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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 04, 2003

The Hated Solution

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Many times, I, a supposed Zionist maven, am asked: “Well, how would you solve Israel’s problems?” The difficult part is that I know the questioner will not like my answer. He or she will simply walk away mumbling incoherent unpleasantries. Solutions that require confrontation rather than uninvolved passivity are not welcome. It is so much easier to simply turn away using some irrational rationalization.

There is also a basic misinformation problem perpetuating the misconception that Israel is on “Palestinian occupied land” and must get off. We have no time for a history lesson but take my word for it: The Israelis are on only a small part of the land that was supposed to be the Jewish homeland by all historical, legal and biblical criteria. But nobody knows that anymore and the Arabs will never buy into it. So, let’s take a more practical tack:

· Even the most dedicated leftist now understands that fundamentalist Arabs do not want the Jews in the Middle East in any way other than as dhimmi, the second-class citizenship the Jews suffered for 2000 years under Arab rule.

· The Arabs will continue to gnaw away at Israel, undermining its existence in every way possible -- through the art of boycotts, the indoctrination of hatred in preschoolers, the hatred that’s generated on the college campuses, the Palestinian-sympathizing attempts at divestment from Israel, the professional Arabists and propagandists deluging the world media and the inroads into the American educational system under the transparent guise of anti-globalization, anti-nuclear energy, anti-global warming, affirmative action and diversity. Do you think these glorious shibboleths are truly in Jewish or Israeli interests?

· Look at the map of Israel. Do you understand its miniscule size? It is basically only 40 miles wide, including Judea and Samaria (West Bank); at Netanya, it is only 9 miles wide and at Tel Aviv not much further. Do you know the topography? Do you know that the hated “settlements” are on the Judean mountain range that protects the Israeli coast from immediate invasion and capitulation?

· Do you comprehend that such a small strip of land cannot possibly accommodate two nations, especially one irrevocably dedicated to the destruction of the other, yet incapable of sustaining its own economy.

Do you think all of the above begs the question? Wrong. All of the above dictates the only answer. Israel must remain so strong and so defensible, the Arabs dare not once again invade Israel because they would be destroyed along with their legendary self-deluding pride.

Did Uncle Sam -- via President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and so many of my heroes --blink and make “friends” with their intractable enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or, did they destroy them and are now dictating a peace that will be in America’s best interests?

Israel cannot afford to deal with its enemies in any other way. The Jewish state, still under attack after 55 years, must deal as the Americans have -- from the universally understood currency - strength.

What about the territories? If you looked at the map of Israel, you must see they must remain under Israeli jurisdiction. Let’s get to specifics. I like the term “municipal authority.” The concept is to give the Arabs complete management over all their civic functions sans Israeli citizenship. Such citizenship was never Israel’s obligation. Israel must insist, through the world bodies, that the huge and wealthy Arab nations take in the supposed refugees and that those who remain in Israel behave themselves. The U.N.-financed, hate-generating “refugee” camps must be disbanded.

What about Israel’s economy? Tourism is dependent upon a vibrant economy and a welcoming secure country. It is Israel’s job to make its streets, markets, schools, nightclubs, etc., safe for its own citizens and its tourists. How preposterous to give that basic national responsibility to the Arabs or the United States! When Israel is safe, there is little question that Jews will flock in from the world over. Why would they remain as a hated minority in France, Argentina and Russia, even Britain? How many more Americans, especially our dedicated religious Jews, would make aliyah?

One other congenital problem: Israel’s economy remains in the throes of a pipedream called socialism. It is dominated by an archaic Histadrut labor union steeped in the original Russian misconception. Despite Israel’s awful times, the Histadrut is about to call a general strike and further cripple the economy. The union is unhappy with Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt at bringing Israel into the 21st century incorporating the realism of capitalism. Until this gargantuan change occurs and the Jewish state elects to pay its own bills and removes itself from the American dole, Israel’s future will remain tenuous and will continue to take a very dangerous back seat in the relationship.

See, I told you that you would not like the answer.