A wise man once gave the formula for a struggling nation to become great: Start a war with the United States and lose. Sage advice once, but it may not apply anymore. Today there are never supposed to be clear winners. Conflict must stop short of humiliating either side so that losers can claim victory, and winners can fill the coffers of their former enemies with goodies.
Hamas-Fatah tensions return despite fresh unity deal
Sound absurd? Then consider what’s taking place today.
Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel, recently declared, “Unless the US, Israel and the Palestinians have an alternative, the Palestinian [Quartet peace] plan can not [sic] be won. . . . If there isn’t anything else, then in September  there will be a vote in the UN that will recognize a Palestinian state, just like the UN recognized Israel in 1948.”
“The real question,” Indyk opined, “is to find a way to return to the
negotiating table”; and he recommended Israel recognize a Palestinian
state in pre-1967 borders.
Pragmatically, on April 27, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud
Abbas hammered out an implausible deal to unify the PA with its former
archenemies, Hamas, the terrorist rulers in Gaza. The deal was designed
to create the illusion that the Palestinians have a regime capable of
being, as one PA leader put it, ready for statehood.
Obvious to all who are not suffering from self-induced blindness is the
fact that the deal will never produce unity or two states, Israel and
Palestine, living side by side in peace. What it actually embodies is
one more not-so-stealthy attempt to wipe Israel off the face of the map.
Truth be told, neither Hamas’s intractable thugs nor Abbas, a Yasser
Arafat clone in a suit, have any intention of making peace with the
Jewish state. Indyk’s position that Israel retreat to the pre-1967
“borders” is only the first slice of the proverbial salami before
Islamists take Israel apart one piece at a time until there is no
Jewish state left.
Prof. Barry Rubin observed
"Hamas is probably quite happy with the idea that many countries - and
perhaps the UN - will recognize an independent Palestinian state
unconditionally. In other words, there will be a widely, or
internationally, accepted Palestine without the need to make peace with
Israel. No concessions need be made. The Palestinians will get
everything and give up nothing. They will not be bound in any way by
border changes or security guarantees. The struggle to wipe Israel off
the map can continue. It’s Hamas’s dream come true."
Buoying the enthusiasm for making the move now must be the spontaneous
crusade for freedom ostensibly sweeping the Middle East. However, the
race for undefined change may, in fact, end up moving the region from
partially regrettable regimes to insufferable, repressive Islamist
dictatorships. The West has not yet caught on to the fact that the
revolution in Egypt was not a win for democracy.
Ousted president Hosni Mubarak - a friend of America and Europe and a
respecter of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel - now lives under the
specter of a hangman’s noose. The radical Muslim Brotherhood,
implicitly involved in the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat, Mubarak’s
predecessor, has captured the flag; and the free world will have to
live with what it naively cheered on.
The same will be true with a Palestinian state. Hamas terrorists will
seize control, as they have in Gaza, and Islamist radicalism will
enslave the nation. Western recognition of the tragic error will come
too late.Occupied or Forfeited Territory
The bulk of the argument for non-negotiated Israeli concessions is that
the “occupation” of Arab and Palestinian lands must be redressed and
the areas returned to their “rightful owners.” Unfortunately, most of
the world’s political, social, and academic elitists have bought into
the delusion that forcing Israel to surrender the territories and a
hefty chunk of Jerusalem will atone for so-called Jewish transgressions.
In reality, the territories under dispute are not occupied. They are
forfeited. The Arabs lost them in the course of executing wars to
annihilate Israel. It is all but forgotten (and if not forgotten,
certainly ignored) that little Israel was forced to fight for its
survival multiple times and against overwhelming odds. The aggressors
were over-confident Arab opportunists, such as Egypt, Syria, and (in
1967) Jordan, that launched attacks with one objective in mind: the
total destruction of the Jewish state.
They lost; and, in the process, they forfeited the Golan Heights,
Judea/Samaria (West Bank), and Jerusalem. They were the architects of
their own defeat. Any other generation would have felt the bullies
reaped their just reward. Not until the current crop of international
surrealists took their seats, declaring the losers to be the winners,
was the occupation issue even raised.
Indyk also called the pre-1967 lines “borders,” which, of course, they
were not. They were armistice lines, drawn in 1949 when the exhausted
Arabs conceded their inability to destroy the fledgling Jewish entity
populated by impoverished Holocaust survivors. So it was agreed that
future negotiations between the parties, Jews and Arabs, would be
conducted to establish permanent, secure, and defined borders.
The partition plan adopted by the UN in November 1947 created Jewish
and Arab territories, with the Arabs getting the lion’s share. The
Arabs, however, rejected the offer. Israel agreed and became a bona
fide member of the international community. Thus, when Mr. Indyk stated
that, in September, the UN “will recognize a Palestinian state, just
like the UN recognized Israel in 1948,” he neglected to say the UN
already did so—in 1948. It was the Arabs, now dubbed Palestinians, who
rejected statehood and opted instead for war.
Now, 63 years, four wars, two intifadas, and innumerable deadly
skirmishes later, the Arabs are back. This time, however, they bring
with them a gang of anti-Israel UN compatriots in an attempt to obtain
what could not be bought with bombs.
Charging Israel with intransigence and accusing it of blocking the way
to peace will not wash. Israel has demonstrated its sincerity time and
● In 1979 it ceded the vital Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt in exchange for a “cool” peace.
● In 2000 Israel abandoned the security zone in South Lebanon, only to
see it seized by Iranian-inspired Hezbollah terrorists armed to the
● In August 2005 it gifted the Palestinians with beautiful homes,
thriving farms, and greenhouses when it evacuated the Gaza Strip. Hamas
took control and dismantled everything.
Western leaders, far from the scene and farther from having a clue
about the situation, keep insisting Israel must make hard decisions for
peace. The concessions Israel has already made were hard decisions.
Each was followed by demands to cede even more land in exchange for
promises that Arabs have never honored in the past and are not likely
to honor in the future.
I’ve heard it sung, “All or nothing at all.” The Arab/Islamic world and
UN are cooking up another version: “All [from Israel] for nothing at
all [from the Palestinians].”A Blossom in the Desert
When all is said and done, what will the result be? Israel will remain
the Jewish homeland, while Arab radicals will continue huffing and
puffing about orchestrating its demise. This will, of course, be
nothing new. It’s been going on since before Israel was miraculously
reborn as a modern state.
Therein is an inscrutable irony. The history of the Jewish state can be
summed up by the phrase against all odds. Scattered to the four winds
for 2,000 years of exile, the Jewish people should not have survived.
After the horrors of the 1930s and ’40s, the tattered remnant of Jewry
struggled back to its infant state only to be attacked by five Arab
nations. Humanly speaking, these people should not have made it
through. And after six decades of bellicose promises to wipe out what
justice and sanity has restored, Israel, against all odds, not only has
survived but thrived!
Journalist Caroline Glick validated the point
that, despite the
ballyhooed pariah-state nonsense leveled against it, Israel is far
ahead of the game where the ability to compete and succeed counts:
"According to the latest data released by the Central Bureau of
Statistics, Israel’s economy grew 7.8 percent in the last quarter of
2010. International trade is rising steeply. In the first quarter of
2011, exports rose 27.3%. They grew 19.9% in the final quarter of last
year. Imports rose 34.7% between January and March, and 38.9% in the
last quarter of 2010. The Israel-bashing EU remains Israel’s largest
trading partner. And even as Turkey embraced Hamas and Iran as allies,
its trade with Israel reached an all time high last year. These trade
data expose a truth that the doom and gloomers are unwilling to notice:
For the vast majority of Israelis the threat of international isolation
So why is the most progressive, entrepreneurial, technologically
superior, economically stable, Western-oriented, democratic country in
the Middle East odiously accused of apartheid behavior by the very
countries that should, in fact, admire and emulate its achievements?
Furthermore, why do the democratic nations that benefit most from
Israel’s industry, loyalty, and standing as the only real force for
freedom in the region choose to coddle its most notorious enemies? Why
do they ask Israel to honor repressive regimes by surrendering its
security? Why do they want to put the nation in a perpetual state of
Beyond all of the politics, posturing, and wrongheaded thinking, the
reality is that the Jewish state endures as a perennial blossom in the
arid desert of the Middle East. That fact brings to mind God’s promise
that someday Israel will be fully restored to its place of places and
will at last live the vision of Isaiah 35:1: “The wilderness and the
wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and
blossom as the rose.”
In this day of faint hearts and failing spirits, we can all be reminded that, against all odds, God’s promises endure forever. The writer is executive editor for
The Friends of Israel.