By Zvi November
Almost all the commentators I see and hear on Israeli TV and radio agree that US support is crucial to Israel. Without American help in the international arena, the Arabs, Europeans and just about everyone else would increase their efforts to de-legitimize Israel, boycott its products, arrest its leaders for “war crimes” and pass anti-Israel resolutions in the UN and other international bodies. Rarely do pundits ask how this intolerable situation has come about. It is all too easy to blame Barak Hussein Obama and his left-leaning, Arab-appeasing administration for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s woes. However, just a few years ago George W. Bush was president and Israel’s media masters frequently reminded their audiences that Bush was the most friendly/considerate president that Israel could hope for.But it was Bush who authored the ‘Road Map’ that makes all sorts of demands on Israel while pretty much ignoring the ongoing Arab/Palestinian terror war orchestrated by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah fighters. Sharon’s government submitted fourteen objections to points in the ‘Road Map’ but these complaints were rejected out of hand without any discussion. True to their banana republic mentality, Israeli government officials quickly forgot all about their fourteen reservations. After all, the reasoning goes, America is Israel’s only ally and good relations are essential for survival.
NOT A NORMAL COUNTRYIf Israel was a normal country its leaders would conduct its affairs in a normal manner. For instance, a Zionist Manifesto would have been issued in Arabic long ago to explain to the Arab world why the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people just like Arabia belongs to Moslem Arabs. This document would also relate to the “Palestinians” who already have a huge country they can call their very own. It is Jordan. Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan. (Until a few years ago “Palestinians” living on the “West Bank” held Jordanian citizenship until King Abdullah II cancelled it). There is absolutely no difference whatsoever between a “Jordanian” and a “Palestinian”. In fact some 70% of Jordanians are actually Palestinians. Indeed, Jordan’s queen originates from Nazareth. I sometimes wonder if she still holds Israeli citizenship and if she would be allowed to bring her husband to live in Israel under the ‘family unification scheme.’Alas, Israeli spokesmen and women refuse to remind the international community that Palestine already exists. It is a mental block similar to the substitution of “territories” for Judea and Samaria. Israeli diplomats and politicians attend international conferences all the time but can anyone recall hearing an Israeli representative talk about the legitimate rights of the Jewish people? While they find it difficult to articulate Jewish rights, Israelis have little or no difficulty talking about the aspirations of the “Palestinian people”, a non-existent nationality that never had a state of its own.Most Israeli politicians, commentators and political analysts want to end “the occupation” because, they claim, a smaller Israel disengaged from large Arab populations in Gaza, Judea and Samaria would strengthen Israel’s democracy and Jewish character. (Interestingly, the same people who worry about Israel’s Jewish character are also the very same folks who fight against every effort to promote Jewish law, culture and education within Israeli society). Unfortunately, Israel is a partyocracy and not a democracy where the will of the majority rules. Since religious Israelis have a high rate of reproduction and immigration brings a few thousand additional Jews to Israel every year, Israel’s demographic situation improves all the time. Israel is definitely not an apartheid state because Jews are a clear majority. Whereas the white population of South Africa was about three million out of some eighteen million, the Jews here constitute a majority of all the people living between the Mediterranean and Jordan River.I have rarely heard an Israeli official remind the world that Hawaii was an independent kingdom that the US occupied and annexed or that Tibet was an independent country before China occupied it or that Chechnya has been occupied by Russia for generations. Similarly, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were conquered and occupied by Jordan and Egypt respectively between 1948 and 1967. Today, these are liberated territories; liberated from Jordan and Egypt.For decades, globe-trotting Israel ministers have failed to remind the world that the so-called “occupation” and death of tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians killed after 1967 are a direct result of the Arab Leagues three no s . Had the Arab League said yes to peace, yes to recognition (of Israel) and yes to negotiations at their Khartoum meeting in 1967, the whole Middle East Israeli-Arab conflict would have been resolved 42 years ago. One assumes that it is the duty of every Israeli spokesman to remind both our friends and foes of this fact. The Arabs are entirely to blame for the whole mess but have you ever heard an Israeli spokesman tell it like it is? Whenever Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s current foreign minister makes a statement critical of Arab machinations, he is immediately attacked in the media. Much of the guilt for Israel’s present predicament must be placed on Shimon Peres and his sidekick Yossi Beilin who, when they ran the foreign ministry back in 1993, initiated the suicide process which they deceptively named the “peace process”. In violation of Israeli law they conducted secret negotiations with Yasser Arafat, the world’s arch terrorist and his henchmen. Then they invented the term “disputed territories” for Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Of course, Arabs always refer to these areas as Arab land or Palestinian land but never as disputed land. Worse still, Israel’s foreign ministry has never (to the best of my knowledge) demanded that UNRWA, the UN agency that keeps Arab refugees, their children and grandchildren in camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan be dismantled. The Palestinian refugee problem like the world’s other refugee problems should be turned over to the UNHCR (High Commission for Refugees). The faster Arab refugees are resettled amongst their brothers in Arab countries, the faster will the Israel-Arab conflict come to a just conclusion.Between 1948 and 1967 the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) monitored the ceasefire between Jordanian and Israeli forces in the DIVIDED city of Jerusalem. UNTSO’s headquarters are still in Jerusalem but it has served no function here for the past 42 years. Amazingly, I have never heard anyone demand that UNTSO close its facilities in Jerusalem and concentrate its attention on the borders between Israel and Syria and Lebanon where it still has a role to fill. The Israel foreign ministry has also failed to forcefully advocate compensation for Jewish victims of Arab aggression and human rights abuses. Enormous amounts of Jewish communal and personal property in Arab countries were confiscated. Jews who supported Zionism (a serious crime in most Arab lands) or failed in their attempts to escape were imprisoned and even executed. Unfortunately, this is not a priority issue at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs which is over-sensitive to Arab emotions. When high-ranking foreign dignitaries visit Israel, they are taken to the Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum. This, of course, is a terrible mistake because these tours serve to reinforce the Arabs’ contention that Jews stole Palestine in the aftermath of the massacre of European Jewry during WWII by the Nazis and their collaborators (which also included Arabs). It would be wiser to take visiting presidents and prime ministers to see the 2000 year old Dead Sea Scrolls or King Herod’s palace at Herodion or to the Cave of the Machpela in Hebron where the Jewish patriarchs were buried over 3000 years ago.If the foreign ministry did its job properly, visitors from abroad would also learn that the names of most Arab villages in Israel are derived from the original Hebrew. For example, the Arab town of Shefaram was once Shofar Ha’Am until the Jews were driven out by Arab invaders. Batir is Betar. Beituna is Beit El. Anata is Anatot. A comprehensive study of all the place names in Israel proves that Arabs are occupying Jewish land. But you will never hear about this from Israeli presidents and prime ministers.Other peoples also suffer at the hands of the Arabs. Berber culture and language has been decimated in North Africa. Copts are murdered in Egypt; Darfur natives are annihilated by Sudanese Arabs and Syria (Syrian Arab Republic) has turned the Kurds (10% of the population) into an oppressed minority.President Obama and Hillary Clinton are enthusiastic about creating another Palestinian state but they are mum about Kurdish nationalism. The Kurds number over twenty million. They have their own language, culture and history that include pre-Islamic religions of their own. American and Israeli diplomats, however, maintain radio silence when it comes to the Kurds. The US State Department, with its strong Arabist contingent, has a dismal record. The US has squandered ten of billions of dollars over the decades in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt and Iran (before the revolution). American personnel have been blown to bits in Yemen, Kenya, Somalia, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Despite their many Ph.D.s, American foreign policy directors have a depressing record of disasters to their discredit. In all likelihood, this string of failures is going to continue in the near future when Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and perhaps Jordan join the anti-American, pro-Islamic fundamentalist camp. And despite the rhetoric about sanctions, Iran is on its way to dominate the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf.
Obviously, the only way out of this situation is to squeeze Israel whose leadership has long ago abandoned the righteousness of its Zionist cause, its claim to the entire Land of Israel (west of the Jordan), its ‘red lines’ (e.g. we don’t negotiate with terrorists, defensible borders, united Jerusalem) and resolve to say “no” to American pressure if need be.President Obama recently said that the ME status quo is unacceptable. Given Turkey’s increasing friendship with Iran and Syria, President Mubarak’s rapidly declining health, the Pakistani army’s indecisive war on terrorists in the Peshawar (capital of world terrorism) area and the US military’s scheduled withdrawal from Iraq next year as well as Iran’s nuclear bomb program, I would humbly suggest that the President is dead wrong.
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Zvi November, who grew up in New York, served as a Peace Corps's teacher in rural Philippines. He also taught at Hong Kong Int'l School. He earned his diploma from Univ. of Edinburgh, his MA from Syracuse Univ, both in anthropology. Now he is an activist in Israel's Media Watch and other civic bodies.
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