Welcome to the world

On Monday morning at about 1:30 AM, I experienced the thrill of becoming a grandfather for the 9th time. A baseball team at last! Naturally I wonder what his life will be like. Will he be as tall and athletic as his father, or as competent as his mother? Will he like to work with his hands or his head? But most of all, I am wondering what kind of world this as-yet-unnamed boy will live in.

Technology has accelerated social and political change so much that what took decades 100 years ago takes only years today, and what took years then takes months now. The Soviet Union was here and then it was gone. Russia was a failing state, and suddenly it is reasserting itself on the world stage. Europe is undergoing mass immigration that will change it is already changing it beyond recognition.

Or maybe not. There are two possible outcomes for Europe: either its Muslim population will grow past the tipping point, and it will become much more like the Middle East than the Europe weve known, or it will be gripped by bloody conflict. The one thing I dont expect is that it will peacefully absorb its third-world migrants, integrate them, and create a happy, vital synthesis of cultures.

And what about the United States of America? This is really the most interesting story, for me, anyway. It has already, under Obama, withdrawn from its role of world leadership, and retreated into itself where it twists and stews in a pot of controversies about race and gender that the rest of the world views with wonderment and incomprehension. It has just elected a president who will either make America great again or be the trigger for the implosion that will shatter it into pieces and end the 240-year experiment of the greatest democratic republic in history.

The Jewish state also faces internal and external threats. The hosts of Iran/Hezbollah are massing, and their intent to destroy our tiny country is crystal clear. Its hard to imagine those 130,000 (or whatever the number is) missiles in southern Lebanon not being launched some day. There is no precedent for how ferocious Israels response will be. It would be nice if the principals could sit down and find a way that this doesnt need to happen, but the ratchet works only one way, increasing the pressure and the likelihood of war.

My grandson will have a front-row seat to all this. Hell be able to watch the struggles in Europe and the USA on TV as he grows up, and when he reaches the age of 19, he will be drafted into the IDF, where, if he is lucky or unlucky (depending on ones point of view), he might be a combat soldier like his uncle. Will the contest with Iran be over by then? Will there still be a standoff by then it will be a nuclear standoff?

There are lots of scenarios, and most of them end up with a world worse than the one his parents grew up in. But not all. There are possibilities that events will take a positive turn. The pragmatic, tentative and partial alliance of Israel with the conservative Sunni Arab states against Iran is a positive indicator in the Middle East. The weakness of the US and Europe might finally end the pressure on Israel to retreat to indefensible borders (on the other hand, their replacement by Russia, whose ultimate goals are still mysterious, could be worse).

I am not sure what could help the US. American society seems a lot like the San Andreas Fault, tightly locked and way past its deadline. Can the pressure be released gradually, or will it happen suddenly, in a massive shock that will shake the nation to its foundations?

Today is my 74th birthday and I get to give advice which anyone is free to take or ignore, of course. So here it is:

To Israel: Reduce your dependence on the US. Build up the IDF. Plan for the worst. If you have to fight, dont pull any punches. Hit them so hard that they wont get up again.

To Iran: You are a lot weaker than you think, and Israel is stronger than she looks. Dont be stupid.

To Europe: Accept that you are in a struggle between civilizations, and if you still care about yours, defend it.

To the US: Calm the ideological battles. Your most important goal today is to preserve the union.

Finally, to my grandson: You are fortunate to have been born a Jew in the land of Israel. Please love your country, the land and your people. They love you.

Trump, be a mentsch

I spent almost all of Tuesday in Jerusalem. It was a lovely day, the bus and light rail connections were quick and convenient, and thanks to getting off the light rail at the wrong stop we walked through the Arab market in the Old City for the first time in years. My wife and I went to the Kotel (the Western Wall), and walking back to the city center we happened to pass the American Consulate at 18 Agron St. It made me think.

Although the Consulate provides services to Americans who live in Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria (and Gaza, if there are any Americans there!), its main mission seems to be to serve as the contact point for the US and the Palestinians. Its website touts cultural and educational opportunities for Palestinians only. Indeed, it has been called the American Embassy to Palestine. Its mission statement makes this clear:

The U.S. diplomatic presence in Jerusalem, first established in 1844, was designated a Consulate General in 1928. It now represents the United States in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip as an independent mission, with the Consul General serving as chief of mission. We also provide services to American citizens in this district. [my emphasis]

18 Agron St. is on the western side of the Green Line, in the part of Jerusalem that has been under Israeli control since 1948. One would think that a better location for an Embassy to Palestine would be in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. But there it is, in western Jerusalem.

The US State Department does not think any part of Jerusalem, eastern or western, belongs to Israel. As explained in the link, this dates to General Assembly resolutions passed in 1947 (181) and 1949 (303), which called for UN administration of Jerusalem as a corpus separatum. Such resolutions are non-binding, and so far from reality as to be meaningless today. It would at least make sense for the State Department to insist that ownership of eastern Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations between Israel and the PA under the Oslo accords; but the stubborn refusal to admit that Israel is sovereign in western Jerusalem is ludicrous. And the Obama Administration has more than once gone to great lengths to avoid saying that any part of Jerusalem is in Israel.

But it is even worse than that. Palestine, which is not a state and does not have any claim to western Jerusalem (and only an aspiration to eastern Jerusalem), has a de facto US Embassy there; the real state of Israel, whose seat of government is in Jerusalem, is not permitted to have one. No other country has had its capital denied like this. Only Israel. Only the Jewish state.

The US Congress tried to remedy the situation by passing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which states that the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. Every six months hence the President can ask for a waiver if it is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States. As everyone knows, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all regularly availed themselves of this provision. It isnt clear why making the Palestinians mad would damage US national security, but three presidents at least pretended to think so.

Interestingly, the law also says that it US policy that,

(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;

(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel;

But the administrations especially Obamas have not abided by these provisions either. The waiver provision specifically applies only to moving the embassy, so it appears that the administration is in violation of the law by maintaining the corpus separatum policy. Unfortunately, no penalty was legislated, and nobody will arrest them.

Donald Trump, who promised during his campaign that he would move the embassy like all the other presidents since Clinton, has a historic opportunity to end this charade. As in other similar situations for example, the Temple Mount the Palestinians establish a precedent by blackmail and actual violence, and then transform the subsequent capitulation into a status quo. From them on, a violation of the status quo becomes unthinkable.

But if anyone can think the unthinkable, its Trump. Today support for the Palestinians in the Middle East is at a low ebb, and repercussions would be minimal. All he would have to do is not request a waiver and instruct the State Department to go ahead with the move. It would be interesting indeed to listen as those opposed try to explain or justify their opposition. They certainly cant do it with appeals to law or logic.

Those who argue that it is a practical necessity to keep the embassy where it is to appease the Palestinians dont understand them. Nothing short of unconditional surrender can appease the Palestinians. Concessions dont bring peace, but rather terrorism and demands for more concessions. The best way to reduce violence is to resist blackmail and insist that the world recognize the true narrative, rather than Palestinian fictions.

The truth is that Jerusalem is our capital and has been the capital of Israel since her founding, and has been in a sense the capital city of the Jewish people for thousands of years, whether we controlled it or not.

Trump has a chance to rise to this occasion, end the hypocrisy of three administrations and become a hero to the Jewish people. He can and should affirm his administrations support of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, and fulfill all of its provisions, both in policy and by his actions.

Dont miss this opportunity, Mr. Trump. Be a mentsch.

How not to stabilize the Middle East

My very first blog post almost exactly 10 years ago was about the just-released Iraq Study Group Report, co-authored by Lee Hamilton and James Baker. What struck me about it was how it asserted that the way to solve the problems of the Middle East in general and the impasse facing the US in Iraq in particular was to achieve a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts, by direct American involvement. It seemed to me a thunderous non-sequitur. What did Israel have to do with the ambitions of the various players in Iraq?

The commission recommended that the US engage with Syria and Iran, who were arming and encouraging the insurgencies that were killing Iraqis and Americans. The US, it said, should use carrots as well as sticks to persuade them to stop trying to destabilize Iraq and instead become part of an international support group for that suffering country. And one of the major carrots was Israel.

Syria was key to the plan. Baker and Hamilton (and their then little-known associate Ben Rhodes, now a top Obama advisor) believed that if Israel would cede the Golan Heights to Syria, Syria would cooperate in enforcing the toothless UNSC resolution 1701, which called for an end to arming Hezbollah, with which Israel had just fought a vicious little war. Syria could also be convinced, they said, to stop trying to subvert the government of Lebanon, whose officials including President Rafik Hariri it had been systematically murdering. Syria would also help convince Hamas to recognize Israels right to exist (!) and to unite with the Palestinian Authority, which would rule a unified Palestine in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. At long last, the Israeli-Arab conflict would be over, and at the same time the grateful Arabs and Iranians would allow the US to exit Iraq with honor.

The plan failed to take into account several things, including Israels instinct for self-preservation, Palestinian rejectionism, Iranian expansionism, the rise of Daesh (ISIS), the increased insecurity of the conservative Sunni nations over Iran’s nuclear program, the implosion of Syria, and Russia’s aggressive move into the region.

Nevertheless, the Barack Obama Administration adopted a modified version of the plan.

The original plan called for the Iranian nuclear program to be managed by the existing international framework, the IAEA. But the price demanded by Iran to engage with the West was the removal of sanctions, a massive infusion of cash, and what was essentially a green light to go ahead with its nuclear program with only minor limitations and even those are impossible to enforce if Iran cares to violate them.

The significance of the transformation of Russia into a major player in the Middle East has not been recognized by some, who continue to argue that the US is militarily superior in the region. However the introduction of advanced Russian air defense systems to Crimea and Syria, combined with the lack of will by the US to take risks has allowed Russia to consolidate itself as the major player here. So while the original plan called for the US to call the shots in Syria and Iraq, that is now impossible. The Russians are in the drivers seat.

The chaotic power vacuum that rules in Iraq and Syria is being filled by Iran, with Russian support. The Russians are holding the Turks and the US at bay while their Iranian ally rolls up Daesh in Iraq and consolidates its control there. The Russians are also assisting Iranian puppet Bashar al-Assad to hold onto at least part of what used to be Syria. When Daesh is finally evicted from its major strongholds, the jihad is expected to metastasize into less formal terrorism around the world.

The American plan to stabilize Iraq has exploded into atoms, and the human toll has been immense. But what seems to be left is the desire to feed Israel to her enemies.

Although the idea that Israel would surrender the Golan to some remnant of Syria seems insane, the administration had not given it up as recently as April 2016.

The PLO and Hamas are still at odds, and it has become even clearer than before that no viable Palestinian leader would be prepared to give up the demand for the right of return, or to admit that Israel is the state of the Jewish people. The Palestinian Authority has become, if possible, even more corrupt and incompetent in providing services to its population, and will soon be gripped by a major power struggle with the exit of Mahmoud Abbas from the presidency.

But the US administration still pursues partition fantasies, and even interfered in elections in Israel in 2015 to try to bring a more compliant government into power. It is thought that Obama is planning some kind of diplomatic offensive against Israel after the US election, ranging from a Rose Garden speech setting out parameters for an Israel-PA agreement all the way to support of a Security Council resolution establishing parameters or outlawing settlements.

The US prevented Israel from taking military action against the Iranian nuclear program in recent years. Now the JCPOA (the nuclear deal between Iran and the West) would make it very difficult diplomatically for Israel to do it, even if she were not worried that the US would reveal or even physically interfere with an operation to bomb or otherwise destroy Iranian facilities.

Although Israels government claims to have good relations with Russia, there is a serious divergence of interests due to Russias alliance with Iran. Israel is very concerned that Iran will transfer game-changing weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and bombed weapons convoys and other targets in Syria in the past to prevent that. It is not clear today to what extent Israels coordination with Russia gives her freedom to act against such threats.

American policies have not stabilized Iraq, not prevented Iran from expanding its influence there, and not deterred Assad from pursuing his almost genocidal war in Syria. They have destroyed American influence and allowed Russia to become the most important power in the Middle East. They have enabled Iran to come close to achieving its goal of creating a Shiite crescent of control from Tehran all the way to the Mediterranean. They have financed Irans worldwide terrorism and local aggression. They have greatly increased the risk of war and terrorism against Israel. And it looks like Obama hasnt even finished with Israel.

Back in 2006, I wondered if the introduction of Israel into the plan to fix Iraq wasnt disingenuous. I wondered if anti-Zionists like Baker werent hitching a ride on the Iraq problem in order to get their own pet project the reversal of the results of the 1967 war carried out.

Now that weve seen the total failure of the overall plan combined with the persistence and care with which the pressure against Israel has been applied, Im wondering if its more than a pet project but rather a top priority goal of the administration?

The British betrayal of the Jewish people

Today the discovery of Jew-hatred among British politicians, particularly in the Labour Party, is news. But the relationship of the Jews to Albion, since the citizens of York wiped out their Jewish community in 1190, hasnt been smooth.

Recently, I read a review by Sheree Roth of a neglected 1938 book, William B. Ziffs The Rape of Palestine. Although Roth is primarily concerned with the (very important and persuasive) evidence in Ziffs book refuting the Arab claim to be the original or indigenous inhabitants of the Land of Israel, the book is primarily concerned with the history of the British Mandatory power over Palestine. The book is available at Amazon (though currently out of stock), but its copyright has lapsed and someone has placed the entire text here for our enjoyment.

The British betrayal of the Jewish people must be reckoned as one of the great crimes of the 20th century. Entrusted with the Mandate to ultimately make possible a Jewish National Home, Britain instead fought its realization tooth and nail, ultimately becoming complicit in the Nazi Holocaust. Even after the war, when the evil consequences of its policies should have been clear, when Germany herself began to recognize her obligation to what was left of the Jewish people, Britain continued to fight against the establishment of a Jewish state, battling attempts to resettle Jewish refugees, even arming and providing military advisors to the Arab armies that in 1948 tried to finish the job Hitler started.

Everyone knows about the series of White Papers issued by the Mandatory Government, which progressively limited Jewish immigration, culminating in the MacDonald White Paper of 1939 which just as the furnaces of the Holocaust were about to be lit effectively closed the doors of Palestine to Jews and doomed millions to destruction.

But Ziff explains how, long before 1939, British authorities used every bureaucratic device possible to reduce the number of Jews allowed into the country, while completely overlooking the uncontrolled immigration of Arabs who flocked in to take advantage of the jobs created by the Zionists. Illegal Jews were hunted down and punished. Roth quotes Ziff,

Hunting illegal Jews became a major game, with illegal Arab newcomers enlisting gleefully in the chase. Savage Bedouins joined in under promise of a reward for any Jewish man, woman, or child they could catch. Palestine was under a virtual reign of terror. Anyone who could not immediately prove his citizenship, or produce his or her certificate of entry, was tracked down, jailed, and brutally beaten.

A fair example is the case of a woman and six small children, who had arrived legally with the proper passport and visa from Turkestan. On the way, her husband had been killed at a railway station. The whole family was arrested on the grounds that the passport provided not for a woman and six children but for a man, a woman and six children. On this pretext the woman and her children were ordered to prison. [pp. 245-6]

Not only did the authorities try to prevent Jews from arriving, they viciously discriminated against the ones that were already here. The Jewish population was heavily taxed (as they do today, the Arabs tended to favor informal business practices that avoided taxation), but the revenues, which Ziff tells us were plentiful thanks to Jewish enterprise, were either retained by the government for its own purposes or used almost entirely to benefit the Arab sector. The government school system,

is purely Arab in character. The language of instruction is Arabic . Hebrew is not even taught as a foreign tongue. When in 1937 a rumor circulated that the study of Hebrew was to be introduced, it only evoked incredulity and rendered the Governments hasty denial superfluous. Apart from scientific subjects, the Peel Commission acknowledges, the curriculum is almost wholly devoted to the literature, history and tradition of the Arabs; and all the school masters from the humblest village teacher to the head of the Government Arab college, are Arabs. School masters in Palestine appear to have been recruited from the ranks of the most exaggerated pan-Arab agitators. The result, as Lord Peel candidly admits, is to turn the children out as violent Arab patriots . The schools, he tells us, have become seminaries of Arab nationalism. [p. 310]

Jewish schools were built and supported mostly by overseas donors. During the whole period of British occupation there has never been a single Jewish school built in Palestine out of the public funds, Ziff reports. Health and sanitation expenditures were allocated similarly. Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem paid full price for its water while Arab hospitals were supplied at no charge. Jews were severely discriminated against for government jobs, and if a Jew did manage to get hired, for promotions. Telegraph messages were only accepted in English or Arabic, until the international commission governing mandates forced the postal service to accept Hebrew messages; but equipment was only installed in a few cities making it worthless in practice. Government employees were required to be fluent in English and Arabic but not in Hebrew, and many did not speak or understand the language. [chap. VII].

The law enforcement and court system were corrupt and biased. Almost all court records were kept in Arabic [p. 326], which makes sense since almost all magistrates, notaries and prosecutors were Arabs. Prison conditions were unspeakable, so bad that prisoners released after a few years were often crippled for life by starvation rations. Justice was anything but blind: Ziff tells of a case of a Jewish watchman at Bat Galim (near Haifa) sentenced to prison for attempted murder, after he wounded an Arab who was among a gang attacking the settlement. Meanwhile, a Bedouin who took part in the murder of a Jewish boy and girl received a light sentence because the murder was committed consequent to raping the girl, and therefore unintentional (the boy was killed trying to defend her)! Four other Bedouins, who also raped the girl, were set free [pp. 330-1].

Ive only scratched the surface, but it should be clear that the administration of the Mandate by the civilized nation of Great Britain was as ugly as any colonial enterprise, and particularly evil because of the discriminatory way it treated a part of the native population indeed, the ones the Mandate was intended to benefit. The question is why? Why was it so important to the British to prevent Jewish immigration and to support the Arab community in opposition to the Jews?

The common understanding is that the British did not want an independent state to arise in Palestine, which sits in a critical position as the gateway to the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, India. Possibly they felt that even if they had to accept an independent state, an Arab one like the British client monarchies of Jordan, Iraq and Egypt would be more controllable than a democratic Jewish state. They also wanted to stay on the good side of the Arab oil-producing nations, as oil had become much more important as a strategic commodity after WWI.

One problem with this theory is that by 1947 there was no longer a need for a gateway to India, now independent. But Britain fought as hard as ever during the last year of the Mandate to prevent Jews from reaching Palestine. Jews were kept in internment camps, some of them on the sites of former Nazi concentration camps, to hold Jewish displaced persons. Although US President Truman wanted to allow them to go to Palestine, the British refused. As mentioned above, they armed and even provided officers to the invading Arab nations despite their clearly genocidal goals during Israels War of Independence.

What about oil? The fact is that the importance of Arab oil during that period was minimal. In 1945, the five top oil-producers were the US (65.8%), Venezuela (13.2%), USSR (5.5%), Iran (4.9%) and Mexico (1.8%). Iraq was in 7th place with 1.3%, and Saudi Arabia 11th with 0.8%. By 1948, Saudi Arabia had moved up to 5th place, with 4.1%. All of these sources with the exception of the USSR were strongly in the Western (i.e., American) orbit. There was no OPEC in those days, either. It is a stretch to think that Britain needed to be concerned about offending Arab oil producers during the mandate period, even after 1945. Arab oil was a potent political force in the 1970s, but it had not yet become one in 1948.

No, there is another reason that Britain betrayed the Jewish people, and it is that with some very notable exceptions such as Winston Churchill, Jew-hatred was rampant in its military, its Foreign Office, and its ruling classes in general. For example, the commander of British forces in Palestine from 1946-7 was Gen. Evelyn Hugh Barker. Barker famously wrote to his Arab mistress regarding Jews that

Yes, I loathe the lot whether they be Zionists or not. Why should we be afraid of saying we hate them. Its time this damned race knew what we think of them loathsome people.

Barker favored the death penalty for Zionist guerrillas, and applied it whenever he could. He suggested that the reason there was so much unrest was that previous administrations hadnt hanged enough Jews. After the bombing of the King David Hotel, he issued an order that read in part,

I am determined that [the Jews] shall suffer punishment and be made aware of the contempt and loathing with which we regard their conduct. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived by the hypocritical sympathy shown by their leaders and representative bodies, or by their protests that they are in no way responsible for these acts I have decided that with effect on receipt of this letter you will put out of bounds to all ranks all Jewish establishments, restaurants, shop, and private dwellings. No British soldier is to have social intercourse with any Jew. I appreciate that these measures will inflict some hardship on the troops, yet I am certain that if my reasons are fully explained to them they will understand their propriety and will be punishing the Jews in a way the race dislikes as much as any, by striking at their pockets and showing our contempt of them.

Ziffs book, full of details about the countless humiliations and punishments with which the British military and colonial service afflicted the Jews of the yishuv, suggests that there were many Barkers, large and small, in their ranks. And this, at bottom, is the reason Britain fought so hard against the creation of a Jewish state. Not oil, not access to India. Just Jew-hatred.

Are things different today, in Britain or anywhere else that irrational anti-Israel expression is found?

Are Palestinians People of Color?

I admit it. When I see the expression person of color used seriously, I stop reading. It is an indication that the writer is a fool, and probably a knave.

What does it mean? It has been around since the 1790s, but only recently has gained its present ideologically loaded meaning of person belonging to an ethnic group that is or has been enslaved, colonized, persecuted or insulted by people of European ancestry.

There are implications that flow from the status of being a POC. On the one hand, a POC is seen to be fragile, needing to be protected from present-day white oppression or compensated for prior oppression. On American college campuses, POCs demand safe spaces where they can be safe from demeaning micro-aggressions that white students, no matter how high their level of racial consciousness is, cannot seem to stop committing. Reparations, affirmative action and other benefits are also assumed to be due to POCs in order to redress historical wrongs and to overcome existing bias.

On the other hand, POCs may express their rage at being oppressed in aggressive ways, and non-POCs are expected to understand this, and even accept it.

American intellectual circles are obsessed by the concepts of oppression and victimhood, having added everything imaginable to the mix in addition to color and ethnicity. Thus it is also possible to be victimized on the basis of biological gender or the practically infinite variations of gender consciousness or sexual preference; or on the basis of religion, age, disability, poverty or employment status. I am sure Ive missed some. The ways the various forms of oppression interact is called intersectionality, so papers are written about precisely how much worse it is to be an LGBT POC than an LGBT white.

The problem is that there is nothing about a person that makes them a POC except that they feel like one. Ill start by noting that there is no scientific basis for the concept of race, and that even if there were, it has little to do with who gets to be a POC. Who could be closer genetically than Israeli Jews and Palestinians? The average percentage of melanin in the skin of Israeli Jews is probably higher than that of Palestinian Arabs, but skin color has nothing to do with being a POC.

To tell if someone is a POC, you ask if he is or was oppressed because of who he is. A Chinese man who came to the US in the 19th century to work on the railroad was almost certainly a POC. His great-grandchildren who make six-figure salaries in Silicon Valley, maybe not so much. But their kids, who go to Berkeley and suffer from micro-aggressions when someone insensitively asks them where are you from? they are POCs.

In other words, POC is defined in terms of oppression, which means that arguing that someone is oppressed because they are a POC is a circular argument.

Palestinians insist that they are POCs, and expect solidarity from other POCs like American blacks. This is because they are both colonized peoples so say the descendents of the Arab colonialists who swarmed over the Middle East and much of Europe, and of the traders that captured hundreds of thousands of Africans and shipped them off to the New World to be slaves! Interestingly the Movement for Black Lives doesnt find this cognitively dissonant at all.

It is assumed that there is a commonality, a whiteness, to the oppressors of all the various groups of POCs. Whiteness (or white, hetero, male, cis-ness when the gender concepts are included) is as poorly defined as that of POC. It simply means the powerful other that is oppressing the various classes of victims. This supports the idea that American blacks and Palestinians have something in common, namely that they are oppressed by white people. When this concept is analyzed, it turns out to have no content, because white, like POC, is circularly defined, in this case as an oppressor.

The concepts of colonizer and colonized, popularized by Frantz Fanons 1961 book The Wretched of the Earth, are embedded in the concept of POC. Who else in recent times is a colonizer but a white European? Its unfortunate that Fanon also suggested that violent resistance to colonization is justified, because this seems to have given rise to the idea that in a conflict between POCs and non-POCs, the POCs are allowed to be violent (and the colonizers not). Certainly the Palestinians claim this all the time.

But if being a POC has to do with being colonized and subjugated, who in history was more colonized than the people of Judea, invaded successively by Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans (the ones who decided to call it Syria Palaestina after trying to ethnically cleanse the Jews in 135 CE), Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottomans and the British?

Indeed, the idea that Palestinians are colonized depends entirely on the fake history promulgated by the Arabs and their supporters. Their narrative tells us that their people lived in Palestine for hundreds or even thousands of years, before the European Zionists came along and threw them out. In reality, with the exception of the very small number that were descendants of the Arab colonizers of the 7th century (and those who were descended from Jews that the Romans missed in 135), most Palestinian Arabs came to the land in the 19th and 20th centuries as economic migrants.

This explains why there is so little specifically Palestinian content to their culture, which is much the same as that of the Arabs in the surrounding region. There is no language called Palestinian, and no unique religion. What true Palestinianism that exists comes from their conflict with the Jewish residents of the land in the past hundred years or so. Thus the Palestinian national poet, Mahmoud Darwish, recently the subject of a controversy when his works were read at an event paid for by Israels Culture Ministry, was notable for his expression of Palestinian rage against the Jewish oppressors.

I submit that the American obsession with race and victimhood in general is a terrible idea, whose time should have passed long ago. The idea that POCs owe each other solidarity in the face of common white oppression is also nonsense. It should be obvious that there is absolutely nothing in common between the experience of American blacks and Palestinian Arabs.

The answer to the question posed by the title of this piece, therefore, is that it is a non-question. It might be a shock to students and faculty, but not everything is about race or gender.

The way to improve our image is to exercise our power

The UNESCO resolution which referred to Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem by their Muslim names alone that passed this week made me think that we the State of Israel are taking the wrong path, at least if the destination is to survive and thrive.

The implication of the resolution is to deny the connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Despite our attachment to them, the resolution suggests that the sites belong to Islam.

I am not going to discuss the historical or archaeological evidence, or the religious traditions in Judaism, Christianity or even Islam that the resolution contradicts. Rather, I am concerned with the political implications; what we can learn from it about our position in the world and our possible diplomatic and even military strategies.

There are 58 nations on UNESCOs board, and 56 of them voted. Six opposed the resolution: Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States. 23 voted in favor, and 27 abstained (Mexico changed its vote before the final approval from in favor to abstain). All the Muslim-majority nations that voted were in favor except Chad and Guinea, which abstained. To Israels chagrin, the advanced European nations of France, Italy and Spain abstained on a resolution which many saw as an expression of pure Jew-hatred.

Despite the recent improvement in relations between Israel and Egypt, including military cooperation, Egypt not only voted for the resolution but was also one of the seven Arab nations that proposed it. And apparently Israels close ties with Russia did not carry over to this arena, where Russia too voted for it.

In April, UNESCO passed a very similar resolution. The same six countries voted against it, but then there were 33 in favor and only seven abstentions. The changed votes were probably due to feverish lobbying by Israel, possibly with some help from friendly countries. I am not sure why there was less public indignation in April probably because the vote was so unbalanced as to be embarrassing.

What are the lessons to be learned from this?

One is that while we might be successful in cooperating with some Muslim nations in limited ways on limited issues, there is unlikely to be an ideological breakthrough. Where the legitimacy of a Jewish state on Muslim land (which happens to include all of our country) is concerned, there can be no compromise, even if there might be pragmatic and temporary acceptance. The day that Egypt will not be poisoned by Jew-hatred is far off.

Another is that, at least in the international forums associated with the UN, we cant win. It is not paranoia to say that there they are all against us with only a few exceptions (and those exceptions are not guaranteed). This does not augur well for the UN Security Council resolution that is expected to be proposed immediately after the American elections to outlaw Israeli settlements across the Green Line.

We can also note the degree of cynicism or perhaps extreme anti-Zionism or even Jew-hatred that would cause a country like France, Spain or Italy, with a Christian tradition, to in essence deny the connection between the Jewish people and the historical Temple. From where do they believe Jesus threw out the money-changers? A mosque, some 600 years prior to Mohammad? It is not as though they were not aware of the implications of abstaining our diplomats made sure that they did understand.

All this is just more evidence, as if more is needed, against the strategy of accommodation, the idea that if Israel would be a good world citizen, then its conflicts will end. Haaretz, in a typical editorial following the vote, said that improving Israels standing in the world will require meaningful steps to moderate the occupation and serious negotiations to establish Palestine. Really? Do you think that any such steps short of total surrender will satisfy the Muslim world, which almost unanimously believes that Jews have no rights to any land in the Middle East? We allowed Hamas to establish Palestine in Gaza, and the result is plain to see.

Yes, we need a better-organized Foreign Ministry, better direct diplomacy and better hasbara. But those things will not change the basic dimensions of the problem, which can be defined as follows: they are (more or less) all against us, and the reason is that we are Jews in a world where we are a tiny minority, non-Muslims in a Muslim region; we are considered European colonialists despite our truly indigenous status and the fact that half of us are not from Europe; and we are nationalists in a world where nationalism is only permitted to people of color.

Trying to convince the world that this isnt so, especially through international institutions where Sudan, for example, has the same vote as the US or the UK, is not a workable strategy. Trying to be a good citizen isnt enough, because what they demand as proof of our goodness we cant afford to give (as Ayaan Hirsi Ali is reported to have said even if you give them Jerusalem, there will be no peace).

But trying to do these impossible things not only fails, it has a negative impact. Begging the world to recognize that Jerusalem belongs to us implies that we arent strong enough to hold onto it. Keeping Jews from praying on the Temple Mount implies that it is not ours at all.

The only strategy that might succeed is one that calls for the exercise of power. We should use our power and we have more economic, political and military power now than at any time in the past to hurt our enemies and help our friends. A straightforward application of power is the best way to achieve our security and other goals, as well as to improve our image in the only way that counts: to make our friends trust us and our enemies fear us (the American President might do well to learn this lesson too).

We are not doing this when, as the strongest military power in the region, we allow Hezbollah to establish deterrence that constrains our actions. We are not doing this when, as a sovereign state, we allow our foreign enemies to pump millions of dollars into subversive organizations here, or to interfere in our elections. And we are not doing it when we allow Muslims more rights on the Temple Mount than Jews.

Goodbye, Barack

At last, after eight long years during which Barack Obama a) applied almost unrelenting pressure on Israel, much more obsessively than anything else he did, and b) taught us the painful truth about American liberal Jews that for them, Israel is just another foreign country he is leaving the White House. What comes next could be better or worse, but who here wont be happy to see his particularly offensive brand of hypocrisy and hostility disappear?

But the game isnt over until January 20, and soon there will be nothing to restrain him from acting on his obsession.

Last Wednesday, the State Department issued a press release in which it strongly condemn[ed] Israels plan to build 98 homes inside an existing settlement in order to house families that will be displaced by the demolition of another settlement, which has been ordered by Israels Supreme Court.

Strongly condemn is language normally used for terrorism or, for example, Russian and Syrian air strikes on hospitals in which dozens of civilians die.

The State Department claimed that Israel was violating its assurances to the US that it would not build new settlements. Israeli officials called the statement disproportionate and argued that it was neither a new settlement nor an obstacle to peace.

Administration lackeys like the New York Times and J Street echoed the criticism. The Times, in language that could have been (and probably was) written by NSC staffer and Obama confidant Ben Rhodes, blasted Israel and called for a Security Council resolution to set guidelines for Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. An administration official said that the White House boiled with anger (more Rhodesian rhetoric) over Israels plan.

The flap created anxiety in Israel that Obama plans to refrain from vetoing a Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal or take some other anti-Israel action once the election is over and he is insulated from any electoral consequences.

Dear Barack Obama,

I am tired of your crap and so is my country.

This isnt the first time maybe the fourth or fifth that you and your friends have manufactured a crisis, some horrible insult so that you can boil with anger and then pressure Israel in one way or another. Do you really think anyone outside of your echo chamber actually believes that freezing construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem will cause the Palestinians to suddenly agree to the existence of a Jewish state anywhere from the Jordan to the Mediterranean? Poor old Mahmoud Abbas merely attended the funeral of a Jewish leader, indeed, the one that brought him and his vicious PLO back from exile to go on the murder spree that continues even today, and his people are ready to lynch him.

Anyway, 81-year old Abbas, who just underwent a heart procedure, is about to leave the stage and his unpopular Palestinian Authority is disintegrating. Hamas is waiting in the wings. So we should trade land for paper with these people?

The other day Bibi Netyanyahu finally called a spade a spade and noted that the Palestinians were calling for ethnic cleansing, like the Jordanians carried out in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem in 1948. Oh, you went ballistic, livid and seething. How dare we, colonialist Jews, appropriate the language owned by people of color?

Your continuing unjustified obsession with Jews living across the Green Line illustrates the blatant double standard that you apply to Israel. And not just about settlements. I am still waiting to hear that you are boiling or furious or seething or livid or whatever at real war criminals Putin and Assad, not to mention your Iranian friends who play you for the fool day in and day out. Where are your anger-management issues when we need them?

I dont think that you believe your own talking points. You know damn well that they are bullshit. You want Israel as weak and vulnerable as possible so that she cant fight back when they try to wipe her off the map. Your dislike of Israel is both personal and political. You are happy trying to help your Palestinian friends achieve their hearts desire of finally getting rid of the Jews. Back in 2003 your friend, former PLO operative Rashid Khalidi, promised Palestinian-Americans at a dinner party where you spoke that You will not have a better senator under any circumstances. Did you also promise them something?

Your anger is obviously carefully scripted, but it wont make us do what you want. Maybe some psychologist told you that thats how to deal with Jews, but that approach has been outdated for the past 68 years or so. And dont bother yelling at our PM, a former combat soldier twice wounded in action. You dont scare him, and Israel is not interested in committing suicide in order to help you keep your promises.

The State Departments condemnation of Israel mentioned the $38 billion military aid package and suggested a linkage between it and Israels decision [to build 98 homes] so contrary to its long term security interest in a peaceful resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians. You should know that many of us think that accepting aid creates an unhealthy dependence, and would like to see it phased out. But if you get really boiling mad, livid, furious and seething, then go ahead and cut us off (if Congress and your defense contractors will let you). It will be painful like any cold turkey detox treatment, but well survive and come out stronger and safer.

It will be a fine day here in the Middle East when you climb into that helicopter on the White House lawn for the last time and fly off into retirement. My advice is not to get too angry at your golf clubs, because it will only hurt your game.

Sincerely,
Abu Yehuda

Jabotinsky, Netanyahu, and the American debates

When I arose at 0330 this morning to watch the American presidential debates, I couldnt help but think about the concept of leadership what makes a good leader and why its rare to find one who is also a good politician. So I was pleased to run into this very interesting article by Elliott Jager about a man who was a great leader of the Jewish people, although he was not successful as a politician and unfortunately died far too soon.

The man, of course, was Zeev Jabotinsky, whom generations of left-leaning politicians dismissed as a fascist and an extremist, and whom many still think of as a footnote in Zionist history that is best kept at the bottom of the page.

But Jager points out that Jabotinskys positions were more nuanced than many think today. As a classical liberal, he was absolutely committed to the protection of individual rights (something that the Left likes to talk about a great deal while doing the precise opposite).

This includes the rights of Arabs in the Jewish state. Jabotinsky clearly saw the distinction between civil rights, such as those enumerated in the American Bill of Rights, and national or collective rights, the most obvious example of which is the Law of Return for Jews alone. Those who insist that the Jewishness of the state is essentially undemocratic elide this distinction. Jabotinskys demand for a state with national rights for the Jewish people was uncompromising, but he would never have accepted discrimination against minorities within the state.

Jabotinsky would not have agreed to limitations on where any citizen could live, but he would also have rejected Arab demands to change the flag and the national anthem, which are clearly national issues. And while he lived a secular life and was opposed to any kind of religious coercion, he nevertheless respected Judaism. Jager notes that the food at his Betar youth movement camps was kosher and Shabbat was respected.

One of the themes that Jabotinsky returned to throughout his life was the centrality of Jewish self-sufficiency and self-defense, and the importance of military power in the survival of a state. I suspect that he would be as uncomfortable with Israels degree of dependence on the US as I am. Jager quotes him saying,

For centuries, the nations of the world had been used to hearing that Jews were defeated here, and Jews were protected there ‒ you either defeated or protected us ‒ and it is difficult to decide what was more humiliating: the defeats or being protected. It is time to show the world a Jewish rifle with a Jewish bayonet.

Jabotinsky died at 59 in 1940, but he was the ideological father of Begins Herut party, the secular Right in Israeli politics. As everyone knows, Begin lost out in the struggle with the socialists of David Ben-Gurion, and as happens when an ideological group gains power the personalities and ideas of the out-group are denigrated and even written out of history. Ben-Gurion didnt even permit Jabotinskys remains to be interred in Israel, and he wasnt reburied here until the next PM, Levi Eshkol, ordered it in 1964. Even though the Labor monopoly ended in 1977, Jabotinsky still, in my opinion, doesnt get the credit he deserves as one of the fathers of the Jewish state.

Jager suggests that todays Right is more religious and populist (whatever that means) than Jabotinsky would have liked. One would be hard pressed to find anything more than trace elements of his legacy in Netanyahu government policies or in the views of rank-and-file Likud members, he writes. And,

In contrast, todays more religious and populist Right has been pursuing legislation that would hamstring Israels admittedly hyper-activist Supreme Court so as to bend it to popular will. On civil liberties too, the Right has no interest in limiting the power of the state-established ultra-Orthodox (and non-Zionist) rabbinate. Netanyahu, though personally not observant, has allowed Jerusalems Western Wall plaza to be administered as if it were an ultra-Orthodox shtiebel.

I would argue that the Supreme Court needs to be reined in not to make it agree with the popular will, but rather because it has elevated its concept of democracy which blurs the distinction between national and civil rights above Zionism. Jabotinsky would explain this distinction to the honorable justices, as well as the absolutely essential Jewish component in the concept Jewish and democratic state. Indeed, Netanyahu, in pushing for a Jewish State Basic Law that would explicate the meaning of Jewish State in Israels effective constitution, is faithfully following Jabotinsky.

As far as the Haredi influence over the government and its takeover of the Rabbinate, this is indeed a problem. It was a problem for Labor governments also, and is an artifact of Israels coalition system in which the Haredi parties often hold the balance of power. I dont think it represents Netanyahus divergence from Jabotinskys principles as much as practical politics. Theres no doubt that Jabotinsky would oppose it, but unlike Jabotinsky, who led a movement, Netanyahu needs to make and keep a coalition.

On the other hand, the growing influence of Judaism in popular culture, the army and politics is not at all a bad thing, and as long as it is not coercive, I doubt that Jabotinsky would object. He certainly understood the need for a spiritual component to Zionism, if not a traditional religious one.

Jabotinsky also stressed the importance for a leader to display hadar, a difficult word to translate, but it connotes dignity, gravitas, self-respect, and maybe honesty too. My own opinion is that Netanyahu, despite his faults, is a pretty good heir to the Jabotinsky tradition, and I think he is aware of the history and the responsibility that this places on his shoulders.

I watched the debate. There were no big surprises. Donald was Donald and Hillary put on a polished, empty performance. Two leaders without a sense of history, without responsibility to anyone but themselves. Without hadar.

Israel Commentary

Moderator Lester Holt, well known Left wing commentator,began with two outrageous Left wing lies that, as planned, put Donald Trump on the defensive immediately. Holt stated that:

There have been 6 straight years of job growth and new census numbers reveal that incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation.

Fact check with the US Bureau Statistics revealed the following statistics of which the American work force is unfortunately well aware.

Employment Situation Summary
September 2, 2016

The number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million in August, and the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent for the third month in a row. Both measures have shown little movement over the year.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.0 million in August. These individuals accounted for 26.1 percent of the unemployed.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.1 million in August. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time

As to Holts statement that incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation another gargantuan lie as stated below. Somehow a miserly 1.1% increase in Gross Domestic Product obtains a record rate in incomes!

United States GDP Growth Rate1947-2016

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.1 percent in the second quarter of 2016, according to the second estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP Growth Rate in the United States averaged 3.22 percent from 1947 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 16.90 percent in the first quarter of 1950 and a record low of -10 percent in the first quarter of 1958. GDP Growth Rate in the United States is reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

With this totally false launching pad, Holt then introduced Hillary Clinton for her opening statement and what did she say? Who is she? She made that quite obvious to anyone with open ears.

1. Build a working force for everyone not just those at the top.

2. Invest in you and your future. No specifics here but government subsidy obvious MO.

3. Create more infra-structure. How often did Clintons mentor, Obama use this ploy, obtain billions from the Congress and no building of infra-structure occurred. But, somehow, there sure was a lot more money spent on entitlements and social welfare programs.

4. Advance manufacturing and innovation whatever that means?

5. Clean renewable energy. Oh, Oh! There it is  more sunlight and windmills to satisfy the Environmental Protection Lot. Never mind it does not work. The Democrat administration already wasted billions of dollars on start up sunshine and windmill companies that just dont do the job. The cost is gargantuan and the energy yield comes no where near that of coal and oil. Even worse, the supposed environment improvements are dubious with the rest of the world doing exactly what they please.

6. Additional aid to small business. My daughter and her husband happen to be in a small business under Hillarys mentor Barack Obama. And thanks to his Obamacare and Minimum Wage increase and hundreds more mindless regulations that increase exponentially legal fees, accounting fees and the basic cost of doing business to the point that they are about to give up.

7. Then of course guaranteed equal pay for women, which sounds like a fair idea. In all these promises and declarations I hear nothing about pay for service, pay for achievement, pay for success, pay for excellence and demonstrable service to the United States of America

8. More funds to families trying to balance their work schedule and taking care of their home and kids.Lets have paid family leave

And how are we going to pay for all this. Thats easy just tax the rich and have them pay their fair share

Clinton neglects to mention the current fair share

Top 1% pay nearly 50% of federal income taxes CNBC.com

Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax WSJ

So, who is this Hillary Clinton? She is just another demagogue, another liar, another social reformer, another Social engineer, another Liberal or Progressive Whatever the current politically correct term for LIAR is. And, most important this system has never worked. As Margaret Thatcher so elegantly stated, The trouble with socialism is you run out of other peoples money.

Furthermore, Clinton has an underlying objective. She desperately wants to bring over the Bernie Sanders people that did not vote for her initially because she did not promise quite as many or as much give-aways. She has to remedy that.

Is that really who you want in the White House? Barack Obama has not already maneuvered enough Progressive programs that have killed our economy, astronomically raised our national debt to 19 Trillion dollars where we will soon have a problem paying our debt service, weakened our armed forces to the point that Russia, China. Iran, Northern Korea are laughing at us, taunting us and taking over previously American protected waters and territory.

Do you really want that or do you really have to take a chance on Donald Trump whether or not he was the best liar or had the slickest manner at the debate?

Jerome S. Kaufman

II Further commentary on Lester Holt and the Debate

Breitbart News

By Joel B. Pollak Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News.

NBC News Lester Holt had his Candy Crowley moment at the first debate of the 2016 presidential election on Monday night, bowing to pressure from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the liberal media by fact-checking Republican nominee Donald Trump on the question of his support for the Iraq War.

Again and again, Holt asked Trump tough questions that were straight from the Clinton campaigns talking points, and which were obvious set-ups for Clinton to attack:
Here are the five worst examples.

Tax returns. Holt never asked Clinton about her e-mail scandal, about Benghazi, or about the Clinton Foundation and its dubious dealings. But he did ask Trump about his tax returns, arguing not asking that there might be questionable information in them that the American public deserved to hear.

Birther conspiracy theory. Holt never asked Clinton about her past record of racist statements, including her super-predator remarks as First Lady, or her explicit appeal to white Americans in her 2008 primary campaign against Obama. Yet he asked Trump about the Birther conspiracy theory and cast it as racist.
Stop-and-frisk. After an exchange between the candidates over the policy of stop-and-frisk, Holt interjected to bolster Clintons point by stating, erroneously, that stop-and-frisk had ended in New York because it had been declared unconstitutional by a court. Trump countered, correctly, that the new mayor had canceled the policy before the litigation was over.

A presidential look. Towards the end of the debate, Holt asked Trump about what he meant by saying Hillary Clinton did not have a presidential look. He did so after noting that Clinton had become the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party, thus setting Trump up as a sexist. As Trump answered, Holt interrupted him, then gave Clinton a chance to respond with her talking points about Trumps past comments on women.

Iraq War. The question of whether Trump supported the Iraq War or not has been widely debated. What is beyond doubt is that Hillary Clinton voted for it. Holt only represented one side of the debate about Trump, and never asked Clinton about her own vote.

In addition, the audience repeatedly interjected almost always in Clintons favor and Holt did not stop them, though it was against the rules. He only stopped the audience when there were cheers for Trump calling for Clintons emails.

Bow again, Lester Holt. You did your job.

A war between peoples

There were eight stabbing attacks by Arabs against Jews in the last four days (as of Tuesday).

News item:

Speaking to students of Palestinian origin in Venezuela, Abbas explained that incitement was not behind the decision to carry out attacks, rather, they [young Palestinians] have lost hope.

He added that he is prepared to return to the negotiation table if Israel halts settlement construction and releases additional prisoners. Abbas went on to say that the Palestinians would not compromise on the right of return, stressing that 6 million Palestinian refugees were waiting to come home.

So this is what we are dealing with. We are in the midst of a war between peoples, a war different from most wars, where there may be various objectives like control of resources or access to transport or markets, expansion of empires, and countless others. Here there is only one simple objective: our enemies want to end our state and kill or disperse our people, while we want to survive as a sovereign state.

There arent many modern examples of wars between peoples, other than the wars of Israel (perhaps the 1971 Bangladesh War is one). The wars of 1948, 1967 and the ongoing Palestinian War all fit this description. The major world wars, although they may have been associated with genocides, did not have genocide as their major objective. The American Civil War and the Korean and Vietnam wars were fought for political control, but not to replace one people with another.

When WWII ended, the Allies received unconditional surrender from their enemies and occupied their lands temporarily, in order to ensure that the previous leaders and ideology would not return. Despite the horrendous violence during the war, there was no attempt to kill or disperse the Japanese or German people. Some territory changed hands, a few individuals who were judged to be guilty of war crimes were punished, and new political structures set up. But the victors did not kill, deport or enslave the vanquished populations en masse.

The Palestinians are a people, a people that was created in very recent times and one that was created as the negation of another people, but despite all that, still a people. They will not go back to being Egyptians or Syrians or Jordanians as most of them would have called themselves just a few years ago. And the thing that unifies them, the main ideological principle that makes them not just Arabs but Palestinian is that they want our land, all of it, and they want us gone one way or another. That is the overriding national goal to which all the rest economics, politics, culture, education, technology, sport every human enterprise in which they participate is subordinated.

I am not going to go into why they are wrong and how they got where they are or who did what to whom. I am satisfied with our moral position as Zionists. I accept the challenge of my left-wing friends who always say that they dont want to talk about history, they want to know how to fix the situation today. Fine, lets discuss that.

For the purpose of this discussion, its enough to understand that the Palestinians are our enemy in a war between peoples, like the biblical people of Israel and Amalek. Today, they have taken up the banner of Amalek. They have defined themselves as the archenemy of the Jewish people.

Have the Jews forgotten Amalek? It seems so. You cant compromise with such an enemy because the question at issue is whether or not your people will continue to exist. He says no, you say yes. There is no common ground: the logical intersection of what he wants and what you can accept is empty. The only law that provides an answer is the Law of the Jungle.

One of the favorite plans of those who have forgotten Amalek is to divide the land. Then they will have their own country and they will live peacefully alongside us. But why would they, when their goal is not to live peacefully with us, but to end our existence? Dividing the land (especially given the geography of the Middle East) just makes it easier for them. Have they ever done anything with land they control than use it to make war on us? Dividing the land is the most irrational thing we could do!

If you succeed in driving Amalek out of your land, you dont let him come back because he promises to consider living at peace with you. Of course he lies he wants to kill you, why do you expect him to tell you the truth? You dont sign papers or shake hands with him. You crush him.

It isnt true that peace is made between enemies, as Rabin famously said. It is made between former enemies, when one is beaten so badly that he prefers unconditional surrender to death. If you want peace, plan to be the winner, the overwhelming winner, or it will not be the kind of peace you want.

Amalek is someone who tries to kill you however he can. He is not someone to whom you give a political horizon. He is not someone whose economy you try to improve, or to whom you sell electricity or water. He is not someone that you provide with food and medicines. If you take prisoners and the fewer you take, the better you dont free them so they can fight again. You certainly dont provide medical treatment for the relatives of his leaders. And above all, you dont abandon the land and expel your own people from it.

Is it immoral to blockade civilians? What if they support the fighters? Unfortunately, this is part of war. Never forget that Amalek started the war and could choose to end it. Remember what his objective is and what ours is. Is it immoral to shoot a wounded prisoner? What if he tried to kill you and will try again if he recovers? It isnt moral to be merciful to Amalek. It doesnt make you a better person. It isnt going to make him like you and it gives him another chance to kill you.

***

Our war is special. Todays Palestinian War (we could call it a continuation of the Oslo War as well, a name given to the Second Intifada), is a war between peoples where one side exists as a people only as an antithesis to the other. And this, in a nutshell, is why there is no compromise solution. A compromise would require that the Palestinians, as a nation, had other interests, other areas in which they could gain while giving up their hope of getting rid of us. But they dont. Amalek is all they are.

Therefore, there is only one way to end the conflict, and it is for one side to be victorious over the other. May it be us.

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