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.
- The conflict is about Arab irredentism for the social order that existed in the Levant until the mid-19th century.
- A sufficient number Palestinian Arabs must be allowed sovereignty over themselves in order to allow Israel to remain a democratic and Jewish state
- 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.