Israel Has Won

One of the problems I have with the U.S.'s self-appointed Jewish leadership is that too many of them appear to believe that Israel will be annihilated at any moment. In today's NY Times, Daniel Gavron puts that fear in context:

While it is true that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, talks about wiping Israel off the map, and he might be developing the technical means to do so, he has also said that he will agree to whatever agreement the Palestinians accept. The Lebanese Islamic group Hezbollah is utterly hostile, but it is now focused on events in its own country.

The Palestinian Hamas, which rules Gaza, refuses to recognize Israel, but even that movement seeks a long-term truce, which is tantamount to de facto recognition.

Far more significantly, Fatah, the official Palestinian leadership, is negotiating peace with Israel. The member states of the Arab League, headed by Saudi Arabia, are on record as recognizing Israel within its pre-1967 borders. The world's only superpower, the United States, is solid in its support of Israel under any conceivable president.

The other four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the overwhelming majority of the members of the United Nations all recognize pre-1967 Israel.

Wake up, fellow Israelis, it's over, we've won! What is more we've won a lot: more than 8,000 square miles out of the 10,400 square miles of the British Mandate for Palestine. And most Palestinians have accepted this territorially lopsided resolution of the 100-year-old dispute.

....And the current talk of swapping "settlement blocs" in the West Bank for equivalent amounts of land in Israel near the border is unrealistic. For any "two-state solution" to work, we would need to conduct a complete withdrawal from the West Bank. Even so, the success of the Zionist enterprise would be astounding.

...What matters is that we are acting from a position of strength, and we ought to be investing our energy and creativity in working out a long-term solution with the Palestinians that will be acceptable to both of us.

It's the italicized part, too much of the Jewish leadership--which is often old enough to remember when Israel was under existential threat--seems to forget. This leads to a climate of irrational fear where the notion that the only Middle Eastern nuclear power could overrun seems realistic.

It's not.

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It's the italicized part, too much of the Jewish leadership--which is often old enough to remember when Israel was under existential threat--seems to forget. This leads to a climate of irrational fear where the notion that the only Middle Eastern nuclear power could overrun seems realistic.

Hmm. I wonder if there is some other nuclear power in the world that constantly pumps up this exact same kind of irrational fear? Gee, I don't know. I guess I'll have to mull it over a bit, see if I can think of one.

While much of that opinion piece is true - the political war has been won - I'm not sure you get the main point. While it's highly unlikely Israel will be destroyed, it's very likely that people will keep shooting missiles at Israel and the aim and accuracy will improve. That means Israel does have the luxury of working on a long-term solution, but the fear is far from irrational.
And these ideas aren't that radical. This was the logic behind the 2000 Lebanon withdrawal and later the Gaza withdrawal. Remaining there was no longer necessary for Israel's survival and leaving would bring it closer to a shape that would result in long term peace.

Mr. Mike and Mr. Gavron live in a dream world. The notion that there is some distinction between the Hamas terrorists and the Fatah terrorists is pie in the sky. The only distinction between them is that Hamas wants to eliminate the State of Israel today, Fatah would be content to eliminate the State of Israel tomorrow. But I suppose that every generation has to learn the lesson that appeasement doesn't pay the hard way. It's all very well for Chamberlainists like Mr. Mike to pontificate from the safety of Boston, Ma.

SLC,

Since you're posting from a Verizon IP in Reston, VA, I'm assuming you're not on the front line either. Whenever I hear this kind of chest thumping, I know the argument is going to be weak.

Regarding the claim about Fatah, they're negotiating with Israel, and as Yitzhak Rabin put it, "You don't negotiate with your friends." Fatah won't drive Israel into the sea, which is the point Gavron and I were making: even if Fatah is not committed to any sort of peace, they do not and can not pose an existential threat to the State of Israel. To believe otherwise--and it is a belief--is not grounded in reality.

As to learning about appeasement, I've also learned what it means to lose people in wars that should not have been fought: someone I attended high school with was killed in the first Lebanon occupation (he was in the IDF). Don't ever bring that Chamberlain shit here again.

Re Mike the Mad Biologist

"Since you're posting from a Verizon IP in Reston, VA, I'm assuming you're not on the front line either."

That's a good point. I suggest that both of us take a trip to Sderot to observe the qassems being fired by those peace loving Palestinians. It might perhaps change both of our perspectives.

"Fatah won't drive Israel into the sea, which is the point Gavron and I were making: even if Fatah is not committed to any sort of peace,"

They don't have to drive Israel into the sea. All they have to do is to keep up their current activities (and escalate them if Israel withdraws from the West Bank) long enough and eventually, if the Government of Israel doesn't do anything about it, the population will pull up stakes and go elsewhere. It's call salami tactics. Keep slicing off small pieces of the salami and eventually there is none left.

"As to learning about appeasement, I've also learned what it means to lose people in wars that should not have been fought: someone I attended high school with was killed in the first Lebanon occupation (he was in the IDF). Don't ever bring that Chamberlain shit here again."

If Mr. Mike is offended, I apologize. It's his blog and he has the perfect right to ban people who offend him.

Let me pose a question to Mr. Mike. Suppose some group in a neighboring town to his started firing qassem type missiles into his neighborhood. Would he not demand that the appropriate authorities take any action necessary to put a halt to the activity?