Why Palestine?

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The macabre prepossession of the international community with the “problem” of Israel is now so widespread that it has become like a cultural neurosis or even a fact of nature, that is, something that is habitual, taken for granted and rarely questioned. One drinks it in with the morning coffee, if not with one’s mother’s milk. It is treated as the central issue in the geopolitical world beside which every other consideration fades into comparative insignificance.

The People’s Republic of China has overrun Tibet, resettled it with its own citizens and imposed autocratic rule? Not on the radar. Zimbabwe has forcefully dispossessed its white farmers and mercilessly persecuted its own people? Of no account. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian Copts are fleeing the country to avoid killings, rapes, church burnings and forced conversions? A mere bagatelle. Islamist and Salafist factions are emerging in Egypt in the wake of the much-touted “Arab Spring,” promising renewed violence whether in Helwan, Imbaba, Tahrir Square or Alexandria? A tepid reproof by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and so on to other things, mainly Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood is making inroads into the Islamic world and promulgating Sharia law in the West? Of little interest. Iran is brutally suppressing its own population and Syria is indiscriminately slaughtering its people? No flotillas. Russia is systematically murdering and imprisoning investigative journalists? It’s an internal Russian matter. Reports indicate that Venezuela and Cuba may construct missile emplacements targeting the U.S.? Forget about it. Libyan rebels are massacring black Africans? Nothing to worry about. Sudan is conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign in Darfur? It doesn’t register. Somalia is imploding owing to the bombings and depredations of the al-Shabaab terrorist network? Not our problem. Pakistan-sponsored terrorists wreak havoc in India? It merits a passing headline and is then dismissed. The Taliban is again turning Afghanistan into a killing field? Unfortunate, but there it is. Turkey refuses to acknowledge and apologize for the Armenian genocide it carried out? Well, that was long ago.

But when it comes to the Israeli/Palestinian nexus, the focus is unswerving. The UN debates the issue endlessly and propagates one denunciation of the Jewish state after another. The EU and the U.S. are fixated on a resolution to  what they appear to consider a planetary imbroglio. Something called the “Quartet,” which has been aptly called a “chorus of jackals,” has been concocted to deal with the matter to the exclusion of far more pressing concerns. The media are pitching in with obscene insistence. NGOs, churches and labor unions have exceeded their mandates and competencies in engaging with a Levantine quarrel. And public opinion, especially in Europe, has been galvanized by what is in essence a parochial dispute and really none of its business.

The media and the political class are especially culpable. As James Fallows argues in Breaking the News, the media are busy practicing what is called predictive journalism and engaging in professional spin, disguising editorial opinion as impartial news coverage and thus adding political prejudice to the ostensibly neutral transmission of facts. The political class is given to what Michael Freund has dubbed “selective provocation syndrome,” that is, “when one deems Israel’s actions to be provocative while ignoring similar moves by the Palestinians.” The Palestinians, he points out, are building thirteen times the number of dwellings in Samaria and Judea as are being built by Jews, in order to establish facts on the ground in the disputed territories. “So why,” he asks, “is this too not regarded as a ‘provocation’ that undermines peace efforts?” And replies: “I guess not all ‘provocations’ are considered equal.”

Clearly, the debate is intensively weighted on the side of the Palestinians, which means that the Israelis are regularly condemned for defending themselves, for acting in accordance with historical and legal principles, and for their reluctance to sign away legitimate territory and, in effect, to jeopardize their very survival. There is little recognition of the fact that Israel has constantly signaled its willingness to embark upon realistic negotiations. As Barry Rubin writes, “So if the world isn’t going to listen to Israel’s proposals, won’t credit its eagerness to negotiate and won’t accept plans that also include Israel getting something for its troubles, there is no way Israel is ever going to satisfy it.”

The situation is frankly preposterous and provokes two salient questions: why such an unrelenting convergence of interest on this tiny slice of the world’s geography, so scarce in natural resources and constantly threatened with destruction, called Israel?; and in the context of consensual advocacy, why Palestine?

The world remains focused on Israel because Israel is a Jewish state, the Jewish family on the international block, a distinctive presence which activates the latent—as well as the manifest—content of a malingering and inexcisable anti-Semitism. For this is anti-Semitism pure and simple and it would be disingenuous to try and mitigate the truth by seeking for nuanced and textured evasions intended to downplay mankind’s longest hatred. Jews, the feeling goes, do not deserve their own state. They presumably form a collection of wandering tribes and disruptive social interlopers, justly scattered among the nations and deserving of marginalization, a historical “fossil” according to the celebrated historian Arnold Toynbee and, according to the anti-Zionist delator Tony Judt, an “anachronism.” But such pronouncements and convictions are merely an attempt to launder one’s irrational bigotries or dissemble one’s innate aversions. The current situation makes this blatantly evident. The name of the game is Judeophobia.

For the disproportion between the world’s response to a healthy, robust, legitimate and embattled democratic state the size of New Jersey and the vast cesspools of tyranny, oppression, insurgence, violence and depredation that litter the globe is incommensurable. With only occasional exceptions, the world trains its gaze almost exclusively on Israel. “One wonders,” writes Matthew Hausman, “how they can be so consumed with Israel’s alleged indiscretions and yet ignore the totalitarian and theocratic tendencies of the nations comprising the Arab-Muslim world.” Good question.

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  • tarleton

    The so called ''peace process'' is just cant , as it is in northern ireland …the so called ''palestinians'' are , for the most part , not interested in ''peace '' , but are using the ''cover of peace ''as a tactic to undermine and eventually destroy the jewish state
    The so called ''catholic community '' in N Ireland do something similar ..their ultimate aims are not ''PEACE'' but the unification of Ireland and expelling the British loyalists

    The Israelis are being strongarmed by the international community to try and negotiate with their deadly enemies , knowing full well that their long term aims are not ''peace '' but the destruction of the jewish state

    • thomas in chicago

      Consider the palestinian position. Israel is viewed by most of the world as an (East) European colony fortress placed in the land of Palestine. Sixty years does not change the genesis of Israel just as hundreds of years did not give South Africa to the Dutch settlers. It is a recurring mistake to try to find a shortcut to 'peace'. Peace, real peace, will come with justice. and justice is what will not, in the end, be denied. If the Jews are to remain in this foreign land they will have to assimilate, not simply separate and occupy the land of others. We in the USA are growing tired of these unjust and demanding people who claim our allegiance for their own unjust ends. It is time to walk away.

      • intrcptr2

        That's funny, coming from some guy living in a "foreign land", named after a Jew, who has likewise refused to assimilate to the native culture.

        How's about you go say Hi to Rahm, and stay away from the TV?

        When you can explain this; http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&a

        then we'll talk.

      • garretso

        Perhaps all peoples should return to the lands from which their ancestors came. Lets start with the Turks leaving Anatolia and returning to Turkmenistan from whence they came. After that, I will return to an England populated solely by Englishmen….. then peace will prevail on earth. Right?

  • Pathena

    The antisemitism of all the attacks on Israel is also apparent in the very use of the name "Palestinian" to refer to Arabs. The origin of this usage is in the phony history and propaganda of two countries which hate Jews, Egypt and the Soviet Union: in 1964 in Cairo they invented the "Palestine Liberation Organization" (P.L.O.) "Palestine" had always meant "land of the Jews" or "the Holy Land" (Jesus having been a Jew) since the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D., after defeating the last Jewish rebellion under Bar Kochba, changed the name of Judea to Palestina, in order to eradicate all memory of Judea and the Jews (he also outlawed Judaism). "Palestine" then became synonymous with "land of the Jews" and "Palestinian" another name for "Jew." That is why the Palestine Mandate given to Great Britain after World War I, referred to "Palestine" as the "homeland of the Jews."

    • AR Momen

      According to the Jewish Virtual Library this list illustrates the lonely period in which the Sons of Israel had had a political identity as a state ;

      1000 BCE King David conquers Jerusalem

      960 BCE King Solomon builds First Temple

      721 BCE Assyrians conquer Samaria. Refugees flee to Jerusalem. City expands onto western hill.
      701 BCE Assyrian ruler Sennacherib beseiges Jerusalem.
      586 BCE Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.
      It means just 414 years ,and when you read about the history of continuous wars with neighbors and rebellions up rises during this “glorious” ,you will discover the and unstable reign of Jews in Palestine , no matter what the land is called , every anthropologist knows that the races in this region had been extremely intermingled to the extent that when you walk in the West Bank or Jerusalem you can’t diferrentiate the bloods of Arabs from Jews (I know this will upset the bigoted stiff necked Jews who still think that they have a special creator for them ).However I think that these arrogant guys are like an adolescent who feels very pleased when he sniffs the sweat of his armpit … At last… I am an adult .So these nomads from the four corners of the sphere are gathering in what the pretend to be their Holy Land ,even if they were the remnants of the sons of Israel ,then they are cursed for the sins of their ancestors who killed their prophets ,and still tell lies about Jesus (peace be upon him).

  • http://satanstrinity.com C"H"Martel

    My book, "Satan's Trinity: Hitler, Stalin & Muhammad," will be available within the month and one may pre-order at http://www.satanstrinity.wordpress.com/ For the first time in history "HSM" appear together on a book cover. The idea behind the book is to make headway against the ludicrous idea that Muhammad should be conjoined with any religious leader/founder. Once this comparison, driven by actual names, has been made then it must be attacked. Once the attack has been launched then the attackers will be forced to defend their attack. Since the attack is indefensible then the "religion" Muhammad (if he existed) founded will begin to be viewed as the scam it is. This book has been written under the principle of KISS. And nothing is simpler to understand than Hitler and Stalin…..and now, Muhammad. Thank you for your time…….C"H"Martel

    • aspacia

      You are a shameless huckster.

      • stern

        Absolutely agree. I really am tired of seeing C.H. Martel's name on every single story here, and every C.H. Martel post staring with "My book …." For heaven's sake, pay for some advertising!

  • PhillipGaley

    When living on our "'Left' coast", upon my telling this guy (who liked to live "out", and "score" cocaine, as opportunity might present): "They never WERE a nation—as recognizable by the nations of the world—but only nomadic herders, living for the moment, without improvement to their world, and without hope in the world.", he said: "That can be their NATION—why can't they be left to live as the want to, why do they have to be occupied?"—and the very same thing of course, which had much to do with why he and other hippies were drawn to settle just as far as they could possibly get from our east-coast religious sources of education and mores—but for which challenge, to me, these problems immediately manifested:

    1) the more people who live at the lowest level of life and luxury, occasionally "scoring" cocaine or some such, the greater opportunity and necessity for a neighborhood tough-guy to keep some sort of order. And in such conditions, well, I'm just not all that tough, and no doubt—as in Gaza, now is—I would then be one of those sad souls constrained to while away my days, in some otherwise indescribable form of unpleasant existence—and he himself, had told me something of his unpleasant experiences while living under Steven Gaskin.

    But secondly, that same thing on a much grander scale for any nation, if not the Persians of old, or the Portuguese, why then, the English, or the French , or the USA—by simple process of elimination—always, there will some nation or another, having a sufficient percentage of citizens who deny their own base inclinations, and are then free to pursue higher pleasures, and consequently, are able to formulate better conceptions and to devise better technical things, and consequently, at times, becoming of The Scourge of The Lord, and able to whip those lesser peoples and nations "in line", so to speak (as the Moslems also, once did in ridding the Arab lands of polytheism); and if left to choice then, which category of nation is better?

    In the nature of things, of course, anyone who seeks to deny their own base nature, in the same remove, needs no instruction on the topic of keeping apart from those folk who are of a lesser esteem, who take every occasion to bring down or push others down into that lower level of violent opportunistic way of living—whether in the USA, or in Gaza—nomadic, travelers, living in trickery and deception, all.

    And I hope that, I speak for others too, in saying that, I for one, can see which side of the bread doesn't have the butter and jam on it; and, if I'm not persuaded to side with Israel on just every little thing, I sure will work to see those of the lower sorting out appropriately disfavored, and to reiterate, simply because, to the race of man, they are an impediment.

    And in that appearance, with their institutionalized sensuality and caste systems, the Arabs generally, and Moslems everywhere, do not prove themselves as helpers of mankind; but are most becoming of anchors which act to keep those Societies from moving forward in the grace and comfort of evolving visions of life—in a word, not just all are true architects, building in these walls of time.

    And our Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and others of the Jimmy Carter kind understand the nature of this thrust; but I think rather, before the day in which "And the wicked shall no more be called 'Liberal'.", that, thus far, American prosperity has stood as a bar to the results of their own denial of facts in history—and, other foolishness—and that, she and they, are merely brazen, . . .

  • aspacia

    Your coke sniffing friend would be executed by the fakes.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    All those other nasty countries are on the radar too. Stop trying to camouflage the stink of Israel in the stench of other countries. Face the opprobrium for your actions.

    • stern

      Ah yes, all those UN resolutions against Sudan, Syria, Ira?. All that front-page reporting telling us that in just the past few days, 41 Syrians have been shot dead by their government? Ashton telling the iranians to stop executing political prisoners? The Quartet railing against Hamas for killing its Fatah rivals in Gaza?

      If you’re seeing all that, you must have a different radar than the rest of us.

      but then it’s been clear for quite some time that you fall prey to illusions.

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        Yeah. Actually, the anti-Sudan Hasbara bought every single billboard in the train station here in Boston to run about 80 billboards about Darfur. I definitely am exposed to it. Thanks.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      Flip, Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Nazi or Communist party?

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        No. All I could find was Kach.

  • Dave

    The cultural Marxism which is dominating the west and has done for many years is really the reason why Israel is bullied. Marx wrote an extensive essay, called 'the Jewish question' which basically states that 'Jewish emancipation will come when the world is emancipated from Judaism'. This is not dissimilar to the Nazi plan. Marx was actually raised a Lutheran despite having come from a Jewish family. He was incredibly anti – Jewish and also states in the essay that 'Jews worship the god of money'. Thus, the left blame Jews for capitalism due to their worship of Marx and want to emancipate the world from Judaism, just like the Nazis, and Israel's existence angers them.

    • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

      I don't see why this was voted down. It is true.

  • mrbean

    Palestinians are nothing more than the subsidized proxy terrorists of Iran who strap munitions on their own women and children and send them out on homicide-suicide missions to murder other women and children in markets, restuarants, and on school buses. The Palestiniansby their open commitment to a Jewish genocide have forfeited their right to even exist and should not be given a UN and US sanction terrorist state of their own.

  • maturin20

    You can't have it both ways. If you invite global attention when you think you need it, it will be hard to reject it when you don't want it. You're certainly correct that all of these horrors should be approached in a comprehensive fashion, Israel's crimes against Palestine included with Egypt's troubles and many others.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      Israel's crimes against Palestine

      What 'crime?'
      Sending the PLO Muslims 1500 tons a week to feed them?
      Well, then, touche'. I dont think Israel should send them squat.
      As well as Obama sending them 1.2 billion dollars in 2010.

      • intrcptr2

        I think he means releasing 477 convicted murderers and terrorists for ONE lone 24 year-old kidnapped soldier, with another 500+ on the way.

        How dare they!!

        Evil, Evil, Evil Jews……

        • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

          Jews value life more than the Muslims.

          The above Meshuggah has a right of free speech

          • maturin20

            Israel could show that concern for life by being more transparent about their nuclear arsenal and their security policies.

  • Dave

    But Arabs do have it both ways! They kill more of their own people than anyone else on the planet. Sectarian muslim deaths number in the millions, 3 million killed in Bangladesh in 1971! Historically they have massacred Jews, Christians, B'hai, Persians, Kurds, Copts etc. But if ANYONE kills one of them, suddenly they are the Worlds victims, it's absolutely ridiculous. The West are just too pussy to stand up and tell them what hypocrites they are, so they get away with it.

    • maturin20

      I don't think the Bengali people would like being called Arabs.

  • elihew

    Here's why: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
    And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."

    • intrcptr2

      Don't forget Psalm 2;

      Why do the nations rage? Come let us cast off their yoke.
      The Lord will laugh in derision,
      I have set my Messiah on his throne, and he will rule with a rod of iron.

      I do feel for those who throw in with these, but it will be something to see…
      Baruch HaShem Adoneynu

  • Fred Remington

    Zionism is the national liberation movement of a dhimmi Jewish minority that has been oppressed in Palestine since the year 638, by primarily Muslim occupations. Jews have been the majority population in Jerusalem for the past 150 years. They were the majority in Palestine in 1699 (see Adrain Rolandi) and in 1099 (see Ibn Al-Qalanisi). No one with an once of historical knowledge can deny the Jewish claim to Palestine.

    • Raymond in DC

      The Jews lived under Byzantine sufferance in Palestine for years before being made a "tolerated minority" under the Muslims. And the Crusaders cut down Jerusalem's Jews as readily as they did the Muslims. The British, years later, betrayed their Mandate responsibilities by sucking up to the Arabs at the expense of the Palestinian Jews.

      But against expectations, the Jews took responsibility for their own destiny – and that's something much of the world can't deal with. Only where Israel is concerned do foreigners have the audacity to say "That city is not your capital" or "You can't build there" or "We don't accept such a defensive action as legitimate". The real question is why does Israel put up with such meddling?

  • Deziderio

    It is happening again!The demonisation of the Jewish people and now the de-legitimising of the Jewish State.What better cause to unite disaffected population,primitiv ,crippled population than by creating an eassily identifiable target,Israel and the Jews.Detailed research reveals that ArabIslamist propaganda masine has spent $100 billion over the last two decades.ArabIslamic governments are using anti-WesternJewis diatribes,propaganda and lies to deflect attention from their own failures!This money could have been used to promote peace and improve the lives of millions.Known EU contributins to the Palestinians come to more than $4 billion,$10 billion from the USA.Show us the money!EU and USA stop the money,you stop the teror.EU,USA despite the evidente,appears,unable too see the link between funding and terrorism,although it does admit to Palestinian Authority misuse of funds.

  • Ghostwriter

    Interesting article! Too bad the message of the article is lost on people like Flipside,who baseless hatred of the Jewish people knows no bounds.

    • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

      I got the meaning, dude. The meaning was “how come only Jews get busted for being a-holes.” The premise of the article is a lie.

  • JonM

    The existence of Israel will in the end bring about the revelation of the true and living God. The world is about to enter on a time of testing like none other in all history, and it all centers around the existence of Israel. In one of the comments the prophet Zachariah (chapter 12 verses 2 -3) was quoted. Many scriptures in the old and new testament could be quoted, but Revelation 3:10 comes to mind “Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you out of the hour of trial, which is about to come upon the whole habitable world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” It is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:7). God will use Israel to put the world on trial because the world says God has no right to give a people of His choice the land of His choice. The prideful unbelief and false religion of the world will be exposed and judged. These are not my thoughts read the bible and check it out. It’s time for people to get serious about what is really going on.

    • intrcptr2

      Amen, brother!

      And always, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

      For if I forget you, may my tongue forget itself,
      or my right its cunning

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The Palestinians can do no wrong and the Israelis can do nothing right, that is the
    parameters of the world's view and the answer as to why goes to the fact that
    the entire world has lost moral conviction, honest deportment is gone and the
    price of selling Israel out comes from monies spent on Arab oil. It is almost
    at a critical stage in America that we drill here and drill now as we will be lost
    without energy to live. The leftist agenda is to make America unliveable for
    Americans and as well that is also it's game plan for Israel but with a homicidal
    twist put in place by Islamist killers and leftist hellions. Truth is the victim of
    the day, every day unless it is defended unerringly. The people of the world
    are being sold down the proverbial drain by dishonest politicians, dictators,
    Communists, Socialists, Islamists, Environmentalists (Communists) and
    right on down to the Mafia in the UN. Israel must expand outward and quit the
    game made up by usurpers and endless falsehood. Going along with lies makes
    you complicit, state the truth, stand by it and it will not fail. With the UN expect
    the worst and you will not be disappointed…………………………………William

  • rulierose

    excellent article as always, David, and I'm afraid you're right. but I'm curious to see what the rest of the world will make of the so-called Palestinians' celebrations this week. will it bother anyone that the Pals worship a cult of death and blood? or will that, too, be swept under the carpet to make room for another UN censure of Israel for some imagined slight?

  • xlent

    The God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob is once again about to step into this world and He is going to mess with a lot of peoples minds. Many will understand and be glad, many will understand and tremble, vast numbers will say duh what just happend?

  • http://www.billfoxsoapbox.com Bill Fox

    Pre-1948 Jews in Palestine were called Palestinians.

  • http://www.aol.com Zeynab

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