by John F. Di Leo
On Wednesday, May 19, 2011 A.D., President Barack Obama, the head of state of one of Israel’s greatest allies, called for a massive shrinkage in the geographical size of her tiny friend. He will spend the rest of his life trying to explain away this attempted sellout.
The United States is a huge country. Running from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from the Rio Grande north to Canada, it contains some 3.8 million square miles. By contrast, Israel is measured in the thousands of square miles, well under ten, in fact. Even that gives little indication to the true size of the country, because of its long and narrow placement, surrounded by enemy nations committed to its destruction.
For example, while the current width of the nation is only about 45 miles wide at some points, the pre-1967 size of the country was only eight miles wide at a particularly vulnerable central point – nearly indefensible then, likely completely indefensible today. And yes, foolish though Obama is in so many ways, he and his administration most certainly do know this.
A Very Brief History
By the mid-1800s, the region known as the Holy Land was almost empty (Mark Twain wrote a fascinating travelogue about how shocking it was that this home of so much of the world’s history was then so surprisingly vacant), containing few Jews, and even fewer arabs and Christians.
The vicious pogroms of Russia, the Dreyfus Affair in France, and the general anti-semitism that had somehow lived on despite the Enlightenment of the modern age, together prompted a theory that what was needed, not only for the Jews themselves but for the world in general, was for the Jewish people to again have a state of their own, a Place Among the Nations.
A new movement to end the Diaspora and emigrate from their far-flung homes back to the Holy Land began in the late 19th century, commonly known as Zionism. Theodor Herzl inspired many, but it had started organically, before his time. The return was natural and appropriate.
As the region filled with Jewish immigrants, building farms, shops, businesses, cities… others of the region followed because that’s where the jobs were. This Zionist-inspired settlement – using irrigation, science, and hard work – created an oasis out of a desert, and drew arab settlers as well, from across the middle east. The people today called “the palestinians” are therefore, with very few exceptions, the descendents of grandparents who crossed over into Israel from Sinai, Egypt, and other lands. They would never have been in that deserted desert at all, had the Jewish return never occurred.
From Disraeli’s day forward, the British Empire favored a new Jewish state, though it didn’t have particular standing on the issue until it won control of the land in World War I. Now, a century of British support for an Israeli nation made it possible, even likely, and Britain issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which was subsequently endorsed in full by the League of Nations, calling for a new Jewish state in Palestine. The land planned and promised would be approximately the size of what is now Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan put together, plus a bit more of the surrounding area.
Unfortunately, troubles at home in England, combined with a brand new indigenous anti-Israel movement by the regional muslim leaders, delayed the actual creation of the state for decades. This gave both Jews and arabs more time to immigrate… in an effort to change the demographics and perhaps affect the electoral possibilities when a state finally came to be. Only after World War II, with the blessing of the new United Nations that had replaced the old League, did England (still the owner of the land since WWI) finally feel comfortable in turning over the reins to a new government.
After Independence, the Wars
Instead of granting the new Israel the full complement of land expected in the 19th century and promised by king and country in the Balfour Declaration, by 1948 Britain and the UN had been convinced to try a “two-state solution,” creating one land for the so-called palestinian arabs and another for the Jews. So Jordan and Israel were both carved out of the British Mandate, with the lion’s share of the land foolishly granted to Jordan. The Jews were to be squeezed into a tiny, narrow strip, almost indefensible… but after two millennia without a land of their own, they accepted it, and prepared to form a government.
As soon as they became independent, the wars began. In 1948, the arab neighbors attacked, hoping that Israel would thus be stillborn. The attacking arabs convinced thousands of arab residents of the new Israel to join them in fighting their recent neighbors and employers.
After losing that war, and after losing the subsequent war in 1967 that enabled Israel to round out its central borders and make it defensible, the arab countries refused to take in those resident arabs who had turned on Israel to fight on the neighbors’ behalf.
These arabs, most of whom had moved to Israel for work and lived there for no more than decades before being talked into fighting on the arab side, were therefore left as people without a country. Israel could not be expected to grant citizenship to those who had fought against it, and the arab nations decided that these failed traitors would be more useful to their neighboring masters, politically, as miserable refugees than as residents of their own countries.
So, for half a century we have had this peculiar problem: thousands of nationless refugees, starving on the doorstep of Israel, naturally incapable of winning Israel’s trust after twice being turned on, but also horribly abandoned by their arab brethren, to be used as pawns in their vicious and perpetual war against the Jews.
The Right of Return, and other fictions
Unlike their arab neighbors, the nation of Israel clearly wants peace. In the 1970s, they were talked into giving the hard-won Sinai peninsula (won in the 1967 war) to Egypt in return for peace. Since then, they have been talked into allowing the so-called palestinians to elect their own governments on Israeli land (the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights). And throughout all this time, Israel has held peace conferences with whoever was able to speak for the “palestinians” – sometimes other countries, then eventually their own terrorist groups, the PLO, and its heirs Hamas and Fatah. They were even persuaded to give the “palestinians” a pseudo-state, a “Palestinian Authority,” as a place-keeper for some hellish future date when they would indeed have their own nation independent of both Israel and Jordan.
While Israel has tried to be open-minded – providing aid and services whenever possible to the human suffering in the “palestinian” territories – the arabs both in those territories and worldwide have taken the opposite tone.
For decades, the arabs have placed ridiculous preconditions upon these peace talks. They’ve demanded that all the land that Israel won in 1967 be given – not to Jordan (from whom the majority of it was won) – but to the “palestinians” for their new state. This would return Israel to the days of being bisected by an indefensible border less than nine miles wide.
They’ve demanded that Israel grant a “right of return” – an invitation to both residency and full citizenship within Israel for the millions of refugees who fought against Israel and their decendents… knowing that of course such an onslaught of hostile characters would spell death to the Israeli state by its first election, if not before.
They’ve demanded that Israel cease building homes and businesses in the West Bank, forty-some years after winning the land in a war the arabs started, as Israel’s landmark economic growth has caused the undeniable need for such building, not just for the Jews, but frankly, for all Israeli citizens – Jew, Christian, and muslim alike.
(For decades, the only place in which muslims enjoy political and economic freedom has been Israel; that alone probably galls the arabists as much as any other issue.)
Israel’s opponents are so singlemindedly focused on the destruction of Israel that they can’t even bring themselves to compromise on the matter of accepting an end game in which two states survive – a “Palestine” and Israel, side by side, as the so-called palestinians claim to support. Throughout every negotiation, the thread remains in the background that the issue will never be over while Israel survives. The PLO, Hamas, and Fatah all, along with every other terrorist organization in the area, keep the goal of the ultimate destruction of the Jewish state as a key plank in their published platforms.
However they have differed in other ways, they have remained consistent in this. Even the most moderate looking of them all, the suit-and-tie-wearing bosses of Fatah, remain committed to the position that the nation of Israel must be expunged from the map of the Middle East. Peace talks, treaties, negotiations, compromises, even land swaps, none of these will ever be sufficient for them, because peace is not their goal; only the destruction of Israel will satisfy them.
The many demands of their negotiators over the years have frustrated mediators from the beginning. Even when the weak Ehud Barak offered to grant everything in 2000, for example, virtually every demand he had been presented, still the so-called palestinians refused to sign. Why would they not accept a peace treaty so one-sided that it granted them everything? Because the goal of the so-called palestinians is not peace.
There is a difference between ignorance and malice
In the end, the truth is unmistakable, however much our Western sensibilities cause our minds to resist it: the entire peace process itself is a fraud. For peace talks to work, both sides must value peace as a desirable goal; if one side will settle for nothing short of destruction of the other, there is truly no point. We should admit the truth, well-known as it is to the Obama administration: Israel wants peace, her opponents do not.
We in the West have arab neighbors, coworkers, vendors and customers. They may be polite, friendly, and law-abiding. Their children play with ours at recess; they serve on school boards and chambers of commerce.
We therefore assume that, when all is said and done, “people are people” – that these arabs in the “palestinian” refugee camps must similarly be polite, friendly, and law-abiding. We assume that they are decent and well-intentioned, that the occasional terrorist act must be the desperate measures of fringe extremists, far from representative of the populace. We assume all this, but we are wrong.
The people of the West Bank and Gaza are not of the same culture as our American neighbors and friends. Perhaps a century ago they might have been, but their lines have diverged.
Remember the purpose for these people. Remember why they are there – living in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank in the first place. They are there because Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and the rest could have taken them in after the wars – SHOULD have welcomed them – but they did not. The arab warmongers abandoned these people, and have abandoned their children and grandchildren. Why? Because the powers-that-be in the arab world wanted them to be their pawns in this struggle. The purpose they serve is to rank among the most miserable slaves to a philosophy ever recorded.
They are kept poor, by their arab leadership… kept desperate, kept weak, kept unemployed. Every urban character flaw is encouraged, as the nihilism and hatred arising from these miserable conditions are nourished by their local elders and their foreign masters.
- The Wahabists finance madrassahs in which to teach young boys the laws of bigotry and the value of terrorism.
- They teach their children to blow up restaurants, malls, school buses, coffee shops.
- The late Saddam Hussein funded a ghastly bonus of $25,000 to the family every time a young “palestinian” carried out a suicide attack against an Israeli outpost.
- Hamas builds rocket launchers on the roofs of schools and hospitals, so that retaliation by Israel would give the appearance of an attack on the innocent… though in truth, attacking the innocent is all that the “palestinians” ever do.
- And they sponsor funds, islamic centers, mosques, and charities in the United States, keeping people on the payroll for outreach, to non-muslim schools, non-muslim civic groups, non-muslim radio and television stations. There’s always someone ready on the other end of a phone whenever a reporter seeks the “palestinian” viewpoint, well coached and prepped for every likely question, expert at spinning every attack, every bombing, every mass murder, to deflect blame from the jihadist cause.
Enough is Enough.
It is time for the West to stop putting up with this long, slow dance along the edge of a cliff. It is time to acknowledge the truth of the matter – to free tiny Israel from the fear of further loss of land they cannot spare, to free even the poor decent innocent “palestinians” (there must be some, though who can say how many of them there are?) from the impossible dream of a newly created independent and self-sufficient nation of their own.
Consider the facts:
- The two-state solution is already in effect, and has been since 1948: Israel for the Jews, and Jordan for the palestinian arabs. The West need support no additional nation to fulfill our moral duty.
- The guilty parties here are their own people. The Saudis, the Syrians, the Iranians, Iraqis, and Turks, so many arabists who have kept their pawns alive, just barely, in pain and despair, to use their misery as the farmland from which to harvest crop after crop of future jihadists.
- So much evil has been done in the cause of palestinian statehood. From Al Qaeda to Hamas to the Muslim Brotherhood, all the wickedness of 20th and 21st century terrorism has been aimed at the goals of creating a new nation for the “palestinian” refugees, destroying Israel as a nation, and, when caught on live microphone in their own language, pushing the Jews themselves into the sea. Can anyone honestly say they believe that such language must be a mere figure of speech, rather than a literal expression of their very hearts’ desire?
- In the old days, the West could sympathize with these poor miserable refugees, but no longer. Any society might present a terrorist or two, or three… but a civilized society runs out of them pretty quickly. Not so in the West Bank; not so in Gaza. During the Intifadas, they managed to recruit and direct a suicide bomber every day for months, even years. Japan produced a few kamikaze pilots in World War II; every nation has produced a few spies who are trained to swallow poison rather than risk divulging secrets. But thousands of them? For so small a people to be able to produce thousands of suicide bombers speaks to a corruption of the culture, a corruption of the soul, so complete as to prove them unworthy of nationhood.
No. America must tell the truth, at last. Too much evil has been done in the cause of “palestinian’ statehood to reward it with their sweetest victory.
- Even if Israel were indeed the guilty party in the refugees’ pain – an honor rightly awarded to the arab neighbors and the popularly elected terrorist leaders of Hamas and Fatah…
- Even if Israel were indeed so large that she could spare the land they seek without rendering herself indefensible…
- Even if Israel had not generously offered them every courtesy from food to shelter over the years, only to have their hand bitten every time…
- and Even if the so-called palestinians had spent their decades of insurrection focusing on proper military targets rather than almost exclusively focusing their bullets and bombs on the civilian, the innocent, the young, old, and weak…
…the fact remains that both the cause and the advocates of “palestinian” statehood have, again and again, proven that they are worse than undeserving of reward. To acquiesce in any way, after all the killings, all the pain, all the targeting of innocents, would be as great a blemish on the soul of the West as this unbroken parade of desecration and murder have been on the soul of the Mideast.
It is time to state, once and for all, that it is a crime to reward bad behavior. Even if a case could once have been made to create a new nation for the so-called palestinians, that case has long since been undermined by the crimes of its advocates. We must never give them a state of their own.
The time has come for their arab neighbors to do right by them at last. After half a century of playing them for fools, using them as pawns in their anti-Israel master plan, the arab neighbors need to agree on some way to absorb these refugees at last. And America’s role ought properly be to force them to do so.
Twice abandoned by their allies after wars, and continually abandoned ever since, even unfaithful friends deserve some hope that their children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to live a better life. While it would be fair to demand that Jordan take them all in, it is also worth remembering that Israel gave all of Sinai to Egypt, so Egypt at least ought to share in laying out a welcome mat for their longtime tools. Still, to be truly fair, all araby ought to join in the outreach, opening their doors to these “people without a country” after so long oppressing them.
And before they start feeling sorry for themselves, perhaps they should keep this too in mind: The diaspora left the Jews as “people without a country” for some two thousand years, and they bore it rather well. With only half a century of such status under their belts so far, the “palestinians” could learn some lessons from the pros… because now that they need to look to their arab brethren for mercy, they’re likely in for a long wait indeed.
Copyright 2011 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade compliance lecturer. A former president of the Ethnic American Council and past chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, his columns appear weekly in Illinois Review.
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