Conrad Black: Israel’s morally inferior critics

By Conrad Black, National Post

The world appears to have descended into an unusually deep slough of the blahs. It is easy to imagine that the horrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the provocations from the sinister gangster regime of North Korea, will never end. Job himself would be bored into glottal stops by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and it is often hard to believe that any progress will ever be possible between the advocates of Israeli security and the Arab claimants of Israeli territory.

None of these impulses is unreasonable, but I don’t share them. The Gulf spill will be stopped. The damage is terrible, but nature always has what life must have to go on. People make mistakes and machines break down. The consequence will be to make off-shore oil extraction much safer.

If the Chinese will not try to control the lunatic in Pyongyang, which they and only they can do, they must pay the penalty. Not only do the West’s local allies need massive anti-missile defences, but the autonomist factions in Taiwan and Tibet, and the Uyghurs, must then be encouraged.

We have the Europeans to thank for driving Turkey back into Asia with racial and religious slurs resonating in its ears, and the 90-year legacy of Kemalist secularism and western emulation in tatters. But this too is an opportunity. If Ankara goes cock-a-hoop for Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, we should close up support for Egypt and other states on the firing line with the Turks’ new proteges, and Turkey should be expelled from NATO and its citizens barred from migrating into the European Union.

Most important, we should then return to a benign version of the time-honoured art of partitioning Eurasia (but not Poland) with Russia. We should collaborate with Russia in suppressing extremism in the former Asian Soviet Republics, including Chechnya, and let them have the two provinces of Georgia they effectively seized in 2008, and the eastern, Russian-speaking half of the Ukraine and Belarus, if that is what those peoples want, and bring the rest definitively into NATO and the EU.

Several weeks ago in these pages, several writers including me were asked to outline an Israeli-Arab settlement. The key points I mentioned were the right of Palestinian return to the West Bank, a wider Israel along the Mediterranean than in 1967 and a deeper Gaza, with adjoining Jerusalems, and a special regime for the holy places of all faiths in both Israel and Palestine. Tactically, the West Bank should be assisted into prosperity and statehood as long as it accepts the legitimacy of Israel, and Gaza should be economically strangled as long as it does not. And crypto-terrorist, meddling poseurs such as this Turkish flotilla cannot be tolerated.

The reports of Israeli military inefficiency, especially after the bungled attack on Hezbollah in 2006, are disconcerting, but the West must stop hedging and havering. Israel has the greatest claim to legitimacy of any country except the five official founders of the United Nations. It has made mistakes but has persisted nobly and has been shamefully persecuted by morally inferior regimes. Those who attack Israel must be responded to as they were by Ariel Sharon: two eyes for an eye and two teeth for one, until the persecution stops. In full and deeply respectful knowledge of the significance of the phrase, the final solution of the Israel question is and always has been its absolute, permanent and secure establishment as a Jewish state.

No country can be allowed a nuclear military capability that threatens mass destruction. Willing countries — preferably led by the U.S., but if necessary, Israel alone — should conduct air interdiction as necessary until the leaders in Tehran scrap either their murderous impulses or their nuclear ambitions. Last week’s U.S. vote against Israel at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation conference was a disgrace that demolished a solid understanding between Israel and the United States dating back to the times of Levi Eshkol and Lyndon Johnson. Obama and Clinton are playing with nuclear dynamite, and trying to hold Israel partly responsible for Iranian nuclear development, which is their sub-text, has the makings of a tragic, unprecedented blunder.

International crises can fester for centuries, but individual disasters and controversies do not. It is a month since The New York Times unearthed another gamey Catholic beadle from decades ago, and calls of Pharisees for the rebranding of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church have already started to subside. These problems do subside, if addressed, and most are also opportunities — even terrible oil spills.

National Post

June 6, 2010 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. So it is the Conrad Black.
    The trial is not my main focus.

    On second thought my reaction is irrelevant, I need to do some more research but not that I can get the information I’d like to know.

    Nevermind, Carry on!


    Good essay, but who is listening? Maybe he can ghost write for Obama.

  2. Max, why this strong attack against Conrad Black? When I looked at the case during the trial, I found it impossible to figure out if he was indeed actually guilty of anything. The prosecution was piling on against him so vigorously, allowing guilty people off the hook if only they would give evidence against CB. This case is sort of a pet peeve of mine. Otherwise I would not be referring to it here.

  3. Is this Conrad Moffat Black writing from prison? If so the man is a criminal, and a criminal against the entire western world. It doesn’t matter what he says, it’s immoral to give this man a single word to say in the civilized world ever again.
    Get some moral backbone!