Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The state of Israel

Is it me or has the Israeli government become the biggest long-term threat to Jews living in the Middle East?

Israel sponsored Hamas in the 1980's because it didn't want to negotiate with the secular PLO. Israeli strategy was premised on an acknowledgment that the powerful don't need to make concessions to the weak. However, in pursuing this line, Israel required a pretext for diplomatic purposes. This pretext was the idea that "there is no partner" for negotiations, because the "partners" are terrorists who want to destroy "the state of Israel." Israel then helped this along by giving aid to radical groups like Hamas who were, in fact, publicly committed to the end of Israel -- if transparently lacking the means to accomplish it.

Whatever consortium presently dominates the Israeli state apparently feels that the benefits derived from keeping the Palestinians in "the world's largest open-air prison" outweighs the inevitable harm that will likely come to the Jewish people as a result: more wars and increased hatred toward Jews. But then governments aren't really in the business of protecting their citizens -- as if this isn't obvious from 60 years of perpetual conflict over the concept that land and resources should be shared! At present, Israel's leaders appear prepared to send their youth into yet another bloodbath, the bombing of Palestinian neighborhoods not sufficiently murderous in their view. They will send Israel's children to their deaths in the probably futile attempt to overthrow the very forces they nurtured from infancy. If there are bigger anti-Semites left on the planet, I would like to see them.

Like it or not, Israel is the only actor with sufficient power to change the dynamic between itself and the Palestinians. This will happen only when Israeli policy is changed either by the Israeli citizenry taking control of their government for their own benefit, or when the US stops giving Israel carte blanche military support for its hopelessly self-destructive -- not to mention highly murderous -- campaigns. American citizens could play a critical role in the latter, and should work towards that end.

No comments: