The Two-State To Nowhere: Another Futile Attempt At Appeasement
Herbert Feis, a State Department economic advisor, did not say this about President Obama’s address in Cairo in June 2009, but after Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, in February 1945. Roosevelt wanted the Arabs to allow thousands of Jews from Europe to immigrate to Palestine to which Ibn Saud responded, “Arabs would choose to die rather than yield their land to Jews.”2
George Antonius, an Arab nationalist, reiterated this point when he said, “no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.”3
Attempts to solve the Arab/Israeli conflict regularly fail because of the refusal to acknowledge that this dispute has never been about borders, territory or settlements, but about the Arabs' refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. “The struggle with the Zionist enemy is not a matter of borders, but touches on the very existence of the Zionist entity,” declared an Arab spokesman.4
Unlike the Nazis who carefully concealed the Final Solution, Hamas and the Palestine Authority openly avow their intentions in their Charter and Covenant and in the Arab media which is available in English on the Internet on MEMRI and the Palestinian Media Watch.
For Hamas liberating all of Palestine to establish an Islamic state requires a holy war against Israel. Anyone daring to sign away even “a grain of sand in Palestine in favor of the enemies of God…who have seized the blessed land” should have their “hand be cut off.”5
Coercing Israel to make concessions and accept a two-state solution will not bring peace to the region. One-sided concessions have convinced the Arabs of the rightness of their policies and the efficacy of using violence to cleanse the country of Jews and Christians.
What compelling reason do Arabs have to stop launching rockets indiscriminately into Israeli cities, refuting the Jewish connection to the land of Israel, destroying artifacts and Jewish holy sites, denying the Holocaust, dehumanizing Jews in their media, textbooks, educational system, political discourse, religious sermons by portraying them as Satan, sons of apes and pigs, a cancer, and using children as homicide bombers, if the West does not hold them accountable?
Instead of demanding that Arabs cease their incitements and attacks, the U.S issues meaningless statements of condemnation, and then grants them foreign aid, arms and military training.
The U.S. pressures Israel to make goodwill gestures in “peace negotiations,” yet Israel has never been the aggressor. Is there any example in history where a victor withdraws from territory when the defeated party does not sue for peace, admits there will never be any reconciliation, declares they will not concede the victor’s right to exist, and labors relentlessly to destroy him? 5
When Israel opens her border check-points as an act of goodwill, the Arabs dispatch homicide bombers to maim and kill Israeli civilians. After Arab terrorists are released from Israeli prisons, they revert to murdering Jews.
Comparing the plight of the Arabs with that of African Americans is a distortion of history and demeans the experiences of the millions of Africans who were brutally abducted from their homes, transported under inhuman conditions aboard slave ships and exposed to torture, murder and rape.
Nothing remotely like this has ever occurred with the Arabs in Israel. Had the Arabs not attacked the Jews before and after Israel was established, they would not be displaced persons today.
If we are to learn from history, we must transmit what actually transpired and not allow those with their own agenda or ignorance to obscure what occurred.
Whether it is naiveté, self-delusion or hubris, a number of U.S. presidents and diplomats have assumed that their powers of persuasion could modify fiercely held beliefs about the sanctity of Arab land. Such reasoning has consistently failed.
Those claiming that Jews have a moral obligation to cede land to the Arabs do not understand Israel’s legal right to exist as a Jewish state. That right was granted by the British in the Balfour Declaration in November 1917 and later recognized under international law at the San Remo Conference on April 24, 1920 by Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan (who defeated the Ottoman Empire and divided up the empire), the Mandate for Palestine and the Franco—British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920, as the Jewish National Home.
There are no comparable legal documents conferring the same right on the Arabs living in Palestine at that time or since. 6 Which other country would relinquish land that is legally theirs to anyone, let alone to a people engaged in internecine warfare, who cannot even live in peace among themselves?
The West has not learned that Israel represents all that is abhorred about the U.S. and Europe—a free and open democratic society, and an ethical system encouraging individual expression and independence.7 Through appeasement the U.S. and the West have enabled the Arabs to continue what Ben-Gurion called a “permanent war” against the Jewish people.
This latest drive to establish separate Arab and Jewish states will fail because as Yasser Arafat said, “We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else. What you call peace is peace for Israel…. For us it is shame and injustice. We shall fight on to victory. Even for decades, for generations, if necessary.”8
1. Herbert Feis, The Birth of Israel: The Tousled Diplomatic Bed (New York: W.W. Norton, Inc. 1969):16-17.
2. Charles E. Bohlen, Witness to History 1929-1969 (New York: W.W. Norton, Inc. 1973):203-204.
3. George Antonius, The Arab Awakening, the Story of the Arab National
Movement (New York: Capricorn Books, 1965): 412.
4. (Kuwait News Agency, May 31, 1986), quoted in Arieh Stav, Peace: The Arabian Caricature: A Study of Anti-Semitic Imagery (New York: Gefen Publishing House, 1999):78.
5. Jacob L.Talmon, Israel Among The Nations (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1970), 172.
6. Lloyd George, The Truth About The Peace Treaties vol. II, (London: Gollancz Ltd, 1938),1149-1201; Howard Grief, The Legal Foundation And Borders Of Israel Under International Law (Jerusalem: Mazo Publishers, 2008): 136-147, 493.
7. Ruth Wisse, “The UN’s Jewish Problem,” Weekly Standard (April 8, 2002).
8. Oriana Fallaci, “An Oriana Fallaci Interview: Yasir Arafat,” The New Republic (November 16, 1974), 10.
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Peter Kovachev - 7/15/2009
Albert Eisntein once aptly said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Hence, in a perfect, logical and fair world, the push for dangerous Israeli concessions and fruitless "peace negotiations," the fantasy of the "two-state solution," and the suicidal "one state for two peoples" formula should all be recognized by international psychiatric associations as clear clinical evidence of advanced dementia. There is a little problem with that, of course; such a pronouncement would consign the majority of world's leaders and millions of deluded chumps to the big rubber room in the state hospital.
Not a single Israeli concession or peace treaty has produced anything but worsening of its situation and, what is often ignored or forgotten, a drastic worsening of the Muslim "Palestinians" own welfare and liberties. The list of dangerous stupidities is long: "Palestinian" autonomy in Judea Samaria, inviting the lunatic Arafat and his murderous henchmen from deserved exile in Tunis, affirmative actions and limited self-governance for Israeli Arabs, the arming of the PA, allowing "Palestinians" to hold simulacrums of elections, unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon,the surrender of Gaza, the release from cushy Israeli prisons of thousands of terrorist murderers, the long non-response to thousands of Hamas rocket attacks ... all of these not only failed to bring promised peace, but in fact further enraged the Muslims and brought about more violence and demands for further concessions to Israel.
The one supposed shining example of the land-for-peace doctrine was Israel's treaty with Egypt, where thanks to misguided U.S. pressure Israel returned the Sinai for a piece of a useless paper. As if a defeated and humiliated Egypt could ever again threaten Israel. For any American who thinks otherwise, I have great deal for you: If you guys return the Alaskan panhandle to Canada, promise to halt settlement expansion in Michigan and begin negotiating the return of millions of descendants of Loyalists, we promise not to destroy you!
May we see more reality-based articles like Dr Grobman's, so that perhaps we and our leaders can begin regaining our sanity.
Elliott Aron Green - 7/13/2009
If Hamas would only acknowledge what their own Quran says about Jewish ownership of the Holy Land [V:20-22], then maybe there could be peace. See my post above at 8:00 AM.
I would also suggest to Dr Grobman that it would helpful to situate the current Arab-Israeli conflict in the context of Arab-Islamic oppression of Jews [and other non-Muslims] as dhimmis since the very earliest days of Islam. On this, my article "The Myth of Arab Innocence," on this website [hnn] may be helpful.
Elliott Aron Green - 7/13/2009
It is mightily curious that the Hamas, as quoted by Alex Grobman above, echoes a Quranic phrase recounting that Allah settled the Israelites in "a blessed land." The Hamas uses the phrase "the blessed land." [see AG's article]
The Quran has this:
We settled the Israelites in a blessed land and provided them with good things.
The Koran (Dawood trans., Penguin publishers), p 71
"We gave the persecuted people dominion over the eastern and western lands which We had blessed. Thus your Lord's gracious word was fulfilled for the Israelites, because they had endured with fortitude; and We destroyed the edifices and towers of Pharaoh and his people.
Dawood trans., p 251
And We caused the folk that were despised to inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We had blessed. And the fair word of the Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of their endurance. And We annihilated (all) that Pharaoh and his folk had done and that they had contrived.
Pickthall trans., VII:137
Arberry's translation has this:
". . . We bequeathed . . . the land we had blessed [to the Israelites]
Arberry trans., VII:133 [= VII: 137 in Pickthall]
. . . cities we had blessed . . .
Arberry trans., XXXIV:18
It's funny that Hamas overlooks what their own holy book says about the assignment of the "blessed land" to the Israelites by their god.
art eckstein - 7/9/2009
July 8, 2008:
Palestinian Feminist Arrested by Hamas
Asma’a Al-Ghoul is a Palestinian secular feminist who has written poignant, heartbreaking pieces about honor killings and women’s rights in Gaza.
Last month, Asma’a quit her job at Al Ayaam newspaper because her subject matter got her into “trouble” at work. She is also the journalist who was arrested over the weekend by Hamas’s “Morality” Police, ostensibly for “laughing immoderately” and for “immodest” clothing at the beach.
Asma’a, the 27 year-old mother of a four year-old son, was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. She went into the water fully clothed. Apparently, that was not modest enough for them.
According to Asma’a, the police detained her and took her passport away. They also beat up four male friends: two right there on the beach, all four back in police custody. (One of these men was not sitting with them at the time but came to their aid when the police attacked them). Due to the intercession of a journalist-friend with whom the beach goers were visiting, the police let Asma’a go—but with a warning; they told her “they would be following her case.” The police also returned Asma’a’s passport to her. In addition, the police wanted to confiscate her laptop but luckily, they were unable to find it.
Since then, Asma’a received a written death threat.
N. Friedman - 7/8/2009
Terms such as "racist" and "aggressive" and retrogressive" are terms of interpretation, not facts. So, your first sentence is a non-sequitur.
An assertion about the racist, aggressive and/or retrogressive nature of any liberation movement is not an assertion of fact but, instead, an opinion. So, I can say that Palestinian Arab political movements are racist, aggressive and retrogressive and you can deny such.
If your aim is propaganda, that is your privilege. If your aim is to understand anything other than opinions, spouting propaganda is a waste of energy.
For the record: Zionism was and is a doctrine that posits the liberation of Jews from their oppressed condition. If that is retrogressive, racist or aggressive, surely the various movement by Palestine's Arabs that posit liberation of the land from Israel are the same. Think about it.
omar ibrahim baker - 7/8/2009
None of which negates the unchallengeable fact that Zionism apart from being an aggressive and racist doctrine is a retrogressive doctrine and Israel is a colonialist supplant and that as such both are in denial of a fundamental element of human progress: no more for a strong tribe supplanting a weaker tribe and appropriating its better pastures.
The prof seems to concede that fact by NOT challenging its veracity: Israel is a throw back to the darker eras of human history but, alas, he seems to revel in its immorality and retrogressive character and identity.
A slight knowledge of recent history, also known as the decolonization era, will tell him about its destiny!
art eckstein - 7/8/2009
Human progress does not consist of blowing up school-busses filled with children.
Human progress does not consist of blowing up university cafeterias where Jews and Palestinians mix.
Human progess does not consist of shooting 6,000 rockets at a civilian settlement itself made up of Jewish refugees thrown out penniless from an Arab country.
The Arab/Muslim "nature" of the countries I listed is not natural but the result of conquest. Period. In Pakistan, as V. S. Naipaul says, the Muslim imperialism is so thoroughgoing, so brainwashing, that those who resisted the invasion and conquest for 200 years are non renounced and branded infidels by their descendants.
But we are not supposed to acknowledge the violent nature of the original conquests but rather we are admonised to take them as natural, The northwest 1/3 of Iran is a colony of Azeris run by the Persians.
My point is that no nation is born without sin, But only Israel's success--and only Israel's success--is singled out and denounced as demonic, the same people who refuse to renounce the intentional murder of civilians,including children. It's hypocrisy.
One can't have it both ways.
omar ibrahim baker - 7/8/2009
Not withstanding the literal accuracy of the Prof 's statement the important thing to note here is the implied correlation and parallelism the Prof assumes between Arab/Moslem "conquests" of the said countries and the Zionist conquest and colonization of Palestine!
Which is fair enough EXCEPT that the learned Prof seems to have forgotten or deliberately ignored or is genetically programmed to disregard and discount a cardinal decisive factor in human affairs and the annals of human progress: TIME!
The learned Prof here equates events and happenings of the 5th, 6th and 7th century AD with events in the 20th Century AD!
By establishing this equation the Prof , whether knowingly or unknowingly, is consciously denying and negating the extent of human progress achieved during the elapsed 15-13 centuries, ie all of 1500-1300 years.
In his own way the Prof is right : humanity DID NOT, according to him and to his ilk and their driving dogma, progress during this time interval.....all 1500-1300 years and the rule of stronger tribe supplanting the weaker tribe and appropriating their better pastures is still applicable, laudable and honourable !!!!
No better proof of the intrinsically RETROGRESSIVE character and reactionary identity, the built in anachronism, of Zionism could be presented ...coming, as it does, from a staunch Zionist
art eckstein - 7/8/2009
Written by Najib Wali, born in Basra 1956; fled Saddam Hussein 1980:
"Everything wrong in the Arab world is blamed on Israel... But our Arab leaders fear that their countrymen wlll eventually recognise that the only link between "the standstill" with Israel and the devastation of Arab societies and the Arab-Israeli conflict is this: peace with Israel would bring an end to the opium high with which Arab leaders keep their nations in a state of inertia. This is the cause of the problems for which Israel is being blamed.
The sustained absence of economic recovery, the drop in education levels, the spread of fundamentalist ideology are all linked with a lack of democracy and the corrupt ruling families, with their pompousness and contempt for their peoples – not with Israel. There are plenty of raw materials and human resources to kickstart the Arab economy. But what are we seeing? A political stranglehold on personal freedom which is eroding the middle classes. Bribery and favouritism force the virtuous and the educated to emigrate. What has Israel got to do with this?
In the meantime Israel, which is embroiled in the same conflict as the Arabs, has built up a modern society of astounding scientific and economic strength. Yes there is militarism in Israel. Its brutal policy of occupation must be addressed. But I will leave this to the Israeli intellectuals. They should fight for peace, just as some Arab intellectuals are starting to do.
When I travelled through Israel in 2007, it dawned on me why the Arab states are so reluctant to let their countrymen cross over into Israel. They fear that the traveller might make comparisons – between the civil rights in Israel and those in their homeland, for example. He might meet the "Arabs of '48", the Palestinians whom Israel's army was unable to drive out. He would see that these Palestinians basically enjoy the same rights as all other citizens. That they are allowed to express their views and live their traditions without fear of imprisonment. He would meet Palestinians who are allowed to vote for their representatives and found their own political parties. When the traveller compares the situation of these people with his own, or with the situation of the Palestinians who live in his country – he might suddenly see the injustice, the betrayal, to which the Arabs in his homeland have had a lifetime's exposure in the name of "occupied Palestine".
Israel has not overturned democracy even under the pressure of war. But the citizens in Arab countries are worth nothing to their leaders."
Joseph Mutik - 7/8/2009
Joseph Mutik - 7/8/2009
Joseph Mutik - 7/8/2009
In 1948 about 700000 Arabs left Israel and after 1948 about 800000 Jews where thrown out of Arab countries so the right of return for Palestinians makes no sense.
J R Willis - 7/7/2009
If you live in a country that has never warred or erred, please let us know, we will be glad to join you there. Oh, and accepted capitalization and punctuation, even ignoring the limits of this posting portal (which is notorious for buggering-up well-crafted posts), would help clarify your perspective.
art eckstein - 7/7/2009
The Arab and/or Muslim character of the following countries are all based ultimately on military conquest by Islamic armies, often of an extremely violent nature:
Only Malaysia and Indonesia are Muslim via voluntary conversion.
In Pakistan, as V.S. Naipaul has written, Muslim imperialism is so thorough that those who fought for 200 years against outside [Muslim] invaders from the west are now condemned by their descendents as infidels; as Naipaul says, you can't get a more thoroughgoing imperialist brainwashing than that.
For that matter, the northwest third of Iran is not ethnically Persian but Azeri, though it is ruled primarily by Persians, and the Azeris tend to see themselves as a colonized people. Ask someone from Tabriz.
But never mind: only Israel, it seems, is tainted.
omar ibrahim baker - 7/7/2009
Arab countries do exist as ARAB ( not as Xeian or Zedian) countries because:
- The overwhelming majority of their populations have been Arab for many centuries
-The overwhelming majority of their populations have willingly identified and still do identify themselves as Arab.
Their existence as Arab countries is the output/manifestation/application of a simple straight forward universally applicable principle: a country derives its national character from the national character of the majority of its INDIGENOUS population.
The key word here is INDIGENOUS which automatically precludes and excludes colons who are by definition ALIEN fortune seekers and intruders foreign to the land/country and to its population !
At a certain stage in human progress a universal consensus was reached :conquest and people sup plantation , with or without ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, is a vile and condemnable form of aggression against and of violation of the inalienable rights of the indigenous population.
Colonialism in all its forms, whether of Algeria, South Africa or Palestine are recent examples/manifestations/applications of this vile and condemnable form of aggression against and violation of the inalienable rights of their respective INDIGENOUS populations.
HENCE the universally supported decolonization era that the world witnessed not far from today in which the colons departed, or submitted to the will of the indigenous population, and the indigenous populations reclaimed and achieved their right to rule over themselves and over their countries.
N. Friedman - 7/7/2009
I really do not see your point at all.
Where are there countries for which justice places a part to justify their creation or existence? So far as I know, the only existing country for which there is even a possible argument for its inherent justice is Israel.
Surely, there are no Arab countries that have any moral justification to exist; rather, every one of them is the result of arbitrary boundaries drawn by Europeans and subsequent wars. And, the populations in all such countries have changed over the years, with massive expulsions, etc., from nearly all of them.
Which is to say, I think your entire point of view is self-serving moralizing that covers up a rather base political agenda.
omar ibrahim baker - 7/7/2009
Indeed “ why concede anything at all since we like what we have irrespective of the way we got it and whether it trespassed , and we transgressed, on the rights of others getting it.”.
“Which rights we never ackowledged any way because that would deprive us of the loot presently under our command?”
Between the two professors we really have it the way it really is.
Their rationale boils down to a number of questions that would, if answered objectively, ultimately delegitimize the very existence of that that they defend..
“-Why recognize fundamental principles of universal justice ( right of return to one’s homeland)?
-Why recognize the basic achievements of human progress ( the right to Self Determination of an indigenous people in his homeland)?
-Why honour a universally recognized principle of human life ( the right to defend one’s homeland against aggressors, usurpers and colons)?
-Why tread into a road that would criminalize all that we are about and all that we have??”
They seem to ask.
AS the disciples of a racist doctrine that lauds aggression, justifies usurpation and revels in the negation of others’ rights and the usurpation of others’ legitimate properties , both spiritual and material, that, understandably , would be the only recourse open to them: why concede that which would ultimately unmask the utter illegitimacy of that which they cherish?
The irony of the matter is that they fail to note the sheer shortsightedness of what they advocate and the inevitable ruination of what they blindly cherish with their advocacy.
art eckstein - 7/7/2009
I believe that Omar's comments provide evidence that Professor Grobman's analysis is perfectly correct.
Omar's solution would leave a Jewish minority helpless at the hands of a majority Arab population that has been fed a diet of the vilest anti-semitism for the past 60 years. It doesn't have a ghost of a chance of even beginning a process of integration unless the Palestinians begin to change their death-cult culture to one of peaceful change.
Omar could begin the latter process by condemning here on HNN the suicide-bombing of Israeli civilians, and denouncing the "martyrs" who have done this as criminals and/or insane, and/or (at the least) deeply misled.
THEN, one could begin to take him and his proposal seriously.
Let's see what he says.
William W Haywood - 7/7/2009
Language is such a faulty and incomplete tool when it is used in the war like fashion that humans feel must prevail. Perhaps they have been jews, or muslims, or American war generals for that matter, for too long. The whole mid east thing is religious argument for the sake of argument, and religious war for the sake of war.
This is how they know how to use the words they hear in their heads...as weapons against anyone/anything different.
A 1000 state solution will never appease either of these peoples..as...both countries are as insane as the USA...
The mentally retarded fighting the mentally retarded... and such has been the effect of one religion upon another since the beginning of religion.
Buried deep in the mental vaults of these people is an intense hate for the other. It is obviously not conducive to dialogue.
omar ibrahim baker - 7/6/2009
What this essay boils down to is: "no amount of Israeli "concessions" will ever lead to peace"!
Ergo; why concede any thing at all including :
-The existence of a people with an Arab cultural/national entity that has been inhabiting that land as a distinct majority for the last thirteen centuries?
-Why concede that that community did acquire any rights at all in and on that land?
-Why concede that that Arab/Palestinian community be allowed to stay in that land ?
-Why concede that a settlement of the dispute is an international concern?
-Why concede that the international community has a vested interest in such a settlement?
The Professor's rationale is based on presumed international legality that he cites, though he chooses to ignore the most recent and most relevant among them : both the Partition of Palestine and the Right of Return UNGA resolutions.
If anything Grobman’s rationale is rooted on a faits accomplis, facts on the ground, logic.
Presumably that logic would also warrant further facts on the ground deeds including further territorial expansion in and outside historical Palestine and renewed ethnic cleansing.
However since both the rationale and the output of those faits accomplis are strenuously rejected and relentlessly opposed by some 6-7 million Palestinian Arabs still living in their homeland , historical Palestine, and by an equal number of émigré Palestinian Arabs and supported by some hundreds of millions of Arabs and Moslems the question is:
-How does Professor Grobman proposes to deal with them Palestinians both residents and emigre and a hostile Arab/Moslem world?
And, as a corollary,
-what does he advise his European and American friends on how to deal with them??
Reasons to reject an equitable peaceful settlement that supplants mutual negation with mutual acceptance, or at least mutual accommodation, abound in both camps and reciprocal negation commands, possibly, a majority in both camps however where will that lead both camps, the region and the world at large??
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