Friday, November 2, 2012

The Growing Irrelevancy of the Jewish Left

Mike L.

{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives and Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill.}

The Jewish left is becoming more and more irrelevant in regards the Arab-Israel conflict.

The reason for this is because the Jewish left's prescription for ending the conflict is grounded in the failed idea of a negotiated agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  This, of course, was the basis of the Oslo Accords.  The idea, quite simply, was that the Palestinians want and deserve a state of their own in peace next to Israel and therefore Israel needed to make "painful concessions," such as dividing the city of Jerusalem, in order to get a negotiated end of hostilities.

Throughout the Clinton era there was considerable optimism on the Jewish left that an agreement could be reached because a negotiated conclusion of hostilities in a two-state solution is rational.  For the best benefit of ourselves and our children we will compromise.  For the best benefit of themselves and their children the Palestinians will compromise.  And then there will be something resembling peace.

The only problem, of course, is that the Palestinians, and the Arab world, more generally, has clearly demonstrated that they have no intention of ending the long Arab war against the Jews in the Middle East and why should they?  The Arab-Muslim world has the Jews outnumbered by a factor of 50 or 60 to 1.  They can fight on for many more decades and it will hardly leave a scratch in their broader population.  They can make life exceedingly uncomfortable for the Jews of the Middle East, as the residents of S'derot and Ashkelon know all too well, and the world will support them in their efforts.

This is why the Jewish left no longer has anything helpful to say on the matter.  The left's entire prescription is grounded in the false notion that Israelis are primarily at fault for the conflict and that if only Israel would ethnically cleanse Judea and Samaria of Jews then the Palestinians would finally agree to a state for themselves in peace next to Israel.  But does anyone, at this late date, actually believe that this is what the Palestinians want?  Despite refusing offer after offer after offer for statehood, how can anyone believe that what they want is what they perpetually refuse?

It defies all reason and rationality.

The Jewish left's lone, sole idea on the matter is the two-state solution based on a negotiated settlement.  This idea has proven itself bankrupt, but the Jewish left has absolutely nothing else to offer, yet they refuse to acknowledge the obvious.  Because they cannot admit to themselves that the Palestinians will not accept a negotiated settlement, they continue to hold the rest of us hostage to their hopeful and well-meaning delusions.  They continue to blame the "settlers" (i.e., Jews who live where neither Barack Obama nor Mahmoud Abbas want them to live) for the Arab and Palestinian intransigence and brutal anti-Jewish hostility.

The Jewish left can only do this, however, by refusing to face reality.  The Jewish left cannot face the fact that their solution has failed.  Oslo is over.  It's done.  And therefore it is time to move on and start thinking in fresh ways about the conflict.  That's the entire purpose of Israel Thrives.  Rejecting the left does not necessarily mean embracing the right, although it does suggest a willingness to listen to the right.

Speaking strictly for myself, I oppose the right's notion that the thing to do is annex Judea and Samaria because to do so would mean either potentially giving up Israel as a Jewish state or giving Israel up as a democratic state.  Thus the solution that makes the most sense is for Israel to declare its final borders and remove the IDF behind those borders, leaving a substantial portion of what Jordan dubbed "the West Bank" for a Palestinian state.

Let us take matters directly into Jewish hands.

This will not end the conflict, of course, because Arab-Muslim hostility toward Jews is encoded in the DNA of Islam and the very idea of Jewish sovereignty on any land that was at any time part of the Umma is anathema to Arabs.  But it will maintain Israel as both Jewish and democratic.

And that is the best we can hope for, I'm afraid.

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