Bibi, close the door

“I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam [sic] against the state of Israel,” he said in a video interview published Monday on the NRG site.

“Anyone who ignores this is sticking his head in the sand. The left does this time and time again,” Netanyahu said. “We are realistic and understand.”

Netanyahu was then asked specifically whether he meant that a Palestinian state would not be established if he were reelected prime minister. He answered, “Correct.”  — Washington Post, March 16, 2015

But after US president Obama criticized him and threatened to punish Israel at the UN, PM Netanyahu either (depending on whom you ask) backed down or clarified his statement:

“I haven’t changed my policy,” Netanyahu insisted. “I never retracted my speech at Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state.”

“What has changed is the reality,” he continued. “[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] the Palestinian leader refuses to recognize the Jewish state and has made a pact with Hamas that calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, and every territory that is vacated today in the Middle East is taken up by Islamist forces. We want that to change so that we can realize a vision of real, sustained peace. I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change.”

The circumstances he refers to were spelled out convincingly here by Martin Sherman. Netanyahu is well aware of them, but he continues to leave the 2-state door open — and that is a serious mistake.

“Circumstances” are not going to change, except for the worse. The nationalism of the PLO or the Islamic supremacism of Hamas are not going to suddenly become compatible with a Jewish state in the Middle East. The twin tides of Sunni Islamism and Iranian expansionism are not going to recede in the near future.

Nevertheless, Obama and the ‘international community’ continue to pressure Israel to make more and more concessions to the PLO and Hamas in order to bring about the impossible agreement that will supposedly satisfy the Arabs and preserve our security. And they can point to the official policy of the Israeli government as justification!

There is also the question of the Jewish people’s rights to the land — not all the land, but any of it. There is no legal significance to the 1949 armistice line. If you don’t think that Israel is legitimately in possession of Judea and Samaria, then the same argument can be applied to Tel Aviv (and this is exactly what the PLO and Hamas say).

As one writer pointed out to me the other day, how can advocates for Israel oppose a policy that our PM apparently favors? How can we expect foreign governments to be supportive of our right to the land when our own government is not?

I would like to hear PM Netanyahu say something like this:

If there is to be a ‘solution’ to the current situation, it will not be found by encouraging the Arabs to believe that they will be handed a ticket to replace Israel with an Arab state, but rather by accepting the legitimacy and necessity of Israeli control of these areas while finding a way to meet the real needs of the Arab residents within that framework.

Yes, this puts plenty of ‘daylight’ between us the Obama Administration and the Europeans, but it has the advantage of not being hypocritical.

Don’t kid yourself: US and European officials are not that stupid. They understand what the Arabs want and why we aren’t going to give it to them. But we allow them to pretend that they are actually our allies while they work to undercut us and exacerbate, rather than ameliorate, the conflict.

In my last post I pointed out that Jew-hatred is made worse when Jews don’t fight back. We simply invite their contempt when we try — dishonestly — to placate them.

The argument is made that we have to go along with the US/European program because they will punish us if we don’t. But the real question is whether it is better to let them do their worst at once in response to an honest statement of our position, or to let them ramp up the punishment little by little, all the while extracting security-damaging concessions that we can’t easily take back.

When in doubt, tell the truth.

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3 Responses to Bibi, close the door

  1. Ian says:

    Even Osama Bin Laden pointed out in 2001 that “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse”. Machiavelli also stated that “Men are moved by two principal things-by love and by fear. Consequently, they are commanded as well by someone who wins their affection as by someone who arouses their fear. Indeed, in most instances, the one who arouses their fear gains more of a following and is more readily obeyed than the one who wins their affection.”

    So, nothing new there. What I can’t understand is why the Israeli government doesn’t seem to be aware of this (apparently) universal position.

  2. Shalom Freedman says:

    I do not know if it is wise to ‘close the door’ provocatively when the door is clearly closed now already.
    Why should Israel give Obama and others ammunition to blame us for the absence of a two- state solution? Or rather why should we give them more opportunity to confirm their prejudice against us?
    I would also wonder if there are not some who actually want a two- state solution and who believe that perhaps in the course of the negotiations the Arabs would change their position. This may seem naive now, but the whole point for advocates of the two- state solution is that there is no way to end the conflict with some kind of compromise in which both sides receive less than they want.

  3. Shalom,
    You are missing my points, or I am not making them clearly enough. They are blaming and punishing us already. They are encouraged to push harder, not mollified, by our compliance. And we give up our rights by default when we don’t exercise them.

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