The Two-State To Nowhere: Another Futile Attempt At Appeasement

Every once in a while it’s useful to consult a historian with a memory that goes beyond the “so fifteen minutes ago” of the current ADD generation. Here Alex Grobman explains why Netanyahu’s speech touched a nerve in the Arab world, especially among Palestinians. It’s not the Politically-correct Paradigm PCP — let’s compromise and get on with our lives in a spirit of mutuality — it’s the Honor-Shame Jihad Paradigm HSJP — we can only breathe if you die. Or, as Yasser Arafat put it so delicately:

“We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else. What you call peace is peace for Israel…. For us it is shame and injustice. We shall fight on to victory. Even for decades, for generations, if necessary.”

And, suprise! they’re still fighting.

The passages Grobman cites — all expressions of the honor-shame world of Arab irredentism when it comes to Israel — shed a particularly revealing light on President Obama’s (falsely) empathic remark about Palestinian suffering being intolerable. If it were “intolerable” they would do something about it. Instead they scream foul at Netanyahu’s speech and dig in for more suffering. Obama’s inability to understand this — and I think it is an incomprehensibility that pervades Western culture which is why I’m writing my current book — is at the heart of the dysfunctional relationship we have with the Arab world. “Suffering? You pussies ain’t seem nothing yet. We can take it, and you better be ready to take it. And if you protect yourself from our misery… we’ll call you apartheid racists.”

The Two-State To Nowhere: Another Futile Attempt At Appeasement

“There is reason to believe that [the president] cherished the illusion that presumably he, and he alone, as head of the United States, could bring about a settlement – if not a reconciliation — between Arabs and Jews. I remember muttering to myself as I left the White House after hearing the President discourse in rambling fashion about Middle Eastern Affairs, ‘I‘ve read of men who thought they might be King of the Jews and other men who thought they might be King of the Arabs, but this is the first time I ‘ve listened to a man who dreamt of being King of both the Jews and Arabs.’”1 Herbert Feis, a State Department economic advisor, did not say this about President Obama’s address in Cairo in June 2009, but after Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, in February 1945. Roosevelt wanted the Arabs to allow thousands of Jews from Europe to immigrate to Palestine to which Ibn Saud responded, “Arabs would choose to die rather than yield their land to Jews.”2

George Antonius, an Arab nationalist, reiterated this point when he said, “no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.”3

Attempts to solve the Arab/Israeli conflict regularly fail because of the refusal to acknowledge that this dispute has never been about borders, territory or settlements, but about the Arabs refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. “The struggle with the Zionist enemy is not a matter of borders, but touches on the very existence of the Zionist entity,” declared an Arab spokesman.4

Unlike the Nazis who carefully concealed the Final Solution, Hamas and the Palestine Authority openly avow their intentions in their Charter and Covenant and in the Arab media which is available in English on the Internet on MEMRI and the Palestinian Media Watch.

For Hamas liberating all of Palestine to establish an Islamic state requires a holy war against Israel. Anyone daring to sign away even “a grain of sand in Palestine in favor of the enemies of God…who have seized the blessed land” should have their “hand be cut off.”5

Coercing Israel to make concessions and accept a two-state solution will not bring peace to the region. One-sided concessions have convinced the Arabs of the rightness of their policies and the efficacy of using violence to cleanse the country of Jews and Christians.

What compelling reason do Arabs have to stop launching rockets indiscriminately into Israeli cities, refuting the Jewish connection to the land of Israel, destroying artifacts and Jewish holy sites, denying the Holocaust, dehumanizing Jews in their media, textbooks, educational system, political discourse, religious sermons by portraying them as Satan, sons of apes and pigs, a cancer, and using children as homicide bombers, if the West does not hold them accountable?

Instead of demanding that Arabs cease their incitements and attacks, the U.S issues meaningless statements of condemnation, and then grants them foreign aid, arms and military training.

The U.S. pressures Israel to make goodwill gestures in “peace negotiations,” yet Israel has never been the aggressor. Is there any example in history where a victor withdraws from territory when the defeated party does not sue for peace, admits there will never be any reconciliation, declares they will not concede the victor’s right to exist, and labors relentlessly to destroy him? 5

When Israel opens her border check-points as an act of goodwill, the Arabs dispatch homicide bombers to maim and kill Israeli civilians. After Arab terrorists are released from Israeli prisons, they revert to murdering Jews.

Comparing the plight of the Arabs with that of African Americans is a distortion of history and demeans the experiences of the millions of Africans who were brutally abducted from their homes, transported under inhuman conditions aboard slave ships and exposed to torture, murder and rape.

Nothing remotely like this has ever occurred with the Arabs in Israel. Had the Arabs not attacked the Jews before and after Israel was established, they would not be displaced persons today.

If we are to learn from history, we must transmit what actually transpired and not allow those with their own agenda or ignorance to obscure what occurred.

Whether it is naiveté, self-delusion or hubris, a number of U.S. presidents and diplomats have assumed that their powers of persuasion could modify fiercely held beliefs about the sanctity of Arab land. Such reasoning has consistently failed.

Those claiming that Jews have a moral obligation to cede land to the Arabs do not understand Israel’s legal right to exist as a Jewish state. That right was granted by the British in the Balfour Declaration in November 1917 and later recognized under international law at the San Remo Conference on April 24, 1920 by Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan (who defeated the Ottoman Empire and divided up the empire), the Mandate for Palestine and the Franco—British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920, as the Jewish National Home.

There are no comparable legal documents conferring the same right on the Arabs living in Palestine at that time or since. 6 Which other country would relinquish land that is legally theirs to anyone, let alone to a people engaged in internecine warfare, who cannot even live in peace among themselves?

The West has not learned that Israel represents all that is abhorred about the U.S. and Europe—a free and open democratic society, and an ethical system encouraging individual expression and independence.7 Through appeasement the U.S. and the West have enabled the Arabs to continue what Ben-Gurion called a “permanent war” against the Jewish people.

This latest drive to establish separate Arab and Jewish states will fail because as Yasser Arafat said, “We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else. What you call peace is peace for Israel…. For us it is shame and injustice. We shall fight on to victory. Even for decades, for generations, if necessary.”8

1. Herbert Feis, The Birth of Israel: The Tousled Diplomatic Bed (New York: W.W. Norton, Inc. 1969):16-17.
2. Charles E. Bohlen, Witness to History 1929-1969 (New York: W.W. Norton, Inc. 1973):203-204.
3. George Antonius, The Arab Awakening, the Story of the Arab National Movement (New York: Capricorn Books, 1965): 412.
4. (Kuwait News Agency, May 31, 1986), quoted in Arieh Stav, Peace: The Arabian Caricature: A Study of Anti-Semitic Imagery (New York: Gefen Publishing House, 1999):78.
5. Jacob L.Talmon, Israel Among The Nations (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1970), 172.
6. Lloyd George, The Truth About The Peace Treaties vol. II, (London: Gollancz Ltd, 1938),1149-1201; Howard Grief, The Legal Foundation And Borders Of Israel Under International Law (Jerusalem: Mazo Publishers, 2008): 136-147, 493.
7. Ruth Wisse, “The UN’s Jewish Problem,” Weekly Standard (April 8, 2002).
8. Oriana Fallaci, “An Oriana Fallaci Interview: Yasir Arafat,” The New Republic (November 16, 1974), 10.

19 Responses to The Two-State To Nowhere: Another Futile Attempt At Appeasement

  1. andrew says:

    European diplomacy, so far as the Middle East is concerned, may not even be appeasement: appeasement is
    a wrong way to try to contribute to peace. I believe that, at least so far as the French, the Belgians,…,
    are concerned, there is absolutely no sincere effort
    in such a direction. Rather, the Arab-Israeli dispute
    offers great opportunities which it would be stupid
    not to seize. Two examples come to my mind. Right after the Egyptian-French peace treaty (which the French considered as essentially non-existent: they had not been consulted), the then French Minister of Foreign Affairs Claude Cheysson made it clear what was important for him: that Egypt should join back the rest of the Arab world, which she had deserted by signing a treaty with Israel. I also remember a big title, many years ago, from the Le Monde newspaper ”Une nouvelle ouverture d’Arafat” (a new gesture from Arafat). From the title, you would have believed it were a gesture in the direction of peace; actually, it was a (temporary) arrangement with Hamas. What these two stories tell is that the capital point, for the French diplomacy, is the solidarity of the Arab world, certainly not peace with Israel. Did Carter say anything else when he made the obvious comment that, should the Hamas and PLO find an agreement, this would boost their efficiency in their dealings with (against ?) Israel ?

  2. andrew says:

    Ooops ! I meant, of course, the Israeli-Egyptian treaty.

  3. Lorenz Gude says:

    It is amazing with all that has changed since FDR’s day that the West’s denial of the real Arab attitude toward Israel has changes so little. Then we were exhausted by world war and primarily concerned with the choice between a totalitarian communist or non communist democratic future for the West. Today, nearly 8 years after being put on notice by 9/11, the denial is resurgent. Even if Obama is the realist that Thomas Friedman claimed him to be in a recent NY Times article entitled ‘Obama on Obama’ the constituency of denial both in the US and Europe (and OZ) is swooning over his Cairo speech. They want, so badly, to believe what simply isn’t true.

  4. Eliyahu says:

    Andrew, I consider the UK policy towards Israel and earlier, towards Zionism, to have been much more consistently anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish than French policy. British policy has been hostile since the early 1920s, although this is not acknowledged by all writers on the subject. Surely, the 1939 White Paper made the policy obvious. France had its pro-Israel periods, 1945-1948 [or 1950] and 1955-56, etc.

  5. Joanne says:

    There is an interesting post on Harry’s Place today that is germane here.

    It refers to the IRA in Northern Ireland and the ETA in Spain, arguing against the point that these are two examples of how it pays to “talk” to terrorists to achieve peace.

    Instead, the post says that they’re actually examples of how it does *not* pay to negotiate until the terrorists have been soundly defeated via military means and intelligence. It points out that the IRA and the Basque ETA only started talking in earnest when they realized they were losing.

    There had been no reason for them to negotiate when they were riding high, when they apparently had momentum.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/06/17/talking-to-terrorists/

  6. andrew says:

    Eliyahu, you are of course absolutely right about the fact that the French have been much less anti-Israeli than the British. They were even pro-Israeli, as you point out, during the socialist government that preceded the Sinai campaign. Things, on the government level, changed rather abruptly with de Gaulle, and it took 10 to 15 years for the general (i.e.,media) opinion to follow suit. Even then, one must make a distinction between a President such as (socialist) Mitterrand who would certainly not have conducted such an anti-Israeli policy if he had not been led to it by the Quai d’Orsay, and people like Giscard d’Estaing or
    Chirac. Also, I believe that the current President Sarkozy is more sincere about the fact that he would be happy to contribute to peace if he were not subjected to such pressure from the Quai d’Orsay. My point was that, when French diplomats talk about efforts toards peace from their part, it is pure hypocrisy: peace is not at all part of their agenda,
    influence is.

  7. oao says:

    What these two stories tell is that the capital point, for the French diplomacy, is the solidarity of the Arab world, certainly not peace with Israel.

    nope. solidarity of the arabs in this case is a way to slap the anglo-saxons and jews and defeat them for not not recognizing the french conceited but inexistent grandeur.

    They want, so badly, to believe what simply isn’t true.

    because if it is true, the implications are extremely hard to contemplate.

    Instead, the post says that they’re actually examples of how it does *not* pay to negotiate until the terrorists have been soundly defeated via military means and intelligence.

    ah, yes, but those are EU terrorists! those must be fought with all the means disposable. it’s only the jews who must not.

  8. oao says:

    Even then, one must make a distinction between a President such as (socialist) Mitterrand who would certainly not have conducted such an anti-Israeli policy if he had not been led to it by the Quai d’Orsay, and people like Giscard d’Estaing or Chirac.

    a distinction without a difference. what difference did it make for israel?

  9. 11B40 says:

    Greetings

    Back in my infantry days, there was a bit of folk-wisdom that went, “It’s better to have a soldier as a diplomat than a diplomat as a soldier. Also, somewhere along the way, I picked up the story about the farmer, the mule and the 2×4, the last being to get the mule’s attention.

    My disappointment with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech is that he didn’t use the opportunity to re-set the battlefield or, at least, the negotiating table. I would have preferred that he say the “two-state” solution is at hand; it’s Israel, west of the river and Jordan east of it.

    Back during the League of Nations Mandate days, there was no Jordan, as a state, and no Jordanian people. There were mostly Arab Muslims, living in primarily in tribal cultures vs. nation states, in the Palestine area of the Ottoman Empire.

    For over a generation, I have been watching the Israelis trying to come to some kind of peace with the “Palestinians”. Forgive me, but I can no longer convince myself that the political leaders of the Arabs of the area really want a state as a prime objective. I now believe that they are content to continue to take slices from the Israeli (Jewish, kosher) salami and billions from the Western democracies and whatever they can get from their Arab cousins.

    Thus, I think that the time has come for the Israelis to say, “Enough, already.” If you want to live in an Arab Muslim cesspool state, “Muslim, row your boat across the river.” If you want to live in peace in a democratic Jewish state that is your choice. The Arabs drove most of the Jews out of their countries. I think that the Israelis should offer to return the favor.

    As Vince Lombardi, the famous NFL football coach is purported to have said, “The best defense is a good offense. Soldiers know this, too.

    I can certainly agree that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s approach is not without craft.

    The point that I failed to make explicit above is that I don’t believe that the “Palestinians” have any fear of loss; that whatever they gain is theirs forever due to the Israel’s and the West’s commitment to honest dealing which they do not share to any significant degree.

    Part of the “Jordanian” stratagem is to create some sense of fear about the future not only in the “Palestinians” but also in the Jordanians and Egyptians. These are the lands of “I against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin; and, my cousin, my brother and I against the stranger. If some sense of wonder can be installed in Amman and Cairo about what may be coming across their borders, the joy of Middle East living is better shared and, perhaps, those two countries may see their interests better served by their joining in on the “Enough, already” to the Palestinian kleptocracies.

    I grew up in a section of the Bronx where part of the folk-wisdom was, “You don’t want to fight anyone twice.” Going for the jugular was pretty much expected by all. The Israelis have gone too many rounds with the “Palestinians” and their fellow travelers. My understanding is that after WWII, the Germans were expelled from the Sudetenland. Things have been pretty quiet there ever since. “Take it, or you’re leaving” looks like a pretty pithy PowerPoint slide to me.

  10. oao says:

    11b40,

    exactly right.

    but it won’t happen. which is why israel will lose.

  11. Eliyahu says:

    11b40,

    interesting comments but bear in mind –maybe you are already aware– that there was no “palestine” [or Filastin] in the Ottoman Empire or the Mamluk empire before it. The administrative divisions of the Empire and their names had nothing to do with today’s state borders and/or armistice lines.

  12. Michael Dar says:

    We Israelis can blame everyone and everything but must come to realize that we in fact are responsible for many of our nowadays troubles. I for instance never understood why we never used the “Jewish refugees of Arab lands” to counterballance the “Arab so-called Palestinian refugee problem” and claims. (exchange of population). I further never understood why we did not object and faught the Arab’s fraudulent invention of a previously unexistent distinct Palestinian people. We permitted furthermore the conflict to switch from an Arab-Israeli conflict into an Israeli-Palestinian conflict..big mistake! The Arabs understood that presenting the conflict as being between the large Arab world streching from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic with their immense wealth in oil revenues could not breng world’s sympathy and support in their fight against little Israel. They thus invented an Arab underdog “the Palestinians” and a fraudulent narrative to go with it. It became the strong Israel conquering, occupying and submitting the poor dispossessed Palestinian people. We are fools and we perhaps do not deserve a state after all!

  13. Eliyahu says:

    Michael, you ask good questions. However, I don’t believe that it was the Arabs who invented the palestinian people previously unheard of. I believe that it was British psychological warfare/ cognitive warfare experts.

  14. oao says:

    I for instance never understood why we never used the “Jewish refugees of Arab lands” to counterballance the “Arab so-called Palestinian refugee problem” and claims.

    that is the one fundamental mistake israel made from which it is practically impossible to recover. it would have killed once and for all the ROR.

    I further never understood why we did not object and faught the Arab’s fraudulent invention of a previously unexistent distinct Palestinian people.

    that was sustained for quite a long time, but israel was forced into dropping it by the world.

    We permitted furthermore the conflict to switch from an Arab-Israeli conflict into an Israeli-Palestinian conflict..big mistake!

    here israel would have had to give up peace with egypt and later jordan for that purpose, which was extremely hard to do.

    We are fools and we perhaps do not deserve a state after all!

    I cannot blame israel too much for the latter 2 mistakes in the circumstances in which it found itself. however, regarding the 1st, I am in complete agreement, as it would have canceled the main deal breaker which the pals use to obscure the real issue: their rejection of the existence of israel. it would have been impossible for the world to accept the ROR claim had israel raised the issue of the jewish refugees from day one.

  15. oao says:

    michael,

    martin kramer agrees with you about stupidity of not just the americans, but of the israelis too:

    http://sandbox.blog-city.com/kissed_to_death_by_america.htm

  16. Michael Dar says:

    If I remember well (I read it somewhere)a former Romanian intelligence high-rank officer acknowledged it was the Russian KGB who “fabricated” the deceit of a Palestinian people or identity, after the six day war. Suits the USSR propaganda skills all right, besides they were crazy and furious about the disastreous outcome of the war! Till then the conflict was a (global) Arab-Israeli conflict. There is, in my view, no other rational explanation than our own stupidity for having permitted a false narrative to shoot roots. After all the conflict remains an all-Arab-Israeli conflict untill this very day, almost every other Arab country is still officially at war with Israel. I think it was the arrogant Ben Gurion who intentionally refuse to put the “Jewish refugees from Arab lands” into the equation. We were and still remained impotent in propaganda war. Good propaganda is well worth 10 military divisions!

  17. Eliyahu says:

    if not Ben Gurion, it was most likely Labor Party/Mapai types who made such a decision. Shimon Peres was notorious for his insensitivity to what we have to tell the world. Peres once said that hasbara/info policy was not necessary. Only a right policy was necessary. If the policy was right, then hasbara would not matter. That is ridiculous.

    On the palestinian people notion, it was around from the EARLY 1960s. The PLO was founded in 1964. As I say above, I believe that the notion came out of British psywar/cogwar experts. The British and maybe other Western intelligence agencies persuaded Arabs like Arafat and Yahya Hammouda to adopt the “palestinian people” notion alongside their pan-Arabism.

  18. oao says:

    If I remember well (I read it somewhere)a former Romanian intelligence high-rank officer acknowledged it was the Russian KGB who “fabricated” the deceit of a Palestinian people or identity, after the six day war.

    ion mihai pacepa, chief of external intelligence of ceausescu, who escaped to the US. he must be taken with a grain of salt.

    There is, in my view, no other rational explanation than our own stupidity for having permitted a false narrative to shoot roots.

    yes, but i think no israeli could fathom that the world would buy such a lie.

    Good propaganda is well worth 10 military divisions!

    i dk if it would have helped. there is propaganda you wanna hear and propaganda you don’t.

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