Tuesday, November 20, 2012

But there is no peace

The usual suspects are exercised as usual, and even the gang over at MilPub is getting into the discussion about the latest round of bitchslapping between Israel and Gaza.
I just can't work up the effort to care. It's just another day at the office, and it won't be the last. More dead Arabs and Jews. Yawn. What's on ESPN?

Working out a way for Israel to exist peaceably in the Levant simply requires too many variables to work out right.

It requires Israel to muzzle its right-wing whackaloons and ultrareligious Greater Israel dominionists, retreat to its 1967 borders and pay a whopping reparation for the ethnic cleansing required to found itself in 1948.

It requires the Arab residents of the former Palestine and the present West Bank and Gaza to abandon their deliciously cherished hatreds and angers of things that happened sixty-some years ago, to forget the place their great-great-grandparents lived in that is now a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, find steady jobs in Jordan or Egypt and move on.

It requires the nations of Jordan and Eqypt, Lebanon, and Syria to absorb these Arabs as full citizens, to find them work and a future, to take in the rump of the old Palestine and provide a secure border for the Jewish State.

It requires the "leaders" of all these nations as well as the Arab nonstate combatant groups to stop using their old enemies for the acquisition of new powers.

It requires the foreign great powers to quit selling these "leaders" arms and backing their use of them. And to provide a whopping infusion of cash and trade to stabilize the economies of the impoverished Arab states and give them a future to provide their young men outside a martyr's death.

More to the point, it requires people, all sorts of people, Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Americans, Turks, Russians, and Iranians, to decide to let the dead bury their dead and find a way to live with a Jewish state on the Levant.

And to succeed in making a lasting peace ALL of this would need to happen. One person, one leader, one group, one nation reneging on the deal, and it's game on, back to the old cycle of fighting and death and pointless hatred.

Truman's State Department people, the old Middle East hands, told him back in 1948 that this wasn't possible and that it wouldn't happen, and that if he moved the U.S. to recognition of Israel that he would poison that well forever.

He did, and it has.
There is no way out of this death-spiral short of genocide of one side or the other, and I have no favorite group of people that must suffer or die to solve the problem. The wrath of the angry and the ignorant shall consume the innocent, and there is not a goddamn fucking thing I can do about that.

11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.

12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord.

13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.


gruff said...

Can you imagine if the Prussians were as angry about the loss of their lands as the Palestinians are about theirs.

FDChief said...

Gruff: Or the Saxons, or the Basque, or the Cheyenne?

The bottom line throughout human history is that the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

But I don't have to like that, and I don't.

gruff said...

I picked the Prussians because they lost theirs at almost exactly the same time the Palestinians did. Yet there's nary a peep.

As someone who also has no dog in the Israeli race, I couldn't agree with the original post more. Shame that so much of our taxes go to that region instead of our own people.

FDChief said...

Good point. And I think the difference is that the Prussian Germans were "guilty", and it was and is in our national interest (and the interest of the larger Bundesrepublik) to sit on them and preserve the post-1945 boundaries.

I think in a dim way we realize that we're not "helping" Israel by backing its fantasy of Peace Through Strength. It's not so much the cash I regret, the amount is almost a throwaway given the other shit we waste our tax dollars on, but the ridiculous way that sticking our weenie in this meatgrinder distorts our "national interests" in this region.

We really have only three interests here; petroleum, passage through Suez, and "stability" in the sense of NOT generating Islamic whackaloons. Palling up with Israel helps us...ummm...well, totally NOT. It's almost like we thought hard about how we could totally fuck ourselves and end up spending huge quantities of time and money for nothing in the region.

And then did it.


Anonymous said...

" to muzzle its right-wing whackaloons and ultrareligious ......Dominionists"

It occurs to me that this piece of wisdom could be applied in more than Israel.

FDChief said...

Labrys: I think it goes hand-in-hand with the Israeli problem; many of the reasons that we are so tight with that troublesome and troubled land are our own right-wing whackaloons and Christian dominionists.

But what I get from Israel is that THEIR right wingnuts are even more dangerous than ours because they are more numerous and have a pivotal position in the Likud governments. They really have the whip hand, and many of the secular Israelis I talked to (and have read) admit to loathing and fearing them but are afraid to speak against them because of their power...

Lisa said...

You have laid out an interesting solution. The reason no sensible people implement it is because of this under-riding mentality:

You mention the need of the Palestinians "to forget the place their great-great-grandparents lived in that is now a shopping mall". However, I NEVER hear any liberals mentioning the need of the Jewish peoplpe to get over their lands just as recently ACTUALLY stolen in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, etc. etc.

Israel was created via a UN mandate, and there was a proviso to divvy up the (very minute) land. The Palestinians did not participate.

FDChief said...

"...the need of the Jewish people to get over their lands just as recently ACTUALLY stolen in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt..."

Largely, Lisa, because that theft was retail - individuals and small communities getting turfed out and their property stolen - as opposed to wholesale and in daylight, as the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was.

And many "liberals" of the time - the late Forties and early Fifties DID protest and complain about the ethnic cleansing of the old Jewish quarters and communities in places like Damascus and Cairo. Those atrocities fueled the affection for Israel that was the default position of the American and European Left throughout the Fifties and early Sixties.

Again, I hate to sound like old Father Time, but there really was a huge shift in opinion after the seizure of the Territories. After '68 the liberal tendency to hug the underdog made the Israelis the villain and the Pals the heroes.

But that was predictable, and many Israelis, in fact, predicted it and advised giving up the occupied lands. One of the tragedies of the region is that nobody tried the solution I've suggested, and now the well is too poisoned for it to work.

Lisa said...

"After '68 the liberal tendency to hug the underdog ..."

Liberals still love them an underdog, and the response is predictable, esp. when mixed with the potent incendiary that is ubiquitous anti-Semitism. (Just as the blacks turned against the Jews who helped them in the Civil Rights struggle here, it is Sociology 101 to expect the same, should the Palestinians ever pull themselves out of their hatred game and into a more constructive one.)

The terroritories (this was an actual typo, and I'll not change it) were seized after Israel was warred upon; that's the right of nations after war, as I read history. The very tiny nation that is Israel could not be defended without the Golan Heights.

There is sympathy for Israel for so many reasons. They wish to survive because and the whole world deracinates them.

Your solution is a reasonable one. Pity Mrs. Sec'y of State or anyone else can't be honest with the grotesque spider web (="our M.E. friends") funding and arming Hamas, et. al. and cut off the serpent's head. Too delectable a game, it seems.

FDChief said...

Lisa: I started to add a comment and then realized that YOUR comment was worth an entirely new post. So see the post upthread about Israel and Gaza...

Ael said...

Note that Palestinians are not simply "Arabs". They regard themselves as being members of the Palestinian nation. (In much the same way that Syrians and Egyptians are different nationalities).

I fear that your suggestion that the Palestinian refugees absorb themselves into their host nations would be strongly resisted. The ghost of Ben-Gurion is no doubt quite bothered by this.

Lisa said...


There IS no "Palestinian nation", nor has there ever been.

Arafat et. al. have refused to claim for statehood today as it affords them certain benefits.

Ael said...

Lisa: Nations and States are not quite the same thing. In Canada, there is clearly the French-Canadian "Nation".

All the Palestinians that I know, self identify as the being part of the nation of Palestine. I.e. they don't think of themselves as being "Arabs", they think of themselves as being "Palestinians", not Egyptians, Jordanians, or Syrians.

This is true no matter how much the zionists would prefer otherwise. In fact, the zionists contributed greatly to the Palestinian nationality.