Send As SMS
<-- HitTail.com code -->

Blogger News Network

BNN provides English-language US and world news, analysis and opinion from all over the Internet. We strive for high standards, ethical behavior, and the presentation of multiple responsible points of view.



Visiting our advertisers directly supports this site. Thanks!


Get More Traffic For Your Blog!

Blog Explosion brings hundreds of interested visitors to your blog - without costing you a cent.

BNN News Archive Page
       Friday, July 14, 2006

Imagine Your Byline Here - Click Here To Write For BNN




With an Eye to History - The Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian situation is not--or I guess I should say "should not"--be a matter of left/right, liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican, Muslim/Judeo-Christian or whatever divide you want to put forth. It's a matter of history, and sadly the reaction to it does seem to generally break into all of those two camps. Typically it's that the former generally leaning towards the Palestinians (with some added generalities about stopping "all" violence, though they find their voice more often against Israel) and the latter leaning towards the Israelis. But if you look at history, it really shouldn't be an ideological issue.

Charles Krauthammer has an article today that seeks to answer the question "Who is at fault?" Some folks think that trying to assign blame and figure out who started it is an exercise in futility. Often that's true. However, there is a generation of history to look back on and see that the causes of this conflict can far more often be laid at the feet of those who break their promises, target indiscriminately, and twist history to try to gain an advantage.
Next June will mark the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. For four decades we have been told that the cause of the anger, violence and terror against Israel is its occupation of the territories seized in that war. End the occupation and the ``cycle of violence'' ceases.

The problem with this claim was that before Israel came into possession of the West Bank and Gaza in the Six Day War, every Arab state had rejected Israel's right to exist and declared Israel's pre-1967 borders -- now deemed sacred -- to be nothing more than the armistice lines suspending, and not ending, the 1948-49 war to exterminate Israel.

That's just for starters. From day 1, Arabs have been the ones who did not want to live in peace. Israel has been in a defensive war since its birth. Any ground taken was to create a buffer zone between its enemies and the thin sliver of land they were given. If you attack from point A, don't complain when you're pushed back to point B by the nation you attacked. This isn't a liberal/conservative issue; it's a matter of history.
But you don't have to be a historian to understand the intention of Israel's enemies. You only have to read today's newspapers.

Exhibit A: Gaza. Just last September, Israel evacuated Gaza completely. It declared the border between Israel and Gaza an international frontier, renouncing any claim to the territory. Gaza became the first independent Palestinian territory in history. Yet the Gazans continued the war. They turned Gaza into a base for launching rocket attacks against Israel and for digging tunnels under the border to conduct attacks like the one that killed two Israeli soldiers on June 25 and yielded a wounded hostage brought back to Gaza. Israeli tanks have now had to return to Gaza to try to rescue the hostage and suppress the rocket fire.

The Palestinians vowed land for peace. Israel exited Gaza completely. And what has Gaza turned into? A new and closer launching pad for rockets and new and closer bases from which guerillas can operate. This is a matter of history, not ideology. The "cycle of violence" is heavily weighted on one side. Yes, sometimes Israel responds with force, but many, many times it gives land-for-peace a chance. It allows its adversaries the opportunity to do the right thing. It is always disappointed.
Exhibit B: South Lebanon. Two weeks later, on July 12, the Lebanese terror organization, Hezbollah, which has representation in the Lebanese parliament and in the Cabinet, launched an attack into Israel that killed eight soldiers and wounded two, who were brought back to Lebanon as hostages.

What's the grievance here? Israel withdrew from Lebanon completely in 2000. It was so scrupulous in making sure that not one square inch of Lebanon was left inadvertently occupied that it asked the U.N. to verify the exact frontier defining Lebanon's southern border and retreated behind it. This ``blue line'' was approved by the Security Council, which declared that Israel had fully complied with resolutions demanding its withdrawal from Lebanon.

Grievance satisfied. Yet what happens? Hezbollah has done to South Lebanon exactly what Hamas has done to Gaza: turn it into a military base and terrorist operations center from which to continue the war against Israel. South Lebanon bristles with Hezbollah's ten-thousand Katyusha rockets that put northern Israel under the gun. Fired in the first hours of fighting, just 85 of these killed two Israelis and wounded over 100 in Israel's northern towns.

Instead of land-for-peace, Arabs occupy the land and do not change the game plan. Each step closer to Israel is one step further in their mortars and rockets can penetrate. And when they attack, they target civilians. These are terrorists. This is a matter of history, of fact. This is still not, or should not be, an ideological debate.

The issue has never been occupation, all their talk to the contrary. If it was, the Gaza that had been asked for would be a place where Palestinians can live in peace with their neighbors. It never has been. It still isn't.
It was Yasser Arafat's PLO that persuaded the world that the issue was occupation. Yet through all those years of pretense, Arafat's own group celebrated its annual Fatah Day on the anniversary of its first attack on Israel, the bombing of Israel's National Water Carrier -- on Jan. 1, 1965.

Note: 1965. Two years before the 1967 war. Two years before Gaza and the West Bank fell into Israeli hands. Two years before there were any ``occupied territories.''

A matter of history. Not a matter of your political affiliation. And as Krauthammer notes, if you listen to the rhetoric, it's still about what it has always been about.
But again, who needs history? As the Palestinian excuses for continuing their war disappear one by one, the rhetoric is becoming more bold and honest. Just last Tuesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, writing in The Washington Post, referred to Israel as ``a supposedly 'legitimate' state.''

He made clear what he wants done with this bastard entity. ``Contrary to popular depictions of the crisis in the American media,'' he writes, ``the dispute is not only about Gaza and the West Bank.'' It is about ``a wider national conflict'' that requires the vindication of ``Palestinian national rights.''

That, of course, means the right to all of Palestine, with no Jewish state. In the end, the fighting is about ``the core 1948 issues, rather than the secondary ones from 1967.''

In 1967, Israel acquired the ``occupied territories.'' In 1948, Israel acquired life. The fighting raging now in 2006 -- between Israel and the ``genocidal Islamism'' (to quote the writer Yossi Klein Halevi) of Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran behind them -- is about whether that life should and will continue to exist.

And yet somehow, as many as the historic examples are, it still seems that the farther left you go on the political spectrum, the less you're willing to listen to history, or the more likely you are to lump all violence together in one big morally equivalent mush. The United Nations, a body that has slid more and more to the Left over the years, has been chief among those who only see Israeli violence. This page of history of the Arab-Israeli conflict notes:
Of the 175 United Nations Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel. The U.N. was silent while 58 Jerusalem synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians destroyed 58 Jerusalem Synagogues and systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians prevented Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

While the web site notes that it's the general imbalance of Islamic countries to Jewish countries that is the major problem (52 to 1), the UN has increasingly bowed to liberal causes in the area of economics, global warming, gun control, and abortion, among many others. This same body has an inauspicious history with regards to Jews, as noted by a 2001 National Post article pointed to by the history page.
The horrific suicide bombings by Palestinian terrorists that killed and maimed dozens of innocent Israeli civilians last week is the latest, and most lethal, series of actions in their murderous war of terrorism against Israel. What may be less well known is that the Palestinian Authority, with support from numerous Arab and Muslim regimes, is waging a parallel campaign to isolate Israel and delegitimize its right to exist and to attack the Jewish people and their history. Incubated at the recent World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, this phenomenon has been maturing in the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

The concerted anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic campaign that has blossomed under United Nations auspices is seriously undermining its credibility. The Durban conference may have put this anti-Israel, anti-Semitic animus on full display, but it has been present for decades, as witness the passage of the despicable "Zionism is racism" resolution (since rescinded); the unwarranted obsession with Israel at the UN Commission on Human Rights; the singular institutional discrimination that blocked Israeli membership in a UN regional group; the annual UN General Assembly anti-Israel resolutions; and the bogus extraordinary emergency sessions that exclusively blame Israel for the conflict, while ignoring Palestinian violence and terrorism.

You can find many more incidents of anti-Israel bias by the UN on this page.

Israel has been on the short end of so many sticks since it's birth. It has had more disadvantages unremedied, more attacks against it uncondemned, and more restraint unnoticed by the world than any country since 1948.

And yet...

And yet there are those who condemn "the violence" and don't see the relevant distinctions between offensive and defensive, or between civilian and military targets, or between a democracy that gives Arab citizens equal rights and monarchies that oppress their own people, or indeed between David and Goliath. And when you look at the political ideology of those who don't see these distinctions, or won't take history into account, they are overwhelmingly on the Left.

Why is that? Why can they cut the Palestinians and their allies break after break but refuse to give an inch to Israel (even when Israel gives a mile)? Why doesn't history matter much to them? It ought to be a simple matter of looking at the incredible imbalance and making a judgement call. Is that so difficult?

I'll close with an anonymous quote that sums up the dichotomy: "If the Arabs (Moslems) put down their weapons today there would be no more violence. If the Israelis put down their weapons today there would be no more Israel." Is this a racist statement? Not if history bears it out. And it does.

Doug Payton blogs at Considerettes.



Blogger News Network is advertiser-supported, and your visits to our advertisers help BNN to meet its expenses. Help keep us afloat!

posted by Doug at 7:20 PM  

1 Comments:

yonatan said...

many people think that all the problem is based of the "occupted" territoties, and if israel will leave it there will be peace. they are stupid. some are say that it has started in 1948, when israel independent. they are naive. the conflict started in august 1929.

12:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Add this story to Digg     Reddit     Newsvine     Del.icio.us     Ma.gnolia     Spurl

      

Sign up for Blog Soldiers and get 50 free credits!

Subscribe to BNN and get a daily bulletin of all our news postings.
Enter your Email


Powered by FeedBlitz

Interested in writing for BNN? Want information on our news service?

Contact The Editor
Writing for BNN
BNN Editorial Policies