Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Realist’s Mistrust


In my recent posts I described the Two-State Solution as the only negotiated agreement having a theoretical chance of working, writing off the Binational Solution as a criminally dangerous pipe-dream. Now I wish to lay out the reasons for the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews’ mistrust in the Binational Solution.

Why devote a post to the subject, you ask? First, because—as has been the case with so many ideas in the past years—the Binational Solution is no longer fringe among the Progressives. It used to be, but a cursory look at Progressive-Left forums today shows binationalism to have become mainstream, either in its outright form (“One shared state for Palestinians and Israelis”) or disguised in a pseudo two-state solution that amounts to a de facto binational solution by virtue of insisting on the “right” of the “refugees” (descendants of Arab colonists who fled Palestine following their failure to defeat the fledgling Jewish state) to “return” in full numbers to inside the pre-1967 Israel borders. Secondly, this discussion has much to tell us about the dynamics of this conflict through Israeli Jewish eyes (their view matters little to the world, of course—who wants to give “oppressors“ a voice?).

There is the dream of Jews and Arabs living peacefully and respectfully in the shared state of “Isratine,” and there is realism. A realist knows that the best-case scenario of a majority-Arab state (which it would be, because the “Right of Return” is a non-negotiable component of the Binational Solution) would be that of the Jews living as second-class subjects under a non-Jewish majority population, playthings for the whims of the populace and the government. A related scenario, one that has already taken place in Egypt and Lebanon, the latter once known as the “Switzerland of the Middle East” in a cultural as well as geographical sense until demography brought all to naught, would have both Jews and Christians in Palestine as second-class subjects under the rule of Islamic law, with similar results. And those two are the best cases one can think of!

More likely a follow-up to an agreement that brings things back to the state they were in November 1947—Jews and Arabs in non-state proximity—would be a retread of Israel’s War of Independence, with the dreaded outcome that has menaced all Jews in 1947–9, in 1967 and in 1973, the outcome of defeat. What would happen then? Would a show of clemency be the result? I think not. The majority of Israeli Jews think not. This is what most of my fellow nation-members in Israel believe would happen:

  1. All the males would be slaughtered.
  2. The females would either be raped and killed or taken to be concubines.
  3. The riches cultivated and edifices built in more than a century of toil would be looted, then razed to the ground.
  4. The new Arab state would either be subsumed by a stronger one (such as Egypt) or stay a dysfunctional polity of its own. Either way, the former flower in the desert would be replaced by yet another hell-hole.

This is the ultimate outcome of the Binational Solution that most Israeli Jews predict. A generation has grown to witness the October 2000 Intifada where Arabs in both pre- and post-1967 areas rioted violently while the Progressives castigated the Israeli Jews. It would be an understatement to say such events have not inspired the generation’s confidence in binationalism.

Gaza greenhouses before August 2005

I do not expect the Progressives to have any sympathy. Nay, I fully expect them to react to that list of outcomes above with ear-shattering screams of “Racism!” Nevertheless, I will show to anyone who cares to read that that list reflects nothing but realism, nothing but mistrust born of a realistic look at the facts.

To the charge of racism itself, I hesitate to give it credit, knowing how the Progressives have come to empty the word of all meaning, using it as an omnibus accusation against any of their opponents (as one troll on CiFWatch said in a reply to a post of mine: “Racism isn’t about biology.“ Humpty Dumpty, proponent of the use of a word to mean what he wants it to mean at a given moment, would be mighty proud). For all the good it will do, I will say that the fall into barbarity is something no part of humanity is immune to—all too well do the Jewish people know about the descent of a cultured, civilized nation from Bach and Mozart to Einsatzgruppen and Vernichtungslager. If there is any racism here, it is the Progressives’ thinking that Israel’s enemies are not susceptible to that descent.

A more relevant question is why take such a bleak view—what the basis is for believing the logical conclusion of binationalism to be slaughter and destruction. The answer is, because it is confirmed by word and deed. If we cannot go by this preponderance of the evidence, we cannot know anything at all.

Words—this is an easy thing to check up on, with even the language barrier removed by the yeoman work of sites like MEMRI and Palestinian Media Watch. From politicians and imams calling for the slaughter of Jews to little children dressed in suicide vests singing for the day they do just that, there is all the verbal evidence you could ask for.

Deeds—well, who could be oblivious to rocket barrages, suicide-murder attempts and other such manifestations of fanaticism that even the West is no longer free of, except someone who has been living under a rock for the past few decades? And if the frequency of Jew-killing in Israel has gone down in the recent years, this is mainly because of certain security measures that the Progressives want relaxed in the name of “justice,” such as the fence keeping suicide-murderers from the post-1967 territories at bay.

Weapon-materials smuggling tunnels, formerly Gaza greenhouses, after August 2005

Some may, at this point, mention the Arab leaders who talk about negotiated peace and coexistence. “Well, what do you say to that? If you think they’re lying, what makes you think the hardliners are telling the truth? See, you’re a bigoted zionutzi, that’s what you are!“ Conveniently, the part about deeds has been forgotten. Realists believe those words that match the deeds, and disbelieve those words that are out of sync with the deeds. 80 years ago, a German Jew might have his case in believing a certain Austrian painter’s book to be bluster and hyperbole, but as soon the racial laws outlined in that book were put into practice in Germany, intellectual honesty would oblige him to take the whole book seriously.

We Israeli Jews have seen, or read about, the events of 1929, 1936–9, 1947–9 and the 2000s decade. From the massacre in Hebron through the rape and slaughter in Gush Etzyon to the looting and razing to the ground of the Gaza greenhouses in August 2005, we have had no choice but to err on the side of caution. And what are the assurances the advocates of binationalism have given us? You can read them all on Progressive-Left, Arab and Islamic websites: The admonition that we are to acquiesce to any sort of government that arises in the shared state, with no right to protest any decision on part of the new majority-Arab parliament; and the self-righteous, imperious proclamation that the Jews are to hope that the Arabs would treat them more fairly than they had been treated by the Jews. If those are assurances, give me outright threats any day.

No. As the owner of this blog says, the day of the dhimmi is done. Israeli Jews know they cannot accept the risk even of second-class status—a return to living as in the Diaspora—let alone the more probable Rwanda-like scenario. Should it become mainstream and politically correct to insist on the Binational Solution as the only possible route to solving the Jewish–Arab Conflict, then Israeli Jews will say with a voice that is unanimous for all practical purposes: Take your solutions with you to the depths of hell where they came from. There were and there could be windows of opportunity for a true two-state solution, but there has never been and never can be a window of opportunity for a so-called solution that does away with Jewish sovereignty. Except for a tiny fraction of a percent, Israeli Jews have never been accepting of the idea, taken for granted by the Progressive Left, that Zionism is a colonial enterprise. The recognition of Jewish national rights is a prerequisite for peace.


  1. "Its the most humane solution to the problem..."

    I agree, but it's not a downside-free solution when you think about it. Years ago, a commenter on one blog said that carrying it out would lead to regional war, if only because the rest of the Arab world doesn't want the ex-Palestine colonists in their states and would be ready to declare war on Israel to keep them our problem.

    I had a part of this discussion with Mike in an older thread, and at the end of the discussion my conclusion was I must brace for the possibility that I won't see the end of this conflict in my lifetime—whether because of leadership that still clings to the land-for-peace paradigm or because of the quite real caution against starting a regional war of our own accord. As Empress Trudy hinted in her recent post, if we are to win we have to learn to be as patient as the other side is.

  2. By the way—

    From #4 among the predictions of what would happen should the Jewish state be defeated ("...the former flower in the desert would be replaced by yet another hell-hole"), it might seem as if I were saying it is the destiny of Arab states to be hell-holes, especially to those with super-sensitive "racism tuners." This is not so: I've brought Lebanon as an example of what used to be a functional and viable Arab democracy, long ago. The problem as I see it isn't the Arabs, it's Islam. That has nothing to do with race or even nationality—non-Arab Muslim nation-states that have recently undergone an intensification in Islamic fervor exhibit the same symptoms of dysfunction as their Arab counterparts (which, as I said, the once Christian-majority Arab Lebanon did not).

  3. Economists like to talk about the 'middle class effect' in emerging nations which says that as people attain the middle class a whole host of other social, demographic and economic problems go away. Families get smaller, people become consumers, they work to protect what they have, they establish better courts, they rely on laws. In a nutshell the 'foreigners' start to look and act more like western middle class suburbanites.

    This is an error we economists make when we talk about social issues that aren't entirely connected to economics. In fact in the Arab world this equation breaks down if it ever existed at all. The relative level of 'societal maturity' doesn't vary much when income goes up or it goes down. In fact culture is culture is culture and giving Arabs more money doesn't make them Danish or Iowan.

    Progressives, Israel haters and academics all delude themselves when they imagine that giving the 'Palestinians' more money they suddenly will welcome gay marriage, solar power, free weed, MSNBC, Whole Food, Disney, hybrids, half dressed women. That all they need is a shopping mall and iPhones and it's all fixed.

    Over here in the real world though that is clearly idiocy. It is so wrong, it's broken. For one thing in the Arab world, wealth is status and status is power and power is leisure. The more money you give them the LESS they work, they outsource their labor requirements. In Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states up to 90% of the native population does not work, at all. They are paid by the royal family to do nothing which is why no social and civic institutions ever develop. In the Palestinians case if you give them a sudden injection of money it goes to waging war on the Jews not building a washing machine factory. That is, a portion of it does - a great deal of it goes into private pockets of senior PLO and Hamas members. The big man is the rich man.

    So this notion of a single state where this mythical collection of fat happy people get along in peaceful bliss sharing in the bounty of Socialist Amsterdam-by-the-sea is fatally flawed. First you need shared values, then you can have shared stuff, shared services, shared seats on the bus. This is not to say that disparate cultures and societies can't share a country. They can - many countries are made up of polyglots of different groups and languages and religions. India has more Muslims than any other country on the planet for example, and the Quebecois officially can't stand the rest of Canada but they manage to make it work. The problem arises when one society really only exists to exterminate another or the other. After all the 'palestinians' really don't exist; they're not a peoplehood or nation in that sense. They are a political tool cobbled together for the sole purpose of murdering Israelis. In order for this mythical binational state to work the 'palestinians' would have to completely abandon their fake nationalism and become civicly minded Israeli citizens respectful of all others just like everyone else. In a civil society you don't stab your neighbor to death over where they park their car. You don't shoot an RPG at his house because you don't like that his wife wears shorts.

    1. "...mythical collection of fat happy people get along in peaceful bliss sharing in the bounty of Socialist Amsterdam-by-the-sea..."

      The thing is, it's not working in the real Amsterdam either. How are the indigenous Dutch, with their full acceptance of same-sex relationships for instance, getting along with the Muslim immigrants who think homosexuals should be swaying on a crane?

      "India has more Muslims than any other country on the planet for example,..."

      Not a good example for coexistence, because the tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India can give the Jewish–Muslim ones in Israel a run for their money.

      "...and the Quebecois officially can't stand the rest of Canada but they manage to make it work."

      Yeah, the benign examples of multinationalism, like Belgium, where the two nations (Flemish speakers and Walloon speakers) harbor contempt for each other but avoid violence. Somehow this doesn't seem applicable to the situation in our region.

      Ultimately it all comes to prudence, to the effort of preventing genocide. I once used to doubt myself on that, but then I considered the morality of a nation-exclusive solution that prevents the genocide of either or both parties, versus the morality of an inclusive, diverse, multicultural (yada yada) solution that puts thousands, no, millions of people at risk, and I realized there was simply no contest—the scales of morality are tipped heavily toward the less politically correct and fashionable but far safer and more humane idea of having states exclusive to their nations ("The State As Its Nation's Castle" is my label for this idea).