Joe Biden recently spoke out on the terrorist violence afflicting Israel, particularly in the refugee camp in Jenin, currently controlled by Iranian surrogates. Sourcing the violence to vague “extremists”––the West’s go-to euphemism for hiding the widespread popularity of such attacks among Palestinian Arabs––our titular president then pulled out another duplicitous evasion by blaming Israel’s political “extremists” on the right. At the same time, he refused to invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington until he was pressured to do so. These are just a small sampling of Biden’s hostility to Israel.
The implied moral equivalence between murderers and their victims has for decades been a sign of the West’s shameful moral idiocy and cowardice when it comes to Israel. Biden’s latest commentary follows his school-marmish scolding of Israel for its ruling party’s attempts to reform the overpowerful judiciary. This sort of intrusion into an ally’s domestic politics is common when it comes to Israel, but seldom expressed by the administration with the same rudeness when it comes to calling out our sworn enemies like Iran and China.
Once again, we see the wages of decades of a fossilized foreign policy with its stale narratives and serial failures. Only now the stakes for Israel and the region are much higher: Iran, an enemy sworn to “wiping Israel off the map,” is dangerously close to possessing nuclear weapons. In addition, they continue to transfer missiles and drones to Israel’s enemies like Hezbollah, hosted by hostile neighboring Lebanon.
Indeed, just a few days ago, Israel’s IDF estimated that Hezbollah could fire 6000 missiles in the first few days of a conflict, and even after Israel’s retaliation, could still rain down 1500 a day––existential risks facilitated by the Democrats’ feckless obsession with returning to Obama’s disastrous “nuclear deal” with the mullahs, and its danegeld they’ve used to finance these weapons.
But the failures of our foreign policy in the region go back to Israel’s violent birth in 1948, when Harry Truman had to override the foreign policy establishment–– “those stripe-pants boys, the boys with the Ha-vud accents,” as he sneered at the time–– in order to recognize the new state.
One of the biggest failed solutions, and the most thoroughly repudiated by history, has been the “two states living side-by-side in peace” diplomatic magical thinking.
Just give the Palestinians their own state, we’ve been told decade after decade, which would require removing the Israeli “settlers” (a sly slur evoking the Boers of apartheid South Africa) from historically Jewish Judea and Samaria, now camouflaged as the West Bank, and peace will bloom throughout the region. But extremists on both sides, the narrative goes, and especially Israeli policies are preventing this solution from being implemented.
This clichéd interpretation of the conflict and its solution is dangerously deluded. It assumes that a majority of the Palestinian Arabs really want a Palestinian state––something that could have been created before 1967, when the West Bank was illegally occupied by Jordan, or with the five subsequent offers of a state, all summarily rejected. And don’t forget, Israel evacuated Gaza and turned it over to the genocidal Hamas in 2005. Instead of peace, Israel reaped thousands of missiles attacking its civilians.
But facts cannot shift the tottering paradigm, so the diplomatic farce continues, as does the billions in taxpayer money––over $1 billion just in Biden’s two-and-a-half years––transferred to the corrupt PA or to UN agencies that at best are corrupt, at worse anti-Semitic.
No, Israel is not hated because it thwarts the yearning for a “national self-determination,” a Western idea alien to traditional Islam. Israel is hated for what it is: a cultural and civilizational outpost of the infidel West that for a 1000 years cowered before Allah’s warriors. And it is a nation that succeeded in creating a free and prosperous state in a “desolate country . . . given over wholly to weeds,” as Mark Twain observed in 1867. As such, it is a constant and bitter reproach to Middle Eastern Islamic civilization’s failure to adapt to the modern world despite its abundant oil wealth and long history of imperial and colonial success as one of history’s biggest empires.
Thus nothing Israel does or concedes will change the Islamic need for it quite simply to disappear “from the river to the sea,” the phrase denoting the Arab’s longing to leave the disputed territories between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Judenrein, and to restore them to the faith that conquered and occupied them for centuries.
Indeed, as Robert Spencer reported, this eliminationist goal was recently confirmed by Sami al-Arian, an ex-professor and notorious “hysterical” critic of Israel, who confessed that the “goal of the Palestinian jihad is not a Palestinian state, but the demise of the Jewish state”––a purpose enshrined in the founding charter of the terrorist gang Hamas. Nor is this sentiment an outlier. After the Six-Day War in 1967, Executive Council of the PLO member Zouhair Muhsin said, “Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.”
The agitation for a Palestinian state, then, is merely a tactic, like terrorism or “ceasefires” or “road maps” or “summits” or “agreements” to be selectively employed for achieving that long-term strategic goal, which is sanctioned by traditional Islam’s doctrine that any territory conquered by Muslims is part of the umma in perpetuity, and the faithful are enjoined to wage jihad to recover such a territory should it ever be reconquered by infidels.
And so Israel for nearly 80 years has been the front line of the “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West, a struggle that started 1400 years ago when Arab armies swept away the Greco-Roman, Christian, and Hebraic civilizations that had existed in the Near East for centuries––a wave of war that subjugated Christian Spain to seven centuries of occupation, and did not begin to ebb until 1683, when the Ottoman Turks were turned back at Vienna.
Moreover, the current political, social, and economic backwardness of most Middle Eastern states renders them incapable of challenging the West militarily––as Israel has shown in three victorious defensive wars against larger coalitions of Muslim states. Given that record of futility, terrorism, along with duplicitous negotiation, and “parchment barriers” like the 1993 Oslo Accords, has become the weapon of choice for exploiting the West’s fatal flaw: its willingness to sacrifice its principles and historical truth in a futile effort to placate oil-rich Arab states and mollify terrorists.
Our foreign policy, then, is based on compelling Israel to make suicidal concessions––or as England told the doomed Czechoslovakians in 1939, “go forthwith to the very limit of concession”–– and then demonizing our ally for refusing to commit national suicide and accept the mendacious, appeasing narrative that the West endorses in order to serve its own interests.
The Western media’s reporting on Israel has been equally unfair, if not malevolent. For example, the corporate media regularly report casualty figures from Israeli defensive operations to stop terrorist violence against their civilians. The coverage always suggests that a “disproportionate” number of Palestinian Arabs have died compared to Israeli casualties––with the implication that the latter are needlessly callous and brutal with no regard for Arab lives, while ignoring the difficult conditions of fighting terrorists who willfully target civilians and sacrifice their own people as human shields
But as Alan Dershowitz explained in his 2003 The Case for Israel, the media rarely discriminate between combatant and non-combatant deaths. Reporting on the Second Intifada in September 2000, the media said that through the end of November, 2497 Palestinians had died compared to 874 Israelis. But according to a statistical analysis by the International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism (www.ict.org.il), 911 Palestinian non-combatants had died compared to 679 Israeli: that is, 27% of Palestinian deaths were non-combatants, whereas 77% of Israeli dead were.
Equally preposterous is the specious excuse that Arab terrorist violence is an understandable reaction to the creation of Israel and its alleged subsequent “ethnic cleansing” of “Palestinians” from their “homeland.” Dershowitz surveys the history of Arab assaults and terrorism against Jews decades before Israel existed––including the massacre of 60 Jewish women, children, and other unarmed civilians in Hebron in 1929; and the chronic cross-border raids that murdered thousands of Jews before 1948, to name just a few. Such violence has continued down to the present, committed by terrorist armed not just with bombs, cars, knives, and guns, but with multiple thousands of missiles.
Dershowitz rightly concludes that even taking into account the rare Jewish terrorist attacks, the conflict is remarkable not for Israeli callous indifference to civilian casualties, but for its restraint in the face of a century of attacks on its people by those willing to hide in ambulances, use mosques for armories, sacrifice their own families, indoctrinate their children in Jew-hatred, and dress up as women in order to kill Jews. Indeed, the specious charge of “genocide” regularly made against Israel more accurately describes the incessant, publicly sanctioned, and celebrated attempts to destroy the Israelis.
A typical example of Israeli restraint is its incursion into Jenin in April 2002 after hundreds of suicide bombings. As Dershowitz points out, Israel did not bomb from the air, thereby killing civilians along with combatants. Rather, infantrymen entered the city on foot, searching house by house for terrorists and bomb-making factories. The cost? Fifty-two Palestinians, many of them combatants, were killed, while 23 Israeli soldiers died––a tally that could have been reduced to zero if Israel had simply bombed from the air, as the Allies did in World War II.
Yet the head of the United Nations Relief Agency at the time, Peter Hansen, a long-time shill for terrorists, characterized this restraint that led to those 23 dead as a “human rights catastrophe that has few parallels in recent history.” To this day, the “Jenin massacre” is a staple of Palestinian propaganda like the “documentary” Jenin, Jenin.
The fact is, as Dershowitz shows in his discussion of the remarkable restrictions Israeli forces operate under, no other nation in history before the post-9/11 wars against terrorism has fought against vicious murderers while operating under similar self-imposed restraints. Yet this willingness to risk its own people to reduce non-combatant deaths is ignored, or worse, in Orwellian Newspeak transformed into “massacres” and “genocide.”
For Biden, like his former boss Barack Obama, along with anti-Semitic members of Congress, to demonize with lies our critical ally is a stain on this country’s honor. It took the “racist” and “fascist” Donald Trump to push back against this sorry tradition of Israel-bashing. He cut off funding to the United Nations Relief Works Agency, a long-time apologist for terrorist violence, and a UN hotbed of anti-Americanism. He moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognized the strategically critical Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory, and brokered peace-deals between Israel and several Arab states. The Biden administration undid much of this progress, and the result has been the worst violence in decades.
Finally, this anti-Israel policy comes at a time when a totalitarian axis comprising Russia, China, and Iran is working to weaken the U.S. and its influence. As Walter Russell Mead, recently wrote,
“This summer we’ve seen the geopolitical equivalent of a record heat wave. The war in Ukraine escalated as Russia stepped up its missile attacks and withdrew from the grain-shipping deal that limited the cost of the war to poor countries in the Middle East and beyond. Iran’s threats to Gulf oil shipping are so serious that the administration has been forced to plan for Marines to be deployed to protect oil tankers. Russia is deepening its economic ties with North Korea and engaging in joint naval maneuvers with China around both Japan and Alaska. And in the Sahel, the overthrow of the pro-Western president of Niger by an apparently pro-Russian junta has led the Biden administration to back moves by neighboring nations that could lead to armed conflict with American troops at risk.”
In these dangerous times, the U.S. needs all the allies it can get, and should not be demonizing one of our closest––an island of political freedom and rights-based governance in a sea of illiberal, if not totalitarian regimes in a geostrategically important region.
This is not the time to be alienating Israel, or abandoning it to our mutual enemies.