Monthly Archives: November 2009

Please step away from the edge of the cliff…

I WROTE IN in my last post about the serious danger posed if the US and European leader nations were to get sucked into the Palestinian plan for a unilateral declaration of statehood. I am somewhat relieved at this point to observe that the world has so far responded with an admirable measure of sanity in this matter.

Rather than offer a lot of comments here (especially considering that these things are still in a major state of flux), I’ll just make a few remarks on some of the more recent news items in this regard.

First, I applaud the government of Israel for publicly stating a warning that  an attempt to circumvent commitments made by all sides since 1967 will jeopardize what little stability currently exists in the region.  Several responsible media have reported this; here is a link to the Jerusalem Post: PM warns PA against unilateral moves.

Following that statement up with some particulars (they may only be a beginning, but they do give you some idea that Israel is not just blowing smoke), Jerusalem has indicated a willingness to annex some areas if need be, and to proceed with building in others.

Members of the US Congress and even the Obama administration have also wisely begun to speak out against this insanity.  Here are two of several articles reporting this: Palestinians under world pressure not to declare state unilaterally (Haartez); US senator: Palestinian declaration will lead to chaos (Ynet).

And, most recently, even the European Union appears to be coming to its senses.

At least for now.  The whole scene is constantly changing, and Abu Mazen has already tried to make a comeback statement (as indeed he must), but at least it looks for the moment that the world at large is not quite ready to hitch a ride in the hand basket to hell. Literally.

Maybe we can breathe a little, but that doesn’t mean we can quit watching. And, not to spoil the fun, but we still need to keep a keen eye on Iran.

As Scarlett said – tomorrow is another day.

 

lineman

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Filed under Forward motion, Perspectives, World against Israel

Secret deal for a Palestinian state? Run up the flag if you wish – but be prepared to run for cover.

NOT EVERYONE IS AWARE of this, but there has been a plan at work since August of this year to build a de facto Palestinian state in areas currently controlled by Israel. 

When I first read of this, I thought it was just somebody’s odd idea, and we’ll see how it goes. Many of the particulars – building infrastructure, making improvements in the economy, supporting civil institutions – have been part of the Israeli plan for creating a viable Palestinian society from the “bottom up”  for quite some time now.  I would be getting off the track of this post to list the details here on how the Israeli administration of the West Bank has already created a significantly higher standard of living for the Arab population, partly due to the basic altruism inherent in the Jewish culture, but also largely out of the practical sense that building a good next door neighbor is really the surest path to peace. (Come to think of it, that topic alone needs to be addressed more fully than I am allowing myself space to do here. As with most of Israel’s efforts to achieve peace, the international media have done their best to obscure the facts. I encourage the reader to look into some of the details in places like this, or here.  Alongside of this is the observation I made earlier  that a recent Harvard study found a majority of Arabs who are currently living within Israel’s boundaries would, if given the choice, prefer to remain under Israeli authority, thank you very much.)

But enough of all that.  I’m writing this post now because an article in Ha’aretz caught my eye a few days ago that mentioned a “secret understanding” between Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad and the Obama administration to grant diplomatic recognition to this new state whenever Fayyad should give the signal, and for the UN and possibly several European nations (not to mention the 57 Arab States) to follow suit.

Now that would create a whole new ball game.  Under the previously presented scenario, you have what on the surface appears to be a useful plan to build up the Palestinian society to the point where they could at some point actually be ready for statehood, but according to this new revelation, we may be witnessing an end run around every diplomatic principle having to do with the validity of the State of Israel up until now, including UN Security Council Resolution 242 and the Oslo Accords – agreements to which Israel has diligently adhered, often to its own disadvantage.  Even the jurisdictional authority of Mr. Fayyad rests under the auspices of Oslo, which he is simultaneously violating and undermining through his efforts.  Sounds like a hair-brained scheme, doesn’t it? Yes – except that it already has substantial backing, financial and otherwise, from the UN as well as from the US, the Quartet, and other European leaders.  (If it sounds like I’m making all this up – and don’t I wish I were! – I refer the reader to the thoroughly documented analysis by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs which can be seen here.)

So, where would this scheme leave Israel if it is brought to completion? Well, for one thing, it would effectively release Israel from the obligations and commitments it has honorably kept since 1967. It would leave Israel free and unconstrained to defend itself against all comers, hell or high water.  Does Israel really have nukes? I don’t suppose there would be any reason not to pull out all the stops if it comes to this. This is a scary thought, but perhaps we’ll soon see the playing out of what the prophet Joel said:

“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, for my people and my inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they shared out my land.”

I must admit that I find that idea scary mostly because I belong to one of those nations that will be severely judged according to this prophecy.

Iran_Missile_Launch-DU-WEB Oh, and there is one other factor which, astoundingly enough, is naively ignored by the Palestinian plan: the very real and serious threat of a nuclear Iran.  Iran has said many times that (in effect) it doesn’t give a flip about what happens to itself or any other nations, as long as it can make an Israel-sized hole in the crust of the earth.

Be careful, gentlemen, be very careful – you’re getting awfully close to the edge of the cliff.

 

lineman, awaiting the snap.

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Why is the world afflicted with Israel Derangement Syndrome?

Or maybe instead we should call it Obsessive Compulsive Israel Disorder, OCID, a form of Compulsive Disorder (OCD),  as  FreeMiddleEast.Com suggests.  Whatever name we wish to give it, it is apparent that:

For a country that is thousands of miles away, has a population of just 7 million and speaks a completely different language, the world is obsessively and compulsively focused on Israel…

gaza_strip_may_2005Witness the extensive (and intensive) coverage early this year of Operation Cast Lead – a military endeavor much smaller, with far fewer casualties (on either side) than ongoing conflicts such as those in Africa (Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia) or India (Kashmir and Sri Lanka), or the Philippines, or… just go ahead and take a look at this list in Wikipedia.  Did you know that the sustained armed conflict in Colombia, South America has taken tens of thousands, or possibly hundreds of thousands of lives? Or that the drug wars (and they are wars) in Mexico have claimed over ten thousand lives in the past three years?

Yes, these matters are covered in the news – every once in a while. But we were treated to a day by day view of Operation Cast Lead, which by the way was tailored by the “mainstream” media to make it look like Big, Bad, Old Israel was so unfairly picking on poor, downtrodden Gaza.  Never mind that Gaza isn’t actually a country, just a terrorist enclave seized in a bloody takeover eighteen months prior.

Never mind also that the Israeli response followed months and months of seeing its civilian population bombarded by thousands of rocket attacks.  But that really is another topic. The perfectly valid question raised here is, why? Why is the entire world so hung up on what happens every day in such a tiny country? Seven million people live there; what other nation that size gets any attention at all, let alone as much as Israel gets?  Chicago has more people than Israel, and more people are killed there every year than we want to know, so why isn’t that in our every day news?  Why do we watch with baited breath every move Israel makes, and hang on every word spoken by Israeli officials, or by the terrorist chieftains?

Also, you’d think the free world would wholeheartedly support the most prosperous nation in the Middle East, and the only Western style democracy in the area.  So then, why does Israel have so few, if any, friends in the international community? And why has the United Nations itself condemned Israel dozens of times, while letting many blatantly oppressive regimes skate? 

The FreeMiddleEast post wound up without an answer, but I have one – a very simple one: God. Not just any old god, but the God of the Bible. The God of Israel. I had determined when I began this blog to, for the most part, keep away from discussing ‘religious’ matters, but the question of why the civilized world is so pervasively preoccupied with little ol’ Israel is not a religious question – it affects all of us. It truly appears that the way it affects us is a life-and-death matter. Right now, there is a real possibility that, if allowed to develop nuclear weapons, Iran will destroy most of the Middle East, and perhaps the rest of civilization. That’s their stated goal, anyway. And, why? Israel. That’s not just my take on it – that’s what Iran says.

So, if I may indulge myself in a little old-fashioned Book thumping, without getting completely theological over it, let’s just say that God, the God of Israel, created a nation that was to be the crucible of all nations, the place where all men’s intentions would be tried.  Love God, love Israel. Hate God, hate Israel. I saw it put rather well in a book by Sandra Teplinsky:

Why does Israel draw out the best and the worst in us? The Jewish nation is designed to test and expose the hearts of humanity. Like a threshing floor, she sifts our souls… [Israel] could be called Spiritual Testing Ground Zero…

I don’t plan from here on to go into all the chapters and verses on the subject, or even discuss with you whether you should believe in the Bible or not.  But the big question deserves a big answer.  And I thought I owed it to you just to let you know. Will I see you at Ground Zero?

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Filed under Perspectives, World against Israel