Sometimes I get tired of hashing over the same arguments again and again. Unfortunately “respected” people keep making the same debunked arguments again and again, ignoring hundreds of years of history and thinking that, this time, things will be different.
Case in point: Thomas Friedman. I know his disdain for Israel and her safety is nothing new. The problem is, he keeps spewing his idiotic ideas and the New York Times, which for better or worse is still a widely read and respected rag, keeps publishing his drivel.
There is really no need to read the stuff, it’s all pretty boilerplate. The Israeli intransigence is the reason behind the lack of peace in the Middle East. Really, that’s all there is to it. If only those darn Jews would forget the last 64 years of Arab denial of their right to exist, all will be well. This is actually what he says. He suggests that the UN Security Council adopt a binding resolution based on General Assembly Resolution 181, A Palestinian Arab state and a Jewish state based on the pre-1967 borders. The UN would then recognize the nascent Palestinian state and negotiations could proceed.
Where to begin? This has the distinct whiff of the Pelosi “we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it” type of stench. Let’s give the Palestinians exactly what they want and go from there. Well, not everything they want, those things are left up to negotiations. Land swaps? What incentive do the Arabs have to make land swaps after the UN has already agreed that the land is theirs?
What does Israel get out of this? Hundreds of thousands of refugees expelled from their homes, expelled from land that, with the exception of 18 years between 1949 and 1967, has been the home to Jews since time immemorial?
This doesn’t even address the issue of the Arab demands to return to places in which their great grandparents might have lived for a half dozen years, before leaving of their own free will in 1948. What of the Arabs currently living within those pre-67 borders? Will they all move over the line to make the one state Jewish and the other Arab, or does Friedman expect that only the Jews currently living on the “wrong” side of the armistice lines have to leave their homes?
For the record, Israel already is officially recognized as a Jewish state. The original Mandate for Palestine voted on at San Remo in 1920 was specifically to create a sovereign Jewish state in Palestine. That resolution was accepted as binding as part of the UN charter. It was the Arabs that have always refused to accept the existence of a Jewish state, as a matter of fact their refusal to accept the possibility that the Jews could rise from their traditional state of Dhimmi is fundamental to their world view.
I would remind Mr. Friedman that, for the past 70 years, the Jewish population of Israel has been telling the Arab population that it would be happy to live in peace. It has been the Arabs that have repeatedly declined any compromise. It was the Jews who accepted UN resolution 181 and the massed Arab/Muslim states who rejected it and attacked the newborn Jewish state. It is the Arabs who sent constant raids into Israel well into the 60s. It was the Arabs who tried to block the flow of the Jordan River into Israel in the mid-60s who, against all treaties and agreements, closed the Straits of Tiran to Israel in 1956. It was again the massed Arab armies who threatened to throw the Jews into the sea in 1967, which lead to the return of the traditionally Jewish lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to Israeli control. It wasn’t the Israelis who attacked unprovoked in October of 1973. This was followed by continuing terror attacks from Lebanon by the PLO into the 80s until Israel acted to protect its Northern civilian centers. Until this day, all of the Arab states, without exception, demonize Israel in their press and education. Even the states with which Israel ostensibly has peace treaties routinely publish the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the Arabic translation of Mein Kampf is a bestseller in the Palestinian Authority and other Muslim states. All of Israel’s military excursions are in direct response to Arab attacks on it civilian populace.
All of these things Friedman discounts as if they never were. In his eyes it is only Israel that needs to give in and compromise. I will remind Mr. Friedman that we are not suicidal. When we say “never again” we mean, Never Again.