One outrageously insolent remark was remarkably ignored in the hullaballoo generated by US President Barack Obama’s Bibi-bashing interview on the eve of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest White House visit.
Wedged into the presidential malarkey was a new allegation against the Mideast’s sole democracy. Obama accused Israel of no less than continuing to “place restrictions on Arab Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions.”
Huh? Really? What restrictions? And does Obama now also presume to pass judgment on what are indisputably our domestic affairs? Is there no limit to his meddling and hubris? Again, it needs be stressed, the villain of Obama’s piece is ultra-liberal, ultra-pluralist and ultra-tolerant Israel.
That raises the question of whether America’s know-it-all-in-chief is at all aware of the shrill hysteria with which Israeli Arabs denigrated Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s idea of swapping Israel’s Wadi Ara region with the Palestinian Authority. If anything, this indicates how desperately attached to their Israeli identity Israel’s Arab citizens are.
Their reaction was hardly one of an oppressed minority, as Obama dishonestly and cheekily depicted them. If things are so bad for Arabs inside Israel (which is anyhow not Obama’s business), why are they so fond of their Israeli status? Perhaps things are nowhere as awful as he portrayed for demagogic purposes. Perhaps Israeli Arabs don’t really have it bad. Indeed, perhaps they have it very good. In fact, odds are that they’re better-off than any Arab population anywhere in the vast Arab world.
And they know it. Pocketbook astuteness rules out the forfeit of economic benefits for the sake of ideology.
Besides, where else on this planet can Arabs find courts as indulgent as in Israel? Here they can subvert and incite with impunity.
Contrast Israeli excessive broadmindedness with Arab reigns of terror.
By their refusal to become Palestinian citizens, Israel’s vocally antagonistic Arabs pay our democracy the highest compliment, despite their interminable carping about the Israeli flag, national anthem, emblems, etc. The swap would instantly remove all these Jewish annoyances from their eyes, ears and nostrils. That should surely eliminate their much-hyped angst, with which Obama so predictably sympathizes.
Can there be a fairer solution than for them to opt for Palestinian citizenship? Moreover, Arabs claim they want to wrest territory from Israel, so why not wrest this specific tract? Herein hides the true Arab casus belli against the Jewish state. Everything else is window-dressing for the sake of brainwashing both at home and abroad.
Forget all the babble and fleeting fad issues that grab headlines at any given time. There has always been only one trigger for the Israeli-Arab dispute.
It’s not about occupation, not about settlements and not even about refugees. It just never was. These were/are handy excuses that produced propaganda profit for their promoters at particular stages of the conflict they created and fanned. The plain fact is that Arab animosity preceded all Arab pretexts for said animosity.
Strip away the palaver and falsehoods and one theme remains constant throughout – opposition to the Jewish national revival in this land, i.e. opposition to our at all being here.
Hence Ramallah’s adamant refusal to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state. Our Jewish national liberation is anathema to our enemies (who, according to Obamaesque diktats of political correctness, may not even be referred to as our enemies but as our victims).
Once we understand this key reality, all else becomes crystal clear and no further obfuscation is possible. Our minds cannot be messed with if we don’t lose sight of the vital truth – the truth that’s so inconvenient to myopic Obama, cynical Arab sloganeers, their European patrons and, not least, to Israel’s homegrown far Left.
The aforementioned relish in presenting Liberman’s swap proposal as an attempt to evict from their homes and exile the entire Arab population of cities like Umm el-Fahm.
Expulsion is supportable only for Jews (as in the 2005 disengagement or what is hoarsely clamored for regarding some 700,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria and entire quarters of Jerusalem).
The swap idea, though, doesn’t involve expulsion as it’s verboten to dislodge a single Arab from anywhere. The idea is to trade territory and in this particular barter the Palestinians would get land already populated by their kith and kin, by their loyal compatriots. Not a single Arab would lose his/her home.
This area, incidentally, was already exchanged before. It wasn’t part of original Israel but was attached to it after the War of Independence in a round of land swaps.
So what’s wrong with another swap? One would expect the entire Arab world to enthusiastically welcome into Arab jurisdiction brethren whose cause it seemingly so fervently espouses.
The aggressive rebuff of the notion is telling.
It doesn’t at all matter whether we personally approve or disapprove of the swap, whether we consider it a pragmatic option or not. The vituperation with which it’s greeted is enlightening and mustn’t be overlooked or belittled. It illuminates the oft-forgotten fundamentals. It exposes Arab lies.
In the Arab lexicon, Israeli occupation is divided into two major categories – 1967 (following the Six Day War) and 1948 (following the coordinated invasion of day-old Israel by seven Arab armies). The 1948 category comprises the entire area of the Jewish state, deeming it all occupied territory and consequently illegitimate, despite occasional self-serving pretenses to the contrary.
Thus all Arabs living in sovereign pre-Six Day War Israel (be they in Jaffa, Haifa, Lod, Nazareth or Umm el-Fahm) are depicted as suffering harsh and prolonged Israeli occupation (a view to which Obama evidently subscribes).
The perks of Israel’s uber-liberal democracy enable Israeli Arabs to make no bones about their antipathy to the Jewish state, its flag, its anthem, its emblems, its identity, its very designation as the state of the Jewish people.
In one position paper after another, Arab organizations bankrolled by leftist Jewish foundations (who themselves are recipients of largesse from the biased and interventionist EU), openly proclaim their aim to cleanse Israel of its Jewish connection, make it provisionally “a state of all its citizens,” an eventual candidate for out-andout Arabization.
Pro forma all these outfits claim that the Arab minority endures excruciating hardship and bitter discrimination under Israel’s heavy yoke. Why then so vehemently oppose their move to fraternal Palestinian jurisdiction? In one fell swoop, without the loss of any real estate, supposedly oppressed Israeli-Arabs would be liberated from Israel’s cruel rule and it would only be the border that shifts rather than them.
It’s now that doubts creep in.
The endgame against the Jewish collective decrees that the Jewish distinction of Israel be undermined. The spearhead for that is Israel’s Arab population. The bigger it is and the greater its proportion, the more it can argue that ours isn’t a Jewish state. That’s why all Arab regimes insist so passionately on the right to inundate Israel with untold millions of descendants of so-called Arab refugees.
It’s not that homes cannot be found for them in the immense, oil-glutted Arab realm, but that they aim to destabilize, demoralize, dislocate and finally displace us. That’s why the border cannot be redrawn and why Umm el-Fahm must remain Israeli. It has to function as a fifth column in our midst.
The Arabs know this and in their Arabic- language discourse, for their internal consumption, they boldly designate Israel’s Arab population as the catalyst for Israel’s dismantlement.
As for the Israel’s leftist fringe, all redlines were blurred long ago. Hypocrisy is the byword of the hardly gullible self-professed do-gooders who proliferate on the leftmost margins of our political spectrum.
They have a proven track record.
They’re the very ones who serially scare public opinion against hanging on to even a scrap of territory won in the 1967 war of self-defense imposed upon us. Pointedly omitting mention of this country’s 9-mile wide waistline and the vulnerability of its densest population centers, leftists warn that Israel will lose its Jewish identity should it fail to forthwith divest itself of all its strategic assets.
To hear them, since this country was indeed founded to afford Jews the one place on earth where they aren’t an endangered minority, even suicidal sacrifices are mandated to maintain said Jewish majority.
It was in the name of this Jewish majority that the Left inflicted the Oslo folly upon us in 1993. Yet few Israelis realize that as part of its Oslo undertakings Israel admitted 150,000 Palestinian Arabs, ostensibly to facilitate “family reunions.” Needless to say their numbers have since swelled and massively inflated Arab population proportions within Israel proper – all in the name of safeguarding the Jewish majority.
The political Left, moreover, obsessively combats legislation geared to prevent an additional Arab influx into the Jewish state under the fraudulent guise of family reunions. The very notion that Israeli/ Arab-Palestinian couples can “reunite” beyond the Green Line grievously offends our Left’s sensibilities. It hankers for the migration of ever-greater number of Arabs into our Jewish-majority midst – all in the name of that hallowed Jewish majority they purportedly champion.
Simultaneously, leftist groups cannot abide the notion that Israel require its selfstyled peace partners to recognize its legitimacy as a Jewish state rather than as an undefined de facto entity and a future Arab state whose name would in due course be changed, as well as its ethnic make-up and character.
However viewed, the common denominator between disingenuous left-wing catchphrases and contradictory left-wing actions is the weakening of Israel as a Jewish state.
It’s time to acknowledge that anything which weakens Israel is eagerly espoused by left-wing manipulators – be it yielding territory to ever-implacable enemies, importing hostile Arabs, opposing legislation to reduce the danger of being overrun by would-be annihilators or derailing efforts to diminish the illegal (mostly Muslim) deluge from Africa.
According to leftist dogma, everyone has a right to our state – any enemy Arabs, Africans from wherever, Filipino opportunists, even outer Mongolians – just not Jews. Not us. And to sustain that inimical creed, Umm el-Fahm must stay a thorn in Israel’s flesh.
This, sadly (if not tragically) is the agenda Obama furtively furthers with a preachy and slyly escalated insidious narrative.
www.sarahhonig.com Debunking the Bull, Sarah Honig’s book, was recently published by Gefen.