“Anyone who takes the approach that this is a black and white situation with a good side and a bad side clearly does not understand the conflict – nor could they have a peaceable solution in mind.” – Laura Ben-David
I took this quotation from an open letter to the singer Lorde (of whom I admit I have never heard), who recently announced that she would not perform in Israel after pressure from pro-Palestinian fans in her native New Zealand.
The letter was fine and I hope the young (21) performer reads it and pays attention. But the statement quoted above is wrong.
The conflict is “a black and white situation with a good side and a bad side.” As far as a solution, I admit that I don’t have a peaceable one in mind, but that’s because the people who have adopted the cause of the Palestinians are not going to give us one. They are preparing for war, and although we are doing our best to delay it, it’s just a matter of time.
Here is the conflict in a nutshell: Muslims cannot abide Jewish sovereignty in places that they have decided ought to be dar al islam, and that includes my country, Israel. That’s wrong, it’s racist, and it’s unnecessary.
The Palestinian Arabs, the point of the spear of the anti-Israel movement, have created a whole mythology to justify their opposition to our existence, but that’s all it is: a mythology. Their cause inflames Muslims everywhere in their genocidal racism, which they would quickly and happily implement if they weren’t afraid of us.
Laura Ben-David also said “the disputes and challenges in Israel are very real and very complex. If they were easy to solve, they would have been.” This, too, is misleading. There is one overriding reason that the conflict continues, and it isn’t complexity. It’s because various powerful outsiders have found it in their interest (real and imagined) to take the side of the racist Arab nations, and especially the Palestinian Arabs.
So for example, the disintegrating British Empire thought the Arabs would be far more useful than the Jews in protecting their routes to India and supplying them with oil. The KGB waged (and possibly its successor continues to wage) vicious psychological warfare against the Jewish state as part of the great-power conflict of the Cold War. The American State Department’s Arabists are more comfortable with their pure desert nomads than sneaky, tacky Jews. The Europeans cancel their Holocaust guilt by assuring themselves that we are, after all, as bad as the Nazis. And today, the burgeoning Iranian empire sees Israel as standing on its path to Middle-Eastern or even world domination (not to mention the dar al islam issue).
Western leftists, like the ones that bothered Lorde, are so obsessed with escaping their inescapable whiteness that the old KGB propaganda lights them right up. For those that are themselves Jewish, the pleasure in attacking the only Jewish state is at least doubled. Not only do they escape their whiteness, but they jettison their Jewishness at the same time! Two for one.
It’s always someone, isn’t it? There’s no other place in the world besides our tiny state that so many seem to care about so much. If only they didn’t.
Regarding solutions, we’ve tried agreeing to several of them, many highly disadvantageous from a strategic standpoint, but somehow, the more we talk about peace – or worse, withdraw from some place we are ‘occupying’ – the more we get war (this in itself tells us something about the simple polarity of the conflict).
So that is the story. I apologize to Laura Ben-David, whose heart is clearly in the right place, but there can be too much nuance. Not everything is so complex, not every argument has two sides that are both compelling, and conflicts do not always evaporate when you make an effort to understand both sides. Some things provide clear moral choices – and this is one of them.