A new peace paridigm: Winner takes all.

Ami Isseroff complains about The rush to sell out Palestine and peace

    Despairing of ever achieving peace or Palestinian rights, extremists and not-so extremists on all sides are rushing to sell out both the Palestinian cause and the long arduous peace process that must be traversed in order to reach the goal. The goal is realization of the right of self-determination for two peoples, living side by side in two independent nation states. Most of the people who are trying so hard to sabotage it are those who never wanted peace in the first place, but a good many are people of good intentions who should know better.

    The first to take up the cause perhaps were Palestinian extremists, who trotted out the venerable quack nostrum of a “Democratic Secular State.” In theory, Jews and Arabs would live side by side in this state happily ever after. The opportunity for such a state may have existed in the 1920s. But as Arab opposition to Jewish immigration grew, it became apparent to all but the most optimistic that Arabs and Jews could never realize their national rights in either a single state or a bi-national Palestinian state. Then right wing Zionists, backed by bogus calculations of Palestinian demography, tried to sell us on the notion that there could be a “single state solution” from the river to the sea, which would still be a “democratic Jewish state.” Recent Palestinian census figures put an end to that idea, perhaps, but not to its equally obnoxious clones.

This is a notion I propagate and I believe it is not bogus at all. Mike Wise who is behind the AIDRG which published the study exchanged emails with Ami Isseroff and I thought Isseroff was beginning to accept the new numbers, but I guess not.

    The idea has been revived in a new way. Rami Khouri echoes the idea of Adnan Abu Odeh: to dissolve the Palestinian Authority and “allow” Israel to annex the West Bank and Gaza. Then the Palestinian demography will overwhelm the Jews, and that will be the end of the Jewish state. The enemies of peace and reason on both side know no rest, and their feverish imagination conjures up the oddest ideas.

    Right wing Zionists would like nothing better then to end the Palestinian authority and end the peace process. [TRUE ENOUGH] But of course, being demonic and evil right wing Zionists, as Rami Khouri imagines them to be, they will not be so stupid as to annex the Arab population of the West Bank and Gaza and make them citizens. [NOT RIGHT AWAY ANYWAY. PERHAPS IN 20 YEARS.] … The Palestinian authority, the embryo self-government of the Palestinian Arabs, would be dissolved, and the situation would go back to what it was in 1992, [IT WAS PRETTY GOOD THEN IN COMPARISON TO THE NEW WORLD OF OSLO.] or worse, it would descend into a chaotic anomie worse than Iraq and worse than Lebanon in the civil war, carefully fenced off from the Jewish parts of Israel, and with an international status that is completely in limbo, like the Gaza strip today. The whole territory would be ruled by a “government” of thieves, con men, Oozlebarts and mullahs, that will make the rule of the Hamas and the Fatah seem like the New Deal by comparison. As there would be no Palestinian Authority and no peace process, Israel could truly say it had no peace power, and there would no longer be an international aid fund for the Palestinians either.

There is no basis for this concern. The security situation in Judea and Samaria is under control and that wouldn’t change. Israel would annex the Judea and Samaria at a time of its choosing but in the meantime it would outlaw incitement. Probably Israel would hold a referendum among Jerusalem residents who would choose to be annexed by Israel and so they would be. Jerusalem would announce that all terrorists would be expelled and would slowly lift the checkpoints and normalize the country. I wrote about this in The Way Forward and in Time for a New and Different Palestine Mandate.

    No Arab Palestinian strategy as brilliant as that of Abu Odeh and Khouri has been advanced since the strategic call of the Arab Higher Committee in 1948, urging Arab Palestinians to leave their homes so that the victorious Arab armies could rid Palestine of the Jews. That masterstroke resulted in the first Nakba, and now Khouri and Abu Odeh wand to perpetrate a worse Nakba.

    Equally nihilistic are the urgent calls of Israeli peace camp leaders for negotiations with the Hamas. The latest such call was issued by Amos Oz. Amos Oz should know better. An Israel agreement with the Hamas means the end of the Palestinian Authority. It adds up to the same program as that of Rami Khouri and Abu Odeh, of Israel Eldad and Benny Elon and Rabbi Dov Wolpe: Hang the moderates and let’s take it all for one people at the expense of the other.

Winner takes all.

When one reads this or other similar articles by leftists they always assume that they inhabitate the moral high ground. This is without justification. They are pursuing the unatainable no matter the hardships or deaths that are caused by their efforts. The right on the other hand rejects utopian visions and strives for what works.

February 24, 2008 | 3 Comments »

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  1. It’s all about statistics. The world is superficially concerned about the six million Jewish deaths rather than twenty million Russian in the WWII because the entire Eastern European Jewry has been wiped out, while the Russian nation was only dented.
    It’s also about savagery. Jews were murdered with unexpected – historically standard – cruelty, while Russians were mostly killed in the normal military operations.

    The world built around the Christian “Love your neighbor” is a pipe dream. It never existed nor ever would. The world built around the Jewish “Love your neighbor” is ruthlessly practical: it only loves neighbors, never – aliens.

    The world never changes. Plays of Euripides resound with our souls today; the twentieth-century wars, if anything, were bloodier than Persian-Greek wars, and equally savage. The religions proclaimed thousands of years ago attract billions of adherents. Morals don’t change. Never.

    The permanent peace in the Middle East is unattainable. It is similarly unattainable in any other place on earth. It is a matter of biology and million-year-old animal behavior: nations fight. No well-wisher or left wing peace mongers like Isseroff can change that.

    Long periods of peace are easy to come by. The horrible details are well known. In order to be safe from your enemy, kill him first. If someone wants to kill you, kill him first. Don’t investigate his mentality. Don’t break your head trying to invent the terms acceptable to him. There are none. Conflicts between nations are not business disputes, and cannot be arbitrated. It is all-or-nothing, the matter of national pride and therefore national existence. Just like Maccabeus and bar Kochba bet the Jewish existence, so should the Jews today – unless they want to pitifully praise the millennia-old heroism in the festivals devoid of meaning.
    Like the old heroes? Go produce a few new ones.


    How odd is it to demand a Jewish state among world democracies? The Vatican is a Catholic, and Saudi Arabia a Muslim, state. It is no less reasonable for Judaism to demand a state of its own. Religious traits are common not only in modern culture but also explicitly in politics. Europe is full of Christian Democratic parties, and Ireland split along religious lines. Scores of military conflicts in Europe have proceeded along the religious divide. Religion has a prominent place in American politics and cultural symbolism. Religious or ethnic communities can be perfectly democratic. In fact, only monocultural democracies can be stable.

    The Greek democracies did not give political rights to descendants of immigrants. The Italian city-states of the Renaissance period banned dissent. The United States essentially disallows Communism. States are built around values. Territorial expansion or contraction is largely irrelevant, but significant ideological changes generally break states. When they don’t, the changes are really evolutionary. The French revolution looked radical, but it only readjusted the prevailing values of liberty and respect for property to fit modern circumstances.

    Relations depend on a degree of trust, which is a matter of predictability. Only people with similar values are predictable. Others meet xenophobia, the natural suspicion of aliens. But aren’t modern liberal democracies multicultural? Emphatically not! The United States has successfully integrated scores of immigrants only through the melting pot policy. Americans may be right or left, Christian or Buddhist, but at the core they subscribe to a degree of economic and political freedom. If a state can be monocultural in the sense of accepting a single governing ideology, why cannot another state be monocultural in the sense of accepting a single religion and ethical system?

    No American has a political or military claim upon any other American: Californians do not want revenge on Arizonians for taking their ancestors’ land. In Israel, Jews and Arabs have serious claims and grievances against each other. Unless injured groups are thoroughly suppressed, past injuries can break states down.

    Multiculturalism runs against the Jewish state’s reason for existence. Israel is sufficiently small to remain monocultural without significantly injuring others. Relocating the Arabs fifty miles, less than many people in the West travel to work, will let both Jews and Arabs live comfortably in their own states of like-minded people.

    When hearing about democracy, my first thought is of Nazi Germany – it was perfectly democratic. Stalinist Russian and Saddam’s Iraq also come to my mind – they, too, were democracies, and the people overwhelmingly supported the autocrats. Currently, two thirds of Russians support Putin, who rooted out the early Russian democracy, stifled the media, and returned to the Soviet quasi-imperialist policy of stirring up trouble abroad to spite the imagined enemies: America and Western Europe. Is there a freedom to sell oneself into slavery? The people who democratically choose dictators – do they need democracy?

    Dictators come in various shapes, from Stalinist-type wolves to Ahmadinejad-type demagogue sheep who ostensibly do nothing but serve their nations. Bush’s re-election showed that Americans shrink from making hard choices just like everyone else. Faced with a debacle in Iraq, Americans chose the simplest approach – let it go on, do nothing, continue wasting lives and money. A few citizens insist on controlling the government while most are resigned to corruption, pork barrel spending, and government service to interest groups and corporate interests. Voter turnout in civilized countries hovers around 50% – most don’t care to vote. The lower classes vote more diligently because it’s attractive to spend other people’s money, and democratic decision-making is the perfect way to do that. The original democratic idea – that people decide how they live – turned into nonsense in huge countries where one’s voting choices are unlikely to specifically affect one’s own life. Statecraft is a complicated art. Faced with myriad policy choices, voters gladly pass the decision-making power to dictators who promise to solve the issues without bothering the voters. Putin is popular because he cleared the country of the Yeltsin-era bustle and eliminated choices. For the most part, citizens need democracy only to relay their responsibility for governance to a dictator.

    America’s stance on democracy is twofold. Idealists from the left and cynics from the Administration proclaim democracy a panacea to the world’s ills. Realists understand that democracy is a method of spreading American influence amenably to the affected locals and of undermining unfriendly governments. America never accepted the democratic choices of Soviet-era Russians or Iranians. In Afghanistan, America employed democracy to legitimize its protégé, Karzai while conveniently removing his opponents from the election race through intrigues. America tried democracy in Palestine and Lebanon to obtain the governments that would crack down on the insurgents, and was surprised that the world is less rational than taught in the Sherman Kent School: locals chose sound insurgency over weak and uncertain moderation. Americans moved to mitigate these errors with admirable speed, and started strengthening Saniora and Abbas to subvert the democratically elected Hezbollah and Hamas. Likewise in Ukraine, the United States staged and paid for the 2004 revolt against the pro-Russian presidential candidate. After subsequent parliamentary elections defeated the American protégé’s party, the US Administration agreed that he would dissolve the duly elected parliament and pledged $65 mil to cover the official cost of elections – that’s besides a lot more in campaign costs.

    Democracy stops after elections. The parliamentary majority seeks no consensus with the other parties, but enforces its objectives in an authoritarian manner. The parties that make it into the parliament shut the minor parties out through the election barrier without concern for the voters’ free expression. In Israel and Europe, 10-20% of voters are effectively disenfranchised because they vote for small parties that don’t overcome unwarrantedly high election barriers of 2-5%.