The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


September 20th is rapidly approaching. What’s happening on September 20th? The Palestinians will petition the United Nations for statehood and will undoubtedly get what they want but do not deserve. A group of emerging nations, most dictatorships or worse, will define a state carved out of lands that were won by Israel as a consequence of wars conducted against them by the Arab states (including the Palestinians). The ownership of those lands has been debated for 60 years and the Palestinians have had numerous chances to make peace with Israel. But no. Israel must disappear, say the Palestinians. They are supported by many on the Left and virtually every dictatorship on the planet.

It would be as if a group of Mexican people demanded the creation of a new nation, Neuvo Mexico, on the land that is now Texas. After all, the Mexicans used to live there (many still do, just as “Palestinians” live peacefully in Israel). But the United States occupied Neuvo Mexico, over 100 years ago, and now the Neuvo Mexicans want it back.

David Warren puts it nicely when he writes:
The Palestinians, so far as they are a people, have now a long history of being able to do things without consequences. (They are not ethnically distinct from neighbouring Arabs, but defined by family ties to a given location.) Under the direction of a succession of "reformed" or unreformed terrorist leaders, from the Mufti of Jerusalem to Yasser Arafat to Hamas, they have "evolved" a polity which may itself be defined as "the Anti-Israel."

Israel is consistently held to account, both internally and externally, as an old-fashioned, formal nation state. When the Israelis respond to rocket attacks from Gaza, they are compelled to justify their action. But the people who sent the rockets are not. And supposing them to have been launched "freelance" by independent terror cells, the authority which governs Gaza is not held gravely responsible for having failed to stop them.

Imagine what the consequences would be, if Israeli citizens, acting independently, began lobbing missiles into the Palestinian territories, gratuitously at targets both civilian and military - whatever happened to be in range. And then, the Israeli authorities made no gesture to stop them. The diplomats of the world would spit up their sherry. Our peace-loving politicians would go berserk.

Yet they have nothing to say after each of many thousand Qassams comes down within Israeli borders of the strictest 1947 definition.

Take this mental exercise one step farther. What if a party in the Israeli Knesset - a party in a position to sweep any free election - announced in its very constitution that Israel's borders extend from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean, and include all deep-historical areas of Jewish settlement, including the entire West Bank. That, moreover, while Jews and perhaps a few quiet Christians are allowed to stay, all Muslims must get out. On pain of death.

Yet the reverse of this is the "final position" of Palestinian statecraft.

Hamas declares it openly, and swept the only election in which it was allowed to freely run. The operatives of the PLO used to declare it, but made an ambiguous recognition of Israel's "right to exist" - tactically, in exchange for substantial territories, and Israeli complaisance in their own "right" to enter and govern them.

If an identifiable Jew from Israel wanders, unguarded, into any part of the Palestinian territories, he is a dead man. This is a fact of life, and everyone knows it. Leftist and Islamist rhetoric about Israeli "apartheid" masks a very big truth: that more than a million Muslim Arabs live, work, and move freely around Israel, with full citizenship and protection under Israel's laws (enforced by very liberal courts). Whereas, the number of Jews enjoying this status under the Palestinian Authority is zero.

But the UN, a corrupt and ineffective world body, becomes the arbiter of what is and isn’t a “state.” That’s the same UN that has allowed Hezballah to rearm in the north, even though UN troops and sanctions are in place to stop just that.

The Obama administration is scrambling to have the Palestinians postpone their request. If they’re lucky, they may succeed. But what if they don’t?

What our President should do is suggest in no uncertain terms that this time there will be consequences. But of course, President Obama is loath to do just that. If the domestic political consequences weren’t so dire (can’t lose the Jewish domestic vote and political donations, after all), I suspect he would likely not wield a veto in the security council and allow the UN to impose a Palestinian state on Israel.

No matter that the Palestinians have never negotiated in good faith, have never renounced their stated position that Israel has no right to exist, and have never—not once—given up anything tangible in the never-ending quest for peace. But our President, purposely ignorant of realities on the ground, will cluck his tongue and voice disapproval. Words are cheap. Actions matter. Too bad.

Update (5 September 11):

A front-page report from The New York Times this morning uses off-the-record comments of “senior administration officials” regarding last ditch attempts to dissuade the Palestinians from their UN maneuver: “President Obama would be put in the position of threatening to veto recognition of the aspirations of most Palestinians or risk alienating Israel and its political supporters in the United States.”

Hmmm. You’d think that vetoing an attempt by a group that regularly lobs rockets over an international border with the primary intent of killing civilians would be an easy decision—because it is the right decision. You’d think that vetoing a proposal by a group that refuses to accept its neighbor’s right to exist would be an easy decision—because it is the right decision. You’d think that vetoing a blatant ploy at legitimacy by a group that violently abuses dissenters among its own people, that cannot apply the rule of law among its own people, and that is corrupt and thuggish would be an easy decision—because it is the right decision.

Apparently, the Obama administration is applying its post-modern view of the world yet again. There is no right and wrong—only what is politically expedient.