Friday, January 02, 2009

Where Angels Fear

I am always reticent to write about the state of Israel. No matter what one says, one runs the risk of (a) attracting spam commenters who insist that Israel is behind every sinister plot to destroy the United States, even 9/11; (b) that my evident anti-Semitism leaks out of every syllable I have typed, even if I have written something positive; (c) getting in to stupid side arguments that have nothing to do with the issue at hand (usually involving (a) and (b)). Yet, it seems Israel is intent on doing the same stupid thing it had done repeatedly over the past twenty years, viz., when it realizes there is a serious power vacuum in the United States and that it will thus face no serious consequences, it goes about killing Palestinians indiscriminately. Not only is such action immoral on its face, it is counter-productive to the stated aims of Israeli governments since the mid-1970's, which is a peaceful resolution to the conflict with the original inhabitants of the land now known as the State of Israel.

Every time Israel does this, someone somewhere starts yakking about "the peace process", as if there actually were such a thing. The last time there was a chance was the tail-end of Bill Clinton's Presidency. There have been conflicting reports on what happened at the talks among Clinton, Arafat, and Ehud Barak, but the usual suspects ended any chance: the right of return and the status of Jerusalem in particular. I can understand the question of the right of return; Israel kicked all these people out of their homes, confiscated the property, and allowed Israeli citizens to move in. The process of "return" would end up with a mess of civil law suits, if nothing else. As far as the status of the city of Jerusalem is concerned, it seems to me the international community could deal with that rather easily. Legally, the city is divided between the State of Israel, and the occupied West Bank which was originally Jordanian territory. It seems to me that making Jerusalem a Free City - existing outside any State boundaries, administered via the UN through a mayor drawn from the international community, with rules regarding the rights of all religious inhabitants access to their Holy sites - might do quite well, even if it did upset just about everyone at first.

In any event, the latest Israeli stupidity and atrocity will have the same result as all the rest of them. A whole lot of Palestinians will die; Israel will be roundly, and justifiably, condemned by most of the rest of the world, while defended by the United States; the Palestinians will become even more defiant, starting yet another round of mutual killing; the Israelis will whine about how stubborn and recalcitrant the Palestinian people are; yadda-yadda-yadda.

There is no military resolution to the conflict. There is no reason for the Israeli action, as it will only result in further reducing the possibility of an achievable settlement in the near future. American encouragement, usually couched in terms at once ignorant and strident, only aids and abets the basic criminality and futility of Israeli military action, which is always - ALWAYS ALWAYS - counter-productive.

I think I've said enough now.

Virtual Tin Cup

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More