Friday, November 21, 2014

Marc Salzberger Has Some Words and a Thought on Cultural Theft

Michael L.

Every once in awhile I come across a comment beneath an article that I think stands well enough as a single piece, so I publish it.  The following comment was written beneath a Commentary piece by Tom Wilson entitled, The Dubious Embrace of Palestinian Unilateralism.
Marc Salzberger  - November 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

As a supported of Oslo, the handshake on the lawn and the Clinton, Barak/Arafat peace process, I am heartsick at the outcome.

But it was the right way to go. Events have confirmed that.

My argument at the time, including in a note to Norman Podhoretz, was that I too had deep reservations about the success of Oslo, but still supported it whole heartedly. Because Israel could survive everyone’s distrust and hostility, except that of its own people. With the population split and fighting itself, there was no hope and no future.

Thus Oslo and a sincere and generous offer to the Palestinians was essential. Not to convince the world, but Israelis that their country was in the right (my emphasis), that it wanted to be fair to the Palestinians and wanted peace, that it was doing all it possibly could, that it wore the white hat.

Those who had deep doubts about letting Arafat back in and handing him the WB and Gaza and who suspected that it would not bring peace, like Norman Podhoretz, were proved right. But so was I.

Bad as things are, with the peace prospect a tool for Palestinian PR, and only that, with Europe baying at Israel’s heels, and the US turning hostile, the situation remains manageable. Because Israelis are united. They are not fighting each other. There is no self doubt. Because they know they tried, very hard. They will prove tougher and more enduring than the Europeans and the Palestinians. Oslo, its failure, has given them that strength. (my emphasis)
This is a rather unusual point of view, would you not say?  He seems to be arguing that despite the failure of Oslo and despite the fact that we are now in Terror War Number Three and despite the fact that the European governments blame Jews for Arab intransigence and are reportedly conspiring within one another on how to stick it to the Jewish State and despite the fact that the American president has shown himself to be a supporter of political Islam and, thus, an entirely untrustworthy ally to the Jews, he still thinks that the Oslo peace process was a good thing.

It is hard to fathom.

He thinks that Oslo was a positive thing because it proved to Jewish Israelis, if not most Jews, more generally, that they gave it their best and that's all they could do.  They honestly tried.  Time and again the Arabs were offered a twenty-third state for themselves and time and again they turned it down and blamed Israel, and thus the Jews.

I do not know that I could possibly go so far as to suggest that despite the consequences of its failure Oslo was a positive development, but I do think that Israelis should be able to look at themselves in the mirror and know that they honestly did all that they could do.

In 2000 and 2008, Ehuds Barak and Olmert offered the Palestinian-Arabs the entirety of Gaza, almost the entirety of the "West Bank" with land swaps and the Arab sections of Jerusalem as a capital.

That offer was the most that Israel could reasonably offer and even begin to maintain something that resembles Israeli security.  In fact, it is more than Israel could reasonably offer because forking over a huge chunk of the City of David to a terrorist government is a desecration if not before G-d, then certainly of Jewish history and it is a history that perhaps the Jewish Left should respect more than it has in recent decades.

The fact of the matter is that the Temple Mount represents the historical heart of the Jewish people.

It is the site of the First and Second Temples and Moshe Dayan made the mistake of his life in forking it over to the Waqf.  They should have let the Israeli flag fly and had they done so anti-liberal bigots would not be denying Jewish rights to the Temple Mount today.

What I would love to see Israel do - but which, of course, it won't - is to ride out the current storm, but respond with measures necessary to quell the violence - and once things calm down take over sovereignty of the Mount.

The only reason that Islamic and Arab leadership cares about the Temple Mount is because of millennia-long prior Jewish claims upon it.  The reason they built the Al-Aksa Mosque at its current location is because it is built on the site of the Temples.  Taking over the holy places of other faiths (not to mention the central figures of other religions) and converting them into Islam is a very well established practice within the system of theocratic Islamic supremacism known as al-Sharia.

There is no reason that Jews should respect this beyond bloody intimidation.

If the Jewish Temples had not been there neither would the Al-Aksa Mosque, you can be sure.

What we are discussing, ultimately, is a case of cultural and religious theft against the Jewish people by the larger Arab-Muslim world with the collusion of the Israeli government.  Israel went along with outright racism against the Jewish people in the very heart of Jerusalem in the hopes that it might placate the Arabs.  The idea, presumably, was that if the government of Israel denied Jewish people basic human rights on the Temple Mount - such as the simple right to prayer - then maybe it would help ease irrational Arab and Muslim theocratically-based violent malice toward Jews within Israel.

You will excuse me if I note that it has not worked.


  1. Hagiography is an odd thing. People need to review what Rabin actually endorsed publicly before he was assassinated:

    No two state solution
    No palestinian autonomy
    No division of Jerusalem

    All Oslo did is hide to the west, for 20 years their own blind ignorance. All it achieved was the normalcy of failure and inaction. Set the bar low enough and no one seriously believes anything can ever come of it.

    It's funny, people who claim that shaming the shameless is progress. It's not. The Arabs do not care what you think or do, do not worry what you say about them. They care about the honor and respect they believe they are entitled from you but are unconcerned with how you feel about that or what you tell one another behind their backs. To them this is like any other haggle any other deal. And to them, a deal is a bad deal if it ever concludes with them not robbing you. That's an Arab deal. Anyone who's lived there understands this. A completed transaction is failure.