Hamas gunmen have killed four Israeli civilians, but not in their Gaza constituency, in the West Bank as a prelude to peace talks this week in Washington DC. The crime casts an ominous pall over the confab, and further illustrates the difficulty in establishing anything other than a state of anarchy in the occupied territories.
Stanley Kubrick's controversial film, A Clockwork Orange, symbolized a world gone mad and increasingly anarchic...something like it is today when how we think things should be aren't that way, when right is wrong and left is right. There's probably no better example of this lunacy than the endless Arab-Israeli hostility now morphed into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
There are so many absurdities to this ongoing lukewarm war it difficult knowing where start. But a good place is the new planned peace talks between the two sides, or should I say one and a half sides since it's doubtful Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, will attend. This apparently doesn't matter, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be there trying to at least negotiate a half of a Palestinian state for the West Bank of the Jordan River.
If this isn't absurd enough, every time one of these negotiations takes place the media hype centers around what the Israelis, the victors in the 1967 and 1973 wars, will offer. But the meetings always end with the Palestinians, the losers, dictating their terms to Israel and then rejecting what's on the table. Rational people who constantly get the crap knocked out of them don't make conditions for peace, they just want the violence to stop. This, unfortunately, isn't Palestinian reasoning.
Could Peace be the Worst Thing for Israel?
Not nutty enough? Try this on about Israel. It could be argued the worst thing that could happen to Israel and best thing for the Arabs, outside of a nuclear attack, would be peace. Even though most Arab nations now accept this non Arabic country, deep down they would love it to go away so they could resume fighting each other.
Peace makes softies out of nations, they become decadent and weak. But, maintaining a Spartan state keeps the population on its toes with a goal of survival. So, the best way for the Arabs to eventually topple Israel is making peace with it...A Clockwork Orange. And you can bet Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows this. He would rather have no peace than peace on a mediocre deal.
What we in the West fail to understand, is that the Arabs will never really accept a non Islamic, non Arabic country on what it considers its exclusive turf...or in this case sand. In their timeless mind set, they feel the passing generations and even centuries will make things right again.
So back to the Palestinians...much of the negotiations will be about borders and refugees. Before the 1948 War Palestine was one entity and Gaza was part of Egypt. When a UN ceasefire was brokered in 1948, the ceasefire line was meant to be a temporary border between the two sides...there never has been any sort of attempt to settle on permanent borders.
Then, the 1967 war created the present modified temporary borders with the addition of the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, from Egypt, as well as a portion of the Sinai Desert, which was returned to Egypt. The people in the occupied territories are either native residents or refugees, such as most of the Gazans. Egypt didn't want Gaza returned. Do you wonder why?
When Israel won its War of Independence, despite all the predictions of doom, the liberal establishment was over the moon. Liberals always need an underdog to champion and there had been few better underdogs than those historically candy ass, intellectual, violin playing, money making Jews. But a major weak point for liberals, some socialists and communists, is they don't like winners, just underdogs. So, when Israel continued to win wars against the Arabs, the liberal love affair slowly ended. Israel was no longer seen as an underdog. It was trying to become part of the establishment.
Yes, but there were still only a few million Israelis against 250 million Arabs...tough odds. Ah, but when some of those Arabs became refugees or residents under Israeli occupation the Left had its opening to separate Israel from the greater Arab mass and concentrate on being the Palestinians' new champion. Admittedly, the Israelis themselves aided in this repositioning by its 1982 Lebanon Invasion that sparked the first Arab uprisings and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict was under way.
The Great Liberal Hypocrisy
Aside from all this history, there's probably no greater misplaced patronage and hypocrisy than the liberal love affair with the Palestinians. On one hand many of these same people are backing our war in Afghanistan solely on the need to secure and safeguard women's rights from Taliban brutality. And yet, they condemn and boycott Israel, a social democracy with equal rights for women, for ill treatment Palestinians, a people who look upon women as livestock, homosexuals as dead-men and women walking and infidels as less than equal than them.
More Palestinian women die annually in so-called honor killings by their own families than they do from Israeli reprisal bombardments. It could be said most Arabic culture, aside from their religion, would be a good fit for the US hard right red state mob with its love of traditional family values and deep rooted male chauvinism.
Now, top this off with the religious and tribal based racism throughout the entire Muslim world and the western support given to the Palestinians is mind boggling.
On the other hand, this lunacy continues, with impassioned vocal and financial backing for Israel from the same conservative region that used to lynch Jews for helping Blacks. Of course that was before it hit the Jerry Springer crowd that they might get reserved first class tickets to heaven if they can get all the Jews into Israel and the same time. Of course, if the Rapture doesn't happen, at least there won't be any Jews left in America.
As far as any right of refugees to return to their homes in Israel....That was back in 1948. And while western people would have moved on in their old age, most Arabs don't. There are Palestinians living for generations now in Lebanese refugee camps which have become permanent settlements.
Besides, how and where could they return? To the new Palestinian State? That might be okay. But that's not what Abbas wants. He wants the long-term refugees to live with the Jews in Israel. At the same time he doesn't want Jews living in his new country. And if you examine these demands, they're designed to eventually do to Israel what the PLO did to Lebanon, create a cantonized collection of anarchic popuation centers...something like the UN partition plan the Arabs rejected in 1947.
The tragedy of the Palestinian refugees is common among peasant people hooked on religion and who trust in the promises of their leaders...leaders who told them they must not leave the camps if they ever want to see their homes again... deliverance is just around the corner. What they were really saying is we don't want you in our countries...you may be Arabs but not our Arabs.
There are 22 Arab countries in one of the world's most sparsely populated regions, except for Israel, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, which is one of the most densely populated areas on the Mediterranean. Yet by an Arab League edict, their brother Palestinians are denied citizenship in other Arab nations.
Jewish Refugees from Arab Nations
Compare this to to more than 500,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands since 1948 and who were welcomed into Israel with open arms. In fact, Israel has let no geographic barrier stop it from attempting to rescue fellow travelers, such as the Jews of Ethiopia.
The idea that a small, yet heavily populated county such as Israel should make territorial concessions is absurd given the amount of Arab land and money available to help the Palestinians…help that has never been seriously offered by their brothers to people supposedly living in temporary accommodation.
On the other hand, the subject of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is seldom mentioned. Will Arab countries welcome back those they booted out of their homes? Yet, why would these people and their children want to return to Iraq, for example?
Money to Set Up a Palestinian State
Money to set-up a Palestinian state will also be on the agenda. But where have all the billions allegedly funneled into the camps through the generations gone? Who has the keys and passbook to the late Yassar Arafat's bank accounts? It's a good bet the Saudis and Gulf Emirates haven't mortgaged the royal silverware to assist the Palestinians.
The $60 billion financial crisis in Dubai earlier this year, the less than full mammoth hotels, golf courses and indoor ski slopes, are glaring examples of a needless waste of cash that could have gone to aid and resettle Palestinian refugees.
But, this is a conflict that defies western logic, which is probably why it’s so difficult for westerners to understand. Where else in the world are a people, the Palestinians, dependent on another people, the Israelis, for their very existence, yet deny the existence of their would-be benefactors to the point of approving an endless war against them forcing their benefactors to become jailers?
Where else would such a people endure endless lip service from their brothers, some of whom have the world’s highest per capita income, yet receive little else from these oil rich countries
Now couple this with the fact Gaza has the highest birth rate in the region, and you can see why it might resemble a concentration camp, as the current Pope labelled it.
Having millions of their poverty stricken devoutly religious brothers penned up and breeding in greater numbers serves the Arab nations well. They can confront Israel without firing a shot or risking another major conflict.
Such a State might be Unworkable
Yet, a Palestinian state would, in the long-term be unworkable the way it is now planned, one part on the West Bank of the Jordan River and the other on the Gaza Strip. Just as was the case with East and West Pakistan, the two parts would probably separate, as they actually are now.
Then there’s also the very real prospect of further terror attacks against Israel. Until all the Palestinians accept Israel as a reality, the war will continue.
I have long felt if a comprehensive settlement was ever reached between the two sides, the occupied land should revert back to its former owners, Jordan and Egypt, established Arab nations who could care and control for the populations. However, it’s highly unlikely Egypt would entertain taking back Gaza.
Oh, a bit of history…Gaza is only area that historically can rightfully claim to be Palestinian, being the location of the ancient Philistine nation. For those who don’t know Palestine means Land of the Philistines, an Indo-European people, much like the Phoenicians and an equally dead civilization, but also equally non-Semitic.
When Rome destroyed Jerusalem it re-named Judea and Samara Palestine to erase any ties the Jews might have to their land. Since no other independent nation was ever established there the timeless Arabs just kept that name going…it’s almost like Americans continuing to call our native people Indians. It remains to be seen if any Palestinian state will keep this Roman name or come up with something more indigenous to the region.