Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Bar and Grill Executive Summary #1


The Bar and Grill has just now got to this video on our allied blog, Israel Thrives, currently off with close ones for a short break to launch a genocidal blitzkreig on the defenceless and for the most part harmless rainbow trout population of some region in wet and hilly Oregon. A good week's work in anyone's books.

I was struck again while listening to these guys by a weird and recurring sense of astonishment and despair that they are even having the discussion ; and then that hope that mixes in that the mere fact of the discussion and all the other debates by free men and women around the world will prove the bleeding obvious and carry the day. A leap of faith, if you will, and to see a Christian friend of Israel put the point so passionately has given the Bar and Grill cause for pause.

The very fact that these most passionate of issues can be debated in this way is the point, the whole point and nothing but the point. That has simply not been possible across much of the Arab and Muslim world and the prognosis is not remarkable anywhere despite the Arab Spring and that's putting it as charitably as possible.

At one time the Bar and Grill worked in one of those jobs that required advising other busy managers and professionals of the implications of a specialised but often enormously complicated and potentially dangerous area affecting their operations nationally and abroad. There are alot of jobs like that and mine was certainly nothing remarkable .It was a conservative firm so I was given a lot of latitude. A curious fact.
When the heat was on, which was most of the time, it was useful to deliver the advice upfront and in point form. Put the firm's conclusions on the front page in language you would appreciate if you were in their shoes. More importantly reach some conclusions. Don't piss about. Obvious when you think about it but it was a radical concept at the time. The clients seemed to like it.

So this is a report in that style.

  • The Middle East dispute is not about the Middle East and it is not about the Jews. It is about the poor hapless Palestinians least of all.

  • There is only one cause of the dispute between Israel and those parts of the Arab and Muslim worlds that declare they are in dispute with the state. This is an implacable and strategically convenient hostility to the very concept of the Jewish state as a Jewish state. In this calculation the plight of the "Palestinian people" enters not at all.

  • This in turn is driven by the warlike political cultures of a number of Muslim and Arab states and entities that are themselves routinely engaged in brutal wars among themselves. The political culture across the region is identical in all material respects to that of pre-1945 Europe. In many ways the regimes that rule these states and factions owe much of their political cultures to that of pre-war Europe. The cost in human terms of the wars and conflict with Israel although horrific is of several orders of magnitude less than the cost in death, injury, displacement and general human misery and stagnation generated by even one of the lesser conflicts among these regimes and factions but this matters not at all. The need and urge for an enemy that is external to them all is irresistible. It varies in intensity in time and place but can reach a genocidal pitch.

  • The Israelis will never surrender their state. No free people would. That this is now the open and official demand of the "Palestinian cause", supporters of the "cause" are openly exposed as pro-war and most of all anti-Palestinian. Notions such as the "binational state" and other grotesque bigoted shams offend the intelligence, and as their proponents could not really expect to be taken seriously, are cynically dishonest as well as profoundly racist. They are equivalent to demanding that South Africans revert to the oppression of an apartheid state or that American blacks submit to slavery; and are about as likely to be adopted.

  • There is no greater enemy of the Palestinian people than the "Palestinian cause".

  • Israel is close and convenient but is by no means the only target. It is not even the main target. It is certainly not the target that is most vulnerable or at risk not even in the Middle East. Israel is strong and appears to have snapped out of a spell woven by post-Zionists or non-Zionists or ex-Zionists or whatever-Zionists now notoriously out of fashion in Israel but apparently not yet in the diaspora, given that now the "Palestinian cause" has made its position crystal clear. The Jews are to lose their state without a fight. Sure. That's going to happen. So 1990's. Like tattoos and Goth fashion. Quite quaint really.

  • The "Palestinians" are by now a real and distinct people no matter what you might think of the leadership ethos which on the whole is no better or worse than that prevailing over much of the Arab and Muslim world which of course is appalling.. The people deserve to be recognised as a people if that is what they were indeed able to freely choose in the unlikely event the "Palestinian cause" could be persuaded to allow that to happen anyway. It would mean accepting Israel and allowing Palestine to exist both of which the "Palestinian cause" fiercely opposes. It would also mean peace with Israel and the "Palestinian cause" opposes that most of all. It was created to prevent peace and the "Palestinian cause" is itself at the mercy of a turmoil of foreign influences that reach from Tehran to the great universities of the West most of which are now more or less openly pro-war as a matter of regime policy or ideology.

  • None of this will change while the "Palestinian cause" has growing support especially from the West even though it has once again declared for the destruction of Israel. It sees and interprets the intense pressure on Israel to accept the blame for existing while itself being exempted from any apparent pressure to accept the two state solution as clear evidence that the "cause" is in the ascendancy. The "cause" is probably right to think this of itself but ultimately the "Palestinian cause" is not even about Israel. Even if Israel was to cease to exist the "Palestinian cause" would survive intact in one guise or another and the misery of the Palestinian people would continue unabated even if the whole notion of Palestinian nationhood was to die with the Jewish state. It would worsen. Ultimately the "Palestinian cause" is even less about the Palestinians than it is about "Israel" and it is risible to suggest that it has anything at all to do with Nakba. The Nakba is the least of the atrocities the "Palestinian cause" has delivered on the Palestinian people and there is plenty more where that came from for the Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims

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