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Last Straw

Posted by acdtest on January 30, 2004

Last Straw

[I most heartily apologize for posting the following article on this weblog. Not because I’m in any way ashamed of having written it, but because when, several months ago, I refocused the purpose and content of acdouglas.com to concern itself exclusively with matters cultural it was my specific intent to eschew posting or referencing any article of a political nature. There’s already far too much of that sort of idiot crap infesting the blogosphere. But the latest murderous Palestinian bombing of a Jerusalem bus yesterday cocked my last-straw trigger, so to speak, and reading this post by weblogger J.W. Hastings of Forager 23, and the comments attached thereto, tripped it.]

With each passing year of the almost fifty-six-year-old “conflict” between the Israelis and Palestinians the real bottom-line nature of that conflict, as well as why the conflict has been so resistant to any lasting solution, becomes more and more clear. That is, more and more clear to me. To those in positions of power world-wide, even some in positions of power within the governments of the combatants themselves, the bottom line nature of the conflict seems to have become more and more clouded and fraught with myriad and impenetrable subtleties and difficulties that defy even clear definition, hence the perennial putting forward of doomed-to-failure “peace plans,” and the earnest engagement in impossible and equally doomed-to-failure Pollyanna “peace processes.”

And what’s become more and more clear to me concerning the bottom-line nature of the conflict is the manifest and incontestable circumstance that the Palestinians (as well as the Arab world generally) will accept as lastingly satisfactory no solution to the conflict that includes the continued existence of a sovereign State of Israel. No matter what concessions to Palestinian demands the Israelis are willing to make, no matter what they’re willing to give up for the sake of peace, the Palestinians (and, again, the Arab world generally) will not be lastingly satisfied if, at the end, the State of Israel remains a sovereign and powerful entity in the region. Every Israeli concession, every partial surrender, will be (has been) looked upon by the Palestinians not as a step toward a peaceful coexistence with Israel, but as one step farther taken in the resolute march toward the Palestinians’ (and once again, the Arab world’s) ultimate, intractable and uncompromising goal: the State of Israel’s total dissolution.

If I’m right about that (and it’s manifest I am), then it becomes immediately clear that every apparently successful step toward a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that at bottom leaves Israel sovereign and powerful is merely just that, apparently successful, and in reality little more than a for-the-moment-satisfying stopgap at best, and at worst, an insidious progression in the process of a slow suicide for Israel.

So, what then is the answer to the question of a genuinely lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? One thing that for certain is not an answer is sitting down at bargaining tables. After all, one cannot bargain in good faith with an opponent who will be satisfied only if you end up dead. Bargaining conferences have been (and are) nothing but charades used by the Palestinians in an attempt to jockey for a better position in their march toward their ultimate real goal. And if I’m also right about that (and, again, it’s manifest I am) that would seem to leave but a single effective strategy for Israel: an unambiguous and loudly declared promise of an overwhelming military response to any act of deadly aggression against her sovereignty or her people, ending, if necessary, in all-out war with the Palestinians (and with the Arab world as it could not help but be) with but one of only two possible outcomes: 1) Israel loses, in which case the State of Israel will cease to exist as every Israeli man, woman, and child will end up dead either at the hands of the Arabs, or, Masada-like, at the hands of the Israelis themselves; or 2) Israel wins, in which case the Palestinians and the Arab world will have no choice but to accept a sovereign State of Israel in the region on Israel’s terms, hate it though they (and, I suspect, much of the rest of the world) surely would.

And what part the United States in such a war threat, and war itself if it came to that? Unambiguously determined. We back Israel to the hilt against all her enemies with whatever is necessary. We could do no less and still preserve even a shred of our moral or practical authority. In the entire world the United States has but two genuine friends: Britain and Israel. All our other “friends” — many of whom (all of whom, in the Arab world) actively but secretly hate and/or are contemptuous of us — are contingent friends only, and would without compunction turn on us in a heartbeat if they saw any gain to be secured by doing so.

But all this is unthinkable, is it not? World War III for certain, and therefore something not to be entertained or even imagined, right?

Not right.

If things ever came to such a pass, and if the position of the United States were made unambiguously clear and in earnest, the intention and show of force would be more than enough. The rest of the world would stand back, much of the Arab world included, and offer no more than loud, aggrieved and condemnatory clucking noises at the U.N. and in the world press. Realistically, they could not do much more than that. They would, of course, hate us for our show of power in behalf of Israel, certainly, but they couldn’t hate us more than they already do, or be more contemptuous of us, and so we would not only lose nothing by taking such a position, but would actually stand to gain in terms of respect and/or fear from other nations (in the geo-political arena, the two are the same in practical terms).

It’s surely uncivilized, and a not attractive thing to contemplate, I confess. But if the history of mankind has taught anything it is that in the intercourse of both individuals and nations, when nagging push comes to ineluctable shove, there’s but a single language which all understand, and to which all respond predictably: overwhelming physical force or the real threat of same. He who carries and shows a willingness to wield the biggest stick wins.

Always.

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