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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on December 18th, 2013 (All posts by )

    David P. Goldman (“Spengler”):

    Accepting the settlements is the sine qua non of any viable peace agreement. It does Israel no good to defend Israel’s right to exist but to condemn the settlers, as does Alan Dershowitz, not to mention the leaders of liberal Jewish denominations.
     
    I believe in land for peace. That is a tautology: In territorial disputes the two main variables always are land and peace. But that implies more land for more peace and less land for less peace. The Palestinian Arabs had an opportunity to accept an Israeli state on just 5,500 square miles of land in 1947, and refused to do so. The armistice lines of 1948 left Israel with 8,550 square miles, and the Arab side refused to accept that. In 1967 Israel took an additional 5,628 square miles of land in dispute under international law; Jordan does not claim it, and no legal Arab authority exists to claim it. It is not “illegally occupied.” It has never been adjudicated by a competent authority.
     
    To demand the 1948 armistice lines (the so-called 1967 borders) is to refuse any penalty for refusing to make peace in the past. That is the same as refusing any peace at all. Wars end when one side accepts defeat, and abandons the hope of restoring the status quo ante by force of arms. 1947 was a catastrophe (“Nakba”) for the Palestinian Arabs, to be sure, but it was a catastrophe of their own making; until they accept at least some degree of responsibility for the catastrophe, they will not be reconciled to any peace agreement. That is precisely what Palestine’s negotiator Saeb Erekat meant when he eschewed any recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation-state because “I cannot change my narrative.” The “narrative” is that the Jews are an alien intrusion into the Muslim Middle East and eventually must be eliminated by one means or another.

    Of course this is right. What kind of stable resolution to hostilities requires the self-ethnic cleansing of disputed territory by one side? The only peace deal worth a damn would be one in which the West Bank Arabs welcomed their Jewish neighbors. That the Arabs, aided by their American and European lawyers, insist on a Judenrein Judea and Samaria is proof of continued bad faith. Israel should sit tight and retain all of its military advantages.

     

    20 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Mike Doughty Says:

      Absolutely correct!

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      The Israeli response to anyone who wants to take Judea and Samaria should be MOLON LABE.

    3. Michael Kennedy Says:

      The example that seems never to be cited is that of East Prussia and the Sudetenland portion of Czechoslovakia. In both case a war was begun by the residents of those areas and lost. They were, as a result, expelled from homes they and their ancestors had occupied for millennia. They accepted the decision and made new homes among more friendly peoples. This is not to say the I agree they should have been expelled but that they had gone to war and lost.

      I wonder what the result might have been if the Indians had not taken the side of the French in 1754. The Iroquois had homes with glass windows and Dartmouth school had been founded to educate the children of the Indians and the settlers. The Cherokee similarly suffered from the excesses stimulated by a Scottish renegade among them. Certainly, the Indians of the east were badly treated by settlers but they might have worked out a modus vivendi. The Plains Indians were much more primitive and unlikely to adjust to the white settlers.

    4. PenGun Says:

      You cleansed the country of Palestinians, it’s well documented, and expect the conflict to follow rules of war?

      For them the loss of their land is a catastrophe. It was not a war until the Arabs tried to help them out.

    5. pst314 Says:

      PenGun conveniently forgets the preceding Arab attempt to cleanse the region of Jews. PenGun also forgets the many generations of Muslim rule in which Jews (and Christians, not to mention followers of other relgions) were treated as second-class citizens (or non-citizens), discriminated against, harassed, mistreated in various ways, and subjected to occasional pogroms.

      Put the same history of behaviors into the American South and you’d wonder of PenGun’s daddy was a Kleagle.

      Very convenient amnesia, indeed.

    6. Robert Schwartz Says:

      “The Israeli response to anyone who wants to take Judea and Samaria should be MOLON LABE.”

      Well. Ye, for the Jewish areas. But, if someone really wanted the Palestinians of the “West Bank”, they would be theirs for the asking.

      An interesting question is whether the Palestinians will be hostages for the Iranians good behavior, if the Iranians launch a nuclear weapon towards Israel.

    7. Jonathan Says:

      You cleansed the country of Palestinians, it’s well documented, and expect the conflict to follow rules of war?

      For them the loss of their land is a catastrophe. It was not a war until the Arabs tried to help them out.

      As Goldman points out, the Jews accepted a much smaller state under the 1947 UN partition plan, but the Arabs would not accept any Jewish state and started a war which they have continued ever since. The Jews should not attempt to make deals with the Arabs until the Arabs give up their war.

    8. Kirk Parker Says:

      The Israeli response should be much more active than just “sit tight”.

    9. mikee Says:

      Spot on Michael Kennedy! Paradoxically the some Russians who now “occupy” the former East Prussian territories are willing to sell it back to their former owners so that they can make ends meet. I’m not going back though – its too cold!

    10. Dan from Madison Says:

      “PenGun conveniently forgets…” PenGun didn’t conveniently forget anything. She just says what she is told to say by whatever leftist website she read last. She doesn’t care and doesn’t root any of her discussions in any sort of historical context whatsoever. She is a useful idiot in that she is a decent window into the dark soul of the left. Other than that, any time spent jousting with her is just wasting your time.

    11. pst314 Says:

      Dan from Madison: I agree, except that I believe it’s not a complete waste of time: It’s good to post refutations lest the more naive readers take unrefuted assertions as in any way factual.

    12. grey eagle Says:

      The Palestinian Question is a lot like the Global Warming Question – its a great way for leaders to gain and keep power in order to reward themselves and to destroy the unbelievers.

    13. PenGun Says:

      Dan you are a little too far into the weeds these days. Hysteria does not become you.

      Go read some history the rest of you.

      “PenGun conveniently forgets the preceding Arab attempt to cleanse the region of Jews. PenGun also forgets the many generations of Muslim rule in which Jews (and Christians, not to mention followers of other relgions) were treated as second-class citizens (or non-citizens), discriminated against, harassed, mistreated in various ways, and subjected to occasional pogroms.”

      So now the shoe is on the other foot and I take it that’s fine with you.

    14. Mrs. Davis Says:

      Your problem, Penny, is that you didn’t read the article. Over half the Palestinians are better off now than they would have been.

    15. PenGun Says:

      “Your problem, Penny, is that you didn’t read the article. Over half the Palestinians are better off now than they would have been.”

      Poor fools and they don’t even realize this, how ungrateful can a people be?

    16. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “how ungrateful can a people be?”

      It depends on whether they are Arabs or not. Arabs hold the world record and will never be approached by any other people. The HUTU are second.

      It might be interesting to read Dennis Ross’s op ed pieces around 2000. How there were investors lined up to go into the new Palestinian state as soon as the accords were signed. Then Arafat, “The Tunisian” as the Lebanese called him, walked out and began the Intifada again.

      This would be a start.

    17. Bill Brandt Says:

      “The “narrative” is that the Jews are an alien intrusion into the Muslim Middle East and eventually must be eliminated by one means or another.”

      In the 7th century it was the Arabs who were the “alien intrusion”. Good for them, I suppose, that the Jews never had a similar belief of an “Arab-free” region.

      Goldman makes some good points as to why any attempt for “peace” is doomed to failure without the Arab’s acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist and their willingness to live with them.

    18. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Tom Clancy, in one of his novels, came up with the concept of a cooperative relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. Unlike so many of his ideas, nothing has come of it. The worst thing that happened was bringing Arafat back from Tunis. If here is no nuclear war in the middle east, about a 50% chance, the oil will start to run out and then there will be hell to pay.

      I feel so sorry for the Iranian people who hate their government. The last I read, there was 2% attendance in mosques now. The birth rate is below 2.0. I summarized a post of Spengler’s a few weeks ago.

    19. Grurray Says:

      Israel and Palestinians are now cooperating on one issue – water

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/world/middleeast/israel-jordan-and-palestinians-sign-water-project-deal.html?_r=0

      Although, how much water Palestinians will actually see is still an open question because Jordan just announced plans to build a nuclear plant and will need as much of that water they can get for cooling.

      Still it’s something to build on.

    20. Gringo Says:

      PenGun
      You cleansed the country of Palestinians, it’s well documented, and expect the conflict to follow rules of war?

      So there are practically no Palestinians/Arabs living either in the West Bank or within the pre-1967 borders of Israel.

      As they say in Venezuela, Decime otro de vaqueros. Translation: tell me another cowboy story- tell me another tall tale- tell me another fish story.

      PenGun, our own 21st Century Bourbon, who neither forgets anything he heard 40 years ago, nor bothers to learn the facts.