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On the Civil War in Israel to this day, and at least since 1947, or since 70 AD

Reader comment on item: Why Israelis Shy from Victory

Submitted by Robert (United States), Sep 2, 2018 at 09:31

On the Civil War in Israel to this day, and at least since 1947, or since 70 AD

I suggest you replace the term "Victory" with "Vanquish," or better yet "Pacify."

Except for its metaphorical meaning of "Winning," I don't think "Victory" is a good enough word for what I understand you would like Israel to achieve. One better word I recommend is "Vanquish" because it's scope is goes beyond the military field. As you well know, in 1948 Israel "miraculously" defeated 5 or so invading armies of foreign Arab countries while engaged in a Civil War against its Arab neighbors in what was then Palestine. In 1956, Israel again was "victorious," but this time it was accomplished jointly with England and France when Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. However, in 1967 Israel's "victory" was all its when it defeated all its Arab enemies while extending beyond its Armistice lines to the whole of the remnant of the former Palestine Mandate excerpted from the former Transjordan which subsequently became Jordan.

I've recited this history which you know extremely well in order to emphasize that, strictly speaking, military "victory" is not at issue for Israel. Rather, the issue essentially is the non-military one: what comes next after the military generals of have achieved their military goals. In fact, I shall argue that it precisely such a term as "Victory" which misleads the public especially in undue preoccupation with military tactics against the Palestinians, whereas it is only Iran, as Netanyahu repeatedly claimed, possess a serious existential threat to the Jewish State of Israel.

Much of what I want to say has been well put in writing by great Israeli official in 2002, Dore Gold (1953-), regarding the distinction between "Occupied Territories" as opposed to "Disputed Territories." His excellent legal, political, and diplomatic analysis is expressed here:

Jerusalem Letter / Viewpoints
No. 470 3 Shvat 5762 / 16 January 2002
Dore Gold
"Occupation" as an Accusation / The Terminology of Other Territorial Disputes / No Previously-Recognized Sovereignty in the Territories / Aggression vs. Self-Defense / Israeli Rights in the Territories / After Oslo, Can the Territories be Characterized as "Occupied"?

The only substantial and serious criticism I have of his view is that he omits the Coup de Grass of his argument – that the Jewish State of Israel is in a continuous state of Civil War against its Arab population who have called themselves Palestinians who did not wish to be Israelis – until very recently, perhaps, some, as the King of Jordan recently observed and reported.

It is my view that if Israel is "loosing," the loss is mainly in the non-military realm; if Israel isn't "winning," it is in the diplomatic and Hasbara realms where it has been most inept.

In the 19th century in Europe Nationalism had emerged together with Irredentist Revolutions. "Racism" did not mean what it did later it was still indistinguishable with legitimate Nation of the French people of the French Revolution. Subsequently, it also inspired the Germans under Bismarck to seek to form a National State of out the German Confederation that followed the defeat of the French empire under Napoleon Bonaparte. Poland and Finland eventually split of from the Russian Empire, as did the Baltic countries of the former Ottoman Empire in the 20th Century. It is in this context that Israel's "Thomas Jefferson," the Austrian Empire Jewish journalist, Theodor Herzl, had published in 1896 in Vienna his pamphlet or book, "Der Judenstaat" ("The Jewish State"). And only a year later, in 1897, The First Zionist Congress convened. It is to be emphasized that the Jews not only have a Religion – they also have a Nationality; they were previously known as a Race, before that term was discredited by Racism. Because of that unfortunate pseudo-scientific heritage among all peoples, the term "Nation" replaced the illegitimate term" Race" (which carries the connotation of Racism).
By 1917, during WWI, the British Empire recognized the legitimate (Nationalism) claim of the Jewish people to their National Home in historic Palestine. That recognition was embodied in a state paper known as the Balfour Declaration. And in 1922, the League of Nations adopted that position into International Law by granting Great Briton its Mandate for Palestine. Subsequently, also the League of Nations went out of existence, its successor, the United Nations, recognized and continued the status of Mandatory Palestine as the Nation Home of the Jews. In particular, arguably the most critical part of the League text is the following:
"Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and" [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp]

It is only the Jewish people who are "favored" regarding a "national home," under the restriction that the "civil and religious rights" of the "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" not be prejudiced. This distinction is further amplified by the recognition that Jews have "rights and political status" in "other countries." Accordingly, the "existing non-Jewish communities" do not have a "political right." At best, existing non-Jews in Palestine only have political rights as individuals.

The recently adopted Basic Law of Israel, which recognizes Israel as a Jewish state essentially expresses these provisions of the League of Nations that were continued by its successor organization, the United Nations – Israel is the National Home of the Jewish people, while other communities may live there as equal full citizens free to exercise their civil and religious liberties.

But there is also this total failure on the part of the Israelis establishment to take into consideration the history of "the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country" [emphasis added]. 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated during the Holocaust under the German Nazi, French Vichy, and Italian Fascist regimes. And subsequently, Jews in the Soviet and Communist countries were forced to flee as refugees because of the loss of their civil, religious, and political rights and status. And later, after the establishment of Israel, the Jews in the Arab and Muslim countries also lost their civil, religious, and political status and became refugees.
In this non-stop Civil War within Israel-Palestine since 1947, Israel has disengaged completely from Gaza and established the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Abbas. Subsequently, Abbas has lost control of Gaza to Hamas, and smaller splinter groups. That, however, is an "internal matter" within the former Mandatory Palestine, and therefore only subject to the Sovereign authority of the State of Israel. Even though Security Council Resolution 242 constitutes an interference in the internal affairs within Israel-Palestine, Israel has fulfilled the legal international law requirements imposed thereby by withdrawing its military from territories in Gaza and the West Bank (again, in spite of the fact that this a Civil War in which the Security Council should have no jurisdiction). A Civil War is waging within Syria – but there the UN isn't imposing its solution; rather, the government has invited Russia, Iran, and its diverse non-state proxies for support.

After military defeats there generally follows "police" action. In the case of Gaza, Israel's withdrawal was followed by rebellion against Abbas's Palestinian Authority. This has the unintended consequence of a division against united Palestinian interests which should wisely be exploited by Israel in its own interests to the extent that the Palestinians refuse to compromise and settle their difference with Israel and its governing coalition.
The Israelis policy on the ground of continuously building "settlements" within the West Bank is an exercise of Israelis "Civil Rights" under the Mandate which still applies. Furthermore, the Palestinians have no Political Status anywhere in Palestine – especially because there are no "borders" within Palestine, only "armistice lines" set up to end the hostilities of the belligerents in the Civil War.

In summary, everything follows naturally from the recognition that Israel is engaged in a Civil War since at least 1947 before Independence, and continuously from Independence ever since 1948 to the present day. Accordingly, Israel as the only Sovereign within all of former Mandatory Palestine is the only state which has legal authority to impose its will on Palestine. It also has the only right to invite other foreign Sovereign powers, such as the United States, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, to assist in the Palestinian Arab Rebellion and "Devolution" (term I coin for "going down," as in the case of another Arab Rebellions, including Arab Spring and ISIS. Israel has also the legal authority to penalize the Israeli Arab members of the Knesset for Treason for going outside (as inside) of Israel and asserting the Political Status of non-Jews against the Jewish State of Israel engaged in its Civil War. All other issues follow logically from recognizing Israel as engaged in a continuous Civil War, which requires Police action, instead of Military action, with the exceptions is Iran, and its several "tentacles" in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, attempting through its Crescent to complete its eventual Encirclement of Israel-Palestine.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

I appreciate the constructive criticism but "victory" quite exactly expresses what I hope Israel to achieve. If you want to be even more precise, it's a Palestinian defeat.

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