Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.
of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
admit to a growing sense of exasperation and impatience with the imbecility (or
iniquity) of the Israeli Left and the impotence (or insincerity) of the Israeli
Right. So if my frustration expresses itself more intemperately than usual – my
The crumbling edifice
But when confronted with such
infuriating dogmatism on the one hand, and inept dereliction on the other,
everyone has his limit when it comes to courtesy and decorum.
are indeed limits – a limit to how long one can extend the benefit of the doubt
to those who insist on advancing a consistently failed policy and still continue
to believe they are doing so in good faith.
Or a limit on continuing to
believe that those who ostensibly oppose this policy, but refrain from offering
any real alternative, are sincere in their opposition to it.
edifice of conventional wisdom regarding the Arab-Israel conflict is collapsing.
The bedrock upon which the traditional approaches to a resolution of Middle East
hostilities are based is crumbling, the fabric of accepted thinking
The folly of a deal on the Golan with the Assad regime, the
absurdity of an agreement with the unelected Fatah regime, the myopia of
reliance on the durability of the peace with Egypt are all becoming increasingly
Yet to judge from the public discourse on developments in the
Middle East it seems that nothing has changed.
Refusal to recognize
As if living in an alternative universe, pundits prattle on about the
importance of the preservation the peace agreement with Egypt – which, at best, was
no more than a non-belligerence accord – apparently oblivious to the fact that
it has become little more than a nostalgic figment of the past, totally
discordant with the prevailing mood across the land of the Nile.
week’s rocket attacks indicate, Sinai will either become a hotbed of jihadist
terror, which even the sturdiest of hi-tech fences with not impede for long, or
it will be remilitarized. It might become both. For recent calls from Israel for
Egypt to “exercise its sovereignty” to thwart such attacks constitute an
invitation for the deployment of additional Egyptian troops in the demilitarized
peninsula. Without such deployment Cairo can always claim it is incapable of
combatting renegades forces that have taken control of much of the
However, given the less than amicable sentiments in Cairo toward
Israel, it is in no way improbable that these reinforcements will have neither
the resolve nor the inclination to reign in the activities of the anti- Israeli
gangs. Or that they will be less than meticulous in preventing their own arms
and equipment from falling into jihadist hands – whether via theft or mutually
The failure to control the terrorists will in all
likelihood be followed by demands to increase Egyptian military capabilities in
Sinai even more. Given the paramount importance ascribed to the dead-letter
peace accord, these will doubtless be agreed to by Israel.
process will lead to increasing erosion of the demilitarization of Sinai – the
principal, arguably the only, benefit Israel derived from the 1979 peace
No Sinai, no peace, no demilitarization
Accordingly, it is far
from implausible that soon Israel will face an openly hostile regime ensconced
in Cairo, a significant and potentially belligerent military force deployed in
Sinai, and active radical terrorist groups operating against its southern front
– from Gaza to Eilat – either aided or unhindered by Egyptian
It would therefore be no more than self-evident prudence for
Israeli strategic planners to adopt as their working assumption that the reality
Israel will soon have to confront will be one of Three No’s: No Peace, No Sinai,
No Demilitarization. Yet there seems little evidence that such dour realism is
driving the agenda of the strategic discourse.
If anything, quite the
opposite is true. It appears that the seismic shifts in the region have barely impacted the discussion concerning Israel’s policy options and
Apparently impervious to the strategic significance of the
tectonic changes that have swept through the region, figures who shape the
debate seem welded to the past, clinging to the hopelessly unrealistic notions
such as a two-state resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, acceptance of
Israel by the Arab world and the reconstitution of the Turco-Israeli
Only ridicule remains
The dogmatic intransigence of committed
two-staters, Arab-appeasers and Muslim- mollifiers seems immutable by means of
reason or rational argument. Unwilling to admit error – or even the possibility
thereof – they appear incapable of bringing themselves to concede that their
noxious brew of delusion and hubris has created a situation of mortal
No matter how frequently the facts disprove their doctrinaire
perspective, they never admit to it being discredited – stubbornly hoping
against forlorn hope that somehow reality will eventually realize its mistake
and see things their way.
It is becoming increasing difficult to avoid
the conclusion that they are persisting in their proposal for a two-state
solution and nearly unreserved accommodation of Arab demands, not because they
think it is a formula that can provide a stable solution, but because they feel
that if they admit it cannot, they will irreparably undermine their professional
standing and personal prestige.
So if these folks can’t be reasoned out
of their untenable positions, perhaps they can be ridiculed out of them by
underscoring – brusquely – how ludicrous and unrealistic, how disingenuous and
hypocritical, how counter-productive and self-obstructive their proposals are.
Or alternatively how subversive and seditious they are.
For in light of
the recurring failure of their prognoses, there are only two explanations for
their obduracy – malice or idiocy. And whatever the truth is, it must be
Stupid or subversive?
Take for instance Dennis Ross’s latest
“contribution” at this week’s Presidential Conference in Jerusalem – where he
prescribed that Israel should not only undermine its security, but its economy
as well, “to restore belief in a two-state solution.”
studiously disregarded the fact, once so compellingly conveyed by his host
Shimon Peres, that “if a Palestinian state is established, it will be armed to
the teeth. Within it there will be bases of the most extreme terrorist forces,
who will be equipped with anti-tank and anti-aircraft shoulder-launched rockets,
which will endanger not only random passersby, but also every airplane and
helicopter taking off in the skies of Israel and every vehicle traveling along
the major traffic routes in the Coastal Plain.”
Ross suggested that the
first step Israel should take to demonstrate that it is serious about a
Palestinian state in the “West Bank” is to publicly announce that the government
will provide financial compensation to settlers who are prepared to leave their
homes and to move to “Israel proper.”
Of course Ross, who today serves as
a counselor for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and was a senior
director in Barack Obama’s National Security Council, offered no assurances that
what is sweeping through the Arab world would not sweep through “Palestine” or
what occurred in Gaza would not occur in Ramallah. Nevertheless, he suggested
that the government go ahead and plan not only to bring millions more Israelis
within the range of weapons being used today from territory Israel ceded to the
Palestinians, but it should take measures that would increase both the demand
(and hence the price) of housing in country, and the unemployment. Stupid
or subversive? Validating population resettlement
Of course Ross’s proposal did
have one positive element – it validated the notion of financing population
relocation to achieve political ends.
For unless he subscribes to blatant
double standards, how could he object to applying his suggested methodology to
the Palestinians as well? After all, if there is nothing wrong with Israeli
government financing voluntary resettlement of Jews to set up what is highly
likely to be a failed, unsustainable micromini- state and a haven for Islamist
terror, why should there be anything wrong with the Israeli government funding
voluntary Palestinian resettlement to prevent the establishment of a what is
highly likely to be a failed, unsustainable micro-mini state? Indeed, one might
think that there are far more compelling reasons to pursue the later course than
the former – especially for anyone mindful of the security of Israel and the
safety of Israelis.Dummy or dhimmi?
But Ross’s counsel on Turkey is if
anything even more outrageous. Ross said that it was in Jerusalem’s long-term
strategic interest to try to patch up the relationship, even at the cost of
issuing an apology over the Mavi Marmara incident, as Ankara has
Quite apart from the fact that if any apology is forthcoming it
should be from Ankara to Jerusalem, for allowing its citizens to create the
violent confrontation with Israeli forces; quite apart from the fact that it is
more than a little offensive to suggest that Israel should have to apologize for
its soldiers’ use of deadly force to prevent themselves being disemboweled, the
logic behind his suggestion is as impaired as the morality behind
Ross waxes delusional, stating: “Turkey and Israel have an enormous
common stake in Syria. Is it difficult to make an apology? Yes, I don’t dismiss
that. But how does that weigh against wider strategic interests you have in
Syria and a region undergoing tremendous upheaval?” He goes on to claim that
restoration of the relationship would have an impact on the whole region, and
suggests imagining what a sobering affect this type of rapprochement would have
on ascendant players such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
What planet does
this guy inhabit? Can he really be unaware that Turkey has undergone a
fundamental transformation, that it is no longer a Western-oriented secular
state but a Islamic-oriented theocratic one, that its relations with Israel are
a far more a function of what it has become, than of what Israel does – or
Of course one might well wonder: If there are so many strategic
interests in common between Turkey and Israel, why doesn’t Ross suggest that
Ankara forgo its childish demand for an apology? Is that his “soft racism” of
low expectations showing? Or is it the dhimmi in him that feels the need for
submission to the Muslim demands? Or perhaps just the dummy? Presidential
And if we are still on the Presidential Conference, we need to ask a
trenchant question: Can presidents be perfidious? For it would seem that there
are elements of this conference that severely undermine the foreign policy of
the elected government of Israel. Indeed it seems in some respects to seems to
have out-“J”-ed J Street.
For whatever the motivations behind the
invitation of individuals such Peter Beinart who publicly advocate BDS measures
(albeit partial) against the products of the nation, it cannot but be
interpreted internationally as presidential endorsement of the
Why otherwise extend the invitation to someone who not only
undermines important elements of Israeli diplomacy but whose proposals have also
been repudiated by far-left organizations – including J Street
But this is not the only troubling element on the invitation
list.Noam and Norman next?
Among the invited speakers was also Saeb
Erekat who openly advocates the “right of return” which in effect would end the
existence of Israel as the Jewish nation-state and obviate the essence of the
In December 2010, Erekat the wrote the following in the
British Guardian: “Today, Palestinian refugees constitute more than 7 million
people worldwide – 70% of the entire Palestinian population. Disregarding their
legitimate legal rights enshrined in international law to return to their
homeland, would certainly make any peace deal signed with Israel completely
So one invitee advocates BDS; another the “right of return.”
Who can we expect next?
Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein? Imbecility and
A grim picture indeed.
But perhaps the only thing more
distressing than the imbecility of the Israeli Left is the impotence of the
Israel Right, for not effectively combatting this lunacy; for in effect being
guilty of totally unwarranted intellectual surrender; for in fact adopting the
policy of their political rivals – not because their previous criticisms proved
wrong but despite them being proved right.www.martinsherman.net
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