One of the basic conditions of all American sponsored Arab-Israeli peace negotiations has been an Arab acceptance of Israel’s “right to exist.” This is almost an oxymoron since Israel fulfils the prime criteria for existence just by being there. “I think, therefore I am.”
But this criteria for nationhood, a right to exist, if carried further than Israel sets up some even more glaring examples and the realities they present in the world power game of pick and choose.
Israel bases its legal right to exist on world history and the history of the Jewish people. One could rightly say it weren’t for the Italians they would have never lost their homeland in the First and 11th Centuries AD. And subsequently they wouldn’t have had to fight to re establish it since the early 20th Century.
So, they have shown both a priori and posteriori evidence for a right to exist. Still, Israel’s actual right to exist is simply because it’s there. But what about other much larger nations?
What right do the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have to exist? None of these nations were founded by people with any racial or ethnic ties to the indigenous populations of the lands. These lands were actually taken, often by force and bloodshed, from their native inhabitants. And, to make matters worse, the defeated and depleted indigenous populations were often persecuted and even destroyed by the settlers.
In America, for example, European diseases such as smallpox, devastated entire native tribes. Over in Jamaica the native Arawaks of that island nation were totally wiped out by such diseases.
So, what qualifies all these nations for the right to exist? In the cases of America, Canada and Australia, their sizes, power and the fact no one is strong enough to dispute ownership. In South Africa there was no dispute about its right to exist, just about who should run it and how it should be run.
Simply put: Land belongs to those who can hold it. This was as true for the American homesteader as it was for the Spanish conquistador. Things might have been quite different in America if the native tribes were united in an effort to expel the invading white men. But they weren’t and had the nation been a lot smaller, might have gone the way of Jamaica’s Arawaks.
The case of Israel, although far more complex, has the same bottom line: Land belongs to those who can hold it. Through ancient history the Hebrews who eventually became the Jews held and lost their land over and over again. Yet, unlike scores of other decimated ancient people, the Jews wouldn’t disappear into history. This has presented a dilemma for the modern world.
In the late 19th and early 20th Century Europe’s persecuted Jews began legally buying beachfront property in Palestine from the Turks. After WW1 the Arabs became alarmed at the gradually increasing Jewish presence and staged bloody attacks on them. The Jews of Palestine at a basic pre statehood level had to prove they had a right to exist right then and there…It was almost like the Hollywood western movie scenario of the settlers being attacked by Indians. Yet these settlers were natives returning home 1,000 years after the first Crusade began ethnic cleansing, which was a repeat event for this land.
One can argue the mere proposition of a so-called right to exist or worse, challenging a specific people’s right to exist is out and out racism. Yet, for the sake of political expediency or liberal faddism, Israel is the only place on earth where this proposition is posed, but not just to Arabs, also to western people who have grown tired, bored and increasingly ignorant about this endless conflict.
I have said in the past one of the main problems liberals have is little care or concept of how their actions will impact the future. They see a perceived injustice and they want to attack it now.
After WW2 American and European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust spurred liberals into pressing for the creation of Israel. They had no thoughts then of the endless conflict it would create in the world’s main oil region.
Now, generations later, some lefties are changing their tune. The Palestinians are their new underdogs to champion, people who offer a better fit for the Left. Since most Arabs are not upwardly mobile they will always remain the eternal downtrodden proletariat much loved by the Left. Jews, on the other hand, are upwardly mobile, become successful, part of the establishment and therefore have no right to exist.
I have long found that liberals in America are quick to condemn other nations or run off to help the starving in Africa, while forgetting about the injustices and poverty among native tribes in our own country…a country that has no right, other than its military might, to exist. But as I said, land belongs to those who can hold it.
POLITICS - MIDDLE EAST
Copyright © 2010 Dan Ehrlich
A Right to Exist: A Racist Proposition?
Which Country Has Greater Validity, America or Israel? What are the Terms of Acceptance?
Copyright © 2010 Dan Ehrlich
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