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.