Monday, July 24, 2017

A politically incorrect (but realistic) diagnosis - by Yoram Ettinger

...Arab attitudes toward Israel derive from the 14-century-old Islamic ‎intolerance of Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and other "infidels," who claim ‎sovereignty in "the abode of Islam." The key issue has never been the size, ‎but the existence of the "infidel" Jewish state on land that is supposedly ‎divinely ordained to be ruled by Islamic believers.

Yoram Ettinger..
Israel Hayom..
17 July '17..

Political correctness suggests that the resolution of the Palestinian issue is ‎predicated on a dramatic Israeli land concession and the establishment of a ‎Palestinian state: the two-state solution.‎

Moreover, political correctness has subordinated Middle East reality and long-‎term national security to the achievement of the holy grail of peaceful ‎coexistence between Jews and Arabs west of the Jordan River. In the process, ‎the "holy grailers" have oversimplified the highly complex, unpredictable, ‎violent, intolerant, fragmented Middle East. This is the same school of ‎thought that misperceived the Arab tsunami, in 2011, as an Arab Spring, a youth revolution and a transition toward democracy. ‎

Political correctness has preferred talk and assessment-based "hope" over ‎centuries-old, well-documented realism. ‎

While political correctness has failed to advance peaceful coexistence, it has ‎forced the Arabs to outflank Western pressure on Israel from the maximalist ‎side, radicalizing their demands, and further intensifying the obstacles to ‎peace.‎

Political correctness resembles a surgeon who focuses on the spot of the ‎surgery while ignoring the medical history of the entire body and its bearing upon ‎the surgery. ‎

For instance, the sustained Arab war against the Jewish state has taken place ‎in the Middle East, which has featured a systematic, regional state of war, ‎terrorism, subversion, provisional one-bullet regimes, tenuous agreements, ‎limited cease-fires and the lack of civil liberties since the seventh-century ‎appearance of Islam. These have been almost entirely intra-Islamic, intra-Arab ‎wars, reflecting the (so far) unbridgeable ethnic, tribal, cultural, religious, ‎historical, ideological battles that have dominated the region, totally unrelated ‎to Israel. ‎

The Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue are not "the Middle East ‎conflict" or the top priorities for Arab policymakers. ‎

Contrary to political correctness, the Palestinian issue has never been the crux ‎of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a crown jewel of Arab policymakers, nor a core ‎cause of regional turbulence.

Political correctness has assumed that everyone wishes for peace, prosperity and ‎civil liberties, ignoring the fact that the dictatorial Arab regimes have ‎systematically denied their people such prospects. While most Arabs may ‎hope for regional peace, and are not preoccupied with Israel, the concept of majority rule has never asserted itself as a Middle Eastern political reality.‎

Political correctness has considered Islam to be another religion of peace, ‎overlooking its fundamental tenets. For example, the constant battle between ‎the "abode of Islam" and the eventual subservience of the "abode of the infidel"; ‎the determination to spread Islam, preferably peacefully, but via war if ‎necessary; the duty to dedicate one's life to jihad on behalf of ‎Islam; and the option to conclude provisional agreements -- and to employ double-‎speak (taqiyya), when negotiating -- with the infidel.

Arab attitudes toward Israel derive from the 14-century-old Islamic ‎intolerance of Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and other "infidels," who claim ‎sovereignty in "the abode of Islam." The key issue has never been the size, ‎but the existence of the "infidel" Jewish state on land that is supposedly ‎divinely ordained to be ruled by Islamic believers. ‎

Political correctness has ignored or downplayed a chief obstacle to peace: ‎the Palestinian track record from the wave of terrorism of the 1920s; ‎their alliance with Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Iran's ayatollahs, Saddam ‎Hussein, North Korea and Venezuela; their training of international terrorists in ‎Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen, and their current hate-education, incitement and ‎terrorism. Such a track record attests to the anti-U.S. impact of the proposed ‎Palestinian state.‎

Would it be reasonable to assume that Israel's withdrawal from the mountain ‎ridges of Judea and Samaria (which would drastically erode its posture of ‎deterrence, unlike Israel's substantial land concession to Egypt -- the Sinai ‎Peninsula) would cause the Arabs to grant to "the infidel Jewish state" ‎peaceful-coexistence, which they have denied fellow "believers" since the ‎seventh century?! ‎

Would it be reasonable to assume that the Arab Middle East, which has been ‎merciless towards weak, vulnerable fellow-Arabs, would display compassion ‎towards a highly vulnerable "infidel" Jewish state, if it is reduced to a 9-to-15-‎mile wide sliver along the Mediterranean, over-towered by a mountainous ‎Palestinian state?! ‎

The unfathomed gap between Middle East reality and the two-state-solution ‎was demonstrated in 1993 when Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres ‎promoted the two-state-solution and his vision of peace in "The New Middle ‎East." Attempting to rationalize Israel's dramatic ‎concession of its most strategic mountain ridge to the PLO, Peres asserted: ‎‎"[PLO Chairman Yasser] Arafat is a national symbol, a legend in his own time [p. 17]. ... The ‎international political setting is no longer conducive to war [p. 80]. ... We must ‎focus on this new Middle East reality ... wars that will never be fought again [p. ‎‎85]. ... We must strive for fewer weapons and more faith. ... You could almost ‎hear the heavy tread of boots leaving the stage after a hundred years of ‎hostility. You could have listened to the gentle tiptoeing of new steps making ‎a debut in the awaiting world of peace [p. 196]." ‎

In 1994, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Arafat, Peres and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ‎‎"for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East." The Nobel Foundation and ‎the political, academic and media establishments chose to ignore Arafat's track ‎record, highlighted by his 1959 and 1964 founding of Fatah and the PLO terror ‎organizations, calling for "the liberation of Palestine" eight years and three ‎years before the 1967 war, respectively. ‎

In other words, the Palestinian focus has been the delegitimization and ‎destruction of pre-1967 Israel, as underlined in the Palestinian ‎Authority school curriculum, ‎Friday sermons in Palestinian mosques and Palestinian media.‎

The "two-state solution" gospel is a miniaturized replica of the 1938 Anglo-‎German "peace-for-our-time" initiative of British Prime Minister Neville ‎Chamberlain, who sacrificed national security clarity on the altar of an elusive peace. He appeased a rogue regime, yielded the most strategic ‎Czechoslovakian land to Germany, reflected feebleness and whetted Hitler's ‎appetite; thus producing a robust tailwind for World War II.‎

Will policymakers avoid -- or repeat -- severe blunders?‎

Yoram Ettinger is a former ambassador and head of Second Thought: A U.S.-Israel Initiative.

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