Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Things that we must insert into the narrative

Sar Shalom

Last week, Vic blogged about what we have to do in order to assert our self-respect in public diplomacy. Included in that blogpost were four messages that must be promulgated, according to Vic, no matter what the liberal intelligentsia says. I would like to suggest some different messages that we must promulgate in order to change the terms of the debate.

  1. The conflict is about Arab irredentism for the social order that existed in the Levant until the mid-19th century.
  2. A sufficient number Palestinian Arabs must be allowed sovereignty over themselves in order to allow Israel to remain a democratic and Jewish state
  3. The Palestinian Arabs have no inherent right to any land that is not required for item 2.

The first point is the most critical one. If the public believes that the Palestinians are fighting for self-determination, then we will be behind the 8-ball in any attempt to explain Israel's actions. However, if the public believes that their real motives are restoring the old social order and that claims about denying historical rights are nothing more than a smokescreen to justify doing so in whole or in part, we will have a freer hand to deny their demands. Convincing the public that that is so is no small matter. The point should be that the only solution that would satisfy the Palestinian national movement would be for the Jews be accept their place as good little dhimmis and that anyone who supports that solution is a racist.

The first step would be to repeat the history that relates what that social order was. This must be accompanied by how the mufti Amin al-Husseini labored against the erosion of that social and and promulgated that tolerance of that erosion constitutes treason. The second part is critical because taking the first step without the second would seem like holding a grudge for what the Palestinians' ancestors did, which can never be ameliorated, when the reality is that today's Palestinians seek to do as their ancestors did. This is something which can change and changing it would be a necessary condition to bring peace.

Point 2 answers the critics, who claim to be Israel's friends, yet insist that Israel must capitulate to their demands because they claim there is no other way to preserve Israel as both a Jewish state and a democracy, most recently by Joe Biden and the JStreet gala. Palestinian sovereignty in Areas A and B would provide that, meaning that no amount of Israeli activity in Area C would endanger Israel's status as either Jewish or democratic. Point 3 challenges those demanding that Israel do more than what is required to answer point 2 to say why they do so.


  1. "the reality is that today's Palestinians seek to do as their ancestors did."

    Somebody give this man a cookie!


    This is not a war over the Jewish occupation of anything.

    This is about the Arab-Muslim desire to reduce their Jews to our former status as second and third-class non-citizens under al-Sharia.

    It should be obvious to any fair observer that if Israel were a 23rd Muslim state it would be hailed as the most enlightened and free country in the entire Muslim world.

    The reason that it is reviled has nothing to do with the alleged oppression of the Palestinian-Snowflakes.

    Israel is reviled because it is Jewish. Period.

    1. correction "23rd Arab-Muslim state..."

    2. I don't think it's about wanting to reduce Jews to second-class "non-citizens." It seems that the end goal is to have no Jews in that area. That's not the same thing.
      I doubt whether the Palestinian leaders actually want a bi-national state with a Jewish minority in it. Maybe they do. I wouldn't think so. Or at least not for long. I think they just want all Jews out of the Middle East. Probably.
      I don't think you have to worry about Sharia law, it's not a real goal in Israel/Palestine. Or whatever that new country would be known as.

      There are, however, real issues about significant minorities of Muslims in Europe wanting Sharia to be established. But in separate areas, not to impose on other groups.
      I sent you a link to an article in Harry's Place that included a video of the Channel 4 documentary just aired. It will probably be taken down very soon. It's worth watching. Round about 25% of those asked said they favour Sharia. That's interesting. Other things are, too.

    3. They already have erased Jewish history - read Caroline Glick's latest article concerning UNESCO - in preparation for erasing Jews altogether.


    4. Yes. That UNESCO resolution is quite stunning. And France, Russia, Sweden and Spain voted for it. They are rewriting history, and there's nothing anyone can do. Literally. Nothing.
      They get to write the "narrative." All of them. Europe, too.

    5. k: A couple points about the PNM wanting a judenrein Middle East as opposed to reducing the Jews to second-class status. First is the perspective of what changed from the mid-19th century, when Jews seemed to live peacefully in the region, and today. I would say that the change is that in the mid-19th century, the Jews meekly accepted the station that the Pact of Umar set for them whereas the Zionists did not combined the Arabs' belief in the inviolability of the social order defined in the Pact of Umar. Second, the point is that the root of the opposition to Israel is that Israel's existence is a violation of that social order, and nothing Israel can do short of national suicide can bring conformance to that social order.

    6. I don't agree that there is nothing anyone can do. The question is, when will somebody do something about it?

    7. Sar Shalom,
      I would certainly imagine that there was a huge difference between Jews living as a minority - often despised, and with lesser rights - and the establishment of a state where Jews had self-determination. And, therefore, became a cultural threat. And an overturning of traditional roles.

      It would be an interesting to speculate whether, if Israel had, for example, been set up in a tiny corner of Europe, whether the reaction to it would have been that much different. No immediate attacks or declarations of war, but over time, how quickly would its position have become untenable?
      It would have been similarly seen as overturning a very long historical tradition. And even more so when it became successful.