Eye on the Middle East: The Ghettoization of Israel

Eye of the Middle East

In a June 22 Newsweek article titled "A Friend in Need: Barack gets tough on Bibi," Jacob Weisberg laid out the American approach to slapping Israel into line. Producing the desired degree of Israeli capitulation is the objective of the Obama administration and others who believe getting tough on Israel is the road to peace. It's referred to as "tough love," a rather strange term in view of the fact that precious little love is being exhibited. It goes without saying the Left always takes a swipe at Bible believers when the subject arises. Weisberg is no exception. "[President Ronald] Reagan," he said, "looked benignly upon biblically based claims of ownership over the West Bank." It may be a news flash to the Weisbergs of the media that Islam's entire claim to the land is based on Quranic and Muslim religious authority, which contends that the whole of the Middle East is theirs by Allah's dictate. In the rush to pseudo-evenhandedness, the author suggested the administration and its allies lean "harder on Jews and the Arabs to get serious about a deal" and stop "fostering Israeli illusions that there [is] an alternative to trading land for peace." Weisberg thinks that by depriving Israel of military and other American goodies, Israelis will see the light and become more reasonable about jeopardizing their chance for survival. If you'll pardon the comparison, it sounds a lot like the rationed health care we're hearing so much about these days. Mr. Obama confidently proclaims, "I haven't just talked the talk, I've walked the walk when it comes to Israel's security." And with that rather mystifying statement, we pass into the realm of fantasy. America and its friends are reconstructing an ominous reality - one reminiscent of times some of us have not lived long enough to forget. What comes to mind are the ghettos of other places in other days. Times we wish to forget, but cannot. The unilateral demand that Israel stop all construction in the settlements and Jerusalem is a step in that direction. Has the current crop of political neophytes imbibed the concept of Judenrein, "clean of Jews," or "no Jews allowed"? When Gentile governments say to the Jewish people, "You are forbidden to build or occupy facilities within your own country," the term takes on an ominous proportion. Will a two-state peace agreement actually become the world's way of forcing deprivation and land restrictions on the Jewish nation, turning the free State of Israel into a truncated land ghetto where Jews have limited movement and are not allowed to enter areas they have relinquished to their enemies? It's not a foolish question. How many Jewish people are welcomed in Gaza today? How many will find a welcome mat in Judea and Samaria when it falls to Palestinian rule? How many synagogues will be built in Saudi Arabia? How many Jewish people will be allowed to remain on the Golan Heights after "liberation"? Farfetched? Not so. The evidence of history confirms the dreaded prospect. Tough love for Israel? Better to let the world know who our friends are and have the integrity to acknowledge that Israel is the best friend democracy has in the Middle East; and let our enemies and Israel's take it or leave it. To contribute to or countenance the placing of one brick in a ghetto wall, figurative or literal, around the Jewish people and their state will be tantamount to high treason of the first order and something that will one day be taken up on the highest of higher plains. And incidentally, I'll tell you about "walking the walk." It's not about betraying your friends to placate those who aspire to destroy both them and you when they feel the time is right. Elwood McQuaid is Executive Editor for The Friends of Israel. His most recent book, For the Love of Zion, is now available online and in bookstores.