While Obama was “forging partnership” in Moscow, the real quagmire in the Middle East dragged on. The problem with the Middle East “peace process” is that no “process” is needed, or even possible as things now stand. One thing is necessary and sufficient for peace in the Middle East; recognition of Israel’s right to exist by her enemies. If that right were granted, there would be peace tomorrow. Without it, no magical “process” will bring peace.
Acceptance of Israel’s right to exist is the sine qua non for peace in the region. There is no question of Israel’s willingness to live in peace with her neighbors if they concede her right to exist and stop attacking her. They are not willing to concede her that right. They are determined to wipe her off the face of the earth.
The question is, then, “Does Israel have the right to exist?” Let us examine the question.
Nothing is easier than to use political correctness as a bludgeon against Israel. She is “apartheid”, she “discriminates,” she engages in “ethnic cleansing.” This neatly passes over the fact that, if she deserves these epithets, her enemies deserve them doubly. They accuse her of desiring ethnic cleansing, but in their lands ethnic cleansing is a fact, a fait accompli. In those lands, where Jews lived for centuries, they left, or, if they didn’t leave, were driven out. They would be ill-advised to return if they value their lives. In these lands, Jewish minorities are now virtually nonexistent. This is real apartheid, and real ethnic cleansing. If the Arabs and their Moslem supporters regained control of Israel, the Jews would certainly be victims of gross discrimination and violence. It is highly likely that those not able to flee would be massacred. The result would, again, be real ethnic cleansing and real apartheid. We have already seen it happen in Gaza. How many Jews live there now? How is it that the professionally pious “progressives” who constantly whine about Israeli “apartheid” and “discrimination” have no problem at all with real apartheid and ethnic cleansing if the victims happen to be Jews?
The Jews certainly have a historical claim to the land. By the time they were conquered by the Romans, they had lived there for centuries. The Arab “right” to the country is based on nothing more substantial than a successful military aggression in the seventh century. Notice how those who continually flog the US today for aggression against the Indians, much of which happened before the US existed, do not seem to notice that this earlier aggression ever took place. The seventh century was a long time ago. So was 1492. Is anyone telling the original inhabitants of North America that, if they don’t either leave their reservations or wait to be massacred, they are guilty of “apartheid?” What, exactly, happened between the seventh century and 1492 to account for the difference?
Sometimes political correctness must yield to political realities. The reality is that, if Israel’s enemies and their “progressive” pals had their way, the result would be not only real apartheid and real ethnic cleansing, but probably mass slaughter as well. They refuse to face that reality.
We are told that the Jews can go to the United States, or to some other “friendly” country. This ignores the humiliation, subjugation, and violence they have been subjected to in the other “friendly” countries they have sought refuge in after they were banished from their homes or the violence against them became too great to bear. It also ignores the history of anti-Semitism in the US, and the lack of any guarantees that it won’t raise its ugly head again. In fact, it already has, in the form of “anti-Zionism,” a convenient cloak for bigotry, always recognizable by a double standard that takes the form of an obsession with the sins of Israel, but blindness towards those of her enemies.
Given the history of oppression the Jews have suffered, unequaled for its severity and duration, one certainly can’t blame them for wanting a homeland of their own. In the process of creating that homeland, Palestinians lost their homes. Well, unoffending Jews lost theirs as well at the same time. The difference between them now is that, if the Jews lose their homeland, there will be no refuge for them among others who share their religion and culture. They will, once again, assume the historical role they have already played for many centuries; a hated out-group without a country. It should surprise no one that the Jews have chosen to stand and fight to preserve their homeland under the circumstances. For their enemies, the question is one of regaining control over a small strip of land their ancestors seized in a war of aggression. For the Jews, it is a question of life or death.
In a word, then, the Middle East “peace process” is an absurdity. There is no “process” that will secure peace, no matter how clever. The only thing that will secure a lasting peace is acceptance of Israel’s right to exist. We must insist on that right, and continue to stand behind her until it is granted.