Ck suggested I post this in its own space so he can post some pic of a beautiful woman with Jewlicious breasts ( 😆 ) and get 17 times as many comments. Not that we’re competing or anything…

It follows this discussion.

Alex and TY, thanks for the kind words. Now try to post your plans for what Israel can do. Thanks.

Josh, we’ve been over some of your comments before and we disagree on things like population growth among Palestinians. Gaza is not the West Bank. Gush Katif is not Maaleh Adumim.

Your plan is to keep doing what we’re doing. That’s a road to disaster. Israel’s economy is in lousy condition. The poverty rate is way too high and a ton of kids are affected. Israeli society is torn because of the lack of common values regarding our presence among the Palestinians. A culture of intolerance and violence has entered civic society so that you have violence in schools. The IDF finds itself stretched and reservists find themselves pushed to unreasonable lengths.

And that’s just the beginning of the problem.

for TM
As per TM’s request.

Israel is a small island in a sea of hostile countries. Since it does not have economic, academic, cultural or diplomatic relations of any consequence with its surrounding countries, it must rely upon the US, Europe and other trading partners for these relationships. Except that our presence in Gaza and even the West Bank is having a serious and detrimental effect on those relationships with these countries.

For example, we are seeing a divestment movement hitting very large U.S. church groups and entering normal discourse and even trading partners in societies like Scandinavia. Academically, there is already a great deal of hostility toward Israeli scholars and their scholarship – sometimes outright bans – in Europe, and in the U.S. there is already a very strong anti-Israel presence on most campuses’ faculties. Check out MESA (Middle East Studies Association) if you want to see who runs ME education on U.S. campuses. Culturally Israel no longer has the same impact we had even as recently as the the 80s, when it was considered a just and brave country and ally to the U.S. – unless you consider seeing tanks inside civilian population centers in people’s living room tv sets some sort of cultural success (consider the Lebanon War a turning point for when we started seeing the downhill slope). Diplomatically, we carry little weight anywhere and far less weight than we would like in the U.S.

As this happens, our young are turning away from Judaism, as well as Israel, in part because of the sophisticated and relentless campaign against Israel and its supporters that we get from pro-Palestinians and Lefties. The poor 20 year olds have a tough choice to make, they could identify with a “monstrous” country, or remove themselves from the clan and get laid more often. This, in turn, is filtering upward to older generations so that you see far fewer people supporting Israel than in the past, or you see support that is lukewarm. People do not want to be identified with the Israel that we see today, and little gatherings of 20 or 30 Hillel students with some dancing Chabadniks waving Israeli flags on campus won’t change that.

This is just the beginning. In 20 years, unless something dramatic changes, we will see this progress into a true decline in American Jewry and certainly in its ability to support Israel. The rest of the population, that either does not care about the ME or has little interest in Israel, will certainly not be any more supportive than it is today, and on the basis of their exposure to pro-Palestinian sources, I would say far less supportive if not hostile.

Now I don’t mean to say that Israel’s presence in the territories is the sole cause for all of these issues, BUT IT IS A VERY SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE PROBLEM.

Gaza gives us nothing. I’m sorry if that hurts people’s feelings, but it is more of a problem than a help to Israel. The West Bank is a different story, as we’ve discussed, but it still hurts us more than it helps.

What we need is for Israel to become a country that allows and enables the Palestinians to have their state so that their “story” is “resolved.” What we need is for our soldiers to get out of there so we don’t have morally questionable incidents. What we need is for Israel to retrench along lines that are defensible and with a large security barrier so that we keep most of the settlers with us (80% if you stick to the Taba talks), and begin to live our lives again.

Then, finally, internal social rifts within Israel will begin to heal and the government will be able to focus on internal development and the economy. The IDF will be able to be an army that fights against armies, and not a force that has to fight inside civilian neighborhoods. It will be able to lessen its obligations, costs and the use of reservists. It will stop corrupting young Israelis who have to fight and take responsibility for fighting in the midst of a civilian population.

The economy will also grow as countries shed their current inhibitions in dealing with us because right now we have tanks that enter Palestinian villages and these countries’ citizens don’t approve and don’t care about the complexity of the situation. Tanks in villages are a reminder of bad things.

Do you notice how I haven’t even brought up the Palestinians? You know why? It’s because we are shooting ourselves in the foot with our own foolish behavior. We don’t need the Palestinians to be our enemies, we are doing quite fine in hurting ourselves. The fact is that the world does have a consensus about the Green Line and that some territorial negotiations will take place giving Israel small parts of the West Bank, to conclude peace with the Palestinians. Unfortunately, as time passes with us in the territories, that consensus falters. Instead of taking what we have and hugging it close for all of its preciousness, we are playing double or nothing.

People like me have a plan. You may not like it, but it’s a plan. It’s sad, but pragmatic. It hurts some people, but helps the majority. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it makes a lot of sense and will provide a healthier answer than bullshit about how targeted killings will win this war for us. We are already chasing and killing terrorists. People like you, Josh, Ephraim, Alex and TY, are proving yourselves great at silly insults or plans that maintain the status quo indefinitely. There is no indefinitely. There is a limited time horizon and we are fucking around even with that. It’s not I who has to wake up, it is the lot of you. Israel is being destroyed not by the Palestinians, but by us. We need to stop this now and yes, Gaza is only the first step. Next will be most of the West Bank, except for about 3-7% of it. If we do that, we might yet save Israel. If we don’t, this long decline will continue until we end up losing everything. The Palestinians believe time is on their side, maybe you guys need to figure out why.

About the author

themiddle

38 Comments

  • I wanted to post this on the poverty post.

    T_M,
    If you’re going to use that “throwing good money after bad…” expression about people’s homes, then what do you think about other ‘failed’ enterprises like;
    -Maalot,
    -Dimona,
    -Yeruham,
    -Netivot,
    -Sderot,
    -Mizpe Ramon,
    -settling the Negev in general.

    How many of these are ancient cities, settled before the Jews were in Gaza/Kfar Darom, or artificial implants on ‘state-owned’ land in the desert country-side?

    Okay,
    Dimona survives because of a certain ‘installation’ in its vicinity as well the workers at the Dead Sea plants, but nonetheless, it and the other ‘development towns’ merely rank at the top of poverty, home foreclosures from defaulted mortgages, unemployment, and ‘illiteracy’. Nonetheless, if you’ve had the chance to visit, you’d see that they at least superficially, very beautiful towns since the national government allots major transfer payments for all infrastructure (property tax alone doesn’t pay for much).

    So, you’re argument is that if money was spent on Gush Katif (and the entire settlement effort, right?) “throwing good money after bad…” , and it’s a failure (that Gush Katif is certainly not, IMO), then that justifies ripping up people’s lives, homes, and cemetaries in other areas of Israel too?

    Okay, using that warped nonchalant and arrogant opinion, please try to justify Yeruham’s existence.

    Founded in 1951, it has gobbled gazillions of shekels in foreign tzedakah, JNF tree planting, parks and roads, personal transfer payments (welfare, unemployment), factory subsidies to entice and keep them in the area, as well as other infrastructure investments. If one factory closes, the city goes deeper into poverty. Why not close it up and move these people elsewhere to strengthen other Negev towns and end the poverty?

  • I just want to be clear that ck does not know how to read and translated my bitter, sarcastic comments as requests for pics of, uh, women.

  • Josh,


    If you’re going to use that “throwing good money after bad…” expression about people’s homes, then what do you think about other ‘failed’ enterprises like;
    -Maalot,
    -Dimona,
    -Yeruham,
    -Netivot,
    -Sderot,
    -Mizpe Ramon,
    -settling the Negev in general.

    The key difference is they are within the area of international consensus about Israel’s borders.

  • within the area of international consensus

    So I see that you too are going back to old arguments…

    AND we’re really not talking about ‘throwing money away’ and worrying about the Israeli economy, we’re talking about placating the gentile by not standing up for what is important to Jews, though you proudly claim that Gush Katif is not important. Using this rational of yours, no land outside the 67 borders can be justified, but maybe you’ll fight to keep the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem and the kotel as a major concession when the time comes to give away East Jerusalem too, eh?

  • No, Josh, I think you are missing the bigger point here. We have a small country. It has a small economy dependent on outside countries. It has a small manufacturing base that cannot build its own jets or tank engines or produce tires, etc. We are dependent on outsiders for oil, for trade, for cultural life, for scientific development, for money to develop new technologies and businesses.

    What makes you think you can go it alone? What makes you think the U.S. will remain by your side when at the grass roots level our enemies are destroying how Israel is perceived? Take a look at what they’ve done to us in Europe and now visualize that happening in the U.S. Not today, surely, but the noise is already here and it will get worse and worse – all you need to do is visit Jewschool to see what sensitive, good Jewish boys are already doing and saying on that front.

    What makes you think that you can survive alone? From where do you get this hubris? Why do you minimize the role of the international community in the establishment and existence of Israel as a Jewish state? We did it for ourselves, sure, but we did it with help. Always. What makes you give me this simplistic BS about “Gentiles” and “Jews.” You think that plays in the real world? You think I’m going to make political decisions based on people’s notions of gentiles and Jews? You think Western or Asian “gentile” nations, organizations and individuals are going to make their political decisions based upon your religion? Muslim nations might, but the others go by their self-interest.

    I don’t want to give anything up. I do it because it’s what has to be done. The international consensus is that Israel may live within the Green Line, and I believe there is a consensus that in any final agreement, Israel will keep a small part of the West Bank close to the Green Line. That international consensus will allow us to preserve the most important achievement for the Jewish people in 2000 years – the re-establishment of our nation in the Land of Israel. Is it only a part of the Land of Israel? Yup. Do I hate to lose any of it? Yup. But what we have is a lot and we are gambling on losing it all just so we can try to get more. Bad thinking.

    As for Jerusalem? I’d rather call the Western Wall and the Haram Al Sharif a “no-sovereign” zone and let an international force protect equal access to all. And I’m okay with splitting the Old City into quarters that are divided among Jews and Palestinians. And I’m very happy to let 200,000 – 300,000 Palestinians who currently reside on my side of the border end up on their side of the border when that border becomes reality. Wouldn’t you rather see that demographic time-bomb in another country?

  • Gee, didn’t I hear that “internationalization of Jerusalem” thing before? Let me see, when was that?

    Oh, yeah, right, 1947.

    It worked really well then, it ought to work now.

    Yeah, UN troops telling the Jews whether they can or cannot go to the Kotel sounds like a damn good idea.

  • That’s right, and the best way to bring back the Mandate is to let foreign troops in so the can tell the Jews what to do.

  • Must there be troops? Can’t they just be guards of some sort? Can’t there be a small number of them? Can’t they be there to secure access?

    We have two holy places there; places of worship. Forgive my stupid naivete, but just maybe we can have a peace agreement where neither party “controls” this square half mile of the planet? Where both parties have access to their respective sections? I mean, the Waqf controls the Haram al Sharif anyway, and the Israeli government has allowed them to gut what’s underneath all the way to crusader period to build their mosque. And the Jews have access to the Western Wall. No Israeli government wants to even consider touching the hot potato of removing the Haram al Sharif, and in fact we ran to give the keys back to the Waqf in 1967.

    How’s that different than what I’m proposing? I know it’s really rough to consider the idea of compromise and sharing. I realize that you don’t trust the other side, and frankly I have grave doubts as well. But if you open your mind, you’ll realize it’s not far fetched and it’s not so different than the current status quo. It’s a question of whether we have peace or not and this might be the one critical component that could destroy any peace deal. Alternatively, it could be the cement that locks in that peace.

    As for foreign troops giving orders, it’s not as if we’re in 1947 and the better-equipped and larger British military would be forcing their mandatory laws down our throats. The IDF will still be there as will the state of Israel in all its strength. But this holy site will become just that, a holy site for all people.

    Think about it with an open mind. Come on, I know you can do it…

  • The core error here is to string together unrelated causes and effects.

    The alienation of American Jewish youth – their inability to justify Israel’s right to exist – is not a “result” of Israel’s actions. It is a result of American Jewry’s inactions, its abysmal ignorance of Judaism. This final step away from the Jewish people is the last unraveling of a long story of assimilation.

    American Jewish youth with a solid Jewish education have more committment to Israel, and are actively involved in countering the Arab propaganda. And as the American campus environment has become much more open to conservative views, it is much more friendly to pro-Israel views as well. The problem is that most assimilated American Jews actually are more closely affiliated with the Left than they are with Jewry.

    Similarly, Israel’s defense of its own interests is not the “cause” of the antisemitism coming out of Europe and the left-leaning church groups. Israel was established because of the scorching fire that blazed forth from the heart of post-enlightenment, post-emancipation Europe, proving that Jews could only depend on their own sovereignty. Remember? The assertions coming out of Europe that undercut Israel’s legitimate right to exist – within ANY borders – are just the most modern restatement of an old inability to handle the peoplehood of the Jewish people, and the personhood of individual Jews.

    The notion that somehow the solution to all this is further ceding of our already shaky sovereignty is ludicrous – and typical of the diaspora mentality, which abdicates adult self-determination in favor of “what the goyim will think”. THIS IS THE PROBLEM THAT ISRAEL WAS MEANT TO SOLVE.

    Are we such a tiny helpless country? We are second only to the enormous USA in ACTUAL NUMBERS of hi-tech startups. Our GDP dwarfs that of several smaller European countries. We are developing the most sophisticated weapons systems. All this in just 50 years (and just 30 without Socialist controls) – with one hand tied behind our backs.

    The solution of Jewish sovereignty and self reliance works. It is the only thing that does. The only “problem” so far is that, out of practice after 3000 years on the run, we have yet to develop a firm backbone vis-a-vis our former masters and murderers.

    Overseas Jews who bleat about how *not nice* it is for Israel to unapologetically pursue Jewish self-interest are echoing their own fears and precarious position. The solution lies in the exact opposite direction – as both Reagan and Bush have shown, the way to attain peace is show resolute willingness to fight “for keeps” to win.

    Israel was established precisely so that the Jews could do just that, after centuries of powerlessness.

  • Sorry, under no circumstsnces whatsoever should gentiles have the ability to tell Jews whether they can or cannot go to the Kotel, or any other Jewish holy place, for that matter.

    And I think the the cowardice of the Israeli government in allowing the Waqf to desecrate the Har ha Bait is absolutely unconscionable.

    Where does this “removing the Haram al Sharif” thing come from? Are you projecting?

    Who will control these “international troops”? The UN, I suppose? You know, that international organization of amity and botherhood that has worked so hard to protect Jewish rights? When the palestinians inevitably start a riot over the chutzpah of the Jews to congregate here or there, do you think that these troops will step in to protect Jewish rights or cave in to the palestinians pogromchiks?

    Once you allow foreign troops to have a say in anything of this nature, Israeli sovereignty will disappear like a puff of smoke. It might not happen immediately, but once Israel allows foreigners to have the right to tell Jews where they can and cannot go in Israel, everyone will know that the Israelis, in their hearts, have given away their pride and independence. After that, the deluge.

    All people of all faiths already have access to their holy places under Israeli administration. There is no need to change anything at all. The only thing that will happen if gentiles get involved is that eventually gentiles will have access to their holy places and Jews won’t.

    I agree, in principle, to te idea of compromise. However, this will not work until the palestinians actually want to compromise to achieve a peaceful solution with a sovereign Jewsh Israel. The reason for our disagreement is very simple: you think that Israeli concessions will convince the palestinians that peace is worth it; that is, that it is up to Israel to do something to convince the palestinians to make peace. This point of view takes as its starting point the idea that this conflict is, essentially, Israel’s fault and that Israel must do somehting to end it. All of your proposals flow from this basic assumption.

    I, on the other hand, believe the exact opposite: that this conflict was started by the Arabs and it is the palestinians’ to end any time they want. Once this happens, Israel might be able to make concessions safely. But this must be preceded by a genuine palestinian desire for peace. So long as Israel makes the concessions you suggest as a way to escape palestinian violence, the palestinians will have no reason to lay down their arms.

    Compromise will work only once the palestinians are convinced that a military option cannot work. Making concessions before that only convinces them that violence works.

    Anyway, your basic plan relies on the goodwill of the nations for it to work. That seems like a pretty thin reed on which to rely. I agree that the respect of the nations is important. However, the natons respect strength, self-reliance and deterination. You advocate surrendeering all of that to curry favor with them. They will only wind up despising us as cowards and lackeys. Even their hatred is better than that.

  • Ephraim wrote: Sorry, under no circumstsnces whatsoever should gentiles have the ability to tell Jews whether they can or cannot go to the Kotel, or any other Jewish holy place, for that matter.

    And I kinda agree with him on that point. Israel’s guardianship of Jerusalem’s holy places is beyond reproach and the most liberal and enlightened ever. Allowing International troops or whatever to administer or guard or whatever any of these places is stupid and I would never support it. Jerusalem is our capital. Not a balkanized, divied up Jerusalem, but a united Jerusalem, plain and simple. I would never, ever, ever support International trusteeship over any part of the city – except for on the grounds of embassies of course.

    The city is ours, our enemies have been vanquished time and time again and they should realize that they lost. Jerusalem should never, ever, ever be on the bargaining table. They had their chance, they didn’t let us in to pray, they defiled our holy places and our cemeteries, I say f*ck ’em.

  • The reason for our disagreement is very simple: you think that Israeli concessions will convince the palestinians that peace is worth it; that is, that it is up to Israel to do something to convince the palestinians to make peace. This point of view takes as its starting point the idea that this conflict is, essentially, Israel’s fault and that Israel must do somehting to end it. All of your proposals flow from this basic assumption.

    I, on the other hand, believe the exact opposite: that this conflict was started by the Arabs and it is the palestinians’ to end any time they want. Once this happens, Israel might be able to make concessions safely. But this must be preceded by a genuine palestinian desire for peace. So long as Israel makes the concessions you suggest as a way to escape palestinian violence, the palestinians will have no reason to lay down their arms.

    No, Ephraim, you are completely wrong about what I think and have written. I recommend you reread what I wrote because I absolutely reject the premise that this conflict is Israel’s fault and therefore Israel must be the one to do something to end it.

    This conflict is the fault of the Arabs, and its perpetuation can be blamed primarily on the Arabs. However, not solely upon them.

    Israel does not need to be the only one to do something to end the conflict, but it needs to take steps, even unilateral steps, to reach a situation where it is more secure than today. If the Palestinians take their own steps, they will benefit. If they don’t, they will benefit somewhat from the unilateral steps, but end up continuing to suffer and losing far more in the long run than they would have if they’d compromise.

    But my proposals regarding Israel stem from a desire to see Israel pragmatically and realistically improve its own circumstances.

    What can I say about Jerusalem other than to admit that in my heart I do not want to ever see it divided again. I do not wish to create any ambiguity about our rights there. I believe, however, that ultimately some compromise will have to be reached because the population of East Jerusalem is a problematic issue in the long run for the city and the state, and because there is already a de facto separation of sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

    Oh, and the “removing the Haram al Sharif thing” came from, you know, some loonie Right wing Jews who thought (think?!) that maybe they could take some unilateral steps of the kind I would reject. So no, I wasn’t projecting, although this seems to be a new tactic on the Right. Somebody who disagrees with their views says that maybe the Right wants to do something because, well, people on the Right keep saying it, and then that person is accused of thinking that very thing. It’s quaint, but really just a waste of typing for both of us.

  • Hey ck, did I thank you for the pic of that woman? She’s quite lovely and truly enhances this entire discussion.

  • I support the general idea that Israel should take whatever unilateral steps it needs to take to protect itself. I simply disagree with the steps which you propose, that’s all. They would weaken Israel fatally, not strengthen it.

    I do not believe that wholesale evacuation in the face of palestinian violence and foreign troops (or “guards”, as you would have it;how’s that for an image, huh?) “protecting” Jeruslam’s holy sites as a way of getting the goyim to dislike us a little less is the answer.

    Just because some fanatics want to destry Al Aksa and the Dome of the Rock does not mean that I suporrt such a thing. You should stick with what I say, not with what you want me to say.

    You say that you do not believe that this conflict is Israel’s fault, but your proposals (retreating to the Green Lne, dividing Jerusalem, allowing foreigners to guard the holy places, etc.) are nothing but an endorsement of the palestinian position: Juden Raus. Actions speak louder than what you have in your heart. Who cares if you don’t “feel” that the conflict is Israel’s fault but act like you believe it is? That is the definition of defeat.

    As the story abut palestinian anger against the Tel Aviv homicide bombing shows, Israeli steadfastness is working, at least on a small level. Now is precisely the tme to remain steadfast and not abandon everything to cower behind the UN and foreign “guarantees”.

  • Ephraim, your plan of “steadfastness” completely ignores the litany of problems we have and will continue to have as a result of our presence inside the Palestinian population. My position is actually not an endorsement of the Palestinian position, but of Barak’s efforts to achieve peace. Barak, if you recall, is not a Palestinian. Barak is a pretty smart man who was also a highly regarded soldier and leader in the military. He was obviously less good at it in civilian life, but the ideas he proposed were very sound.

    Rather than giving me tiresome lectures about how wrong I am, please give me an alternative scenario already. I want to know your plan. What happens in five years? What happens in ten? One story or even 5 stories like this one above do not represent a movement or a trend. But if every Palestinian family is having 4-8 children, and if the church divestment campaigns are beginning to take hold, and if Israeli academics are shunned around the world, and if arms-manufacturing powers refuse to sell Israel parts for its military, then that represents a trend.

    What is your plan to counter these trends? A realistic plan please, not bullshit about getting better hasbara.

  • Yeah, Barak tried to make peace. Look what happened to him. He tried everything you proposed and got dumped on in return. For every desparate concesson he offered, he got more violence.

    You seem to think that your proposals will lessen violence against Israel, but all the concessions so far have done nothing but increase it. I absolutely fail to see how your proposals will do anything but open the floodgates to even more violence.

    The palestinians are war-weary. Lebanon is about to throw the Syrians out. Iraq is going democratic. Even Mubarak and the Saudis are worried. The logjam is begining to break. Now is NOT the time to panic and run. One bone, thepalestinians are losing all of their allies.

    Anyway, I have already said that I support the general idea of compromise so long as it is in the context of an overall peace settlement. Your plan is just to cut and run and hope for the best. Undertaken in this context, it has no hope of success. I simply do not believe, as you seem to, that this will usher in an era of good feeling towards israel on the part of Europe or whomever. As a matter of fact, I think it wll precipitate the precise opposite of that. Europe has shown that all it is interested in doing is kowtowing to the Arabs. Once the Arabs see that Israel is on the run, they will increase pressure for more concessions, such as the “right” of return. There will certainly be pressure for Israel fo make another “gesture” to the palestininians. Where will you draw the line, and why do you think anyone wll listen to Israel once it has shown that it can be browbeaten into making concessions?

  • Wow, CK, you sounds pretty hard-core in your defense of an undivided Jerusalem. I would venture to say that if birthright travelled to Gush Katif we would hear you singing a different tune about that neck of the woods too.

    All of Israel is Jerusalem. Groove it.
    e

  • E. I’ve been to Gush Katif. It’s nice but it’s no Jerusalem. But I know whatcha mean and I do not look forward to giving it up.

  • But if every Palestinian family is having 4-8 children,

    I really do not understand why you continue to believe in the ‘demographic daemon’. Read anything posted here:

    http://www.pademographics.com/news.html

    “Indeed, the total fertility rate of Palestinian women has been trending downward in recent years. Palestinian women in Judea and Samaria averaged 4.1 children in 1999 and 3.4 in 2003. Palestinian women in Gaza averaged 5 children each in 1999 and 4.7 in 2003.” That’s a trend!

    and if the church divestment campaigns are beginning to take hold,

    Actually, they aren’t. Tell me, are presbyterians a strong economic force in the world?

    and if Israeli academics are shunned around the world,

    Then the world will have to do without a cure for cancer or aids. Their loss. The vast majority of the world still admires Israeli science and we will continue to advance without the help of bigots.

    and if arms-manufacturing powers refuse to sell Israel parts for its military, then that represents a trend.

    Actually, I would support this. Israel has allowed itself to get too dependant on foreign manufacturing. The Israel army doesn’t even bother to take off the US Army tags from it’s equipment; boots, sleeping bags, tents, Shop-rite corn flakes, sugar, various parts of weapons systems. One day, there will be a blockade and Israel will have to depend on itself.

    I actually think that things will get much worse if the retreat goes through. It will be very hard for Israel to justify not moving back from other parts as well. What justification will we have??? Please tell me, I’m dying to know why Sharon/Olmert/Weisglass are setting a precedent of giving away every ‘last centimeter’ by leaving the three secular north Gaza yishuvim? The border is already south of these settlements, and retreating from them simply says that ALL of Gaza is not ours. This is not even a compromise, it is surrendering to insanity. Why do you think that Gush Etzion is more kosher than these three north Gaza places? Do you really think that we will get some support from the world to take a break and have them pressure the Palestinians to make a move? No, it’s easier to pressure the Jews, like you are already doing.

    We are winning the war. This is not the time to cave in and lose the high ground. The Palestinians are so much closer to finally approaching us, that acceeding to them just shows more weakness. Why do you keep projecting your ‘western’ feelings on to them. Arab mindset does not accept gestures as a sign of good faith, they think instead that it is a trick.

    litany of problems?

    After four years of seeing the Palestinian peace lie be exposed, the world can’t use the same arguments it did in the nineties. But you want to keep those alive, even though we should learn lessons.

  • Josh, were we separated at birth or something?

    Glad you showed back up. You’re better at this than I am, and I was getting tired of it.

  • Tired? Be patient, there’s more to come. 😉

    And yes, sometimes it feels like I’m talking to…clones.

  • We’re everywhere.
    Proud lovers of Israel, the Jewish people, and faith in Gd to protect both and guide us toward geulah.

    It has a small manufacturing base that cannot build its own jets or tank engines or produce tires, etc

    Just wanted to remind you about the Lavi project that was cancelled only because of heavy American pressure, not because we couldn’t have our own home grown jet.

  • My plan would be to transfer all the violent terrorist, their supporters, and their families out. I would uproot them from thier homes. All thier cemeteries should be dug up or left behind to rot and be vandalized. I would make sure to destroy all the hard work that the inhabitance had done to create thier communities. If they won’t go peacefully, I would send in the army to force them out. Maybe I would even destroy thier homes. Heck, maybe as an extra bit of salting the wounds, I would give all their possesions to people who have being attacking them constantly with bombing and missles. I would turn thier houses of worship into stables. I would teach death and hatred to the next generation in the former schools and seminaries. I would invite my enemies to patrol the area so that nothing too bad would happen when I leave.
    Wait….that can only be done to Israelis, right? Think about all the bus bombings, cafe bombings, shootings, stabbings, and generalized terror that those people from Gush Katif have committed. I could cut off all my fingers and begin counting from there.

  • I really can’t stand it when somebody makes us into the ultimate victims. We are the stronger party in this conflict because we made ourselves so.

    Hey Josh, the Lavi development was partially funded with US dollars and the production would have been financed partially with them as well.

  • Josh – The Lavi used a Pratt & Whitney engine, as well as Fly-by-wire technology, the latest electronic counter-measure pods and radar-warning receivers and their logarithms, graphite composite and single-crystal turbine technology – All US technology. Lets also not forget the $550 million earmarked by Congress for the development costs. Now tell me again about how homegrown the Lavi was? And how Israel can go off and do whatever it likes regardless of what other countries think?

    And another thing Josh? I am no less of a proud lover of Israel, the Jewish people and faith in G-d. I pray for Geulah every day.

  • That’s exactly right, TM. Israel is stronger because it made itself that way. If it had not done so, the Jews would still be the ultimate victinms, because that is what the rest of the world, especially the Arabs, wants us to be.

    And Strong is how Israel must stay.

    Again, you reveal just how wrong-headed and just plain stupid you are. I assume by stating that since Israel is strong you believe it must make concessions to the weak, in this case, the palestinians.

    No, no, a thousand times no. Relative strength and weakness have nothing to do with this. Strength does not make one wrong, just as weakness does not make one right. Morality has nothing to do with power. Israel is in the right, and the Arabs are in the wrong. It is for those in the wrong, no matter how weak they are, to admit that they are wrong, apologize to those they have wronged, and agree to atone for their wrongdoing.

    The kind of misguided noblesse oblige you favor would put Israel in mortal danger.

  • Ephraim, I have to point out to you that by writing that I am “wrong-headed and just plain stupid,” you’re actually indicating that either you have anger management issues or are wrong headed and just plain stupid yourself. I’m many things, but stupid is not on the list.

    Now, if you happen to be wrong about this evaluation, aren’t you worried that you might be wrong about the other stuff – you know, like your lack of a plan, or even concern that anything is going wrong in Israel’s conflict with the Arabs – as well?

  • I don’t have anger management issues, TM. Calling you stupid is no worse than you accusing me of spoutng bullshit. If you want me to mind my manners you should mind yours first.

    And I have a plan. It is the same as Josh’s. It is to stand fast instead of run away like you suggest. That your plan is a result of panic is evidenced by the fact that you are afraid of ghosts like the Presbyterians, a dying denomination with empty churches and plummetting membership, but neglect the Evangelicals, a roust, self-confident community that is growing by leaps and bounds and which backs Israel to the hilt (I would prefer other friends, but ‘ll take ’em where I can get “em). You also negelct all of the signs of a major shift in the political wind: the election in Iraq; Lebanese opposition to the Syrian occupation; a dropping palestinian birth rate; increasing signs of palestinian infighting, pointing to what I think will be a palestinian civil war; and even a statement from the World Bank that constantly pouring money into the PA will not accomplish anything until there are real palestinian reforms. All of this points to the fact that the world is waking up to the folly of using the palestinains as a stick with which to beat the Jews. Once the money dries up, the palestinians will beg Israel for peace. Israel just needs to hang on and not panic. This is a crucal, crucial time, and advocating abject surrender like you do is the worst possible thing that can be done.

    You blather about your “plan”, but nothing in recent history suggests that it will help anything at all. Standing pat and letting the palestinians eat each other alive is far better than doing what you suggest.

    And I will say again, just to make sure you get it: I believe that there wll inevitably have to be compromises of some kind or another between Israel and the palestinians. But Israel must stand fast and offer these concessions ONLY AFTER the palestinians have really and truly realized, in the marrow of their bones, that their war has failed. Doing it before that risks re-invigorating them just at the moment when they are about to crack and give up.

  • I’m not asking you to mind your manners, merely the stupid comments. 😉

    Glad you agree about compromise. We have some common ground.

    But the Palestinians are not compromising any time soon because that isn’t their strategy, and because too large a portion of their society would reject the compromise required.

    I’m therefore left with the option of waiting them out. But waiting them out involves all the problems I list in the post above and would be to our detriment, not to our advantage. They’re already poor, tired, angry with each other and still nothing has changed in their real positions with respect to Israel.

    If you read my comments above, you’ll realize that I’m not proposing that we take unilateral moves because I think that might make them change their minds. I’m suggesting it because it will improve our situation in Israel and outside of it. It’s all well and good to say that a church might be weak or strong, but the point is that a large organization representative of millions of people voted and came to a majority opinion that Israel needs to be punished. Do you think this is the end? This is just the beginning.

    Ultimately, any compromise will resemble in one form or another much of what Barak offered. We already see this with Sharon being forced to reconfigure the security fence by the Supreme Court. Now he is down to 7% of the West Bank, which is not that far off Barak’s Taba offer of keeping 2.5%.

    So the question becomes what are you waiting for? If we’re learning anything right now, it’s that there are a couple of hundred thousand people, with another few hundred thousand supporters – people like you and Josh – who do not wish to vacate any part of the territories or Jerusalem. So what kind of compromise are you seeking exactly? They will have a non-contiguous state/autonomy in the West Bank and another chunk in Gaza, without any sovereignity over any part of Jerusalem? Is that what you mean by compromise?

    You want to wait until they “beg Israel for peace?” I’m afraid that’s wishful thinking on your part but in the meantime they continue to destroy us internationally, economically and internally because this is consuming away at Israeli society. Or do you think it’s healthy that because we disagree, you call me stupid and people call Sharon a traitor if not worse? You want to wait until Israel has a civil war? You want to wait until there are anough Feiglins in the Likud to hijack it? What are you waiting for exactly?

    I understand your rationale. Really, I do. I want to do the same thing: be tough; be aggressive; crush their resistance; crush their spirit; kill their terrorists; and get them to simply break. But I have the discipline to see that my anger doesn’t serve my needs over time and might severely harm me because they may just not break so readily and in the meantime, through their hard work and our own stupidity as Jews and Israelis, they are harming us severely.

  • I would imagine that you are not a particularly good poker player. I’m not sure what form the compromise will take. All I am saying is that it is stupid to offer them everything because you are afraid of them which is really what you are doing. That is blood in the water to a shark.

    Listen to what you are saying: you are saying that you don’t know when or if the palestinians will break, but you know Israel is breaking. As I said before, what this means is that the terrorists are winning. And if Israel retreats unilaterally, they will know that they have won.

    A non-contiguous state in Gaza and a part of Yehuda and the Shomron? Sounds good to me, and a hell of a lot more than they deserve.

    Ahh, but they wil never accept such a humiliation I hear you say. I still have yet to hear from you why you think they will be satsified with the surrender….I mean, the “compromise” you are offering. At every opportunity they insist on the “right” of “return”. Why do you think that your planwil be acceptable to them or to “the world”?

    As for israel’s Supreme Court, it is a symptom of the diease: they worry about “international law” as defined by a bunch of enelected Eurocrats and cooked up in the Hague instead of worrying about Jews being murdered. They all should be fired.

  • Ephraim, your comment about the SC is…incredible.

    As for whether they will accept the plan or not. Who cares? And yes, the world will accept it because there is a consensus about the Green Line and even some of the towns and communities just outside the Green Line.

    Shabbat shalom.

  • Sorry, T_M, you’re wrong. There is no consensus about any Jewish communites anywhere outside of the Green Line, Jerusalem included.

    You are basing your plan on this assumption, and that is why it is so flawed. The unilateral surrender you advocate may buy Israel a week or two, but whatever applause they get for being so brave will evaporate the next time a “desperate” palestinian blows hmself up in Tel Aviv, after which the “concessions and gestures” crowd will start up again.

    Sorry you find my comments about the Supreme Court “incredible”. The fact that the Supreme Court of Israel seems to care more about people whose national pastime is murdering Jews than the fact that their decisions put Jewish lives in danger is, well….incredible.

    The EU and all of those people who blather about “international law” are the biggest bunch of hypocrites on the planet. The idea that a country like Russia, or even France, or, especially, Germany, has the chutzpah to lecture Israel about “international law” is just, well….incredible.

    The world being the way it is, it may very well be that for the forseeable future Israel will be forced to fight a long rearguard action and still may be forced back to the 1967 “borders”. This would be wrong, but since gentile “international law” is based on nothing but force, it may very well happen, G-d forbid.

    It also may very well be that the headlong retreat you advocate actually is what the majority of Israelis want. If this is so, then their views will prevail. Maybe this will stiffen Israel’s spine and they will resist any further retreat. Perhaps this will unify the country. I am doubtful of that, but who knows?

    However, what it will NOT do is prevent the next war.

  • Suppose there is a lull in the fighting.

    The right wing response: “You see! We are winning! We have to keep the pressure up otherwise they will think we are weak!”

    Suppose there is a suicide bombing.

    The right wing response: “#$#$#^^$&!!! We can not tolerate this atrocity! We will not be intimidated! We must strike even harder!!”

    I think there is something faulty in your logic if a situation and its negation lead you to the same conclusion.

    Darn, where is Grand Muffti when we need him?

  • Steve, you hit the nail on the head. As I keep pointing out, the Ephraims of the world would like to maintain the status quo because they don’t see any problem with the current situation. If there’s an attack, it’s proof the Palestinians are not ready for peace. If there isn’t an attack, it means they are breaking down and not ready for peace until they get on their knees and beg – and even then it’s probably a trick. At least that’s what the Ephraims think.

    What is worse, no matter what happens, everybody else is to blame and everybody else is at fault: the prime minister is a traitor; the lefties are crazy; the centrists are defeatists; the supreme court is a weak court that dares listen to “gentiles”; the majority in the Knesset is irrelevant and undemocratic; all Palestinians are evil and want to kill all of the Jews; churches that vote to divest are weak and hateful; disengagement is weakness; negotiating for peace before the Palestinians get on their knees and beg is crazy; etc. etc.

    Ephraim, all is not well. It may seem like we’re winning but all around the world, we are losing. That young Jewish man on campus here in the U.S. is turning away from Israel and refuses to make it any part of his life. That young Jewish woman goes to listen to an evening about “peace” and “dialogue” and gets co-opted by lefties and pro-Palestinians who advocate for a single state solution and war crimes tribunals for Israeli soldiers.

    Without those people abroad, in a few years when the demographic issue begins to play a key factor in the Arab demand for a single state solution, you will find you have no foreign support anywhere. You will be isolated and with very few supporters to represent your needs abroad. Hell, you won’t even be able to affect political races so that you can wield some political clout here in the US in the hope of assisting Israel.

    Imagine a day when US Jews do not wish to speak up for Israel. Or imagine a day when they simply do not wield sufficient clout to influence political outcomes. You are going to count on the Evangelical movement to save your, uh, bacon? Imagine the day when the US stops being our ally in the UN. You can’t imagine it? Go travel through some campuses out there. Go talk to people on the street about their current perception of Israel. Read how politicians and columnists now make it a point to taunt either the Jewish community, or to attack Israel and then use any response as a badge of honor as if they are victims of a…conspiracy.

    And make no mistake, this is happening because of the territories. It’s not happening because of Israel inside the Green Line, it’s happening because of tanks and soldiers inside Palestinian villages while Israel builds more homes in little enclaves in areas most of the world – including the US Administration – perceive as future Palestinian state land. It is happening because our presence in the territories keeps the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian problem in particular on the front burners of most media and most people’s thinking about international conflicts and wars.

    Your machismo about the bravery it takes to stand up to the “gentile” world and the various international institutions and bodies out there completely misses the point that without that “gentile” world, you are screwed. You need them for trade, for weapons, for food, for fuel, for cultural and academic exchange, for certain medicines, and just for simple basic friendliness between nations. You can’t be enemies with everybody.

    Israel enjoys a basic international consensus about its existence within and even around the Green Line (read UNSCR 242 if you have doubts). Israel does not even enjoy internal consensus, much less external consensus about its ability to build and live outside the Green Line and its suburbs. Israel does not enjoy internal consensus or external consensus about its rights with respect to a military force inside Judea and Samaria. Heck, even the security barrier which is perfectly legitimate gets a negative score because the world feels Israel has been heavy-handed in its construction and placement.

    Things would be different if we got out of most of the West Bank and most if not all of Gaza. Israel’s future would be brighter and more secure. Your dream of some broken up Palestinian entity, so that you can live in some settlement in the West Bank, may just lead to a broken up Israel.

  • John Brown of Jewschool brings to our attention that according to the US State Dept. the demographic balance from the ocean to the Jordan River, when you count in the territories, is now more Arabs than Jews (5.3 million to 5.2 million). This came out in the 2004 Human Rights report they generate annually.

    If you know that John represents the far Left view of things, you know he’s salivating at this spectactular new tool he has for undermining Israel’s legitimacy. But he’s just a harbinger of things to come. Expect the drumbeat for a single state “solution” to start banging loudly very soon.

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