Monday, June 7, 2010

This is, indeed, the problem

I have lost count of the times I (or the audience I was part of) was told by people who pretend to understand things that the core problem in the Middle East is Israel's "occupation" of Gaza (now changed to blockade of Gaza) or the building of new settlements in the West Bank or the election of Netanyahu (well, elections count for little among Israel's enemies) or the need to return to the pre-1967 borders (which would give Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan). No, the core problem is none of that. It is really quite simple: the acceptance by the Palestinians, their political leaders and all the surrounding states of Israel's right to exist. That's it: the country's right to exist.

Jay Nordlinger sums it all up very well on The Corner:
It would be helpful to peace in the Middle East if Israel’s enemies could be absolutely sure that Israel is not going anywhere: that it is here to stay. Remember the old gay slogan? “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it”? Israel’s enemies need to know something like that about Israel. But as long as they have the feeling that the world — you know: “the world,” as in the New York Times, the U.N., and Bono — is not really committed to the existence of Israel, they will push for Israel’s destruction.

They have never resigned themselves to Israel’s existence; they have never resigned themselves to co-existence. People like Helen Thomas make it easier for them not to resign themselves. People like Thomas give them hope — making them think, “Ah, maybe we can actually get rid of them. Not just extract a better deal, but get rid of them altogether!”
There really is no getting round the core problem. It has to be solved because Mr Nordlinger is right in saying that there will be no peace in the Middle East until Israel's existence is accepted by all, not just Egypt and Jordan.

Of course, shutting Bono up would help as well.


  1. Thanks for link to Mr Nordinger's article; I totally agree with him.

    What worries me is that we might start seeing a concerted effort to get rid of Israel by the 'world community'.
    Imagine if Iran really sends their Navy to escort yet another 'aid' flotilia (under Red Cross/Crescent flag of course) and Israelis would have to sink them. This might lead to quite severe consequences for the whole world (not to mention an all-out war betwen Iran and Israel).
    And, of course, the 'world opinion' will be on Iranian side, no doubt.

  2. @propagandist

    It loks like cooler heads in Teheran have prevailed. The BBC reports that the Iranian Red Crescent has announced it will send two aid ships to Egypt for onward delivery to Gaza through the Rafah crossing [good luck with that] later this week, Iranian state media report. Thus,no longer directly to Gaza. Also, the Revolutionary Guards released a statement that "If the Supreme Leader issues an order for this [ie escort ships to Gaza] then the Revolutionary Guard naval forces will do their best to secure the ships"

    Thus, so far more bark than bite from Iran. But that may well change if they become convinced that the US and the EU will allow or even look favourably on a direct confrontation with Israel. And of coures, once they've got the Bomb they won't have to worry about such niceties at all.


  3. I suspect the EU and the US will suddenly get scared if there is the prospect of direct confrontation. However, the Iranian threat was always slightly weak, given the state of their armed forces.