The Tipping Point in Israel

How’s this for an understatement? It’s from this morning’s NY Times: “Many analysts and diplomats outside Israel say the country today needs a different approach to Hamas and the Palestinians based more on acknowledging historic grievances and shifting alliances.”

It’s actually a pretty realistic article, because it acknowledges that “peace” just isn’t a factor in the Israeli equation:

In most minds here, the changes do not demand a new strategy, simply a redoubled old one.

The operative metaphor is often described as “cutting the grass,” meaning a task that must be performed regularly and has no end. There is no solution to security challenges, officials here say, only delays and deterrence. That is why the idea of one day attacking Iranian nuclear facilities, even though such an attack would set the nuclear program back only two years, is widely discussed as a reasonable option. That is why frequent raids in the West Bank and surveillance flights over Lebanon never stop.

As the Zionists frame it, a negotiation is something that can’t happen before the Palestinians categorically surrender, ceding not just their sovereignty but their very identities. Israel was “a land without a people for a people without a land”; ergo, the Palestinians can’t exist.

The Palestinians left of their own free will, they say. And if they didn’t, they deserved to be deracinated–their leaders supported Hitler. Some today make the argument that genetic research shows that the Palestinians are really the descendents of apostate Jews who converted to Islam. The idea that they had occupied the land as a people in their own right for millennia is a myth (a mere millenium counts for nothing).

Setting aside the science for a moment, which for all I know is perfectly sound, does anyone else notice the resemblance to a particularly noxious anti-Semitic meme–that the people who call themselves the Jews are not Jews at all but “Khazarite Pretenders”? Jesus’s forefathers, this story goes, the true descendents of Abraham, were blonde and blue-eyed and ended up in Europe; the swarthy big-nosed bankers and tailors who call themselves Jews today are descended from the Asiatic Khazars, who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. Google it if you don’t believe me–it comes up more often than you might think. Or click here.

Peter Beinart (who was just barred from an Atlanta Jewish Book Festival) says that the coming crisis will be when American Jews feel that they must choose between their liberal ideals and their Zionism; that the two are fundamentally incompatible. It’s happening already.

Hardcore Zionists are increasingly speaking the same language that the Boers did in defense of their ethno-state. They always did, but most American Jews didn’t hear them. Now more and more of them do, and ostracizing Peter Beinart isn’t going to change that one whit.


9 thoughts on “The Tipping Point in Israel

  1. It would be nice to see finally a peaceful resolution to all this. Mr Netnayahu doesn’t have all that much support within Israel and even less and less outside of Israel. Perhaps this division within the Republican party will even more diminish hardline Zionist support though Ironically this neoconservative group actually seemed to have begun in the Democratic party with “Scoop” Jackson” and Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz who had been working for him.

  2. Did you read the op-ed from Sharon’s son? It’s insane:

    “THE DESIRE to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel. The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.”

    Yeah, all those kids who get killed by Israeli airstrikes had it coming because they failed to make their parents make Hamas not fire missiles.

    He calls for Hiroshima-like destruction to Gaza.

  3. He writes, “What does a decisive victory sound like? A Tarzan-like cry that lets the entire jungle know in no uncertain terms just who won, and just who was defeated.” The Arab propagandists couldn’t make that up.

    1. Over at Crooked Timber they noted how ironic (sadly, infuriatingly ironic) it is for Sharon to be calling for a “decisive conclusion” that entails collective punishment – in the form of mass death – of a civilian population.

  4. Fillial loyalty and Freudian denial might explain some of this–also embarrassment, since Gilad has claimed that the withdrawal from Gaza was originally his idea. He is a tarnished, haunted, angry figure, whom one would expect to say terrible things; more disturbing is that the Jerusalem Post considered his thoughts fit to publish.

    Countries do have the right to protect themselves, but Occupiers can have no expectation of peace, anymore than prison wardens can expect the populations under their control to be friendly and rule abiding. Israelis–even good, peace-loving Israelis–have vested so much in the idea of their country’s (and their own) innocence–how could they live with themselves if they didn’t? Sharon and the Post are their reptile brain in that respect. Hiroshima, Nagasaki: they gave words to the unspeakable. The next step is for someone to draw analogies between the Palestinians and what went on in the European theater in WWII. They’re getting close.

    Ahmadinejad isn’t the only one who has the Holocaust on his mind.

    1. “…more disturbing is that the Jerusalem Post considered his thoughts fit to publish.”

      It’s the sort of thing I’d expect to hear from Pamela Geller, ex. “If by ignorance, complicity, neglect or helplessness the Lebanese wouldn’t throw Hezbollah out and establish a strong government, then they must pay the price for the sins of Hizbollah,” which she wrote back in ’06.

    1. This book is so “banned” that its author is trolling free advertisements for it on other people’s websites. Not exactly Fahrenheit 451.

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