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Selected comments from "Samson Blinded" by Obadian Shoher--as must reading

Reader comment on item: Next Steps in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process
in response to reader comment: WOW ! That's what Ackerman said! WOW!

Submitted by martin kessler (United States), Apr 4, 2009 at 23:51

... [1] Even such an agreement would be worthless unless the Muslims become assimilated into the Western world view and stop seeing Israel as a foreigner in an Islamic land. The Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem believed that all its problems were settled for a century, until the unexpected rise of Islamic consciousness swept it away with Saladin's army.

Israel should not let up on the Palestinians until a comprehensive agreement is achieved. A cease-fire is psychologically dangerous, because it is hard to convince people to go back to war after a hiatus. A cease-fire with the Palestinians will not only drive many Israelis, no longer willing to tread the dangerous path of expansion, to the political left, but will also impair the national resolve to fight, should hostilities reemerge.

Jews must state their objectives clearly in terms of self-interest, follow a predictable policy, and stop panicking her neighbors who never know what Israeli is up to at any given moment. If, however, Israel decides upon the aggressive course, she should not threaten. Attack the designated targets immediately. Do not let the Arabs prepare and the U.S. intercede. Governments rarely give way to threats, certainly not autocratic governments and not in religious matters. To delay aggression would greatly increase the cost of victory.

Vacillation damages the Israeli psyche, too. Israeli government officials in office must stop stating their private views on the peace process publicly. If they do not agree with state policy, let them leave office and promote their viewpoints. Government policy should be coherent. People who adopt radical ideological goals may want to adhere to them, though not practice them immediately. People remember the most far-fetched suggestions. In the present case, it is peace at almost any cost versus keeping the territories at almost any cost. That polarizes and radicalizes society, both sides ignoring the middle options, but middle options are often the reasonable ones. Though most Arabs did not demand a Palestinian state thirty years ago, now even most Jews agree to it. Israeli society must agree on a path to normalization—offense, defense, or peace for concessions—and stop wavering.

But there is no right to have a country, let alone a country within specific borders; that is done by force.

Though most Arabs did not demand a Palestinian state thirty years ago, now even most Jews agree to it. Israeli society must agree on a path to normalization—offense, defense, or peace for concessions—and stop wavering.

Israeli wavering damages her image before the world opinion. Foreigners know very little about the history or subtleties of the Jewish-Arab conflict. Israeli indecisiveness proves to them that she is wrong, that even she doubts her policies.

Settlements are no way to acquire territory: they are at odds with Israel's professed desire for peace, and ultimately a cowardly means and exactly the opposite of Machiavelli's prescription. The settlers themselves are not cowards. They live surrounded by enemies, but the government uses their villages as a pretense for claiming the land instead of taking it by military means.

Israel has clear guidelines in dealing with Palestinians: the Ten Commandments, which prohibit murder and robbery but not killing in a war for the Promised Land, nor do they prohibit running people off, provided the land and other property is justly compensated. Those who compare Israeli policy with the Nazis should imagine the Germans moving the Jews to Switzerland forcibly but compensating them for their real estate.

If the Jews intend to keep the occupied territories, they should do it the only effective way, by occupying the land, annexing it, driving the Arabs out, fencing it off, and facing the international consequences. In all probability, friends and foes alike would let it pass after a brief period of ostentatious antagonism to satisfy their liberals and fundamentalists.

Nobody cares about the Palestinians. Everyone wants the issue to go away. If Israel acted illegally and ruthlessly—but quickly and effectively—in a few years, most nations would accept the de facto situation, just as they agreed to Israel's acquisition of Jerusalem contrary to the U.N. resolution.

The chemical, biological, and nuclear deterrents are responsible for the current sixty years of relative peace. They do not, however, deter poor, uneducated Muslims ruled by autocrats who kill more of their own than a nuclear attack would.

If you decide on annexation, carry it out. Do not weep, offer condolences to Arabs, or blame the army or the government, and do not allow refugee camps in any country to start up as a journalists' Mecca. Be prepared to kill protesters, drive refugees far away (Dir Yassin may prove a small exercise in dealing with quasi-armed civilians), and force neighbor countries to absorb them. Major Muslim states may attempt to show solidarity, and Israel must be ready for war. That, however, is unlikely, since wealthier Arabs will be relieved of the Palestinian problem, if Israel forces weaker states like Jordan and Lebanon to assimilate them.

Israel should establish de jure recognition of the status quo by annexing the land legally without discussions about the future of the territories.[1] Treating the matter as settled is the best way to settle it

The current policy is stupid. It is not even a policy but rather an absence of policy. Israel spends for three ends without achieving even one. She controls the occupied territories as if she intended to hold them. She gives them away as if she agrees to Palestinian sovereignty. And she sponsors further settlements, so Jews can somehow cling to the land even if Israel abandons it

People need certain qualities to keep governments at bay and prevent the slide into autocracy—basic political education, love of freedom, respect for the law—qualities that take time to acquire.

Wealthy people are peaceful; wealthy governments, militaristic.

But do Muslims not deserve freedom and democratic government? Israel does not care. Her interests, not the concerns of others, dictate her policy. Many, like socialists, accept limited freedom as long as governments guarantee welfare and pensions. Many people value ideology or loyalty above freedom, especially poor people who have little use of freedoms, and strive for esteem through communal attachment and hatred. People value only freedoms they win. The Arabs do not want democracy imported from Israel or the United States.

Submitting....

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