By Larry Gordon
It looks like Israel’s game of “now you see us, now you don’t,” Mohammad Ali–style rope-a-dope shadowboxing may finally have come to an end. After almost 20 years of diplomatic fancy footwork, the true colors of the so-called peace partners that were supposed to create a formula that would allow Jews and Arabs to live side by side in peace have been revealed.
Those in the Arab world have failed in its objective of destroying the State of Israel either militarily or through the most violent and vicious type of terror, so they are trying a new, untested avenue—eliminating, or at least weakening, Israel through the diplomatic process. And it seems—at least after last week’s UN vote on an upgraded Palestinian status—that the majority of the world is much more comfortable diminishing Israel on paper than through the other tragic and destructive methods.
The objective here is essentially the same—to eliminate the State of Israel—but this time, please, without all the blood. The Palestinian move for an upgraded diplomatic status at the UN and the complicity of 138 member states in the continued effort to vilify Israel speaks volumes about where so much of the world stands when it comes to Jews and Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu stated the case rather profoundly over last weekend when he said, “If Israel would put down its arms there would be war, if the Arabs put down their arms there would be peace.”
So Israel is once again facing increased isolation in an ever-more-hostile world. The truth is that there is really no way to combat or neutralize this effort and that Israel and her leaders would be best off welcoming and accepting it instead of trying to argue with it, deny the facts, or fight it off.
Israel’s history and destiny are interchangeable and the same. They may call it isolation and being defiant; we have to look at it as uniqueness and specialness. This nonstop, constant effort to ingratiate ourselves with those critical of us has to conclude. I would like to see Mr. Netanyahu announce from the Knesset, from his office, or from the cabinet table on Sunday morning that our ancient prophets have pointed out and clearly enunciated that the destiny of the Jewish people is to dwell alone.
So if foreign governments from Europe, Africa, America, or wherever else are critical of Israel’s response to the Palestinian abrogation of signed agreements, then Israel should view that threatened isolation or even recalling of ambassadors as a positive indication. It may seem like a radical thing to do today, but the Jewish state should make it clear to those critical of her that this type of behavior and activity is both anticipated and expected. It comes under the heading of “nothing new under the sun.”
Over 130 countries voted last week with the Palestinians at the United Nations. Forty-one additional countries, including Britain, France, and Germany, abstained. What does that mean? It seems to mean that they were uncertain about being complicit with those plotting to establish a country named Palestine on the precise plot of real estate that is Israel today.
That there is such an uproar over Israel’s recently announced new construction permits, I would like to suggest, is proof that there isn’t anyone in this process—past, present, or future—that really believes that there will be any kind of peace or that any part of Jerusalem will someday be the capital of a Palestinian state. And here’s why. Israel is not proposing the construction of a military base or developing nuclear weapons on the site. She wants to build homes for families to reside in. These are people who go to work, with children who go to school and look forward to coming home at the end of the day and playing with friends.
The world conducts itself with more concern and hostility about Israel building playgrounds, parks, and apartments then they do about Hamas firing missiles from soccer stadiums, schoolyards, and hospital parking lots. This can only be described as anti-Israel or anti-Jewish bias.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is standing his ground and so far not backing down. There is no need to backtrack, as it has been the long-held position that Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish state. This is the law in Israel, and it does not matter in any way that other countries do not agree with the position.
There are several additional ways in which to view the construction plans that have become such a point of contention. First, and Mr. Netanyahu pointed it out himself earlier this week, it is only the plans that have been approved. Actual building may be years away and people moving into homes in the area will certainly take several years more until all is completed. So what is all the uproar really about?
There is a desperate need here for Israel to be thoughtful as well as shrewd. I don’t see why they could not announce that yes, 3,000 new apartments will be built, but that the homes will be available to both Arab and Jewish families. If the premise is that there need to be talks so that one day there is peace, with people living side by side with one another, what better place in or near Jerusalem is there to start this process than this? Will Palestinian leadership then declare that it is impossible for Arabs to live in areas where Jews reside? That is an untenable position, as Arabs have been living amongst Jews in Israel for many decades. That is, of course, unless the objective here is to establish a Palestinian state at some point that has a policy that does not allow Jews to live in that entity.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said during the Gaza war of a couple of weeks ago that if Israel sends ground troops into the Strip, Israel would lose the sympathy of the world. What an imbecilic comment that was. What kind of so-called sympathy does Israel have from the world if 169 countries out of 193 member states of the UN either voted for an Arab Palestine or, by abstaining, said that they weren’t sure yet whether the Land of Israel should be a Jewish state or an Arab one.
If anything is clear, it is two things. One is that Israel has not had and does not yet have the world’s sympathy. And secondly, they don’t need it.
Israel needs to be strong and do what is just and right to protect her citizens. All else is secondary and, at this point in time, not important. Israel today is in the midst of a contentious election season. Here in the U.S., President Obama is going to shortly appoint a new foreign-policy team that will have to adjust to their positions. And Arab countries like Syria, Egypt, and Jordan are somewhat unsettled and somewhat up in the air.
Things need to slow down and achieve a routine and comfortable stride. And in the meantime Israel needs to keep on quietly building. v
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