Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Let's cut Israel free

Israel, our firm and persistent ally, has become a drag on our foreign policy. Not a millstone, but certainly a liability on balance. As long as the United States is viewed by the rest of the world as Israel's protector and rich uncle the United States will be unable to engage effectively those countries who regard Israel as a rather dangerous intruder.

Israel is an intruder. The citizens of Israel occupy land that they or their predecessors took by force from the people previously living there. Palestinians have been forcibly removed from their ancestral places of residence and those residences, those farms, are now occupied by immigrant Jews from Russia, United States, and many other countries of Europe.

Israel denies that it is an intruder. The Jewish belief is that The Lord God gave that land to the followers of Moses in perpetuity. All they had to do was to displace the natives who lived there at the time. Today the followers of Moses and Abraham try to repeat ancient history. The fixed, if secret, policy of the Israeli Government is to recreate the Biblical land of Israel. In that land there is no room for anyone but Jews. The continuation of building settlements is evidence of that policy.

What is there that can be negotiated? The Palestinians want at least part of the land that was taken from them. They want to have their own government. They want to have a defined border between their country and this new "Zionist entity" as they call it. They want to be able to live outside of refugee camps. They would like to have some monetary compensation for the properties that have been taken from them.

The idea that there should be no preconditions to a negotiation doesn't get us anywhere. In any negotiation there are preconditions. One is that there is a reasonable possibility that something can be achieved. The result of a good negotiation is not an agreement that satisfies both sides. It's an agreement that each side can grudgingly accept. Why would any rational person think that Palestinians would accept an agreement that does not halt the building of more settlements and does not include a border between the two countries? It is obvious to me that Israel is willing to talk forever as long as it can continue its not so secret policy of gradually squeezing the Palestinians out of Biblical Israel and replacing them with Jews.

Our President believes that an agreement can be reached between Israel and the Palestinians. He has sent his ambassadors to try to get discussions going. I cheer his determination to try to solve an intractable problem, but I think a more successful policy would be to cease attempts to broker a peace agreement and let the two parties duke it out between themselves without any intervention by the United States. That's right. I consider Israel a liability. Let them go alone. Cut off the American subsidy. Discourage our citizens from traveling to that part of the world. Give no more deference to Israel than we do to, say, Portugal.

Am I being anti-Semitic? You judge. Jews have just the same right to live anywhere they choose as I do. If Jews want to live in a country populated mostly by Muslims they should be able to do so. However, I don't want to be involved in forcing the people already living there to accept the new immigrants. We have a policy of limiting immigration. Every other country is entitled to the same policy. Palestinians are entitled to have a policy of limiting immigration to their country. Does that make them anti-Semitic? We have limits on the number of immigrants that can legally enter our country each year from Mexico. Are we anti-Mexican? I don't think so.


Both Jews and Muslims have religious claims to the territory of Israel/Palestine. The Jewish claim is based on the Biblical account of God giving the land to Moses and his followers. The Islamic claim is based on the doctrine called WAQF in Arabic (forgive my misspelling). Under this doctrine an area that has been converted to Islam must not ever be allowed to revert or to cease to be Islamic.

I don't know how Muslims explain the loss of Spain and Portugal.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?