‘Friends’ Tell Israel: Take Risks, Endanger Yourself

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSSince 2014 began there’s been a spike in rocket firings from Gaza at Israel—over 30 rockets in six weeks. They have either landed in open fields or been downed by Israel’s Iron Dome system. Israel has responded with some pinpoint strikes on military targets and individual terrorists. 

Among other things, having a rocket fall on your country about three out of every four days—in a period considered relatively quiet—is not conducive to optimism about a purported peace process. A poll late last month found 71% of Israelis “not believing” that the current Israeli-Palestinians talks, initiated and relentlessly driven by Secretary of State John Kerry, will “lead to peace.” A grand total of 7% “strongly believed” they will.

According to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, the sides have already stopped talking to each other and are “negotiating” only with Kerry.  The sides, Kerry says himself, would not even have to agree to the framework deal he is now trying to concoct—but the pious hope is that it would get them talking to each other again.

If it all sounds desperate and pathetic, colliding once again with the Palestinian inability to come near even highly accommodating Israeli positions—it is. But whether the appropriate lessons can—now or ever—be learned is a different matter.

Earlier this week columnist Jeffrey Goldberg criticized Kerry for warning Israel about “boycotts and other kinds of things” if the peace talks fail. Goldberg accused Kerry of “terrifying Israelis”—but added: “and terrified Israelis are not the sort of people who will make dangerous compromises for peace.”

But that, in turn, raises the question: should one ever make “dangerous compromises for peace”? If peace is supposed to be in the offing, the prize you get in return, why should the compromises be dangerous in the first place?

Goldberg’s phrase is actually a mantra—that is, a substitute for thought—going back decades. Googling “Israel take risks for peace” yields 137 million results.

“Risks for peace” has never caught on in Israel; not even the left uses it. 

It would, after all, grate on people’s ears. Risk whom—my children? Risk is not an abstract concept in Israel.

Instead of using inane phrases like “framework deal” and “dangerous compromises,” and running up repeatedly against the same wall—essentially, the profound gap in culture and values between Israel and its neighbors, including the Palestinians—how much better it would be if Israel’s purported friends, the Kerrys and Goldbergs, could try on some new notions instead of the same old stale, discredited platitudes:

  • Get over the obsession with a Palestinian state in the West Bank, in addition to the ones already existing in Gaza and Jordan. Somehow, America can get by without this state. Indeed, would it even be beneficial? Is America currently drawing benefit from the existence of Syria, Iraq, or Lebanon, which were also created by Western powers? Why would the West Bank Palestinian state be any different? What evidence is there that Palestinian Arabs have any way to distinguish themselves meaningfully from other Muslim Arabs except through a self-definition as victims of Israel? What evidence is there that they have in any way given up this self-definition, and what they see as the concomitant duty to fight Israel? In short, there is none.
  • Instead of pressuring Israel and demanding it to endanger itself, respect it. If the large majority of Israelis are dismissive of the current talks and barely even interested in them, perhaps there are good reasons for it. If the Israeli defense minister, a former chief of staff, insists that there is no substitute—not drones, not sensors, not foreign forces—for Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley, perhaps he knows what he’s talking about.
  • Show some humility. When Israeli “peace” moves go wrong, it is not on you that the rockets fall. Don’t sit in far-off, comfortable places and demand that other people do dangerous things. Value Israel, give it credit, as the world’s sole democracy that lives under constant siege, and indeed comes through the crucible as the world’s most creative, innovative democracy per capita. Autonomy for the Arabs of the West Bank, instead of an independent state, is hardly a human rights catastrophe. Start pointing that out to other people, like Europeans, and focus on some real problems instead.

*

Don’t miss Jamie Glazov’s video interview with Mudar Zahran, a secular leader of Palestinians in Jordan who has been living in exile in the UK since 2010. He calls out John Kerry on his Mideast “Peace” Plan — and asks why a U.S. Secretary of State is threatening Israel to commit suicide:

To sign up for The Glazov Gang: Click here.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • Mladen_Andrijasevic

    Kerry is just ignorant about the Middle East, and so are most Americans and Europeans. Even Israelis would score 0 on the Kerry Middle East Competency Quiz. But at least Israelis have the empirical knowledge of how Palestinians behave although they might not know exactly what makes them do so.

    A mini 5 + 1 question quiz for Secretary Kerry
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2014/01/a-mini-5-1-question-quiz-for-secretary.html

    So, the only solution Israel has against these fanatics its technological superiority
    Singapore Airshow: Rafael launches Iron Beam
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/singapore-airshow-rafael-launches-iron.html

    • nopeacenow

      You don’t get where Kerry is by being ignorant. Naive perhaps but not ignorant. Israel has to do what is good for Israelis and putting them in danger is not good.

      • Mladen_Andrijasevic

        Being naive is being ignorant about the consequences of your
        actions or inaction. My point is that he would score 0 on the Quiz, and yet he is pushing for solutions which have 0 probability of success, and then we would be stuck with the consequences of his ignorance. Did you take the Quiz? How many answers did you know?

  • StanleyT

    Goldberg thinks Kerry “terrifies” Israelis? How dumb does he think Israelis are? They know exactly what the rest of the world and their neighbours are capable of, which is why the polls show such scepticism about the “peace” talks. They certainly don’t need Kerry warning them or, as appears more likely, cheerleading their enemies.

  • Lemaze

    Prediction: Poopystinians will continue to live in their own poopy, wastrels in a wasteland with the flies traveling in and out of their mouths.
    Israel will continue to be at the forefront of healing in medicine, technology, communication, defence, business and art.

  • Silver Gonzales

    Love to see Mexican drug cartels launch rockets into Texas. Texans respond by launching raids into Mexico and American leftists in California and New York blame it on Texas.

    Love to see rockets launched from Finland into Russia avenging the territory Russia took from Finland after WW2.

  • wildjew

    D. Hornik wrote: “Don’t sit in far-off, comfortable places and demand that other people do dangerous things….”

    I have had left-leaning Israelis say this to me because I do not support conceding any Jewish land to the terrorists. BTW, I do plan on making Aliyah. I will not forever be sitting in a far off, comfortable place demanding that other people do safe things.

    But I have a larger question. For decades, successive American administrations have been pressuring Israel to give up land to murderous jihadists. Even after the American people on 9/11/2001 got a taste of what Israel has experienced for decades, a Republican president I voted for made the establishment of a Palestinian terror state in Israel a formal goal of U.S. policy. Obama is pursuing the Bush vision with a vengeance. Here is my question. Implicit in the Bible is the idea of collective responsibility or guilt. At what point should the entire nation (the United States) be held accountable for this travesty of justice?

    • Mladen_Andrijasevic

      Congress should impeach Obama on Iran or be complicit in facilitating the next Holocaust
      http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2013/11/congress-should-impeach-obama-on-iran.html

      • wildjew

        They should but they won’t. I got this quote yesterday allegedly from the Czech Republic. Reportedly it was translated into English from an article in the Prague newspaper, Prager Zeitungon. I have no independent confirmation of its authenticity but to me it is right on the mark:

        “The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their
        President.

        • gawxxx

          biblical prophecy unfolding right in front of us , this cesspool is toast ,

    • dartson

      Most of these leftists live in the area of Tel Aviv which, until recently, was outside the range of Palestinian rockets. And then they criticize the settlers or even people living near Gaza for choosing to live in such dangerous places. Hypocrisy is their second name. :)

      • wildjew

        I had a man living in Haifa (the other day) tell me and other readers he doesn’t appreciate Jews from the comfort of the US making demands on Israel’s government. I don’t see how warning against national ‘suicide’ or nearly so is making demands. You see your friend doing something suicidal it seems to me we have an obligation to warn him.

        • Michael Garfinkel

          I find it hard to believe the term “suicide” is employed honestly to connote self-defense, and that craven surrender is presumably, the more sensible option.

          The man in Haifa knows of what he speaks.

          Indeed, with exceptions, of course, American Jews have disgraced themselves with their self – serving, disingenuous prescriptions for what is laughingly known as the “peace process” – and some have won Pulitzers for their efforts.

          Finally, I don’t presume for a minute that Kerry and the rest are naive or “stupid.”

          Kerry knows full well he is selling Israel out – he and Obama are just unable to say so openly
          Therein lies the problem for Kerry – you can’t sell out Israel, or anything for that matter, if there are no buyers at any price.

          The. Muslims are not bargain-hunting; they are set on destroying Israel, if not genocide.

          One need only glance at Syria to see the future of the Jewish people in Israel if the Muslims are triumphant.

          There is no way Kerry can openly accede to that eventuality at present.

          But they’re working on it.

          • wildjew

            The man in Haifa knows of what he speaks? He supports territorial compromise (concessions of precious and strategic Jewish land) to murderous jihadists. You support that?

          • Michael Garfinkel

            Of course not.

            My comments were intended to speak to the natural resentment of unsupportive Jews with no skin in the game.

            Where did you get that idea?

          • wildjew

            OK. Perhaps you misunderstood my comment. He was using me (a defender of Israel’s territorial integrity) as an example of a Jew not “yet” living in Israel that needs to keep his mouth shut because as you say I have no skin in the game. I am going to make Aliyah but even if I wasn’t planning on making Aliyah I do not buy this line.

    • gawxxx

      trust me wild , we will be held accountable , so says biblical prophesy and we have truly earned it.

      • wildjew

        That’s what I’m thinking. There might come a day when vigilant folks will want to get the heck out of this country. This morning I posted a passage from Isaiah chapter 13 warning about the coming terrible Day of the LORD. The prophet wrote of a great slaughter in the last days – maybe a nuclear exchange.

        They will be terrified,
        Pains and anguish will take hold of them;
        They will writhe like a woman in labor,
        They will look at one another in astonishment,
        Their faces aflame.

        He will judge the nation at the hands of the Medes (Persians). I cannot think of a country the Persians hate more than the Great Satan. Maybe the Little Satan comes in a close second.

  • The Facts

    Mr. Hornik’s rhetoric portrays Israel as a nation of morally superior weaklings with the authority to philosophically haggle which nations should be allowed to exist and which should not. He exaggerates the threat of Palestinian firecrackers as much as he exaggerates the value of Israel to the United States. Probably the most silly is that he personifies Israel into one person and then imbues it with the morality and vulnerability of an individual. Then he switches into identity politics for that pseudo-person. Still, even with all that Columbia-Rutgers style contortion, you won’t see anybody call him a leftist. Even if it does resemble Andrea Dworkin.

    • Mladen_Andrijasevic

      You write “He exaggerates the threat of Palestinian firecrackers”

      Have you ever experienced being under an attack by a salvo of 16 Grad rockets launched form 25 miles away and landing a few hundred feet from your home and hearing boom-boom-boom… every second or so?

      Be’er Sheva under Grad attack
      http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2012/11/beer-sheva-under-grad-attack.html

      • dartson

        If he/she had this experience, he/she would be the first to scream to his government to erase the town from which these firecrackers are launched. But as long as it’s the Jews who are killed and maimed by these firecrackers, who cares?

        • The Facts

          What a sob story.

          • StanleyT

            And here you prove what an absolute a*hole you are. It’s a sob story that we live with every day of our lives – and that would destroy you if you experienced just one hour of it. And that’s the facts!

          • The Facts

            Are you kidding me? You are annexing your neighbor’s land and you’re moaning that they can get the occasional weak shot off? Come on. Maybe they’re supposed to thank you for it. That seems right. Maybe I should try to steal my neighbor’s car.

          • Michael Garfinkel

            Who are these “neighbors”, and why is it their land?

            If you intend to present an argument, you first need to figure out how to come up with a coherent premise.

            Otherwise, you will appear spiteful and adolescent – as you do here..

            Good luck with that.

          • The Facts

            Nice logical positivism dodge.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            It’s not a dodge. You seem to be the only one in the conversation ignorant about the facts.

          • Drakken

            Pssst dumbazz, those muzzys you love so much lost that land in wars they started, to the victors go the spoils, I just hope those Israeli’s take off the gloves and really give those effing muslims what they so richly deserve, a modern day Carthage!

          • objectivefactsmatter

            No, it’s more like you’re annexing land justly taken from enemy control and you defend yourself as needed. Then when liars interfere, that’s when it turns in to a global cluster flock.

          • Drakken

            You still haven’t joined your muslim brothers fighting those mean awful Jews yet? Why not?

          • The Facts

            Because it’s a stupid question?

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            Circular questioning.

          • Drakken

            Yeah, your right, a stupid question, your a puzzy.

    • MukeNecca

      “Mr. Hornik’s rhetoric portrays Israel as a nation of morally superior
      weaklings with the authority to philosophically haggle which nations
      should be allowed to exist and which should not.

      One doesn’t need “Mr. Hornik’s rhetoric” to see Israel is morally superior to just about every other country that ever faced total annihilation. It is painfully obvious to anyone, but Israel’s haters.
      Otherwise, if Israel “philosophically haggles” about anything it is first of all that SHE is allowed to exist. It would be better, of course, if she desisted from “haggling” and ensure her existence with every means available to her regardless if that sends a yesterday invented “country” into non-existence.

      Ah, “Palestinian firecrackers”…I think after you have it exploded in your face, you, (or what is left of you) should come here and demonstrate their harmlessness. Otherwise it is impossible to take yo seriously.

      • The Facts

        Hahaha. “She.”

        • MukeNecca

          HaHaHa. “Facts”

    • gawxxx

      your a fool ,

      • MukeNecca

        That’s a fact!

    • Drakken

      Oh goody, so you would be completely fine if we shot “fireworks” at your house right? If someone fired rockets from Mexico tomorrow, we would be leveling the area.

  • Tradecraft46

    It has seemed to me and my contacts in the intelligence community that Israel has not done all it can to protects it people.

    The goal is to hondel themselves into secure relations with their neighbors rather than discouraging their aggression. As it is now, it costs nothing.

    • MukeNecca

      It’s touching to see that both you and your “contacts in the intelligence community” – (of Hamas? Hezbollah? Iran? Pakistan? your own ?) – agree that it will cost nothing to stop “discouraging aggression”.
      Well, I am sure it will cost you and your “intelligence community” nothing. As for Israel, each relaxation of “discouragement of aggression” like, so called, the” Oslo peace process”, withdrawal from Gaza, had cost her horrendous price in thousands civilians killed, many more maimed and the life of an almost entire southern region disrupted by rockets.
      “As it is now” it has cost you nothing, so your “advice” is both idiotic and disgustingly hypocritical. As long as you haven’t lost all limbs, or feel the anguish looking at your child’s face horribly disfigured, you should have the decency to shut up. Except that decency is the last thing to expect from somebody consumed by hate.

      • Tradecraft46

        Again Israel is doomed because it will not defend itself. That was my point, which you in your eagerness to shift blame misinterpret what i wrote.

        You know I have know a lot of smart Jews, which you are not,. You save life by placing costs on aggression which Israel, for some moralistic ideological reason chooses not to do.

        I think is the belief that you can always strike a deal which informs the policy, and in this case it doesn’t work.

        What is wrong with that. Further of course the stronger you are the more friends you have.

      • Tradecraft46

        Again Israel is doomed because it will not defend itself. That was my point, which you in your eagerness to shift blame misinterpret what i wrote.

        You know I have know a lot of smart Jews, which you are not,. You save life by placing costs on aggression which Israel, for some moralistic ideological reason chooses not to do.

        I think is the belief that you can always strike a deal which informs the policy, and in this case it doesn’t work.

        What is wrong with that. Further of course the stronger you are the more friends you have.

        • MukeNecca

          Go back to your weird prose and read:

          “The goal is to hondel themselves into secure relations with their neighbors rather than discouraging their aggression.”

          How in the world can Israel defend itself if her goal should NOT be to discourage aggression?
          Please don’t hurry answering lest you produce yet another gibberish. Play it safe and try consulting first with your “contacts in the intelligence community”.

          BTW, I am not a Jew.

          P.S. And do something about this strange syntax of yours, or have someone you trust correct your comment. Preferably a graduate from an elementary school.
          P.P.S.
          What is “hondel”?

          • Tradecraft46

            Israel has chosen to try and bargain rather than extract retribution: how could I have been clearer? By doing so, they have made attacking them cheap, or at least low risk. So far, they have done very little for themselves.

            Hondel is to bargain, understanding that would have made me much clearer.

            Israel is doomed by its self-image of righteousness.

          • MukeNecca

            Israel has chosen to try and bargain rather than extract retribution: how could I have been clearer?

            Obviously, being such a sloppy writer, you couldn’t. I fully agree with you.
            Next time try to write in your native tongue and have Google translate it into English. I bet the translation would be more coherent than your original comment.

          • Tradecraft46

            Go back under your bridge where you can spew all you please.

          • MukeNecca

            Why should I?
            I derive more pleasure kicking your butt here.

          • Drakken

            Here let me try to translate what tradecraft is trying to say, in a nutshell, he is saying the Israeli’s have far to kind in trying to negotiate with the muslims who want nothing to do with negotiation and want every Jew dead, he is saying when they fire a rocket, a more rigorous response is warranted instead of the half-azzed measures that is being employed today. I do believe he is on the same side as the rest of us.

          • MukeNecca

            Drakken, it became obvious what he intended to say after studying his second response to my comment. Had he, immediately after my first reply, gone back to his original comment and read it carefully and critically he could have clarified his message, i would then apologized and that would be the end of the whole affair. But the guy is both messy and stuck up, so he doesn’t bother to examine his prose and search for the reason he had been misunderstood. Instead he enters a counter-attack mode leaving it for me to try to make sense of his comment. I think he conducted himself in a gruff mode and I responded in kind. But of course, I agree with you he is on the same side as the rest of us.
            Cheers,
            NukeMecca

  • carpe diem 36

    when we cannot point to a single Moslem country living in peach by itself or with its neighbors, why do they think it will live in peace with a Jewish State? oh, they do not want it to be a Jewish state, so that they have another country they will not live in peace with. who invented this kind of thinking? oh, I know, it is Mr. Kerry, who is trying so hard to bring “peace” , which is another name of the Nobel Peace Prize. i guess he sees that he is just so close to it and yet it will slip from his grasp, so he will push even harder and threaten with all kinds of stuff.

  • Itstimeforachange

    NO STATE FOR THE FALLACYNIANS! NO RIGHT OF RETURN! NO MORE REFUGEE STATUS TO THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD GENERATIONS OF CHILDREN AND CALL THEM REFUGEES AS WELL! WHICH OTHER PEOPLE HAS EVER CLAIMED REFUGEE STATUS FOR OVER 65 YEARS?! GET OVER YOURSELVES, GET A LIFE AND/OR GET OUT OF ISRAEL!

  • herb benty

    Send that north-east leftist elite packing. Gird yourself Israel, when the Dems are removed we can do more. The Mus fanatics will try something while Obama is in office, Obama has THEIR back. We pray for you, O Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. We did not vote for a Mus/Marxist, the Left MSM hid his true identity until after his election. Obama is a limp-wristed fake, like most wine sipping twits. Why the Marines don’t march in there and arrest him is a mystery.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    So-called friends that advocate Israel take risk with its national security are not friends but gullible useful idiots.

  • T800

    Israel keeps dealing with Gaza in HALF measures. They should buy or build MOABs and drop one every time there’s a rocket or mortar attack from Gaza. MOAB is designed to destroy bunkers and tunnels like HAMAS uses to store their missiles and munitions. The shock and awe from the massive blast would also chill HAMAS and the Gazan people.HAMAS would do everything to keep its sects from launching attacks. I believe it would only take one or two MOABs to stop the attacks from Gaza permanently.Plus,use of MOAB doesn’t risk any Israeli soldiers or costly armored vehicles.
    It’s time Israel did the job right.

    BOTH sides keep on doing the same thing,over and over,expecting different results each time.
    The muzzies make attacks,Israel retaliates HALFway,doesn’t finish the job,and the muzzies lick their wounds,rest and rearm until the next time. A stupid cycle.

    • T800

      also,Israel should be using it’s surveillance drones to find from where these rockets and mortar crews are bringing their missilery. Then drop the MOAB on that location. a long-endurance drone recording it’s video should let them trace the launch crew back to it’s origin,the storage bunkers.

  • joshuasweet

    is it a treasonous act in Israel to deal with a minion of the Muslim Brotherhood ?

  • Lanna

    Israel has a right to defend itself and live freely, they have been hated and ridiculed for just existing, and its time Israel tells its enemies to kiss off! There is a champion coming for Israel..one that is bigger and more powerful than man will ever be who will settle this anti-semetism!

  • nopeacenow

    Is is easy for others to tell Israel to take chances for peace. Especially when they live 5,000 miles away from the consequences. Why not move to Israel where you can take your chances with the Israelis and vote for your views in the Israeli elections?

  • Drakken

    Come on over boy, I’ll be your huckleberry, with pleasure. Say, I know some nice Russians in Chitown that would love to have a nice chat with you.

  • The Facts

    It appears that you enjoy protected status here issuing violent threats. Must be a special arrangement.