Middle East & Africa
Thinking in the Box
By Zvi November
The Israel establishment (the ultra-liberal media, social scientists, "flexible" politicians and the partial to Palestinians Supreme Court) religiously adheres to its mantra that the two-state solution is the one and only sensible answer to the Arab-Israel conflict now renamed the Israel-Palestinian conflict. All other ideas are rejected out of hand.To promote the two-state formula, one never hears the term 'Arab enemy'. In its place main-stream politicians and media presenters use the word 'partner'. By adopting 'partner', these pundits lead us to believe that Arabs who have been waging war against Israel for the past 65 years share our desire for peace and are willing to recognize Jewish rights. This is not true.Left-wing thinkers legitimize the Arab narrative. For them, truth is relative. The Arab viewpoint is equal to the Jewish position. Arab lies (that a Palestinian people exist and have inalienable rights to a land stolen from them by Jews some of whom [far less than six million] were killed [not murdered] in Europe during WWII. The Palestinian leadership, leftist thinkers assert, is "moderate" and rational just like you and I. We can negotiate with these "partners" because they don't really want to destroy us but assumingly desire peace and socio-economic progress just like you and I. Evidence to the contrary (e.g. Palestinian schoolbooks that deny any Jewish rights to the Land of Israel and promote Jew hatred as well as Palestinian TV programs that do the same) and the refusal to yield almost anything on any issue (Jerusalem, Temple Mount, refugees, 1967 cease-fire lines erroneously called 'borders') is simply ignored.Left-wing fanatics (posing as 'realists') claim that the Zionist project is doomed if the "West Bank" with its sizable Arab population is absorbed into Israel proper. A large Arab minority (estimates vary according to one's political stance between 35% and 60%) would mean the end of Jewish nationalism. Suggestions about extending Jordanian/Palestinian citizenship to the Arabs of Judea and Samaria (which they had until King Hussein cancelled it in 1988), encouraging Arab emigration or granting full autonomy (which is the de facto situation in Area A today) are anathema; unworthy of debate. Attempts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict were made in 1936-7 (Peel Commission), 1947 (UN partition proposal), 1967 (the three no s of the Arab League at Khartoum), 1993 (Oslo "peace" process), 2000 (Ehud Barak's offer to Arafat at Camp David), Ehud Olmert's 36 meetings with Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen), Tsipi Livni's 9 months' negotiations with Abbas and Ariel Sharon's one-sided retreat from Gaza in 2005 ALL failed to produce anything except the further de-legitimization of Israel and its right to exist. But all these enormous failures are completely ignored by the leftist establishment that dominates Israel's politics, media and NGOs. And these Palestinian state zealots add: 'time is running out' for us. With a history of false prophesy behind them, these left-wing appeasers refuse to acknowledge that time is actually working on Israel's behalf. Israel's birth rate is relatively high, the economy is robust, tourism increases every year, foreigners continue to invest despite the boycott movement and we do have many supporters who back Israel and its survival. Rarely do leftists address the existential danger that a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would pose for Israel. In all likelihood, Hamas will take over the "West Bank" in the same way it ousted Abbas and his Fatah fighters from Gaza. Soon rocket fire will be directed at Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport. Reality in the Arab world (widespread civil strife and the ascent of the anti-Jewish, anti-American Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, Syria, Jordan along with Hezbollah's dominance in Lebanon) is ignored by those who say that the status quo is unsustainable. Actually, the status quo is 45 years old and should be maintained indefinitely because turmoil in Arab countries, including Gaza, constitutes a clear warning to everyone, especially the US and EU, not to create another potentially disruptive Arab state. Yet left-wing thinkers proclaim that 'everyone knows what the final outcome will be' so let's not waste time and get on with formal negotiations. Just like astrologers know how your love life will blossom next week, pro-Palestinian apologists advocate for a Palestinian state which will, no doubt, look a lot like Iraq or Lebanon or perhaps even Syria.Last Monday, June 24, 2013, PROFESSORS for a STRONG ISRAEL hosted a debate in Jerusalem that I attended. The confrontation pitted two right-wing nationalists (called "extremists" by the mainstream media) against two well-known leftists. Former MK and Israeli justice minister Yossi Beilin who orchestrated the catastrophic (secret) negotiations and subsequent Oslo accords with the PLO Palestinian Liberation Organization participated. When he stated (as the primary instigator and negotiator) that he was mainly interested in promoting Israel's interests [as he sees them]and cared far less about Arab objectives (during those negotiations), I could not contain myself and shouted out loud that the very opposite of this should have been his guiding principle. A successful negotiator studies his opponent's real aims, values and deception techniques. [An entire literature about how to conduct negotiations exists and GETTING TO YES is one business book that emphasizes how crucially important it is to fully comprehend your adversary's cultural milieu.]
|Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel|
Yossi Beilin also pointed out that former staunch right-wingers like Ehud Olmert, Tsipi Livni, Ariel Sharon and now Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have reversed themselves and currently support the two-state solution. This is true and very sad because it proves that you cannot rely on Israeli politicians who easily reverse themselves by 180 degrees and thereby spit in the face of those citizens who voted for them. Unfortunately this is a key feature of Israeli "democracy" which is really a 'partyocracy'
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Zvi November, who grew up in New York, served as a Peace Corps's teacher in rural Philippines. He also taught at Hong Kong Int'l School. He earned his diploma from Univ. of Edinburgh, his MA from Syracuse Univ, both in anthropology. Now he is an activist in Israel's Media Watch and other civic bodies.