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IDF Cannot Defend What Israel Does Not Possess

Reader comment on item: Netanyahu's Quiet Success
in response to reader comment: Dr. Pipes, why do you support the settlement movement?

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Oct 13, 2009 at 12:49

At the risk of interjecting an opinion which is not necessarily that of our host, the question posed by our fellow reader Alon is a serious one that cannot be answered in a cavalier manner, if for no other reason than not wanting to add fuel to an already explosive situation. The answer comes with an examination of two critical, yet complementary issues, ownership and possession. Prior to 1948, it might have seemed to be an academic discussion only, but the powers that be at the time of the reformation of Israel as a nation, when those two issues were at the center of the extreme core of the controversy, decided to allow the people of Israel their moment of redefinition as a nation.

This seemed to contravene the prior position of the international community when the entity of 'Palestine' was given form after World War 1. No one then, save a minority of 'Zionist' thinking individuals, gave a thought of what to do with the indigent Jewish population, which evidently exacerbated the indigent Arab population's sensibilities of their ownership and possession. The British political thinking about this appears not to be very well thought out, the weakness of which is integral in the cause of the hostilities we see today.

The re-establishment of Israel as a nation in its formative process in 1948 managed to encompass a significant portion of what is described in certain sources as the ancient lands of Israel's former nationhood, wrest from such nationhood by conquering foes, the latest being the Romans. Thus, the regathering of the Diaspora in 1948 took on a 'Zionist' imagery of Israel returning to its homeland, as they did from Babylonian captivity, which has its confirmation in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures.

But the possession was incomplete, the West Bank and other remainder areas being held by the indigent Arab population, and boundaries established by a fragile truce (there was never a peace). Even at that, the most contentious part of the real estate, the temple Mount, momentarily held by the Israeli's, was turned over to Islamic control, for reasons too elaborate to recount here. Sufficient for this moment is the fact that against a more logical argument to keep the site, they did not. The indigent Arab, from that time to this, has made that act of Israel's re-emergence the centerpiece of Arab indignation ever since, by argument and hostilities against a world peace.

Now, with Israel in partial possession of its ancient homeland, the issue of ownership comes about, the previously mentioned Arab population claiming by Islamic conquest, ownership of the land. The question is posed then, that if their possession was by conquest, and by conquest they lost the possession, then the matter is not going to be resolved by an act of negotiating peace, evident in the Arab (and other Muslim) sensibilities.

The possessory interest Israel now has in the West Bank is one of a determination that ownership is being decided by possession. Even if an argument can be posed that the West bank is former ancient Israel lands, having been deprived of that former ownership in times past introduces a greater determination that losing it again delegitimizes Israel's claim to any of the lands possessed, an argument the indigent Arab population is willing to press by any means; hence the necessity of intervention of the IDF (Israel cannot count on the world for protection).

Now, were the boundaries of the West Bank dissolved between Israel and the Arab sector, similar to, but not quite as defining as ceding Gaza, one might further question the need to keep the IDF in the West Bank, for their presence would be a continuing catalyst for hostilities as they are when entering Gaza for security purposes. In the alternative, maintaining a presence that is decidedly necessary to provide the security against the stated intent of Israel's enemies to drive them out of 'occupied lands,' is much better accomplished with Israel retaining a possessory interest, established further by an orderly progression of settlement. Ownership does not necessarily follow possession, but possession determines the immediate right of use. If possession is surrendered, then there is nothing left to defend.

If there is no defense of the West Bank, then there is no further place for Israel to establish and defend a continued national presence. The center piece of Israel's existence is the West Bank, and the enemy knows that if they retake the West Bank, they retake Israel. Fortunately, we have it on the WORD of the LORD in the Hebrew Scriptures, though it is easily contemplated by many that Israel could be so compromised, His promise to keep her secure is the ultimate guarantee. In the final analysis, the indigent Arab population, and eventually the world, will find out that Israel is on land owned by her Almighty Sovereign, their true Landlord, and He has promised it to Israel as their possession.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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