them. Witness Afghanistan. It is a grim and fundamental reality. If people are being killed, the people around them notice it. And once it seems that you yourself could be killed, you gain a whole new level of concern. It’s called self-preservation, and it is a blind instinct. With regard to political solutions, blind instinct leads inevitably to the conclusion that all you can really do is kill ALL of your enemies no matter the cost. Because, you see, you are going to be killed anyway. May as well take some enemies with you. It is a blind and vicious circle and to those caught in it, there is no other reality.
I cannot comment on what President Obama believes or is thinking. I can only watch what he does, and hear what he says. From that I have drawn this conclusion. Our president knows that the people who want a Palestinian state are never going away. Because they are never going away, he may reason, there will never be peace until they have achieved their goals. To have peace, I think he reasons, we have to accede to their demands. Which means he must pursue a two-state solution to Israel and Palestine. My gut instinct is that our president truly believe this is the path to peace. Implicit in this belief is that while Palestine is intractable, Israel can be dealt with. He is not going to attempt to modify Palestine’s position. And so, there is no gain in taking a hard-line stand with them, and attempting to back them into any corners. Hence the flying of the flag and conciliatory tone toward countries generally thought of as neutral if not hostile. His approach is indistinguishable from something called appeasement.
Meanwhile, he believes he can “negotiate”with Israel, but he knows that he can only do so from a position of power; there is no position of reason that will make any sense to the government of Israel. He is therefore harsh with a supposed ally, and genteel with a supposed sponsor of terrorism. In the interests of peace, he will attempt to take from Israel to give to Palestine.
There is but one problem to this so-called solution. And it is a fundamental problem and it is a decisive problem. It is a problem no one wants to address and it is this: Neither Palestine nor the other Arab states wants a two-state solution. And while Israel agreed to the UN decision in 1947, they now know it won’t work. So, they don’t want a two-state solution.
Here is the problem with pursuing a two-state solution: it is not really different from what the UN originally decided. Back then it was to be a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a UN administered Jerusalem. Leaving out the UN administered Jerusalem, this is the same decision that resulted in immediate and nearly unceasing war over the last 60 years. To over simplify – tell me if this makes any sense:
“The UN created an Arab state and a Jewish state. The Arabs didn’t like it and we’ve had continual bloodshed for 60 years. So, here’s an idea. Let’s create an Arab state and a Jewish state. That should fix everything.”
Am I being to harsh if I state this is obvious idiocy and will not work?
A lot of people like to point at the Bible and talk about their view of a god that would order all the people in a given land to be eradicated, including their livestock. The simple reality is that is how the Middle East operates, and has operated, since Biblical times and before. If you are going to hold land in the Middle East, you are going to hold it with bloodshed. That is simple and historical fact and is beyond refute. At some point the Palestinians will attempt to exterminate the Israelis. To prevent that, the Israelis will have to exterminate the Palestinians. The US needs to either pick a side, or stay out. We will never broker a peace. The Arabs don’t trust us, and neither do the Israelis. That is the pragmatic reality. No one trusts a fence-sitter because you don’t know whose side they’re on.
Our president seems to believe he can change these fundamental realities. This is sad, and misguided.
- What is Our Country(world)neither Coming Too?ain’t Decided Yet? (socyberty.com)
- A history of parcel bombs: Going postal (economist.com)
- Terrorism Back on the Big Screen (online.wsj.com)
- U.N. votes for partition of Palestine: This Day in History – 11/29/1947 (jeffpruett.wordpress.com)
- On this day: UN votes for Jewish state (thejc.com)
- “A modest proposal for the Middle East peace talks” and related posts (walt.foreignpolicy.com)
- Fatah Encourages Boycott of Israel (israelnationalnews.com)
- “Shmuel Trigano: The Open Racism of the Future State of Palestine” and related posts (docstalk.blogspot.com)
- The Expulsion of the Jews from Muslim Countries, 1920-1970: A History of Ongoing Cruelty and Discrimination (daledamos.blogspot.com)